Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Wedding Details

I think it is really cool that nowadays engaged couples can keep family and friends up-to-date on all the wedding details via their own free website.

Besides the link above, I have attached Kyle and Jenni's website on the left of this website under 'General Information' so that friends and family don't have to recall multipole websites and can go there periodically to see updates as the details fall in to place.

I am really impressed how much they have already completed. The church, reception site, hotel blocks, rehearsal dinner, wedding party dinner are all already set up.

Most of the details are on the site but here's some added 'Mother of the Groom' perspective...

The planning highlight for me was Ken and I joining them and Donna, Jenni’s mom, to work with Julie at Country Inn and Suites on the details. Since between family and Carlinville friends they expect quite a few out of town guests, they prefer to have the reception at a hotel, limiting the amount of driving these guests have to do. Quincy has a brand-new and rather unique Country Inn and Suites with a beautiful ball room that can hold up to 500 guests. We met the owner who apparently has been in the hotel business for a long time and had some very specific special features he wanted to put in to this ‘pet project’ hotel. There’s a gorgeous staircase leading to the ballroom that will be great for pictures. The kids don’t really like the formality of a sit-down dinner and so are opting for buffet-style hors d’oeuvres. It's really not any cheaper than the sitdown meal but makes it a bit easier to stay less formal in terms of seating and what is served.

We spent quite a bit of time talking with Julie about the variations of how the room could be set up and decorated and all the variety of ‘add-on’ costs to be considered (eg., should have at least one security guard, $x an hour; will need one bar attendant for free beer’/soda bar and one bar attendant for the cash bar – $x an hour each; will need room attendants for clearing tables, buffet, $x an hour, do you want a champagne toast at $x per person more; long table cloths, that’s $x per table more, do you need a wireless microphone for the master of ceremonies-oh, tell you what, we’ll throw that in.) I think Jenni’s hand was cramping just trying to make notes fast enough! Luckily she and Kyle will be getting a full written proposal from Julie so they can add/subtract costs as needed to stay to budgets.

We checked out the guest rooms and with the discounts negotiated of $86 a night we think that it will be really comfortable for out of town guests, giving them big comfortable rooms, very nice facilities, and a hot breakfast for a reasonable price. In fact, I already know several 'in town' guests planning on taking rooms so that they don't have to worry about driving home after the reception. The bride and groom get a complimentary suite of their choice as part of the negotiated package.

Julie took us to the top floor to check out the bar/lounge and the available suites. It’s been our experience that the wedding hotel guests and wedding party often gather in the hotel bar before the reception and often after as well. Since this lounge is very nice and stays open until 2-3am, I’m betting they’ll be some die-hards in there late that night.

Now this is little ol' Quincy IL so I really wasn't expecting what we saw in the suites. WOW, they are amazing!! Marble everywhere, massive four poster beds, fully furnished kitchens, fireplaces, and bathrooms the size of our living/dining room combined. Kyle and Jenni chose the suite that has a huge dining/living/reception area so we can gather there on Sunday noon for gift opening. Julie said they wouldn’t have to be concerned about check out time.

I think Julie and Jenni are going to become very good friends over the next 10 months with all the details.

Ken and I joined Jenni and Kyle at Fuji Japanese Steakhouse for lunch after we left Country Inn and Suites. It was the first time Ken and I ate at Quincy’s newest and first Japanese restaurant. The food was very good and the chef quite entertaining. Of course, I don’t think this is a place you would make part of your regular eating out schedule since my impression is that the chefs’ performances are pretty scripted and I’m not sure I’d enjoy seeing the same thing and hearing the same jokes again and again!!

After we finished eating, Kyle and Jenni stayed to discuss with the management setting up a wedding party meal at Fuji between the wedding and the reception. They have a separate room for this that holds 40 and has 4 hibachi grills so it looks like this will fall in place as part of the plan as well. They will make up a special 'Kyle and Jenni' wedding commemorative menu for the event that is in line with what they choose to budget for the occasion.

Since then, Ken and I have completed our primary part of the planning and will host the rehearsal dinner the Friday night before at The Patio. This is Jenni’s second favorite Quincy restaurant after Fuji Steakhouse, so Jenni will get to have events at her two favorites on the wedding weekend. The Patio has great food, offers a wide variety on the menu they use for such occasions, and again, offer a special menu for Kyle and Jenni's event based on our direction. Ken has known the owner, Mark Neiswender since high school, and we've always been pleased with the way they've handled events for work and family, so I’m really comfortable this will make for a nice evening. (Yes, it is true, you don't live in Quincy a half-century and not know most everyone!!)

The next major planning event will take place on Saturday, when Donna and I join Jenni in Springfield, IL as she goes dress shopping. Jenni has been really awesome about including me in all these fun events knowing that with 2 boys I otherwise have little chance to be part of the 'girly' part of a wedding which I find so much fun! (Niece Erin understood this as well and I had loads of fun joining her for dress shopping!). Donna will be playing double duty both as 'Mother of the Bride' and as 'Matron of Honor', so she'll be able to make some first choices with Jenni on bridesmaids dresses as well. I had never heard of a Mom as Matron of Honor before but apparently this is not uncommon and as a matter of fact 'Miss Manners' is quite complimentary of this practice (see link). Jenni and her mother are especially close and I think this is a wonderful tribute to that special bond.
What fun I'm having with this!! Can't you tell! Yes, after 6 months of 'retirement', I have transitioned to really having fun days again in my life. I didn't realize how much I had lost that until I got it back!!
Hugs, C


Mark and Dortha said...

Hi Cindy...I have just found your blog. I know we have shared comments on facebook. Glad to know you are are WW too.

I have bookmarked your blog and look forward to following you as you travel.

Drop by and see us at www.rvingwithpoppa.blogspot.com

Frerx Adventures said...

Thanks Dortha,

Just added you to my blog sites as well!