Sunday, June 29, 2008

Writing and Weddings

A look through our garden gate the night of the Tropical Twilight Reception.

Planning an garden wedding reception and a plotting a novel have a surprising amount in common. Theme, pacing, overall arc, and effect. The theme, both in novel writing and in planning this reception, set the boundaries and demanded certain elements be included or excluded in the overall architecture.

The theme for the wedding reception we hosted in our back yard on June 21, was Tropical Twilight. When we heard, we knew instantly that it would include tiki torches marking the paths, glittering lights on trees, fence lines, and the rocks walls of the garden, and splashy plantings of brightly colored flowers in coral, hot pink, reds, yellows, and purples. Even the menu was defined by the theme, sauteed chicken with peanut sauce, fruited rice, strawberry and spinach salad, and those wonderful Polynesian rolls baked in a sauce of sugar and coconut milk.

We structured the set-up to keep the guests flowing from the reception line to the buffet to the dining set-ups in the three teak wood gazeboes in the middle of the yard and then on to clusters of intimate seating to encourage long conversations and relaxation.

Pacing the activities to keep the energy flowing took as much care as planning peaks in a plot. Start the live music before the guests arrived to entice them in from yard (joined by a side gate) to yard. Cut the cake when there is a lull in the receiving line. (There never was.) Have the bride and groom take their dance early so that everyone will feel free to hit the dance floor (in this case the basket ball court).

And finally, make the ending short and sweet and don't drag out the clean up.

The creative process takes place everyday in our lives. Whether it's in more recognizable ways like plotting a novel, planning a painting, and designing a garden, or in more subtle circumstances; solving a problem, adding missing elements to a relationship, or parenting a child, we thank the good God who made us for imagination, the ability to forcast possible outcomes and the reason to make choices.


Mer said...

Sounds lovely! Where was my invite??? ;)

Tiffney Anderson said...

We are glad it was a success. We love and miss you.

Wight Family said...

Such a beautiful and inspiring garden!

Josi said...

wow, beautiful, wanna design my flower beds? Great comparison.

Tristi Pinkston said...

Can I get married again (to the same man) and come have my reception there?

Heather Justesen said...

I love that picture. That's the way I want my yard to look when I finish it up--in about ten years at the rate I'm going. By the way Carroll, you mistyped the link to your blog when you left the comment on mine. I can't fix it without deleting it, so you might want to, cause the blog it took me to isn't anything like this one. =)