Thursday, July 1, 2010
I met Erica and her mother Kathy through Kerrys wedding. Kathy had responded to one of Kerrys CL ads offering the use of some of the items that she and her husband Larry had been purchasing for Ericas wedding. Kathy and I exchanged many emails and we all finally met when I picked up some of the items she was loaning to Kerry for use at the wedding. I knew from the moment Kathy and I met via email that we would be lifelong friends. The three of them (Kathy, Erica and her fiance Ben) came and spent the morning helping me set up the reception for Kerrys wedding - talk about paying it forward waaay ahead of time!.... I knew that Kathy was doing all the planning for Ericas wedding, and wanting to repay her kindness towards Kerry, I offered Day of Coordination services to them, and as we spoke more we decided that they'd be using items from our ever growing FGM Closet as well.
Erica and Ben are not your average couple - Erica is a bubbly, very happy, intelligent young woman who just so happens to have Downs Syndrome. Ben is quick witted, can charm your socks off and is developmentally delayed. Between the two of them they will keep you in stiches for as long as you spend with them! You cannot help but immediately fall in love with them.
About mid December, I get a desperate email from Kathy that their venue had fallen victim to the recession and now what??? I went to work finding venues that were available on their chosen day and sent her a nice list to choose from. We ended up with the OC Sailing and Events Center in Dana Point. Kathy and Larry decided to hire me to finish up the event planning for them and needed servers and offered to pay for them too. In return for use of the FGM items, they purchased 300 appetizer/cake plates that match the square dinner plates - what a tremendous contribution!
We pretty much packed up the office to bring to this wedding - so many different elements, new additions and the like. Both my mom and dad, along with my daughter Aleksa were part of the day crew /stay crew in addition to my fab four from Rachele and Andrews wedding (John, Crys, Tine and Paul). Tom, Kaysie, Jesse and Cliff came to help with the setup/cleanup which was fabulous! Always a big help to have extra hands at the end.
It was an amazing wedding, officiated by my very brother! Dream Team photographer William Dick captured every second of this amazing day, to include one very special high five exchange between the newlyweds and their wedding planner which I hope to have a copy of to add to this post soon.
The night ended waay too soon as the crowd fell deeply in love with the outstanding entertainment Kathy had booked, OC Elvis - yes folks, Elvis was IN the house, rocking the night away! (www.ocelvis.com) in case any of you would like him to be IN at your event! Banker by day, Elvis by night and fun to be had by all! I've never seen sooo many people on the dancefloor for so long - so many that we kept backing tables up so the crowd (aka mob) could expand.
When it was all said and done - it was a gorgeous day and Ben and his new wife Erica left for their honeymoon at Disneyland!
Ah, Rebecca - it was really hard to not skip ahead to her! If you ever get to meet her, her new husband Jesse or her father Phil, you'll understand why in a less than a minute!
I've done two Bridal Shows, just two - and I always give away a Platinum Planning & Coordination package as a raffle prize at each one. Rebecca was the winner from the Weddings on Ice Show that I participated in. After I contacted her, I also came to find out that she is the sister of Phil - from Phil and Daisy! Omigosh - this wonderful sister who penned such a heartfelt letter on behalf of her brother although she really needed the help herself, had just won the very same thing she'd enabled her brother to have. (K-A-R-M-A)
Rebecca chose to do most of the planning herself, with phone and email support - twice she was ready to turn it over but realized after we talked that she was good to go and doing a fabulous job! We provided all the 'pretties' for her wedding along with the Day of Coordination and serving. Their venue? Puddingstone Resort in San Dimas - which BTW is a breathtaking venue if you haven't been there!
The wedding date? May 9th - which also happened to be Mothers Day as well as Jessee's birthday, which I later found out! (NOW I know why you picked that day!). Because we'd had Rachels wedding the day before and didn't get home until almost one am (verrry sleepy) and had to wash all the white linens on top of both unloading from Rachel and loading for this one - it was more than a bit chaotic and we left later than I wanted to. (Yes, I will admist I'm one of THOSE people who wants to arrive early). We got there and just about everyone decided to come early - OMG!!! Fortunately the venue had the chairs all set up so we got to work putting things together - guess what? gail force winds again - okay, no tents or gently flowing anything....lol Improvisation is key I kept reminding them both. We got everything ready to go despite the wind (which died right back down in time for the ceremony to start).
