Thursday, January 21, 2010

Here comes the 'unexpected' bride...

As I have said before, I am really hoping to surprise my guests with lots of things they have never seen/experienced or never would expect at a wedding.  I love the 'formality' of a wedding, but I don't love the stuffiness of weddings...does that make sense?  Like, I don't want to be massively against all things traditional, but there will hopefully be traditional elements with modern or fun twists to them.  So let me walk you through a little bit of what our guests will go through as they arrive for the wedding day...

Guests arrive:  gather in 'cocktail' area, bar is open.  No appetizers yet.  Sample of our cocktail area from another person's wedding:

And here it is with no setup...

Invitations say 5:00 pm wedding start time, guests are encouraged to arrive early and stroll the zoo:

Once all guests arrive, they're escorted down toceremony area where junior groomsmen and a second cousin hand out programs and little kleenex packs.  (I got the idea for this little wonderful guest convenience from Bee over at her and Patrick's blog.  While mine are not nearly as beautiful as hers (I didn't have the extra funds for more ribbon or perfect labels - nor the patience to cut and assemble), I love the simple idea behind the thought and threw these together in like 5 minutes.  They incorporate our wedding colors and our graphic and I had extra sheets of labels laying around so I just had my sister design them real fast and then bought the travel kleenex packs and glassine envelopes for like $25 total...we made about 125 of them.)

To assist ushers (groomsmen) with seating guests, we'll have chair seating cards reserving front rows for specific family members.  Something like these (but we will have them for our parents as well as have whole rows marked off for the 'Campbells,' 'Beevers,' etc.):

Courtesy of Serendipity Designs

After guests are seated, DJ plays music until processional begins.  The last song before the processional will be "I Gotta Feeling" by the Black Eyed Peas.  I love that song (even though it is on massive overkill) and think it's the perfect way to let guests know, the fun is about to begin!

Side note:  If you have not seen this yet, seriously you need to watch this video of them performing this song on the Oprah show - AH-MAZING!  There is also a higher quality version right below it if you prefer, but the first video shows the best view :)

So anyway, back to my plans...right after Black Eyed Peas song plays (and no, the video will not be shown), processional begins.  DJ plays instrumental / orchestral version of Phil Collins' "Groovy Kind of Love" performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.  (I have always loved this song but got the idea to use the instrumental version when Monica and Chandler had a violinst perform the song for the processional during their wedding on "Friends."  :)  You can hear a portion of it by clicking here.)

Officiant (our pastor) leads groom and groomsmen out to altar.  (There is a special little room for the guys to change in just behind the altar and it also lends itself to a perfect entrance for the guys where they are out of sight and then suddenly appear.)

Moms are seated.  Bridesmaids, ring bearers, flower girl and finally bride (ME) make our entrance from a patio outside of the bridal cottage / preparation area.  We walk across this pretty bridge:

Something like this:

And then through the 'aisle' created by the chairs set up in the outdoor teatro area:

Once my 6 girls walk down the aisle, the four, yes *FOUR* ring bearers will make their way down the aisle.  We are sending them down two by two.  Now here is where things start to go the 'unexpected' way.  What were we going to do with four ring bearers?  I wanted to give each of them a task and since we aren't sending the 'real' rings down the aisle with them, I only wanted one of them holding a ring pillow.  So I searched the net and found some great ideas.

The oldest of our four nephews (5 years old) will be paired up with his youngest cousin (22 months old).  I will have him hold his hand so there is no problem getting the young one down the aisle.  The older one will carry the ring pillow and then the younger one will be given a bell and will be the 'bell boy.'  He'll ring the bell signaling the bride's entrance and the ceremony is about to begin.  Our ring pillow is actually not a real pillow but rather a pillow that will be made out of kermit mums - a flower I love that we are incorporating throughout the bouquets and will use for the ring bearer's boutonnieres.  It will be like this but with a ribbon in turquoise probably to match our colors.

The next two nephews (3 years old and 2 1/2 years old) will walk together carrying a small banner.  This is a big surprise for Mr Fix It as he is not aware that I have planned this for the boys.  The banner looks like this:

The little gray border you see inside the banner is not really on the real thing.  This is the proof I received from VistaPrint.  Seriously, this is a fun little thing you can do for super cheap!  I got this banner for about $13 total including tax and S&H.  They had a template in my colors which I was so excited about so I just picked their pre-designed template and added the words.  I showed it to 2 of the ring bearer's dad, Mr Fix It's brother, and he totally laughed and said John will love it!

