• The Perfect DIY Wedding Day for Barbara

    The DIY Wedding Day had finally come and all of the friends and relatives showed up early in the morning to set up the final decorations and arrange all of the furniture. For the wedding that was just a few hours away. Phil was prepared for some last minute changes. And he was not let down. He had worked so hard for the last several months to get everything in place to have a great wedding for his daughter.

    As the busy bees scurried around the yard with tools and furniture the managed to knock over a couple of posts that were in place to support lighting for the event. Then there were a few poorly placed bruises to the painted surfaces that would need to be touched up once they all finished up and cleared out. The DJ showed up to set up and insisted he needed 6 more outlets to be able to properly set up for the reception party.

    Phil put on his handyman hat and calmly walked over and talked with him about the placement and power requirements for each outlet. As they finished that discussion he called his electrical and got him headed over with the proper equipment to get it put together. He knew there would be things like this and had built all of them into the schedule and the design.

    He had enough extra circuits available under the stage to setup the outlets and his electrician had the hardware preloaded in his truck. He just needed to know the lengths and quantity to get it done. Only about a half hour job tops. Isn’t it great to have a plan come together. He even had a contingency tent if there had been rain in the forecast.

    But then it happened, the groom’s father came up to him and insisted that they need to change the chair arrangement as he would not sit in the same row as his wife’s parents. They had to be moved back in the previous row or a new had to be set up for him and his wife. He tried to reason with him and then told him there was no room for another row between them and the platform. And removing chairs from his row would not leave enough seating for all of the guests.

    But Bob would have none of it. He finally told him that he would have to talk to their wives if he wanted any seating adjustments. They were responsible for the seating arrangements not him. Bob pleaded with him to help him out and told him of the previous events that the parents had attended and how they had created a problem with their comments. By moving them back the wedding party would be spared having to hear their constant complaining.

    Phil assured him he understood and would see what he could work out but could not commit to anything and it was traditional for the grandparents to be seated on the outside of the first row for the ceremony. He told him he had a better chance of fixing the issue during the reception but the wedding would be hard without the wives’ approval.

    Bob finally started to walked off and thanked Phil for any help he could manage. He knew how much effort Phil had done to get everything perfect and he just wanted the wedding to be great and Joanne’s parents would ruin it just like they have done so many times before. Phil suggested he calm down or he would be sick long before they got to the ceremony. Phil assured him he would make it hard for them to cause a scene.

    With that Bob left with a little spring to his step and he headed over to the reception table to finish his chores for the morning. By then the Electrician enter the yard and Phil walked over to him to get him going with the adjustments and additions to the electrical layout to meet the DJ’s needs. The electrician understood exactly what the DJ was looking for and had come prepared. He assured Phil the he would be gone in forty minutes’ max and the DJ would be happy with his power sources.

    Then Phil called in his painters as the crown was winnowing out now and by the time they arrived they would be clear to paint everything that needed touch ups. He also called in his mason to reset the Light posts and make any needed repairs to them. Everything was going smoothly except for the little bug Bob had placed in his mind. Was it true or was it just his relationship with Joanne’s parents that was bad. He knew he could not take a chance.

    Then Phil had an idea that would slow down their desire to complain if it was their normal habit. He quickly when over to the wives and suggested his plan without mentioning why it had come up. They actually thought it would be a marvelous idea so he got started setting things up for it at the end of the row where the parents would be sitting. When he had the new platform in placed he called the painters over and let them know how he wanted it finished and they agreed it wouldn’t take long at all.

    Phil was finally done and everything was ready for the wedding, he made one last glance around the yard and then let all of his workers free to go home. He hurried upstairs so he could get dressed and back down in time to greet Joanne’s parents and ask them to do a little job during the ceremony.

    He returned to the reception table just in time to greet the parents and they said they would be happy to help on this great day, so he walked them over to their table and explained what they needed to do to record the comments made by the guests during the wedding. They looked a little confused and then

    Phil explained that he thought that the kids would love to have the recorded comment from the audience to listen to as they watched their wedding movie over the years. It would make them feel like they were there watching as well. Ad they thought about it they realized how much them would have enjoyed hearing the audience response to their wedding and totally agreed to do it just as Phil had asked.

