Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Falling Into Place

The historic Main Street Chapel in Snowflake, Arizona,
where Jacob and Danielle's wedding reception was held.
Preparing for a wedding is stressful, with so much to do and so many things to potentially go wrong. Yet everything seems to fall into place when the big day arrives. Not always smoothly, to be sure, and often with items forgotten and little mistakes abounding. Still, in the end, we look back and see only the beauty and meaning of the event, with the little bumps in the road no more than memories that make us laugh in hindsight.
Tables laden with food at a luncheon after the temple wedding.

And so it was with Jacob and Danielle's wedding. It was a sweet, memorable occasion that came off beautifully with the help of many busy and loving hands.

As the mother of the groom, my primary responsibility was putting on a luncheon between the morning's wedding and the evening's reception to feed the wedding party, family, out-of-town guests, and other helpers. After being the mother of the bride at Chris and Sarah's wedding nearly 3 years ago, I was more than happy to assume this less intense role!

We set up the luncheon onstage, with the food in a small classroom
through the doors at the back.

One last-minute glitch happened when an elderly local woman passed away and the funeral was scheduled to take place on the morning of the wedding, at the same chapel where the reception would be held that evening. Suddenly, we were unable to set up and decorate on Friday night, as previously planned. We couldn't even enter the building and start preparing for the reception until the funeral participants had vacated the building, around 12:30.
We were fortunate that there was no funeral luncheon following interment, as is the usual Mormon custom, or we wouldn't have been allowed into the building until as late as 3:00. That's one blessing we can count! 

We set up luncheon tables for about 60 people.

To keep out of the way of those putting up tables and chairs and decorating the cultural hall, we set up the luncheon on the tiny stage at one end of the room. This historic old chapel is beautiful, but it's the product of a hundred years of various add-ons and construction projects to enlarge the building. The inside is a warren of halls and small rooms, but no room was convenient to the kitchen in which to hold the luncheon. So the stage it was!

My niece Mariah wrote this message for the bride and groom.

Much thanks goes out to those who helped get the luncheon ready to go. I truly couldn't have done it myself. My nephews and sons got the tables and chairs up, while my daughter and nieces made the tables look pretty. My sister Karla, my friend A'Lece, some of Julie's friends (sorry I'm so bad with names), and my nieces did the heavy lifting on food prep in the kitchen, leaving me free to organize and direct.

I'm especially grateful for the hard work done by Karla, Cami, and Celesta in cutting up vegetables and fruits galore to make the salads on Friday night: potato salad, pasta salad, tuna salad, green salad, and fruit salad. They are my salad warriors!

We filled the tables and enjoyed a lot of good food and conversation.

While we ate, we went around the room and had each person introduce themselves, describe their connection to the bride or groom, and share a story about the newlyweds or give them some advice. It was a fun way to get to know each other and gain some insights into the new couple. There was much humorous debate regarding who were the actual "favorite" aunts, uncles, and cousins in the crowd.

The guest book table at the entrance.

Meanwhile, the decorating for the reception was moving forward. (They said they ate, but I never actually saw the parents of the bride stop to eat some lunch. They were highly focused on the task at hand.) Kordell and Julie and their helpers quickly had the reception hall looking pretty in pink, with blue highlights.

A laser-etched cube featuring the Snowflake Temple.

A basket on the gift table for envelopes.

I neglected to get a picture of it, but months before the wedding Jacob decided to undertake a secret project, about which he teased Danielle with tantalizing hints for weeks. On the sly, he got Danielle's baby pictures from her mother and matched them with his own baby pictures, producing a DVD of their childhood photos set to music. It came out very nicely and played on a television for the guests at the reception.

At the same time, Danielle was putting together her own romantic project. She set up a sweet display of photographs featuring herself and Jacob during the months of their courtship. It was a lovely presentation, and a perfect backdrop for the dancing that came later.

Danielle's display of romantic photos along the stage.

The guests' tables for visiting and nibbling later in the evening.

Danielle's dad put together this arch. It was quite a chore!
Karla then led our little team in embellishing the arch in pink and blue,
making it ready to serve as a backdrop for the reception line.

The dessert table set up by Stephanie Packer, a friend of Jacob.
The Packer-Arellano family own a catering business, Lost Moose Celebrations,
and they provided this "sweets" table as a wedding gift to the newlyweds.

It must have been yummy! By the time I was able to sample the goodies,
there were only 3 cupcakes left on the entire table! I ate two, one pink and one blue.
Yes, they were delicious!
With an hour still to go, the reception hall was ready to be filled with people. In tomorrow's blog, we will join the festivities with the wedding party and the guests!

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