Thank Grog It’s Firday!
No. I REALLY mean it! If it wasn’t for this being Firday (yes there are drinks involved)…I’d be in deep trouble. It’s been one of those weeks…when “catching up” is not gonna happen. Mostly because last week had 11 days in it. Don’t ask me how it happened…but it did. Big events, and time/space have a way of doing that to you.
So, you are freaked out, because you are behind on “the Act II Calendar?” Come on. After the week I’ve had, I am starting to think those of you who are behind, aren’t trying. But then again, maybe EA is specifically giving me a break, and letting me stay ahead on this TSTO event, simply because I am so behind in the rest of my life.
It certainly seems that way…because when I needed it…when I rEAlly needed it…I was able to “get it all” in Act I, and stay ahead in Act 2, without tapping for 3 full days. I had more important things to do…like get my daughter married, and not fall off the ladder, and make sure that the stain on the hangy things matched the wood from the other thingy, and that the gold feet on the love seat didn’t look cheesy…and that the idea for wrapping the building in plastic was really going to work…and that the plastic wasn’t going to blow away in the wind, and that the heaters weren’t going to burn the place down…
Don’t believe me? Read on…
So, if you were paying attention last week, you may remember that we hosted 170 of my “closest friends and relatives (old and new)” for my 4th daughter Ali’s wedding. And yes…this was the 2nd wedding in 7 months. And yes…the reception really was in a barn, in February, with half of the wedding flying in from California and the East Coast, with so many moving parts, we had spread sheets for our spread sheets. What could possibly go wrong?
And through it all…I knew that I had to stay on top of TSTO…to make sure that I finished on time…right in the middle of the wedding. No worries. I’ve got this…just be sure to turn off the sound and the alerts during that actual ceremony…
The “week” actually started with the bride and groom landing with us, a full week before the event. You may recall that they were making too much noise in the kitchen during the last “Addicts Live”…but I digress.
There was a lot to do. As in…more than you can imagine. Unlike the wedding we had for Katie and Ryan in the summer, which was held at our Country Club (as in all-inclusive, 90% taken care of by venue), this reception was in a barn…in the middle of winter. A barn with no heat, and not large enough to hold 170 people and wait staff, and a dance floor and cocktail area.
No problem…there is a nice, big covered patio in the back…we’ll use that!
Oh. Wait. Last February, we had ice storms, freezing rain, and wind. And the weather seemed to be predicting a possibility of snow on the wedding day.
No problem…we’ll just wrap the whole thing in poly-sheeting, and use box heaters to heat the place. Right?
But, as is often the case, the “we’ll” is actually “me’ll” and I spent the better part of a full day on a ladder (twice), with a staple gun, drills, plastic, and about 200 screws, along with ground stakes so it wouldn’t move in the wind, and stayed rigid enough to hold the heat, while not actually “looking” like plastic in the pictures…
Oh. Wait. Did I mention that “the bride” also works in fashion? This means that every detail…as in every nuance from the table linens, to the menus tied with ribbon with a sprig of heather needed to be conceived, executed and presented perfectly. She is very sweet…not a “Bride-zilla” at all. But, she knew what she wanted…and we were her willing minions in creating a fairy tale “Rustic Elegence” themed reception.
I won’t go into further detail…except to say, miracles happened. I’m not a profoundly religious person…but everything aligned into the perfect four days of sun, a great group of helpers, and just enough energy and grace to get through the event, with every muscle in my body screaming in pain from “overdoing” in the prep…to have an amazing time.
And through it all… EA’s laziness…and my diligence in the days prior, allowed me to finish Act 1, with days to spare. The very days that I needed to have the “event of a lifetime.” I completed Act 1 on Friday…and didn’t turn on my padular device once, until Monday night. It was amazingly rewarding…
I’ll let the pictures tell the story… and won’t go into detail about how the honeymoon was almost sidelined by United Airlines horrible service (with the exception of one very, amazing, desk clerk who saved the day with minutes to spare…you are an angel, Josiah!).
I’ll narrate a bit, so you can see what we were up against.
First of all…the barn is a barn. As in…yes…it is a barn. However, the barn at Oak Knoll Farms, has been redone inside to be a venue…used almost exclusively in the summer. Because there is no heat…and it is is, well...a barn.
