February 14, 2010

Creating a Stage for the Band

Posted in Music, Wedding Design tagged , , , at 10:55 am by Elizabeth Nixon

I’ve been avoiding some pretty important wedding details like reception timeline logistics, and the renting of chairs and dinnerware (almost have that on lockdown!). I guess Mr. Paisley’s and my recent troubles in paradise have sucked a lot of the joy out of wedding planning.

After several weeks of ignoring wedding planning, I’ve decided to dive back into it, taking on the more unglamourous wedding details. I guess I’m trying to save the fun stuff and details for a time when Mr. Paisley and I are on sturdier ground relationship-wise and I can enjoy them more.

First up, how to build a band’s stage area in front of a homely little guest house, which we affectionately refer to as “The Shed” in the Paisley family.

The band will be either on the porch of The Shed, on the right of this picture in the foreground:

Photo by Peter Wilson (brother Paisley)

Or on the brick patio in front of The Shed (unfortunately, the patio is somewhat obscured here by oak leaves due to a winter storm). The dance floor will be installed next to the brick patio.

This is the only photo I have at the moment of the front yard (the non-lake side) where the reception will be. Yeah, it looks like the camera was on something–the lawn isn’t really that green, teehee. To give perspective, it’s about 150 yards long by 60-70 yards wide. The lawn part.

Before we get to the stage, here’s some background on the reception layout. Although it’s a tiny photo (I really need to get up to grandma’s to take some more pics!), and you can’t see all of the lawn here, try to picture two super long rows of tables on the long left part of the lawn (a portion of it is cut off in the photo), then picture another two long rows in the smaller part of the lawn directly in front of the house and the hottub there (it’s that tiny orangeish dot in front of the house there, and yeah, it’ll be removed for the wedding). Those two rows will seat 40, while the longer two rows together will seat about 80, give or take.

The head table will be family-style (with people sitting all around it rather than Last Supper style), in front of the large white oak tree (it appears not-so-large in the photo in front and to the left of the house there in the background of the photo). By the way, I figured all this table placement out using a long, metal laundry line-proper-upper (don’t know the actual name for the thing, just picture a long metal stake) in lieu of a yardstick, and with the help of my BFF-since-third-grade Morgan (MOH). She helped me figure out where to place all the tables: candy buffet, cake table, gifts table, etc., the layout of which I’ll explain in a forthcoming post.

I’m not sure at this point what to do about The Shed. Along with being the backdrop for the band, It will also be home to one of two bathrooms we’ll open up for guests. So, any kind of fabric stage backdrop would need a sign near it pointing people behind the backdrop and into the shed to access the bathrooom. I don’t know if we’ll want people walking up onto the porch directly behind the band, as that would look kinda silly, so we’d also need to build a side staircase (just one or two steps) on the side of the porch. I’m thinking a cute sign reading something like “Backstage Bathroom This Way” could work. And I’m thinking it should be the men’s bathroom, otherwise I bet everyone would want to skip The Shed bathroom and just beeline it to the house bathroom!

OK, for the stage, I don’t know if we should hang black material from the rafters to create a stage, or make some sort of a backdrop out of bamboo fencing. I think the fencing might be cheaper, but not as attractive. Albeit, it would be better than just the plain shed, with its reflective glass doors and the inside bathroom light flicking on and off behind the band as guests use it. Hmmm.

What do you gals think I should do?

Sigh. This is one of those details I’m really procrastinating tackling. I mean, the last thing I want to do is have to spend hundreds of dollars on yards upon yards of heavy black stage fabric. I’m hoping my brother and his musician connections might be able to scrounge up some sort of backdrop for me. Slim chance, though.

Are there any details you’re having trouble mustering up the strength to tackle? Are they big ones like needing to reserve chairs, dinnerware or fixing up a place for your band to play? Or annoying logistics details that nobody but the bride would think to take care of? Isn’t that always the case, heh.

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