So the ring bearers make their way down, and then comes my cute little flower girl.  I opted for her not tossing petals down the aisle since we are going to have the guests toss petals at us as we make our way back down together during the recessional.  So instead, she'll carry a little FG wand, something like this:

Only hers will be a little more done up hopefully and more like a round ball of flowers at the top.

So that's the processional...sort of.  Of course, the bride (me) is supposed to follow the FG down the aisle with her father.  But I won't be making my entrance just yet.  After the entire wedding party is at the altar, all except for me, I have one last 'unexpected' surprise for my guests!  It is my favorite thing about the entire wedding.  I am still trying to finalize this project and cannot wait to share it with all of you.  So stay tuned, I am hoping to share the bride's walk down the aisle and my grand entrance soon...but this is a massive DIY project that is taking much more time than I expected.

So what about you, ladies.  Have you given any thought to your processional or how your wedding party will make it's way down the aisle?  Are you doing anything out of the ordinary, silly, fun or unexpected? 


Nicole-Lynn said...

Everything is going to turn out so great! You're very organized and pay attention to deatail which is great. I love the 'Run John Run' sign! I've seen similar signs on other blogs and love the idea! Oh-- and your venue is beautiful! :)

PartyPlannerGal said...

I love it! Your venue never ceases to amaze me with all it has to offer. We are keeping it pretty traditional for the Catholic ceremony, but the entire Hindu ceremony will be unexpected to me (apparently you just kind of show up and the priest guides the whole thing - I'll have no idea how it's going to go down until we get there). Does that count ;)

LauraLou said...

So cute! I think my flower girls are going to carry wands too! They'll be in tutus/petticoats, so a fairy wand is only fitting! :)

penga said...

your ceremony sounds amazing! That banner idea is super funny, and I've never heard of a flower girl wand, but that's got to be like the most adorable thing EVER.

Bicoastal Bride said...

I think it’s wonderful that you’ve put so much time and thought into ensuring a wonderful, fun and different experience for your guests. The banner and “bell boy” ideas for the ring bearers are awesome! What a fun surprise for Mr. Fix It. :)

Our processional will be somewhat traditional, since it’s taking place in a church, but to my surprise, I recently got the OK to play an unconventional tune for my walk down the aisle! Also, instead of the groom simply entering from the side, we’re having he and his parents, as well as all the groomsmen, walk down the aisle.

Salt said...

I love all your ideas! The banner thing is hilarious! I know your fiancé will love it and if I were a guest I would be cracking up. All your details are so thoughtful and great.

I can't wait to hear what else you have planned! I am going to go ahead and assume that it will be spectacular. :)

Chocolate Lover said...

You never cease to amaze me with how organized and thoughtful you are during this process! I feel so far behind! I love everything you talked about! Everything! I think the sign is hilarious (is there a story behind it?). Your guests will have an awesome time! No doubt!
Now I am dying of curiosity to see what you are doing for your entrance! I am totally intrigued! You've done an awesome job so far with all your planning!

Amy said...

I can't wait to see pictures of your wedding! I'm sure the ones of you walking across that gorgeous bridge to your prince charming will be breath taking!

Mrs T said...

You have really planned the heck out of everything! I think it sounds amazing. Love the banner - too funny. I want to come to your wedding - it sounds AMAZING!

Bee @ BP Wedding said...

YAY!! I was wondering if you were going to post a pic of your tissues. They turned out great!!! I'm glad you were able to make some for your special ceremony. I love how organized you are!! Love that Run, John Run sign! He is going to get such a crack out of that. hehe. I hope the photographer captures his reaction to the sign. :)

Westside Wedding said...

Your wedding is going to be amazing!!! wow you should become a wedding planner, you have thought of everything :-) We *love* I got a feeling too! I want our wedding party to come into the reception dancing to it, they are scared but said that they would do it, but I still have to choreograph it. I absolutely love that it says "tonight's going to be a good night" it just makes me so happy!

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