Since it is still so early in the Northeast camping season, meaning our preferred CG isn’t open yet, Michelle and Derek graciously offered to let us stay on their driveway for the 10 nights we will be here. It is actually very convenient since we have so much wedding stuff to do!
Bill got us parked with minimal damage to their grass – which was only damaged because it had rained for a few days and the ground was wet and squishy. Had it been dry there wouldn’t have been any damage at all. It wasn’t a big deal though, Bill smushed it back down into place with his foot.
First up was a tasting at the venue. Bill and I, along with Michelle and Derek met up with Tracy (Dereks Mom) and Autumn (Dereks sister and Best Lady) for our 4pm appointment. Having never done this before, I didn’t know what to expect. Teresa (the owner and wedding planner) confirmed what we would be tasting, and it all sounded wonderful!
We started with a cup of corn chowder – all guests will be having the same soup and this one is Dereks fav. Good choice – it was amazing! Next up was the spinach salad with bacon vinaigrette and goat cheese – very yummy!
There were 6 different dinner entrees being served family style, so we each got 1/6 of each dish to try. The goal was to eliminate 3 dishes and then be able to offer 3 options to guests.
Oh! And we also sampled 3 white and 3 red wines, from which one of each were chosen to be offered during dinner.
All dishes were delicious and very much enjoyed. To me, it would be perfect to have 2 or 3 bites of each meal on the day, but neither Michelle or Derek wanted a buffet, and honestly, I’m glad as I prefer a sit-down dinner at a wedding.
The bride has chosen to have bison for her dinner, while the groom decided to have the duck. I have to tell you – both were perfect! – but it will different options for the rest of us. We have to choose between Filet Mignon, Chicken Cordon Bleu and Stuffed Portobello Mushroom – which is the vegetarian meal.
The following day was no less busy – my dress had come in a while back and I wanted to see it! Back in November I had tried it on in navy, but it actual color is cranberry. It fits for the most part, needs to be altered just a little bit (including a hem) but it’s too early for that, plus I need shoes.
After my dress was safely back upstairs at the dress shop we headed to Jos. A Bank to shop for the father of the bride. Bill was a very good sport, and it didn’t take long to have his wedding day outfit picked out and ordered. Michelle decided it was a good idea to just go ahead and get Billy’s clothes also. We estimated his sizes as best we could, and when we see him, we will exchange at his local store as needed. I think he will be happy with what his sister picked out for him!
You might think 2 days in a row was enough but no! The next day Michelle and I were up and out early for the first planning meeting at the venue. We met Teresa at 10am and 1 hour 45 mins later we were back on our way home, initial decisions made and starving for lunch! Teresa was very organized and walked us through what the entire day would be like, decisions being made for each step. What time would the bride arrive? We ordered some food to be served for lunch for Michelle, Jaime and myself for while we were getting ready. What time would the groom and other VIP’s need to get there? Who’s been hired for photography, floral, officiant, cake and DJ? Who’s walking who down the isle and in what order? So many details!
For the reception – more decisions! Food for dinner had already been chosen, but what about appetizers while photos are being taken? What beverages would be offered? What time would things happen? Who’s going to be offering a toast? Will we be doing the western PA “money dance”? I don’t even know what that is!
Believe it or not, there are still more things to decide – like music – for the ceremony, first dance for bride and groom, father/daughter, mother/son, etc.
Even though invites haven’t been sent yet, Michelle and I spent a few minutes talking about seating arrangements, as an “in the future” decision will be how many tables and what sizes? Teresa will actually draw out where the tables will go, what size will they be and what numbers will go on them.
While doing all these very important things with my daughter, I’ve been remembering my own wedding. I’m not fully sure if it’s just so long ago (coming up on 32 years!) but I don’t recall all these little details. They had to have been taken care of and my assumption is my Mother must have done a lot more than I realized at the time. Even when I was my sisters Matron of Honor – I don’t remember all these details. My Mom must have handled a lot there too. Thanks Mom!
It is somewhat more challenging being Mother of the Bride while not living nearby. How busy we were this week is evidence of that. I’m here a week so things cannot be spread out, checking items off the list a little here and there, it needs to be condensed into a shorter time span. We will have more of this condensing when Jaime, the Maid of Honor, and I plan a couple of days out here later this summer – probably early August. The upside of our lifestyle is we will be here 100% for the month before the big day – plenty of time to make sure the planning list is fully complete!
Of course, Michelle is doing some things on her own, she is making a display box for cards, she has hired all the needed vendors, is updating their wedding website. Just the other day, after dinner options were chosen, she ordered the invitations. If any of you are getting married or know anyone who is, she has found a website called “The Knot” VERY helpful.
In other news – I am very happy and relieved to report that our son and his roommate finally signed a new lease! Whew! It’s in a great location for him – close to his job; also great for us as it’s closer to the Ephrata Elks! Awesome!
Our driveway surfing days in Berlin, PA passed by quickly, but all the wedding planning boxes for the week were checked! I even got the fall leaf garland put together!
We enjoyed meals together – my daughter has become quite the cook! We watched some movies, including Bridge of Spies with Tom Hanks. Bill and Michelle planted trees one day, Michelle had ordered them off the Arbor Day website. Bill put together a new filing cabinet Michelle ordered – there’s was a lot accomplished!
Apparently a visit to western PA wouldn’t be complete without some snow! We had hoped we were late enough in the spring to avoid the white fluffy stuff – but NO – we had about 2″ fall during our stay! Thankfully the below freezing wind chill didn’t last very long and temps quickly returned to normal for this time of year.
Our last full day arrived and we decided to check out a Farmers Market type place about half hour away in Grantsville, MD. What a great find! They had homemade jams, candies, fruit and veggies, spices and stuff for baking. All that and the prices were really good!
We are very excited to moving on to our new Jersey Shore home. We will be working at Country Oaks Campground in Dorothy, which is near Mays Landing and about 30 minutes from our fav boardwalk, Ocean City! We already have some friends dropping by for visits – if you are in the neighborhood – look us up! New Jersey is our ole stomping grounds and we’d love to show you around!