Weddings with Jill: 1010 (how to transform your church gym into the reception of your dreams...)

 I first came up with this post in April of this year. I've made some revisions that, I think, have really made this post "re-blog worthy". Anyway, enough chit-chat, here it is:

How to go from this:

 To this:

In no particular order, here are sex SIX simple steps to take in order to achieve a successful "gym wedding".

1. Utilize the stage. Really though. Think of all the fantastic things you can do with a STAGE! It's not every day or wedding you have access to such a comodity. One thing to make sure of, though, is that your wedding colors aline with the color scheme of the gym. Sometimes people forget about the curtain colors and it just turns into a big awkward rainbow fest. Don't let that be you! Plan ahead. Plan colors according to your cultural hall colors. Some of the best stage ideas I've run across have been the food area (little buffet up where everyone can see), the line standing up higher than everyone else (less guests come through the line = less people you have to speak with), and my personal favorite has been to have the stage be the dance floor. If these ideas don't strike your fancy, maybe just adding some flowers or other decor to the backdrop and leaving it be would work best.

2. Use the carpeted walls to your advantage.  If you're one of the unlucky bride's whose church was built after 1970 and there is no carpet on the walls, just substitute the word "Carpet/flannel" to "duct tape"...same concept. While I've never actually encountered anyone utilizing the carpeted walls, I've got some pretty good ideas on what would look good. Think flannel boards (the kind you used in the good old Primary days). Since you're getting married and that most likely means you're in love, hearts are always a go. Cut flannel hearts out in your wedding colors and simply slap them on the wall, no adhesive will be needed, which is nice due to the savings on time as well as money (tape can get expensive, ya know?).  Again, like the stage, make sure that your chosen wedding colors don't clash with the wall carpet. Seriously so tacky when that happens. One other great thing about wall carpet is that it makes for a nice backdrop in all of your wedding pictures, so long as it matches your theme/colors. It also adds a nice texture and blends everything together. Wall carpet it pretty much vital to having a successful gym reception, but if you're one of the unlucky one's, drapes can be hung for backdrops so don't lose hope! Figure out what works best for you and just try to go with the flow of things...

3. Do everything in your power to disguise the fact that you're actually on a basketball court. Yes, it's true. I love basketball and it might be appropriate for me to have a "Basketball" themed wedding, but not everyone can or wants to pull that one off! And can we blame them?! Streamers, fabric, cardboard, or regular printer paper are all options available in order to cover the basketball court lines. Or, if available to you, bringing in carpeting or other flooring options would be a classy path to take. Regardless of how you choose to disguise your gym floor, just remember that a few lines here and there never hurt anyone. Plus, it'll give the kids something to work with when making up games to play at your boring wedding they got dragged to by their parents. 

4. Dim those lights, baby. But really...it makes everything look better.

5. Have a cry-room.  Chances are, if you're reading this, you're from Utah, Mormon, or at least know what I'm talking about. Use the Relief Society Room for a "cry room". You've got 132 cousins on your dads side of the family and 78 on your moms side, and about half of them have babies. You're gonna need a place for nursing (ew, barf) mothers because you totally don't want them topless in your gorgeous reception, and a place for bawling brats to go. If you want to get totally crazy, which you probably do, because you're an 8 cow wife, provide a few cribs or beds for toddlers, some rocking chairs, blankets, diapers and of course snacks for the kiddies. They could choke on the carrots in the jello, so make sure to have some plain jello for them.

6. Last but totally not least, make SURE the hoops are up... Unless you're having a basketball themed wedding, in which case you probably can't read this anyway. 

So there you have it, folks. Weddings made easy with Jill. Any questions can be left as a comment, or you may e-mail me at jdecker2000@gmail.com

Thanks and have a wonderful wedding!

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