Every wedding is incredible - that last moment of queuing the groom to take his place, fluffing the train, that gentle touch on dads sleeve asking, 'Are you ready?' as he's about to give his little girl away - and the anticipation on the brides face - oh...makes me cry every time! That is seconded by the father daughter dance - I must admit that this one topped em all! I have never seen such a loving relationship between a father and daughter, so many tears, so much joy during that dance - and the crowd loved it too! =)
For me personally, this day was incredibly special. My crew consisted of the love of my life, my husband Cliff, and two of our four girls, Courtnea and Aleksa, and my mom. What a wonderful way to spend Mothers Day - doing what I love with the people I love!
[picture to come]
Rachele found us from the CL ad that we run down in San Diego for our 'rental' package; she told me that she and Andrew had a quick civil ceremony last year because he was going to be deployed and they wanted to be married before he deployed. Now he's back and they would like to get married the way they wanted to originally. Being the proud wife of a retired marine I jumped at a chance to do whatever I could to help a fellow marine! I told her that whatever they need to let us know and we will be happy to provide;
Their venue was the beachside Cantina on base at Camp Pendleton - lovely indeed and very affordable for anyone, but especially so for a young marine couple.
She came up to the office and looked through our stuff - even made a second trip back with one of ther Bridesmaids, Kelly [hi Kelly!! =)] We got their list created, and told her we would come set up and work the event for them if she would like (same thing we do for all Angel Brides when we don't have other events), but in this case I had another Angel Bride wedding the next day that also needed the white linens so I HAD to bring them home so I could get them laundered and hung for the other wedding.
What an amazing couple! Our volunteer servers were so happy and felt so welcomed that they'd have done it again in a heartbeat! Rachele came and worked not only a wedding before hers, but again in June when I needed some extra hands was right there - not 10 days before a major move.
Aimee placed an ad on CL looking for a wedding gown - just a wedding gown. She and her long time love were ready to finally get married, budget or no budget! I emailed her and after we determined her size, invited her to come in and take a look at our gowns to see if there was one that would work for her. She brought her Maid of Honor and I had my Assistant (who happens to also be my sister) Kelly with me. I asked Kelly to come because I wanted her to know what it's like to experience the Angel Bride phenomena!
Come meeting time, in walks this wonderful woman, her MOH and her Grama - oh Grama was the sweetest thing! After our introductions we got straight to the gowns - I brought in all the ones in her size, laid them out on the table and left the room so they could do what they needed to without extra eyes. She found one that fit like a glove and she just shined in it! She walked out and Kelly was standing there ready with a couple of veil options and hair pieces. The smile turned into a sunbeam and you could just tell that this bride realized she was going to have that wedding gown afterall!
Because we'd spoken so much on the phone and via email, we all sat down and continued visiting - as we were talking we started asking questions about the church decor and the reception (to see if we could help any further). I showed them the silk flower arrangements we had that Toni had made for her wedding and we decided they'd dress the aisle perfectly, so on the list they went! As for the reception, well they were planning a back yard barbeque - as she talked, you could visibly see the smile begin to fade just a little. I looked at her and said - can I ask you a few questions? "If you could decorate however you wanted - what would you have?" We talked it through, and I said okay hold on real quick, got up and disappeared out of the room, leaving them with Kelly who I'm sure at this point is wondering 'what in the world am I supposed to do NOW?' I walk back in, armed with my pretties! I put down the black linen, the red charger, the white plates, glasses, napkings, virtually set a sample table and say - something like this? When she realized we were offering to let her use all our items at no charge there were some tears - by all of us. Aimee is such a gracious woman that we couldn't help but take it further - they live locally, so of course we'll bring it all to you and help set up. We tossed out the offer of helping serving and Day of Coordination and she couldn't help but laugh, smile, cry - many emotions. She called Steven from our office and told him that they were going to have an amazing wedding!
Despite the gale force winds that happend that day and some very tired flower girls -we had their back yard all set up and ready to go, the church decorated and a wonderful, touching love filled wedding took place. We learned the Ice Cream and Cake dance - who knew there was an Ice Cream and Cake dance??
Aimee has ended up not just being a former bride, but has turned into one our forever friends! She has made it known that she will be there to help anytime we need her - and she's always on the lookout for great FGM stuff, too!