Tuesday, April 15, 2014

planning our wedding: 4 things we delegated that thoroughly surprised us!

it's tempting to want to control every aspect of your wedding, to have it be "perfect." i implore you to let that go of that mentality as soon as possible. it will make life easier! plus delegating is a great solution to wedding control issues. : ) 

the beauty of having six weeks to plan our wedding was that our time constraint made it clear we simply couldn't do all of it. i am so glad for the gift of delegating some things out to people who i love and trusted. 

1. bouquet & boutonniere. i wasn't even sure i wanted flowers at first. they can be very costly! anyway, i can't remember if heather offered or if i asked, but the thought of heather making my bouquet felt like the right call. she's so talented with floral arrangements, and she is so dear to me. i knew having something she made for me would be really special, kind of like wearing annette's earrings. i showed heather a picture of a bouquet i was drawn to for it's simplicity and colors and asked if she could make something like it. i completely trusted her judgement and eyes for beauty and let it go. i was so surprised and delighted by what she created the morning of our wedding. it was...perfect. 

2. the welcome table. oh emily grady. she is a saint. here are a few things about emily i appreciate: she cares a LOT, she got married a few months before us, has a great rustic sensibility, and is impeccably organized. i knew that she and her husband would go above and beyond welcoming our guests because they are naturally like that. they give their all. i merely handed her the stuff i had for the welcome table, asked her to do what needed to be done, and then thanked her. i knew all would be good in the grady's hands. and it was! (see below, the little mason jars and yellow ball flowers were small things that emily brought from her home.)
3. family dinner venue. we needed to find a restaurant to host 30+ guests for dinner on saturday night after the wedding, which was no simple task. we asked my oldest sister to help us with this search, negotiate the terms, and be our liaison. it was so helpful to have my sister do the heavy lifting in this process. easy to say: everyone RAVED about cafe pro bono. the meal was so good that we went back there with our wedding coordinators to thank them, and gave a gift card to one of our speakers to enjoy a meal there as well. we loved it that much!

4. cake & toppers. when chris said he would make a cake for us as our wedding gift, we were thrilled. we didn't know what to expect. but classic chris....he sent us a list of questions to think about regarding what the cake and its meaning to us. when we got back from europe, we met with chris to discuss his questions and share our favorite cake inspiration. in the same discussion, he asked us about toppers. honestly, cake toppers wasn't even something i cared about, but chris mentioned sheri and then things changed. i love her work and i love her, and commissioning sheri to make us cake toppers felt like a good decision. i told her that samuel calls me bird and i call him my bunny and that we do this little affectionate nose-to-nose thing. and with that kernel of information, we had one of the most exquisite and tasty wedding cakes i had ever seen and tasted. (yes, i'm biased.) 

bonus: the day of coordinating. there was of course, delegating the entirety of the day to our friends cara and amy. we did as much prep as we could and then handed over everything to these two extremely capable women. they gifted us with an enormous sense of relief and freedom. having day-of wedding coordinators is like being pregnant for nine months, and right before you go into labor, someone else takes over. cara & amy delivered our baby. how's that for a metaphor? 

ps. if you're looking for a wedding coordinator, cara is available for new clients. i'd be happy to put you in touch (email me at lizsong (at) gmail.com or comment below). 

anyway, all this to say....
there was an element of surprise and delight i couldn't have created if i did everything on my own. i simply loved being surprised on my own wedding day by the beautiful creativity and service of my friends.

as much as samuel and i wanted to host an awesome experience for our community, i think part of what made our wedding so special was that we were also able to receive from our community. we had to stop believing we were "being a burden" by asking for help, but rather we were inviting our friends to participate, to ask them to invest in us. 

a wedding can be a beautiful opportunity to give and receive love from our community. i'll hold this learning close to my heart for many years to come.

how might you let go of perfection and invite deeper friendship/delight/surprise into your wedding planning process? or even into your life?


  1. i don't know what this says about me, or if it would be considered "letting go of perfection" but for my flowers and cake i told the vendors, who i never met, to do whatever they wanted as long as it was their idea of beautiful. i emailed a flower vendor from my local farmer's market that i needed three bouquets and 3 boutonnieres. not only did she come up with gorgeous arrangements, but there was enough flowers left to decorate the tables AND the wedding cake, which i told the baker i wanted to be chocolate and topped with fresh flowers. all in all, both tasks were out of my hands and they came out perfect, more or less what i had envisioned... (plus, the florist charged me just $100!)

    i think i am accepting of people's version or idea of beautiful. there was an element of excitement and curiosity for me that day up until i saw the flowers and cake and i knew that whatever the end result/product was, i'd be pleased. i also told my bridesmaids to wear whatever they wanted, as long as they were comfortable and felt pretty. i told our guests they could wear jeans or whatever they felt comfortable in, and i made our photographer sit down for awhile to have dinner with us.

    anyway, this comment came out much longer than i expected and i hope i was able to answer your question adequately.
    i've loved your wedding series!

    1. thanks for following along! it's been fun to hear your comments on the posts. it sounds like you had a pretty relaxed approach as well. it's hard to let go, but once i do...i feel so freeeee! it's wonderful, isn't it? ;-)


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