I am the groom's Mom, and so I did not do any heavy lifting for the wedding. The invitations were beautiful, and they miraculously were ordered, assembled, stamped, addressed and mailed. Programs were drafted, printed and beribboned. Decisions were made, and every one was the right one. The kids and the Parolins were on top of every detail. The bride's family had the rough moments, like when the gown came in extremely oversized four weeks before the ceremony. The mother of the bride loses at least a week's sleep over that. I was pretty sure the rented tuxes would look swell. I had no brushes with terror.
I was free to do the fun stuff, little extras that no one really noticed, but that gave me pleasure. I harassed Kathryn into digging up photographs of herself through the years, and I grabbed one of Mike for each of his 27 years. Kathryn was a swimmer and water polo champion, and so much of her youth was spent in a swimming cap. This was not the way she wished to be immortalized at her wedding, but she dug deep and found a nice representation of her years. I scanned them and used a scrapbook template to make table cards with the numbers on them. Sure, plain numbers in frames would have been fine- but staying busy made me feel connected and useful. So the kids went along with it. And they were adorable. I also made a collage of odds and ends pictures for the gift table. I had all the table card photos put int a photo book for them, so they will remember both the wedding, and all the years that brought them to each other.
My other task was to make welcome bags for the out of town guests. This is right up my alley; I love miniatures, and I love gift bags. I was given this same duty for Pat's wedding, and I created fantastic bags with every thing I could dream of that was made in Chicago. Their wedding was branded with snowflakes, and so I also went hog wild buying any item with a snowflake upon it: pencils, writing pads, stress balls, kleenex. I added fresh fruit and bakery cookies at the last minute. It was a sickness. My assembly line was a disgrace for a Detroit girl. Steve stepped in, and made quick work of the job, but the bags could not be stacked, and he had to rent a truck to take them to the hotel without crushing them. This time, I was smart. I bought brochure boxes with the little suitcase handles. These could be stacked with no fear of crushing anything. Plus, they were smaller, and limited me to a few essentials. There would be no cookies or apples. Sadly, there was not room for Bailey's, either. I'll bet my family missed that.
Inside the box were the following items: 2 waters, 2 packages of lemonade/ice tea mix, 2 granola bars, 1 shortbread cookie, 1 bag of nuts, 3 chocolate covered cherries, a mini Ritter sport cookie, a mini sausage, a small wedge of cheese, a bit of spread cheese, box of crackers, 4 mints, a bean filled with Jelly Bellies, plate and knife. There was a bag of sundries, including pepto bismol, advil, tylenol pm, q tips, a comb, toothpaste and toothbrush, shaver and cream and tissues. ( Thanks to American Hotel Register for letting me order from their commercial site. Thank God Steve still is a business! A trip to Costco would have resulted in exponentially more minis) I added a Chicago postcard, a welcome letter with a few tips on what was happening in Chicago, a downtown map, and the history of Old Saint Pat's. I used green shred and purple tissue to tie in with the flowers, and tied them up with gold tulle. My favorite part was that I made a collage of wedding stuff, copied it on sticky project paper, and decorated the front with it. Voila! Cute and practical gift boxes that would satisfy the guests' hunger or headache pre or post wedding.
They were placed in the trunk of Mary's car in stacks seven boxes high, without a worry about crushing. She delivered them to the Fairmont Hotel for dissemination. The box collapsed so people who flew could just pop it into their suitcase! (Yeah, I know they were mostly emptied and left at the room. Ours was, because we overtipped the night before, and had no cash for the housekeeper.) Even with all the food in the box, which Steve watched me collate, he hit the mini bar for a Snickers. He did not want no stinking granola bar for his midnight snack! I hope the housekeeper enjoyed her booty. Bet she would have liked the mini bottles of Bailey's too.
Okay- I know that was self indulgent. I will keep filling in with details. I am hoping to assemble more pictures in the next few days. (I was not on my A game as far as capturing any moments.) Come back for more details. I promise, by the end, you will think you were there. Or you will wish that I would quit blabbing.
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