CLICK ON PICS TO ENLARGE if you want to see the glory in detail…
The barn has two stories…and a covered patio, which is great in the summer. But, as mentioned…it has no heat, and it is winter, and the temps traditionally get down to 30 degrees…inside or outside…because, it is…a barn.
Oh. Also…because in the winter, we couldn’t use the field for parking…we had to shuttle everyone in from the church (17 miles away) in huge buses. But, hey…it worked out fine…mostly.
Let the magic begin.
I came up with the idea to install industrial plastic sheeting around the patio…and enclose it. This would allow us to use heaters to blow into the barn, and the patio area, and keep the heat inside. We had to use large box heaters, and hide the outtake hoses (did I mention that Ali also hates cords, or tape, or anything that doesn’t look like “Rustic Elegance?”). The only wrinkle, was that to be truly sealed… we couldn’t have any breaks or openings in the plastic… OH…and the lady who owns the barn, said she didn’t want us to use stapled in the wood if we could avoid it.
OH… and because it was 10 feet tall around the base…and we needed to use “Clear poly plastic” on the top of the frame, so the people could look out from the bar in the balcony…and the clear stuff didn’t come in sizes large enough…so we had to put two pieces together, and mount the entire thing on a frame of 1x2x8s and 1x4x8’s…while standing on a ladder, using wood screws that we would have to remove the day after the wedding…Perhaps you can see why it took nearly 8 hours…each day. The bottom section was one, continuous, 100 foot sheet…attached to wood, and screwed into the building, and stakes into the ground.
OK. Enough grumbling about plastic… on with the solutions…and the final event pics.
It. Was. Epic.
The week(s) before the wedding…the house filled up with all of the details that went into making this “Ali’s vision.” Again…she is in the fashion industry, so we were just the “workers” that executed her amazing vision…
We had one day…as in ONE to transport, deliver, and set everything up…and begin the “big wrap.” We had loads of help from the wedding party, and the De Anda clan to get the job done…which had to be completed in 8 hours…because the rehearsal was at 5P the same day. It may have been easier to invade Panama or maybe even a 3rd world Arab Country…
Darren De Anda (AKA FOG…Father of the Groom) was in charge of setting up the heaters…
MIRACLE #1…the weather, which was predicted to be in the mid to high 40s…with WIND and RAIN (which is what the weather is like right now…as I type this) was in the upper 50s…with just enough wind to make us spike the wood that held the continuous 100 foot x 10 foot main wrap in place.
Once installed…including the clear plastic in the A-frame of the upper balcony, we still had time to install my sound system…and the hanging garden wood platforms that hung above the dance floor (and matched the other stained items in the reception area perfectly).
Every detail…every lick of furniture, linens, two bars…every knife, fork, and multiple glassware of the table service had to be set up, and installed…the results (because of Ali’s vision) were stunning…right down to the sprigs of heather on the menus.
The Wedding Day Arrived…
Miracle #2… the Service was flawless…nobody lost it…the kids all behaved…and the Bride and Groom were radiant in the love they share with one another…
Bridal Party en route to the church…on time!!
And the Wedding…Perfect in every way!
Daughter Amy and her family… after we arrived back at the venue.
Daughter Joni and her family… With Grandsons #1 and #2…
Bridal Bouquet Toss…
MIRACLE #3… The food and drink ran out at exactly the time the reception was scheduled to end (go figure).
Downside of doing your own event? The Day AFTER. Deb and I and a few hearty souls who survived the night and their hangovers pitched in to help… EVERYTHING that came in…had to be cleaned up and removed in 4 hours the next morning…
Everything that didn’t need to be returned to the vendors (not a broken, chipped, or lost glass, plate, or serving spoon was damaged!)…had to be returned to the house. We now call our home, “Wedding in a Box!”
MIRACLE #5… we did it all on schedule…with enough energy to go to a huge wedding party Super Bowl Party…to see the EAGLES BEAT THE PATRIOTS!! Woot! Woot!!
And finally…when after a weekend WITHOUT TAPPING…I opened my game on Monday…to find that I was still ahead…and didn’t suffer a single “missed item” in Act 1.
Life is more than Tapping… a lot more.
After a disaster at the airport was averted (let’s just say that United earns its reputation as the worst service airline in the business…especially when it comes to honoring its discounted fares), we sent the happy couple off to an amazing honeymoon in Belize.
Love was in the air…literally.