Two days before the wedding we hosted a Welcome BBQ for our guests. Really, it was a way to spend some time with everyone and to let everyone meet and get to know each other a little better before the wedding.
Let me start by saying that our welcome BBQ did NOT go as smoothly as planned. First off, the weather in Hawaii, while we were there, was extremely windy and more rainy than usual (even considering that Hawaii is usually quite rainy in the winter). We had our BBQ held at Bellows, which is an Air Force owned beach. I thought I had done my part and did all the legal paperwork to host our event there. I had to collect all of our guest’s driver’s license numbers and their vehicle information and fax it to Bellow’s security forces 48 hours before the event. The day of the event, my family and I got to Bellows and checked in. It was soooo incredibly windy that we were afraid everything was going to blow off the tables, and it definitely was too cold and windy to take a dip in the ocean. As the guests started to arrive, my dad and I started to get hounded by phone calls. The guard at the gate wouldn’t let our guests on the post. We had about 11 people that were stuck… off base. When I checked in for our pavilion by the beach, they forgot to inform me that I also had to check in with security forces to confirm the guest list I faxed them 2 days prior. Luckilly, one of the guests waiting outside the base was in the Army and he ended up signing everyone in as his guests. So 30 minutes later, everyone was on the post and started to enjoy themselves.
Unfortunately I was enjoying the day more than documenting it, so I don’t have many photos of the BBQ. Here are the few photos we do have:
Mr. Sushi adores the kiddies:
We got the buckets for $1 from Michaels and put cookies, stickers, coloring books and crayons inside for the kiddies. The kids put the buckets to good use!
See how windy it was? There was no beach swimming on this day.
I didn’t even take photos of the welcome boxes I made for everyone. But luckily, one of our guests did:
(rocks were placed in each welcome box so they wouldn’t fly away at the BBQ)
There was some variation to each box, but some of things we provided were:
While I didn’t have “official” bridesmaids, I did have my two oldest and bestest friends in tow. So, to show my appreciation for them over the years, I made them their own little gift bags. My main gift to them was a Blurb book I made to showcase our friendships over the past 16 years. It took months to put together. Without them knowing exactly what I was doing, I asked them to send me photos of us and letters we wrote to each other over the years. Here’s how it turned out:
Amariah Rauscher from ollie ollie drew me this great illustration, which I used for the cover of the book.
On the first pages I introduced us. “These are a few of my favorite things… when I was 13.” In our middle school days, we passed around a lot of slam books, so I used the information from them to add to this page. I scanned in our signatures from old letters and added an old yearbook photo from our tween/early teen years.
There were lots of photos from our early teen years…
and I went through TONS of old letters, picked out the best ones, and added them, too.
I also made sure to add our most current accomplishments and milestones.
I ended the book with a poem of friendship and a photo of us when we were 18.
So while our BBQ wasn’t the fun in the sun I was hoping for, I did get to thank all of our guests for joining us in Hawaii with lil’ gifts.