Takin’ Love by the Horns: Rounding Up The Herd

13 Mar

Before I launch into the day’s festivities, I’d like to first talk about something that really, really, really helped Mr Big and I on the day.

Delegation.

Apart from the ceremony coordinator at the Hunter Valley Gardens (who I saw all of five seconds on the day) and the reception coordinators at Tamburlaine (who were really, really, really good), we didn’t have any day-of coordinators or wedding planners. We just didn’t feel we needed those two.

That is, until the lead-up to the wedding day.

Many bloggers have talked about feeling behind on their checklists, or feeling overwhelmed with things that need to be done, but let me tell ya’, on the lead-up to the day, those feelings are tenfold. While setting up the day-of timeline, talking to all of our vendors, friendors, and friends and family, and trying to organise a billion things, Mr Big and I realised we might just need some help. And so, we made an executive decision a week or so before the wedding that we wanted, nay, needed people to help us with our wedding tasks.

We were a little bit apprehensive to ask for help, especially since a lot of guests would be coming from overseas, interstate, and out-of-town, but during the three-day lead-up to the wedding, we were overwhelmed by the sheer amount of people asking us if we needed their help. It was very, very touching that people would drop what they were doing to help us out.

There were a few players in the delegation network:

  • The Groomsmen: Specifically BMan Hunter, GM XBoy, GM Iron, GM Not-British (NB), and GM The Flash
  • Usher/Friends Bee, Tense, Española, and Anglais
  • FBIL Muso
  • DJ Jeeves
  • DoC Auto
  • MC Chupacabra
  • Friend OSM Dancer (or OSM, for short)
  • Friend Snowman

With that said, we delegated day-of coordination to a few people specifically. I’m going to break it down in roughly chronological order and hope that maybe I can help another bride out there, so first off…

Day-of Coordination

Mr Big and I didn’t hire a wedding planner, the reason being that we didn’t think it was worth the cost. We thought we’d be able to handle it in the months leading up to the date. We then realised we were sorely mistaken. After a serious conversation, we decided we would ask if one of our friends, DoC Auto, was willing to assist. DoC Auto was a financial planner, and therefore, he’s really good at planning. He’s BM Proper’s boyfriend, and is the friendliest, most likeable guy you ever did meet. He’s also the most organised.

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Friend/Usher Tense on the left, and DoC Auto on the right. / Guest photo.

When we asked him if he could help coordinate things the day-of (moving things around, making sure things are packed down or set-up and ready to go, etc.), there was no hesitation in his yes. We went through a brief rundown of what needed to be done on Saturday, and he did so well on Sunday I literally had no idea he was doing all of this running around. He also acted as our getaway driver at the end of the night and even dressed up Mr Big’s car Zoë with balloons! We were apprehensive about asking Auto to help out with such an enormous task but he was phenomenal!

What we didn’t know, however, was that Auto got some help from another of our friends.

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I present to you, MC Chupacabra (and me). / Photo via Chupacabra.

MC Chupacabra was only supposed to be just that – our Master of Ceremonies. He’s amiable, outgoing, really good at one-liners, and is pretty darn good at public speaking.

Aside: he said a hilarious one-liner the day before the wedding and I really wanted him to include it during his opening welcome speech at the reception, but it was sort of inappropriate (sadly).

But I digress. Unlike American weddings, Australian ceremonies cannot be officiated by friends or family unless they have a specific celebrant license, which you can only obtain through a specialised course. So, we knew that we wanted our reception to be MC’d by MC Chupacabra. Unbeknownst to us, he was also helping DoC Auto throughout the day, lugging things around and even checking us into the hotel (with 99% of our luggage! That 1% was my fault…). MC Chupacabra did an amazing job as MC as well. He spoke to the crowd, and was able to relay information to Mr Big and me regarding timetable shifts and whatnot.

Without these two, I don’t think the day would have been as successful as it was. They really stepped up to the plate and did a fantastic job.

The Ceremonies

Before I talk about who helped out with the ceremonies, let me just give you some background. Mr Big and I didn’t think about the decoration of the ceremonies, simply because we didn’t have any. The sheer beauty of the place we got married at didn’t need the additional décor – or so we thought.

The civil/secular ceremony was beautiful on its own – we believed that all we needed were rose petals scattered down the aisle, chairs for our guests, and a table to do the signing. And then we thought of the other things we were doing for the ceremony: the wine ceremony; the bubbles we would be giving guests for the recessional; and the fact that we wanted to place signs about the place.

And then there was the Chinese tea ceremony. We needed to decorate the Pagoda with lanterns, the double-happiness signs we had, dress up the table with the table cloth, place a sign out front to inform guests about the order of the tea ceremony, and bring in and setup the tea set and the teas.

All of these things could not be dropped off at the ceremony site until the morning of, and since we were having a morning ceremony, well… this proved difficult for either Mr Big or I. So what did we do? Well, panic (obvi) and then think long and hard about a solution.