    The audience were all seated and the wedding began right on time. Phil stood quietly as each item in the occurred. Then when the time came he escorted Barbara down the aisle, gave her once last hug and handed her over to Fred. He then sat down with Janet and relaxed. He just smiled through the rest of the ceremony as he enjoyed the look on Barbara’s face as she walked down the aisle with him, she thanked him again for all of his work and let him know it was just as she had dreamed of.

    That night he fell into a well-deserved restful sleep after all he done to please his daughter one last time with the wedding of her dreams. He wasn’t sure how they would take the extra recording when they listened to it at some point but would certainly get a few laughs out of it when they did. Come back again next time when we start another story for you.

  • Building for the Perfect DIY Wedding

    Last time we discussed the planning for the DIY Wedding now we need to review the Building projects that needed to be done. Phil had many things to build in the backyard to complete the layout for the wedding. He had designed most of the things so that they would remain and enhance the usability of the backyard after the wedding was over. But they will stay behind to be there as a reminder of the special event.

    The first thing Phil had to complete was a clearing and leveling of the area to be used for seating and for the platform for the ceremony. Phil’s plan called for a large open area to allow all of the guests to be seated in a number of rows in front of the platform. He would have a cement pathway down the middle that would allow the bride to walk down the aisle and not have a problem with her footing. Then on either side would be a large grassy area that would be used to set up chairs for the guests to sit on during the ceremony.

    After the ceremony it would be converted to an area for the reception with tables and chairs and a dance floor on the existing patio. Once Phil got the space cleared and leveled he poured the concrete for the walkway and the foundation for the platform. The platform would be converted to a large gazebo after the weeding to allow them to have a nice outside dining area to enjoy.

    Phil built the platform on the foundation and included the covering for the gazebo to give the wedding party some protection from the sun. Then all he would have to do is to attach the siding and give it a gazebo look and feel after the wedding was over.

    The next project was to build a water fountain on the right of the platform to allow for the sound of a mountain stream to filter out over the crowd and help to ease any tension that may develop. It was a water wall with spotlights and flowers adorning it making it look like it was part of a natural setting flowing into a small stream.

    Phil had run electrical wiring and water connections out to the platform under the walkway to be able to support the platform and the water feature as well sprinkler system that would be needed to care for the lawn. He also as part of the leveling installed the complete sprinkler system for the yard so it would be ready when needed.

    When the heavy work was done, Phil knew needed to get the lawn going if it was to be in shape for the wedding and be able to survive the walking and torture it would endure for that day. So he seeded the yard with a special seed that grew rapidly and was able to handle the type of use expected.

    This completed the major construction part of the preparations and now the remaining work was mostly cosmetic in nature and needed to be done much closer to the time of the wedding for it to be just right when the day came. Phil continued to prepare all the pieces he would need for the final construction phase to minimize the time needed to get it all in place.

    The planning committee started coming by to check out the progress and admired what Phil had competed but were concerned that he would not be able to complete it in time for the day. To each concern Phil assured them that he had it under control, but he needed to wait to install the remaining item so they would not look weather worn when thee day came. There would be many days of rain between now and the wedding day that anything he put out would have to endure. To make sure that it looked it best he would install it much closer to the day and after most if not all of the rain had passed.

    Finally, about three weeks before the date of the wedding he brought his crew over and they began installing of the fixtures and decorative features and platforms that would be needed for the wedding. They also put a final coat of paint on the platform to give it the look his daughter wanted. They spent twelve days working feverishly to finish all of the tasks and when it was done it was as gorgeous as it was planned to be.

    The bride came out and was ecstatic with the results. He let her know that it was already for the decorating committee to get the final touches done for the wedding. She gave him an extra-long kiss and hug and told him it was just as she had dreamed. He reminded her that he was trying to do just that and was glad she liked it.

    Then she ran off to get mom and start on the decorations for the day coming all too soon. Mom happy to hear she could get started now and told her that she needed to gather the crew of ladies to get the decorating completed. They would start in the morning. With just about a week before the wedding day and many things to do between now and then they needed to get it done as quickly as possible.

