Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Night Before the Wedding

Tucker and Karli were really crunched for time while they were home, so we decided that the best time to host the groom's dinner was the night before the wedding.

I love planning parties.  I love decorating for parties.  I love seeing the big picture in my head and then seeing it all fall into place.

Thursday was a busy day.  We ironed and set up and made special trips for more supplies to the florist, grocery store, and back home again.

Here are a few details:

 One of my favorite things--the polka dot straws

Deciding to have most of the dinner catered was the best decision ever.  It was so nice to have the food just show up without the stress of making it. Another de-stressor--having three of your best buddies manning the kitchen and food tables all night.  I realized as I went to bed that night that I hadn't thought one second about the kitchen, the food, the cleanup--any of it.  Thanks, Janette, Jamie, and Lori.  You are the best!

I wanted to make this feel like a fun, not-so-serious party, because neither Tucker nor Karli is very serious. Since the two of them quote movies ALL the time, I asked them a few weeks ago what their most quoted movies were, then I created a centerpiece for each table that reflected each movie.

This table was at the entrance to the hall.

After grabbing an Italian ice, the guests then wandered around to see if they could guess which movie was represented by each centerpiece.

See if you can figure out which movie goes with which centerpiece. (Key at end of this post*****)

Movies--Mulan, Kung Fu Panda, Star Wars, Despicable Me, Napoleon Dynamite, Ice Age, Monsters Inc., Phineas and Ferb, Up, and Elf.

At Christmastime, candy canes are usually . . . $2 a box? When you have to special order them on Amazon in August, they cost twice that!

The dessert table is in the background--the bowl is full of ramen noodles with chopsticks.
The paper is a map that says "Tri-State Area."

I missed one of the centerpieces.  See if you can guess what this movie is:
I paired the wrestling masks with a bowl of tortilla chips and an ear of corn on a stick.  Did you guess it?

I loved how this activity loosened everyone up from the second they arrived, helped them meet people they didn't know, and taught them a little bit more about the bride and groom.

Brad greeted everyone, Grandpa Greg said the blessing on the food (where he accidentally called Karli "Jen" (her mom's name) and he then wanted to disappear from embarrassment all night), and then we ate.

 Hyrum loved the Kalua pork--Grandpa said my boy ate four full plates of it!

 My sister and her husband flew in from Idaho just as the dinner was starting, and I was so happy they could make it down (even though Alisa had strep for most of the weekend--great timing).
And of course we had the best desserts--Grandma Tucker's mint brownies, my friend Shauna's white chocolate-dipped ginger snaps (heaven on earth), and of course chocolate chip cookies.  Plenty for all.

While everyone got settled with their desserts, I revealed the answers to the game and let Tucker and Karli share their favorite quotes.  It was hilarious.
 Tucker pulled Karli up in front of everyone and surprised her with a song he'd written for her--"I Chose You." 
 It was so tender to watch her reaction--these two really are a beautiful fairy tale.  I can't say that about everyone, but it's true about them.
 I hosted parties for these guys so many times over the years--fake prom, homecoming, Monday lunches.
I love them all, and it was fantastic to see them all together again that night.
Karen snapped a picture of me bustling around after it was over--yes, I really was there.

Everyone seemed to have a good time being together and getting into the spirit of the weekend.  When it was over, Tucker was supposed to head off for a quick bachelor party, but that plan was scrapped when Karen accidentally backed into one of the bachelor's cars as she was leaving my house--oops.

Aside from the small fender bender, it was a perfect night--completely perfect.  I checked my fitbit pedometer that night as I went to bed--a new record of over 41,000 steps.  I crawled into bed exhausted but completely satisfied with it all.

*****In order, the movies are Star Wars, Monsters Inc., Up, Ice Age, Despicable Me, Napoleon Dynamite, Mulan (huns popping out of the snow like daisies, go kick some honey buns, and Yao--king of the rock), Elf, Kung Fu Panda, Phineas and Ferb, and the bonus movie was Nacho Libre. How many did you get right?


  1. those red poppies...amazing!

    I love the red accents!

  2. It was a wonderful evening! Except for my OOPS! Even that was no biggie!

  3. I've looked over your last few posts. Wow. Everything looks like it was magical! Hopefully you'll recover soon.

    Such a darling couple.
    A ton of work to do this the night before the wedding. Mercy, it's sooooo cute.

  4. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! I just read all 3 posts - about the wedding and this latest one, and I don't know where I've been the past week, but you threw one gorgeous wedding gathering! Everyone looked beautiful, and your party looked like a lot of fun. Many good wishes to the lovely couple - they look happy and completely in love.

  5. you are so creative jen! what a fun night for everyone. and I got them all right...guess i'm a movie nerd too!:)
    have a happy day

  6. That evening looks absolutely perfect. I had to crack up reading that Karen backed into someone's car...


  7. That evening looks absolutely perfect. I had to crack up reading that Karen backed into someone's car...


  8. PS. I love their sweet romance. And how cool is it to have a fiancé/husband who can write a song for you!


  9. love the polka dots. so fun to watch your family.