It was then that Mr Big suggested we delegate a whole lot of tasks to people. Specifically, we had a whole bunch of people help out with the ceremonies, including:

  • DoC Auto & MC Chupacabra – these two lugged all the stuff to the ceremony sites, set them up, packed them down, and then lugged them to the reception site. There are no words to how epic these two are. None.
  • The Groomsmen – These guys did a phenomenal job setting up and packing down the Chinese tea ceremony. I literally gasped when I saw what they did. It was spectacular. ABSOLUTELY spectacular.
  • Friend OSM Dancer – OSM helped out with the ceremony décor on the day, and the day before, spent time with DoC Auto taking pictures of where to put potential décor. Bonus: both Auto and OSM are friends and photographers, so I knew they knew what they were doing.
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Left to right: Friends OSM Dancer, Chumballs, me and Mr Big. / Photo via OSM Dancer.

Guest Transportation

Guest transportation proved to be the trickiest part of the day for Mr Big and me, purely from the standpoint of we couldn’t at all make sure that it went smoothly since we’d be separated from our guests for most of the day. We decided pretty early on that we needed someone who was:

  • Trustworthy
  • Had good time management abilities
  • Was on all the transportation options for the day
  • Was also going on the wine tour
  • Is really, super friendly and awesome

Only one person came to mind: Friend Snowman.

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Chillin’ at the Snows in Kiwi-Land. / Photo via Mr Big.

From what Mr Big and I could tell, Friend Snowman did a legendary job organising the guests, whilst also talking to the Vineyard Shuttle Service (the shuttle service we hired for the day). There were a few hiccups, according to Snowman, but not enough that would cause disaster. Without Snowman, we would’ve been freaking out about the guests all day, but Snowman was able to give most of the guests an idea on what we were doing, and all the guests managed to get to the ceremony and reception in one piece. Those who went on the wine tour said that they really enjoyed themselves too.

I’m calling that a win!

The Reception

During the reception, we knew there’d be a gift box full of cash, and as such, we needed trustworthy, friendly ushers who would guard the card box with their life help our guests to their seats. We needed ushers for the reception, and pretty early on, we knew exactly who we wanted to ask: Friends/Ushers Bee & Tense, and Friends/Ushers Española and Anglais.

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Tense (left) and Bee (right).

Bee and Tense are friends of mine from way back (I’m talking, teenager, pre-Mr Big, Miss Big here). They’re a friendly, outgoing and keen couple, and I knew that they could handle the job of ushering guests in, especially as Bee is just super good with people and Tense is pretty respectable to older folk. They’re also knowledgeable on the whole ‘red envelope’ thing, so that was a definite plus!

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Anglais on the left, Española on the right. / Photo via Studio Something.

Española and Anglais were a shoe-in as our next ushers – both are friendly and outgoing, and I knew they’d be able to handle our guests. Anglais even greeted us when we first entered into the reception hall, liaising with MC Chupacabra to ensure that the bridal party entrance went off without a hitch (well, some hitches occurred, but they were hilarious hitches!).

The Music

I’ve recounted in a million posts that music was a big thing (ha, see what I did there) to Mr Big and I. We come from musical families, so we wanted the wedding to be this big party with good music. With that said, we decided to delegate the music to both FBIL Muso, Mr Big’s older brother and my now-brother-in-law(!), and DJ Jeeves, a very good friend of ours.

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FBIL Muso in the blue-striped shirt, De Papa Big, and Mumma Big in the fuchsia cardigan, at the ceremony. / Photo via Studio Something.

FBIL Muso would be setting up the band equipment, ensuring the sound check went ok, and then packing down once the night was done. DJ Jeeves would be mixing the music prior to the wedding to play during parts of the reception, and bringing in lights for the dance and whatnot.

What I didn’t know was that these two were actually communicating and organising things together to ensure that the DJ work would mesh well with the band. The end result? I was blown away with what they did to the reception space.

FBIL Muso was there from the Thursday all the way to the Monday the week of the wedding, setting-up, testing, and breaking-down all the equipment. He spent the entire time of the week of the wedding, making sure everything was as perfect as he could get it. He was so engrossed in his work that Mr Big and I didn’t get to take a picture with just him! 😦 Once the wedding was over, Papa Bighorn’s friends couldn’t stop raving on about the band (all of Mr Big and I’s friends were too busy with the photobooth…).

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DJ Jeeves with his DJ gear! / Photo via DJ Jeeves.

DJ Jeeves was only supposed to do the DJ’ing for the night, and bringing in a few lights here and there, but he ended up transforming the reception space with up lighting. I was so overwhelmed at the sheer hard work these two had put in to ensure that the music and the ambience at the reception space were perfect. I remember specifically seeking out DJ Jeeves and pulling him into a hug.

And unbeknownst to us, we had another friend who was helping out with the music – Friend OSM-Dancer! I told you guys earlier that OSM helped out with the ceremonies, but he was also given instructions from DJ Jeeves to ensure the sound system at the ceremony was perfect and spent the time during the rehearsal interrogating asking our ceremony coordinator about the music and the PA system. He also acted as primary comforter during the stress of the rehearsal (Mr Big would’ve done it, but he was probably more stressed than I was!).

And that’s all the delegation team!

With all of their help, their hard work, and their graciousness, the wedding day was a success! With all of these guys as the gears, the day worked like a well-oiled machine. We gifted every single one of them for their hard work, but (and I know this sounds cheesy), they gave us the gift of their help, and nothing can really be said or done to convey how much we appreciated their help.

So, hive, did anyone else ask or intends to ask friends and family to help with the wedding?

All photos personal, unless otherwise stated.

recap-logoMissed a recap post? Catch up here!

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