    In our final episode we will share the final preparations and tweaks that had to be done to make the wedding successful and perfect for the bride.

  • A DIY Wedding the Planning Meeting

    Well, Phil knew this day would come and it did he had to face the people that had a stake in the wedding. The Planning Meeting was scheduled for this afternoon. He had to explain to each of them why they couldn’t have all they wanted. Even harder would be to get the six of them to agree on a plan for the yard and house arrangement for the wedding.

    He had done a great deal of preparation and work to share with each of them both their plan and the issues he saw with each of them. He also created a picture to share of what the yard would look like if they all got their wish. This picture needed no explanation to say what was wrong. These he already shared with each person.

    He had then prepared a picture of his daughters vision with a few changes to include some of the thing each of the others had wanted. He was careful to ensure that none of these took anything away from his babies desired dream. He knew that it would not be enough by itself to win over most of the parties involved the conversation form the initial get together was enough to let him know that it was going to be an uphill battle all the way.

    Never the less he was there to defend and improve his daughter’s ideas and could care less about the others desires unless they added significant value to the plan. He had a long discussion with her the night before about the plan and how they needed to approach each person’s proposal to come out with a usable project plan. He also shared and reviewed his proposal with her and she was ecstatic with what she saw. He carefully explained each change he had made and why.

    He left her knowing that she loved the product he was going to propose and that was all he needed to be able to stand firm against all comers unless they added something that would improve the program. So as time approached for the meeting he picked up his computer and the handouts he had prepared to share at the right times and walked to the back yard.

    He thought by having it out here they could get a better feel of what he was presenting. He had set up a projector and screen so that everyone one would be able to see his presentation. Then he had arranged the chairs so that all would have a great view and such that no one would be in a dominant position. He walked over and connected his computer to the projector and put up the presentation title page to help everyone to get in the swing of things.

    As he got everything ready his wife Janet came in and took a seat in the center. Phil asked her if she could leave the two center seats for their daughter Barbara and her fiancé Fred. She thought that was a great idea and moved over to the chair on the right of center.

    Next came Bob and Joanne, Fred’s parents and Phil guided them to the two chairs on the left. The Minister came in and gladly took the chair on the right of Janet. They quickly jumped into a conversation while they waited for the couple to arrive. Finally, the young couple came in and apologized for being the last to arrive.

    Then Phil reminded them he had sent each of them a packet with two sets of plans. The first was a copy of the plan they had proposed and the second one was a plan that included all of the additions that the others had added. He let them know that they need to come up with a happy medium this afternoon so they could get started on the construction aspects of the plan.

    Everyone nodded in agreement and assured that they were sure that it was going to be easy. With that Phil stated reviewing each person’s plan individually pointing out things that he liked and those that would be a problem. It was easy to get the participants to agree to remove thing form the drawing board as it was usually a five to one vote on each item.

    He carefully went through Bob’s, then Joanne’s, then the Ministers small but needed list of things. Next he went through Fred’s proposal which was equally small. Finally, he addressed Barbara’s ideas and discussed a few that would conflict with the Ministers needs and how they could modify the two ideas into a common solution that both agreed would be wonderful.

    Phil knew better than to open it up for questions or new ideas just yet so he kept moving through his proposal even though there were several hands that went up during his review, responding to each with the same response we will get to question shortly. We need to get a complete proposal on the table first that should make everyone one happy first.

    Then he took the ideas that he had not gotten removed from each of the other four plans and integrated them into the growing concept plan one at a time. Once he completed building the grand picture of the proposed proposal he started pointing out where the parts would be located in the yard by pointing to each of the spots.

    At that point Phil could delay the inevitable no longer and opened the floor for questions. He very patiently took each question or change request and added it to the current plan explaining why it just didn’t look right. And then asked how many would like to add it to the plan. Ever addition was shot down. After about four hours and a couple of hundred requests, the concerns started to slow down and finally stopped.

