Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Turning Lemons Into Lemonade

So you know how everyone has those stories about what went wrong at their wedding? We to do, sort of. There were small things that went wrong on the day-of, but honestly, I didn't even notice most of them (and the ones I did notice, I didn't care about). But there was a last minute planning/design emergency that totally freaked me out. But in the end, it ended up making things even better.

On the Monday before the wedding, my friend Laura and I went to the Marston House around noon (approximately the time that the ceremony would take place on Saturday) to check a few things out. Laura would be helping the rental company set up chairs, tables, etc. on the big day. Plus, I was concerned about the sun -- we had initially planned on facing the house, but I was worried that we might need to adjust based on where the sun would be at that time of day.

And my worries were dead on. Once we got there, I realized that if we faced the house, we'd all be staring directly into the sun. So, last minute change of plans, and we decided to flip the opposite direction and face the fountain. Which meant calling the rental company to adjust the placement of the chairs and coming up with some last minute decorations for the fountain.

I know what you're thinking -- that doesn't sound like a big deal. It wasn't. What was? Because the musicians required a shady spot to sit, I was planning on having them sit under the small roofed structure on the west side of the garden. When we got there that Monday...I saw this:

WTF? A beat-up plastic fence in front of some caution tape? A support pillar about to fall over and crush someone? This was not going to work. Since the property is still technically owned by the city, I know calling them would be useless (when have you ever known the city to fix something non-essential in less than a week?). We rented an umbrella for the musicians to sit under, and began brainstorming options for covering up the deteriorating structure. Some sort of curtain? Attaching swags to the plastic fence that the city put up? Then I found it: the rental company had white lattice panels in their inventory. Three of those covered up the caution tape and plastic fencing perfectly. We chose not to decorate the lattice at all because I figured the less we did to draw attention to it, the less likely it would be that anyone would notice that there was something wrong. And that was exactly the case. I don't think anyone even noticed the panels, let alone that there was something crumbling behind them.

I hope my family doesn't mind me posting this picture of them -- it's the only photo that shows the lattice covering up the damaged structure (in the background). As you can see, it looked just fine.

However, the best part about the last minute changes was the decorations that my sister made for the fountain. From day one, before we even knew the when and where, I was daydreaming of having some sort of hanging floral strings, like these. Upon consulting the florist, we learned that, because it would involve so much labor, these would be really expensive. And I didn't trust my last minute DIY abilities (since you can't make fresh floral elements very far in advance), so I just shelved the idea. But my sister kicked into super-maid-of-honor mode, and after a trip to the wholesale flower shop, she spent the Wednesday before the wedding string these beautiful garlands. We also took some of the leftover flowers and scattered them in the fountain's basin. It look absolutely magical.


  1. Hey Candice, I thought the best part was when the new operators tried to help you with the ugly fence? Haha.

    BTW, the teahouse is now restored and safe...

    Hope your day was as wonderful as it looked,
    Alana Coons

  2. Thanks, Alana! On that note, I forgot to include for readers how helpful SOHO was. Knowing that I would get nowhere with the city, I called SOHO (since they took over operating the Marston House this year), and Alana was very sweet and concerned with helping me find a way to cover it up knowing that it couldn't get repaired by Saturday. It's so great that this wonderful house is getting the attention it deserves.