Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Backstory of the Engagement Party

The quilts are back on the beds upstairs; the mason jars washed and stored away; the ping-pong table and the corn-hole game moved up to the porch, the tables and chairs stacked for pickup by the rental company; and Ed and I just had a lovely dinner of left-over party food.

By all accounts, Saturday night's engagement party for Claire and Donald was a great success. But it couldn't have happened without the help of a lot of people.

First, there is Claire, and Donald. If they weren't in love and engaged, there wouldn't have been a reason to have the party. So thank you Claire and Donald.

Next there is Heather, my friend Jackie's old friend and my new friend. She was my partner-in-crime (i.e., co-host) with this party. We quickly discovered that I could rattle off a number of creative ideas for the party and Heather could hear the ideas and figure out how to organize things so that the ideas actually worked. She created a master "to-do" list, lined up the band, coordinated the details with the caterer and rental company, addressed all the invitations, handled all the rsvps and finances. In other words, she did all the tasks that I don't like to do. It was the perfect partnership.

Jackie, Heather and me. The forces behind this party!
I turned to Maggie and Mary for menu ideas, invitation design, party favor advice, placecard design, kettlecorn popping, last-minute setup and late-night cleanup. I could not have pulled this party off without them.

Next up is Jackie, mom to Claire and friend to me. While brainstorming about the party, we talked about how fun it would be to move the ping-pong table out to the yard and consider getting a corn hole game. Next thing I know, Jackie has ordered a Farm Dover corn hole game for us. We will be playing this game for years to come.

Given the size of the party, we opted to have most of the food catered by Sherry Hurley of Farm to Fork. It was really fun to work with Sherry to come up with the menu. She and her staff executed it perfectly. Talk about making the party alot easier!

On Friday night, friends John and Stuart came out to Farm Dover to set up tables and chairs, move the ping-pong table, corn-hole game, and firepit into place.

Paul, father of Claire, husband of Jackie, volunteered to help us with lighting. (Actually, Jackie volunteered him and he cheerfully obliged.) The morning of the party found him driving tubes into the ground, inserting hooks and stringing lights – creating just the look I hoped for.

I called on dear friends Patrice and Glenda to set the tables. They cheerfully showed up on Saturday morning, figured out how to make the quilts fit on the tables, set out plates, silverware, glasses and napkins. And then they capped gallons of strawberries and arranged the flowers, cut from our fields. They were a great team.

And last, but not least, there was Ed. He joked that he never got to sit down in the days prior to the party -- and he wasn't exactly kidding. He mowed; he mulched; he cleaned the garage; straighted his office; bought flowers and gallons of strawberries, hauled stuff back and forth, greeted guests; and gave a lovely toast to the celebrated couple. And today, he reversed it all – breaking down the tables and chairs, hauling stuff back and forth. And then he sat down to watch the golf tournament.

Chris and Heather, Donald and Claire, Debbie and Ed
So, yes the party was a sucess, but so was planning it. It was fun to work with friends and family to pull it off. I enjoyed it; hope they did too.

No comments:

Post a Comment