    After about another two hours he was able to get a unanimous vote on accepting the original plan he had put fourth for review. They all congratulated each other on coming to an agreement so quickly and after about a half hour or so they all had left except for Phil and Janet.

    Janet looked over at him and told him that she still wanted to get her fountain in there somewhere for the punch. Phil smiled and assured her he would see if there would be a way to make it happen and look just perfect in the proposed layout.

    Phil knew that now was when the real battel would begin as each came to him and pushed for just a little tweak to get a special thing from their plan into the final after the fact. He was well aware of each person’s attitudes and commitment to get their way in anything they were involved in. And then he told Janet that in the morning he would continue but for now he was worn out and needed food and refreshment to help his recovery.

    So far has been able to win the day and hold the line only because he prepared a good game plan and stuck to it consistently through the meeting pitting one party against the rest of the group on things he didn’t feel would fit well. Now the real work would begin tomorrow as he drew up the plans for permits and construction schedules. Be sure to come back next time when we will work through the construction phase and see if Phil can keep his plan on track.



  • Planning for a DIY Wedding for your Daughter

    A friend of mine, Phil had a daughter who was getting married and his wife decided that they would host a DIY wedding in their back yard. They do have a very nice large back yard, but it was in no shape to host a proper wedding. His wife thought it was a great idea and since he works as a handyman, he could easily make all the changes needed in the house and yard to make it an awesome wedding.

    On the surface this sounds like the ideal situation and a great way to cut the costs of having the wedding. But the instant Phil heard what is wife was planning he knew it was a bad idea for two reasons. The first was his wife’s plan for the design and the second was his daughter’s plan. The real problem is that they won’t even be close to each other and he would be caught in the center having to referee.

    Phil was not looking forward to this at all. OF course as he thought about what would be required he started realize how much work he was going to have to get done and it was not as easy as Janet had thought. Of course if you are doing the work it is always easy. The only good thing is that they had nine months to prepare everything.

    The first planning session was scheduled for Sunday afternoon and Phil planned to be a quiet little church mouse sitting and listening to the conversation. His goal was to get a list of the expectations of each party so he could sit down and design a plan to get it accomplished. As the meeting got started and the ideas started to flow, he quickly realized that they were not heading in a common direction. The real thing was that they did not even realize how far apart they were.

    Phil managed to get the full list of ideas down and noted which ones were coming from who. At the end of about two hours the conversation died down as all parties had run out of ideas for the moment and look straight at Phil. Then someone asked the big question, did you get all of written down.

    Phil responded as best I can tell. Let me get this all organized and typed up. Then I will get each of you a copy to review and mark up if needed. Once I get those back I can consolidate all of the changes and put together a plan of action and estimate for review at our next meeting.

    Everyone left the meeting feeling like they had made their case and everyone else was on their side so it was going to be a great Wedding. So Phil got each of them a typed up list of all of the ideas presented leaving out who presented each idea.

    Just as he had expected he got copies back from each person on Tuesday with all the ideas that were presented by the other parties crossed off with various nots of why those were to be dropped from the list. Phil then compared the modified lists to confirm what he though was the result and began to put together a plan of how to sell his own combination of ideas taken from various people on the list.

    He even created a computer model of the yard and what it would look like when it was completed. Of course he also added options to how the other things on the list show how they would appear. He did this in hopes that he could dissuade some form parts of their ideas. That way he could add or subtract each idea as it was brought up so all could see how it would look in the final presentation.

    He finally also created the five ideas proposed by the participants in the review so they could each see what theirs would look like as well. He created a budget n both time and expense to complete each design for review and finally made a presentation to deliver at the next meeting on Sunday. As Sunday got closer he went over the presentation twice each day to see if he had missed anything.

    Phil had several people come by and ask him how the plan was going and he offered each to see the plan he had for their idea. And each one left with a grin on their face as they saw just what they had pictured and felt sure that would make a great wedding background.

    In our next story post we will continue our story of what happened when they got back together and he presented the proposal for the wedding setting. We all know that as soon as Phil started to share different concepts and they realized that he was not supporting their proposal, there would be chaos in the meeting. Join us next time to see how it turned out.