Some of the things we do are easy, and they’re part of our wedding routine: we hang the sheers from brass rods, we sweep all of the walkways, and we take the tables out of the gazebo.
But beyond that, we kind of wing it. We usually get to know our brides pretty well, and we try to add little touches that we think they’ll like. If it’s a bride with a little bit of bling on her dress, Brian will add silver sequins to the white bows in the gazebo. If we know that there’s a predominant color in the bouquets, or the bridesmaids dresses, I try to match fresh cut flowers to the hue. (If it’s a color that doesn’t happen to be blooming somewhere on the grounds, I always have the fallback of silver dusty miller, which always looks wedding ready).
It seems like we set the chairs up a little differently each time, too. Probably that’s because our weddings range from two people to 60…and we never seem to remember where all the chairs go. So we set the chairs up so that they all have good views of the gazebo, and we oftentimes sit in the different rows to make sure that there’s enough leg room. We leave a little cut out in the back two rows if there’s going to be video, and we put place markers on any chairs that are to be saved for a particular person. Depending on which staircase the bride is going to use, we accommodate space for her entrance.
Sometimes, the bride has chosen extra touches: Flowers or ribbons for the chairs, favors to be placed on each seat, unity candles or sand ceremony vessels to be set up behind the ceremony. Usually the cake is in the gazebo as decoration, but in the summer time especially we often deliver the cake right to the venue for the reception (and we hand carry it if it’s somewhere close because we usually don’t have two people who can go).
During last week’s wedding, the entire wedding party stepped into the dining room for a couple of minutes, and I was tidying up the gazebo in preparation for the cake cutting. I realized it was the first time I had seen the courtyard all decorated, and completely empty. I grabbed my camera, and took a quick shot.
I thought it looked pretty good. And our couple did too–they both thanked us for making their day beautiful.
And that’s the part of weddings that we like best.