April 29, 2009

Vendor Reviews: Family & Friends (Wedding Party)

This is the first in a series reviewing all the amazing people and businesses that made our wedding happen. I'm starting with the people who don't technically count as vendors but who shouldered more responsibility and work than anyone else. Without these amazing people, we probably wouldn't have had a wedding. Obviously, these aren't really reviews - they're more like accolades. The order is alphabetical.

The Key Players
Liz A: Wedding Coordinator
Liz is one of Justin's aunt, mother of the ring bearer, and the ringleader for day-of action. Liz is who we yelled for when we needed something. She helped with decorating and general people wrangling. She broke down a lot of the venue set-up. She was a general Renaissance woman who did a great deal to help us from having to worry about things ourselves. Thanks to her, we could relax and mingle.

Holly Montreal Cooper & Wyatt Ontario Cooper: Dog of Honor & Best Dog
These are our dogs. Do not ask me why they have different last names than us because I don't really know. They made an oh-so-brief appearance in the ceremony, kept us company in our yichud, and helped Justin greet guests. For a couple of Jack Russell terriers, they were very well-behaved! It meant a lot to us to have them there.

Jesse B: Usher
Jesse's brother was a general usher, and he stood alongside his and Justin's mom Miriam during the ceremony (and helped keep the chuppah in place). He and his super-sweet girlfriend, Shylo Faulkner, also ushered our dogs to the wedding site. Additionally, he connected us with our amazing caterer, Pink Avocado, whom he happens to work for. We were so grateful to have his help.

Jackson H: Ring Bearer
Justin's young cousin Jack was our dapper ring bearer, who defied the ring bearer stereotype by marching up the aisle like it was no big deal. No tears, no tantrums, all professional!

Kate H & Scott G: Dog Whisperers
Friends of the family, Kate and Scott walked our dogs during the ceremony, to keep them from disturbing the peace. They brought the dogs to us for a last goodbye, and with Justin's cousin Zoe, they took them back to our house for safekeeping. Zoe's friends also helped her look after our pets and home while we honeymooned in Italy. We owe the whole lot of them a huge, huge debt.

Suzanna H: Guestbook Attendant
My longtime (and long-suffering) friend stepped up to the task of making people she didn't even know leave us lasting memories on scraps of paper. She even showed up ahead of schedule, which for Sue shows a massive sense of devotion. A born conversationalist, it was great to have her greet our guests.

Miriam H: Mother of the Groom
Justin's mom was financial backer for the rehearsal dinner, but she also provided tons of help whenever called upon. She did craft projects, decorated, cleaned, and provided input and emotional support to a lot of people involved in the wedding, not just Justin and me. She also gifted us her entire tax return, for spending in Italy! I'm really lucky to have her as a mother-in-law.

Ysabel H: Grandmother of the Groom
Justin's grandmother did a lot of miscellaneous tasks for us, but her coup de grace was the homemade Venezuelan rehearsal dinner she whipped up, complete with empanadas, tres leches cake, and other delicacies. She worked to feed about 30 people and was a very gracious hostess - it was better food and service than we could have gotten at any restaurant.

Palmer M: Maid of Honor
My dear friend did an amazing job of filling the maid of honor position after our original MOH had to step down. If it hadn't been for her, I would have been a wreck waiting for the ceremony to start; she kept me calm, clear-headed, and hydrated. Anytime I needed something, all I had to do was ask, not just on the day of but every day leading up to the wedding. She also custom made my earrings, plus jewelry for the rest of the wedding party. (You can buy jewelry and other delightful goods from her at Crafts 4 Causes.)

Richard & Sue M: Parents of the Bride
My parents obviously provided massive financial support, but they also supported us in every other way possible. They shopped for us, decorated, provided therapy, and performed a variety of other tasks that pop up when you're planning a wedding. They crafted a lot of details: my dad made the ring bearer "pillow", he assembled programs and seating charts, and my mom made the bouquets and corsages. She also acted as my therapist. I'd've been lost without her and my dad, and we'd have been stranded post-wedding as they financed our honeymoon to Italy.

Brooklyn N: Flower Girl
Brooklyn is the daughter of my childhood friend, and it was sweet to have a new generation involved in the wedding. She got a little too nervous to throw the flower petals, but she was adorable and made up for it later by pelting us all with flowers.

Dan R: Best Man
Justin's friend was our go-to guy and helped out a lot before the start of the ceremony, keeping track of rings, rigging up the chuppah, and getting Justin ready to go. Even in the days leading up to the wedding, he got us organized and kept people calm amidst the chaos. His support was greatly needed and greatly appreciated. He also generously gifted us all the wine for the wedding, from his importing business Mosaic Wine Group.

John & Larry S: Ushers
My brothers seated guests and were also a part of the team of guys doing set-up at the rehearsal and last minute tasks before the ceremony start. It was nice to have them involved and have the family together.

Jason V: MC
After several failed attempts to hire an MC to make announcements and man the iPod, Justin's friend - a karaoke and improv enthusiast - eagerly stepped up to the task. With little direction, he kept the ceremony and reception events running smoothly, and kept busybodies from tampering with our playlists.

Ana & Brian W: Hosts
I can't even tally how much time, effort, and money Justin's aunt and uncle put into the wedding. Hosting a 110-person wedding at one's house is a big enough duty to take on as is, but they went above and beyond - having tons of work done on their home and yard beforehand, cleaning, directing foot traffic, delivery men, and work staff. Ana did numerous crafts to give her house a wedding atmosphere, including a yellow-and-gray makeover for our yichud room and the guest bathroom. She and Brian rearranged their entire house, hauling furniture out on the lawns to create atmospheric seating areas. They advised us on a lot of decisions and probably had a big hand in keeping me from turning into a bridezilla. This wedding would've been crap with out a lot of the people listed here, but it probably wouldn't have even happened without the Watsons.

Miscellaneous Shout-outs
Lisa A:: Spiritual Adviser
Lisa is a friend we met through the Jewish Community Association of Austin and has provided us with a lot of input on Jewish life. She's a bit like our personal den mother. In addition to Dan and Palmer, Lisa was a witness on our ketubah, or Jewish marriage contract.

Natalie & Ellison A: Sous Chefs
All of Justin's family pitched in for the rehearsal dinner, but Natalie and Ellison left the rehearsal early to support Ysabel in her cooking endeavors. They were also early birds at the wedding and helped out when needed.

Dorothy C: Grandmother of the Bride
My engagement ring was made with diamonds from a ring my grandmother gave to me when I graduated high school. She's a jewelry enthusiast, and the diamonds were the first ones she ever bought.

The Guests: Yay!
Thank you to all of our guests for taking the time to come to the wedding, for your support, for your generous gifts, for wearing Converse and yellow-and-gray. Our goal was to have fun, festive, loving atmosphere, and you all helped us achieve it!

Mike H: Tech Guy
A lot of our male relatives and friends willingly did manual labor for us, but Mike was one of the main guys breaking down the set-up at the end of the night. As a musician, he also helped set-up the sound system and advised us on using it.

The Neighbors: Keeping It Cool
Thanks to Ana and Brian's neighbors for being totally OK with having fifty-someodd cards take over their streets and letting us blast music all afternoon.

Zac S: Chuppah Stabilizer
Our homemade chuppah was pretty but not as structurally sound as it could have been for such a windy day. Before Justin's brother and my dad could walk up the aisle to hold it, Zac kept it from blowing over.

-- Sarah

No comments:

Post a Comment