Wedding Part II: Preparation

Even though my fiance and I (husband and I?) had a small wedding, there was still plenty of work to be done.  In fact, I am beginning to think small weddings create more work for the couple than a bigger wedding.  Bigger weddings usually include conveniences such as caterers and florists and maybe even a wedding planner/coordinator.

However, I like a challenge, and preferred a small wedding that was more personal and less…typical.  Let’s just say that Pinterest has many gorgeous wedding ideas, but….does everyone want their wedding to look exactly like everyone else’s wedding?  Well, that’s not true…I guess with Pinterest weddings you have a few versions you can choose from, namely “rustic chic”, “vintage”, and “glam”.

Anyway, as seen in earlier posts, I had made all my flowers from cloth for the bouquets and some other decorations.  I had also made cupcake stands from plates and candlesticks found at Goodwill.  A week before the wedding, I decided I wanted a guestbook, but not just any guestbook.


It happened to be a Sunday morning that I decided this, so instead of going to Hobby Lobby like normal, I went to JoAnn Fabrics and bought the whole store.  Ok, I just bought a lot of cardstock in wedding colours, pre-cut tags, paper twine, a wedding-themed scrapbook album, and a paper cutter.


With a smaller wedding, I didn’t feel that a list of guests’ signatures would be long enough to warrant having a guest BOOK, so I changed the idea some.  Instead of having the guestbook at the church for people to sign before the ceremony, I placed the book at the entrance of the reception location.  I made little pockets on the cardstock pages, and left the cards sitting in a pile next to the book.  Guests were supposed to grab a tag on their way into the reception, and get food/grab a seat.  At the tables were pens so the guests could write advice, well-wishes, jokes, or whatever they wanted on the tags at their leisure during the reception.  When they were done, they were supposed to take the tags back to the book, put it in the next available slot, and write their name on the front of the pocket.

The guestbook at the actual reception.
The guestbook at the actual reception.

The idea was to get a little more than a signature, but not make people wait in line while people hunch over the guestbook, slowly trying to come up with something to write.  I have not yet seen the guestbook (my parents have it, since my husband and I left before the end of the reception) so I do not know if the guests understood and/or followed the directions.  (I’m such a bossy bride, aren’t I? haha.)

The Friday morning before the Saturday afternoon wedding, I headed over to Lafayette, since the wedding and reception were both going to be in West Lafayette.  I went to the grocery on the way to get the last of the food supplies, and headed to a friends’ house to make cupcakes.  I had the house to myself since my friends were at work, but I was running around like crazy so it was probably for the best.  I made 8 dozen cupcakes….I was only supposed to make 6 dozen.  The very first batch of 2 dozen cupcakes I made, I messed up.  My excuse is that I am used to making things completely from scratch, so the fact that I was using a boxed cake mix was just too much for me to handle….riiight.  I was making white cupcakes, and I added almond extract to make white almond cupcakes.  I misread “1 1/4 c water” as “1/4 c water”.  Uh, sliiiight difference.  I thought the batter was excessively glossy and thick, rather like marshmallow creme, but like I said, I don’t typically make boxed cake mix, so what did I know?  Even when it only made about 14 cupcakes, I still didn’t realize my mistake.  I only realized after I put them in the oven and moved on to the 2 dozen chocolate cupcakes.  It asked for a whole cup of water!  I was surprised and looked back at the white cake box….and saw my mistake.  Oops.  Well, they turned out more than edible, but much too odd for people expecting a cupcake.  It was like a dense almond….cloud.

Luckily, the chocolate, and second batch of white almond, and the 4 dozen peach (from scratch) cupcakes all turned out just fine.  I had made the chocolate marshmallow creme icing, cherry marshmallow creme icing, and peach buttercream icing all the day before at another friend’s house.  (Neither my parents nor I had a stand mixer at the time, so I was borrowing other people’s, haha.)  My family showed up around 2pm with the rescue batch of white cake mix, and we headed over to the church for the rehearsal.  It was probably the simplest, quickest run-through there has ever been for a wedding.  Everyone in the wedding was at the rehearsal…except my fiance!  He was still at work in a city 5 hours away, so we knew beforehand that he wasn’t going to be able to make the rehearsal.


After that, my family and one of my bridesmaids headed back over to my friends’ house to pick up the cupcakes, icings, and rest of the food, and take it to the reception place.  Once there, my family set up the tables and chairs, and then went home.  Soon, more of my friends began arriving, and we began prepping vegetables for the veggie tray, prepping fruits for the fruit salad, cutting the wide assortment of cheeses, etc.


Two friends (one which had flown in from Albuquerque that day, and came straight to the reception location to help out) took over the icing decorating, and I am very grateful.  I can usually make food that is fairly good.  However, it only tastes good, and the presentation is often lacking.  (If I do manage to make the food presentable…it is most likely an indicator that it does not really taste all that great.  So, if you’re ever over for dinner at my house…the more disgusting and sad the food looks…the more excited you should be to start eating.)

DSC_0127 DSC_0131

With everyone’s help, we were able to finish setting up the reception at 10pm.  Not bad!  Earlier that day, one of my bridesmaids had told me she was getting a room for us at the Purdue Memorial Union club.  I had always wanted to see the rooms, so I was excited to get to stay there!

I was able to get a good night’s sleep, knowing that the reception place had turned out better than expected:



2 thoughts on “Wedding Part II: Preparation

  1. Love your idea about the guest book! Is it alright if I steal it? My wedding is in September! And a huge congrats and blessings from me to you and your husband 🙂

    1. Sure! It didn’t really take that long to make either (it was nothing compared to the cloth flowers!) and you can customize it a lot with all the different paper prints available. Congratulations to you! 🙂

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