Although we’d really kicked our wedding preparations into high gear after about May 22, when I’d returned from my place-based workshop to Chicago and Justin had finished his semester, the last week before the wedding was definitely major crunch time. Sometime before that, I’d made this calendar on a big piece of poster paper for the last two weeks, so that we could keep all our to-dos organized in one place. It’s not the most beautiful organizing tool, but it sure was convenient:
The week before the wedding, our lovely Madison friend Rachel came over to help assemble centerpieces. The beauty of the 100+ paper flowers and dried lemons I ended up making was that we could assemble all the centerpieces in advance and have them ready to just plop down on a table right before the wedding.
We’d previously thought about having one living element in our centerpieces, that being long green grasses from our front garden. But after Rachel and I spent way too much time trying to make the grass look pretty, two things happened that made us think we should probably just nix the grass in favor of all-previously-prepared items: (1) we realized it was really hard to make the grass look pretty, and (2) Eddie ate all the grass:
So we settled for a bundle of green Spanish moss inside the small glass vases, with home-dried lemons around the outside of the vase, and 11-13 yellow paper roses stuck into the moss, cut to emerge just outside the top of the vase.
While we assembled centerpieces, our friend Joelle (who you’ll remember from the amazing picnic she prepared for me during my prelims process), came over to display the latest version of the jewelry she was helping to make for me and for some of the wedding party. It was all so gorgeous that it made me giddy with excitement to wear it and see it worn on the big day. The jewelry was made from these beautiful green jade beads, modeled after this inspiration piece I found on Etsy :
On Monday, four days before the wedding weekend began, my parents arrived in town. It was so lovely to see them, and to realize how excited they were—like us—for the weekend to come. Mama brought with her the wedding chuppah cloth that she’d been working on for the past few months. From assorted scraps of cloth that our friends and family sent, she’d assembled this beauty:
(I'll post soon about each piece of fabric and who/where it came from.)
After we picked up the chuppah poles we were borrowing from the local Reconstructionist Jewish congregation and set the whole thing up in our backyard to test it out, we realized the chuppah would hold best if it had little loops in each corner, so Mama dutifully sewed them on. In addition, she took her sewing skills to my dress, as she altered it a little here and a little there, brought up the hem and readjusted the side pleats, removed some beads and made sure it all looked just so. Papa was no slacker either, though, as he set to cutting yellow circles of cloth for the centerpieces.
My lovely parents also helped to put together the hospitality bags, which, after some haggling, we decided to make for our guests, even though it sometimes seems like they’re more wasteful and more trouble than they’re worth. After I ordered a bunch of paper gift bags of ebay, we stuffed them with delicious Russian chocolates my parents had bought in a Russian store in Atlanta, with other snacks, and with a map, schedule, and welcome letter that I had put together. A copy of the letter can be found here.
In addition to our parents, our good friend from college Mike Roy (or, Our Kroy, as we call him) was around in Madison the week before the wedding, and helped out with lots of odds and ends that needed to get done, like writing notes in our guestbook, cutting the slips of paper for our one-year anniversary wishes, helping to shop for hospitality suite snacks, and helping us to find music for our reception, like this Korean gem, which--as some of you may remember--we later danced ridiculously to at the reception (just the background music in this video):