Our Wedding Plan: The Dinner Party (and Registry Decisions)

It's been quite some time since I provided you guys a wedding update, so how about now? So far, I told you about The Chapel, My Dress, My Hair, and The Cake.  However, I've changed my idea on how to wear my hair.  I decided a few weeks ago that a finger wave is just too similar to my regular-every-day hair, and I'd like to do something a little more 'finished' looking.  So.  I basically have no idea yet what I'm doing.  I plan to make an appointment with Lisa at Cavallaro & Company to discuss what she thinks I should do.  She masterfully pulled off my finger wave trial, and it took like 3 hours...so I'm nervous about telling her that I've changed my mind now.  Luckily, we still have over 4 months to come up with a plan.

If I have to be completely honest here, I'm really thankful that the last race on my calendar for this year is in August.  I am feeling a little overwhelmed with everything going on (work, school, triathlon/race training, wedding planning), and I'll be thankful when I have some time to breathe.  I'm fully tossing around the idea of not scheduling any races for 2011 so that I can focus on basic fitness goals instead.

Anyway.  That is a different post for a different day.  I'm a little scatterbrained today, clearly.

When My Gazelle and I were planning our wedding shin-dig, we knew one thing for certain: we didn't want a crazy party.  Neither one of us are heavy on the partying, he doesn't drink, and I don't drink all that much (unless I'm on an NKOTB bender).

For that reason, as well as keeping costs low, we decided to have only a dinner party for 50 people.  The dinner party is still not going to be cheap (as is NOTHING when it comes to weddings), but it's a little more manageable than spending our entire budget just on a reception.  Since it's a dinner party, we won't be having a DJ or any of the standard 'reception' hoopla, but everything else will pretty much be the same.

We are having our dinner party at the restaurant where we had our second date.

(DJ, please cue the "aahhhhhh's")

Red Sky Steak and Fish House in Laurel.  It's a very nice restaurant without being stuffy or over the top.  Since we're not into the fancy schmancy side of things, but we love good food, this place is ideal for us.  For the party, we will be renting out the back of the restaurant, which is somewhat secluded from the remainder of the restaurant.

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The seating is going to be slightly awkward, but my plan is to push 2 or 3 tables together along the right wall (which has a full bench seat all the way down) to create the "head" table.  My mom is making large pillows that will also act as wedding favors to fill up the empty table-less areas on each end of the bench.  The other tables in the center of the room will be moved against the head table to create a "U" shape.  Some people will have to sit in the booths to the left, I think that this arrangement will keep them from being excluded from the group.

Also, the area in the middle that we'll create with the "U" arrangement will make a fantastic little dance floor.

We are lucky to have a budding opera singer in the family (My Gazelle's little sister is amazing), so in addition to her playing the piano at the chapel for us, she will also be singing a song for our first dance ("At Last" by Etta James).  We are making a 5 hour long playlist that will be played for the remainder of the dinner party.

Our guest book will be on a (currently imaginary) table at the right of the entrance to the room, and our gift table will be the first one on the left:

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This is where my dessert table creation as well as our wedding cake will go, but the table will be larger and most likely be turned sideways or at a bias (I'll probably fill that bench seat in with more pillows or something as well):

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This is a view looking from the back of the room to the front of the restaurant:

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Gift table (to be turned sideways), as well as the challenge that is bench seating:

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I was kind of upset when I realized that all of the bench seating was immovable, because I had a vision that the room would be open and we could just slide all of the tables into a "U" shape.  I got my initial inspiration for the "U" shape from this collage (which is basically my dream wedding neatly packaged into a photo collage):

red-black-and-white-old-hollywood-wedding-inspiration-board-created-by-itsajaimethingdotcom

However, it's just not going to be fully possible.  Since we really like the sentimental value of keeping the venue at Red Sky, we decided to just work with what we've got and do part of the seating in a "U" shape.

I'm going to do a sample table decoration this week, so I'll fill you in on that when I've got it finished!

Next up, our wedding registry.

This is not a shameless promotion to get you to buy me a wedding gift.  I'm merely satisfying my own need to be nosy, and I'm assuming that you also have this need.  So go ahead.  Look at the sheets and china that I covet for a moment.

Also, I'm really afraid that I'm forgetting something important.  Keep in mind that both of us have fully-functional homes.  When we moved in together, we opted to use his 'stuff' because I rented out my condo fully-furnished.  At this point, my Target-purchased dinnerware and things need to be replaced, and much of what I was using in my condo was purchased/gifted in my last marriage.  It just feels kind of gross.  I'd like to have a set of 'stuff' that is specifically OURS.

Namely, new linens, bedding, and most importantly I want a set of nice(ish) china and silverware.  I was married before.  I didn't want china then.  Although things like china aren't super important to me even now, each time I used the toaster as a child, my Mom would say, "your father and I received that as a wedding gift 20 years ago!"  So, I understand that the material things aren't insanely important, but I would like to have these things to attach a memory to.

So that I can remind little Junior about Mommy and Daddy's wedding day each time I make him eggs in my Logic cast iron frying pan.  You know.  Because I probably will.

If you're married...did you receive anything from your wedding registry that you absolutely can't live without =or= what was the best gift that you received from your registry?
If you're not married...what is the thing that you will MOST DEFINITELY put on your registry when you get married?

Also...does anyone having a constructive suggestion on my seating challenges?

siggy