A special wedding project
I wanted to share something a bit different with you in this blog.
As those of you who follow These Are The Heydays on social media will know, there’s been a bit of a wedding in my family in the last week. Actually, that’s a bit of an understatement. There’s been a wonderful, magical, beautiful and memorable wedding in my family this week. Of course, that’s me speaking entirely objectively!
You can see (many, many!) pics from the day on the Heydays Facebook and Instagram pages, but here are a couple to set the scene.
And actually it’s part of the ‘scene’ I want to tell you about. Because there were two particular elements of the setting of the day that had a very personal touch to them.
First, have a look at this picture of the how the fabulous tables and place settings looked
And particularly, look at the little pots of succulents at each place. Each of those pots (230 of them) were made by Zac’s amazingly talented mum, Sharon, who is an enthusiastic and brilliantly accomplished amateur (in that it’s her hobby, not her profession) potter. You can read more about her here.
Now have a look at the table name sign and the place name card in the pot. That’s all my work!
When I learnt calligraphy at a workshop last summer, I hardly imagined I’d put my new-found passion to use so quickly, or so extensively. Because not only did I write every one of the 230 name cards and three, double sided signs for each of the six tables. I also designed, created and calligraphied (that’s definitely not a word, but it definitely should be) all the elements for the table plan which showed each person where they would be sitting. And that was some undertaking, as I think you might be able to tell from this picture of the completed plan.
It was certainly quite a challenge working out how to direct that many people with tables that long (there were between 38 and 40 people at each table). I definitely made use of the creative problem-solving skills I learnt training as a stage manager at drama school (another story for another day).
The solution I came up with was for each person to have a peg with their name on one side of it, and on the other side, the table name and seat number they were sitting at. Then ‘all’ they had to do was to find their place on the plan so they knew where to go when they got into the room. Simples!
Except, of course, it wasn’t nearly that simple to do! First I had to write the name, and table/seat cards (each of the tables was named after a place that had special meaning to Emily & Zac). That took a while!
Then there was the task of spraying 250 pegs gold to match the colour scheme. I can’t imagine what my neighbours made of my Heath Robinson set-up of lidded boxes with pegs clipped to the rims of plastic tubs inside them, and me out in the garden spraying furiously, wearing a face mask to ward off the fumes!
Next up, the heart-in-mouth moment of seeing whether I’d be able to fit the backing board into my car. It just squeezed in. Phew. Then that had to be edged and sprayed (back out to the garden).
Then it was time to assemble the elements. Each name card needed to be matched to the correct table and seat place card, then those had to be stuck to either side of the peg. Critically, they had to be the right way up, which was dictated by which side of the card strip the peg clipped to (that makes sense in my head, so I hope it makes sense to you too!)
It took four of us (me, the bride, her sister, and Sharon) five hours to do.
The final, tense task was to write the central plan. There were so many elements and words involved, I was constantly terrified I’d make a mistake and have to start again. Amazingly, I managed to do it without a slip. And get very good at holding my breath in the process.
And then it was done. All those hours of work were in position ready for the big day.
Seeing the results of both Sharon and my efforts at the wedding itself, and watching how much all our guests enjoyed them, made a special day all the more special. Although I won’t mind if I never have to spray a peg again!
Now I’m wondering what calligraphy project I can take on next. Any ideas? Or commissions??!