February 20, 2012

Sweetheart Banquet 2012

Friday night was the VBC Sweetheart Banquet held in honor of the married couples in our church.  Our beloved church secretary, Miss Jackie, took charge of organizing the event.  From decorating to china to cooking and music, this hopeless romantic worked herself to exhaustion to make the event extra special for everyone in attendance.  She wanted everything to be a surprise and didn't want the couples doing any work for the occasion.  In a church as small as ours, that means a lot of work for those who are left.  

Miss Jackie, after hearing of their work for my birthday party, recruited the girls to help out.  I was once again floored by their hard work and creativity.  The three of them spent an entire week brainstorming, hunting, gathering and crafting to pull it all together.  

The day before the banquet they worked with Miss Jackie to decorate the auditorium, which was transformed into a posh dining room.  I was forbidden to come inside when I arrived at the church building to pick them up.     
Meanwhile, the ladies got excited about dressing up and primping to make the evening an extra special date night.  We spent a week trying on gowns, borrowing jewelry and shopping for shoes.  It was a real blast for me as ladies stopped by during the week to try on some of my long forgotten evening gowns.  Even Elisabeth got in the spirit by pulling one of her evening bags to lend to Mrs. Braun.  I can't believe how perfectly this dress fit... doesn't it look like it was made for her?
The girls offered to make a spa to do hair, nails and makeup for the ladies on the afternoon of the banquet.   They ended up spending a lot of time last week trying out up dos and each other and researching the texture of the hair of the ladies who were coming to find just the right style for everyone.  
This friend is allergic to a lot of stuff!  I didn't want her to be miserable the night of the banquet so we got together ahead of time to try out some different makeup and see how she would react.  It was a blast doing so many makeovers at once.
With all the ladies looking forward to the event and working so hard to wow their hubbies, Allen decided to get a tux.  I think the last time I saw him in a tux was at our wedding!  Just the fact that he thought it up himself was impressive.  When Elisabeth saw him trying the shirt on she was tickled pink.  She said, "Pa!  You look so cute."  (Don't you love her choice of words?)
And then she had to give him a great big Princess kiss.  It is hard to think of anything more precious than a little girl who adores her Pa.
On spa day, the girls decorated with candles and flowers and put out dishes of candy.
And, specializing in the little touches, they even found some calming music for the background.
Emma volunteered to run a hot beverage bar, where the Salted Caramel Mocha Lattes were the hit of the day.  She recruited her friend, Grace, to help with serving the ladies, tending to odds and ends and watching after the little ones who came with their mamas.
The chalk board from my birthday party (I know you haven't seen it yet, but I swear there is a post in the works) made a great menu board.
The makeup station.  I thought the three of us ladies had a lot of makeup, until my friend Krystal arrived with hers!
The girls called in help so we could have two stations going at one time.
Terri joined me on makeup duty.  The ladies were so trusting and let us try all sorts of things they haven't done before.
Even though she had some trouble from her test makeup, Katie asked me to still do her face on Friday.
The girls also called in help from my friend, Katrina to set up a manicure station.
She did an amazing job of single-handedly doing five manicures in 3 hours.  All the girls had fabulous looking hands.  I am looking at this picture thinking how funny that there is coffee everywhere... especially because we are all caffeine free people.  ☺
Meanwhile, Kaitlin and Brianna worked diligently at drying and curling and pinning and just working some fun magic on hair.
That is Katie under those beautiful curls.
Along with all her other hard work, Gracie jumped in to hold the curling iron when we started getting down to the wire.
But, Wow!  Will you seriously look at that beautiful updo?
And Mrs. Swett's hair that has never held curl?  Brianna and Kaitlin determined and strategized to figure out how to get some body into her do.  Miss Cindy was amazed.  We were all stunned.  Except Kaitlin and Brianna who never doubted they could pull it off.
My friend, Alayna, saw the style the girls were practicing on Elisabeth's hair and requested a do like hers.
And Voila!  She got it.  Rapunzel flowers and all.  Isn't it fabulous?  
The bedrooms were converted into dressing rooms for ladies who would be going straight on to the dinner.  Mrs. Swett looks beautiful in purple. 
And Mrs. Adams was equally elegant in her evening wear.
After working so hard all week and through the afternoon, the girls were probably ready to collapse.  But it wasn't to be.  They were babysitting for the evening.  I think I counted, with our kids, 15 for a fun filled night of pizza and videos.
I was so busy with everyone else, I only had 30 minutes to shower, do my own hair and makeup, dress and nurse the baby.  Somehow, though, I pulled it off just in time to catch my sweetheart before he headed out the door.  (Just teasing.  He wouldn't go without me.)
But he did have a beautiful bouquet and romantic 1940's music playing in the car when he walked me out.
Everything at church was decorated very posh-like.
 Notice the red, pink and white paper napkin poms.  The girls liked the way they turned out on my birthday and decided to work them into the decor.
 I love the wedding photos scattered about.  It was so neat to see our friends as newlyweds.
 Nice touch with the rose petals on the tables, don't you think?
 And these simple but elegant centerpieces.  A little candlelight goes a long way towards ambience.
 I am crazy about this garland made with wedding photos, twine left over from my birthday party and heart doilies.
 It was a neat contrast to see the photos of couples married through the different decades starting with the fifties right up until 2006.
 See that couple on the red doilie?  Brother Harry and Sister Lily have been married a beautiful 53 years!
The photo booth was such a hot idea at my birthday party, there had to be one for the evening.  Here are some of our makeover ladies with their dearest.  Wayne and Alayna Allen.
Ben and Krystal Coats.  Don't you love that he coordinated his shirt with her dress?  Love the way the color works with her red hair, too!
I think Dave and Katie were one of the handsomest couples there.  Despite his threat to wear his "holy" jeans, Dave pulled it all together to coordinate his tie with Katie's sapphire velvet dress.
And the pictures I promised you, Dawn.
Well, wouldn't you?  Have you ever seen anyone "cuter" than my darling?
The youngest couple in attendance, Matt and Dawn Adams.
Miss Cindy was pleased to announce, "Bob liked the curls!"
So the meal was delicious and elegant.  The young men handled the food while the young ladies served.  There were some very nice dessert choices to end the meal.  My favorite being the chocolate cake with chocolate dipped strawberries.

After we ate, Pastor spoke on keeping the fire burning in your marriage.  And of course, there were games.  And here lies my only complaint.  And it is a big one.  Why is it every couples meeting, gathering, retreat, etc... always involves someone getting covered with something?  Over the years we have been doused in water, covered in whipped cream, slathered with shaving cream, stuck with eggs, and an array of other messy goods.  WHY?  Men may find this amusing, (although mine does not) but quite frankly, us women do not!  And really, at family camp it might be one thing.  But come on!  In this setting is it really necessary?  We ladies are told time and time again to make ourselves attractive to our husbands.  And here the ladies prepared for a week and spent HOURS primping to look lovely.  And then we are expected to end up covered in sticky orange juice?  And in dry clean only dresses to boot?  Get real!  When this little party game was announced, I immediately heard at least three ladies let up a cry of how it would ruin their makeup.  And at least one of those ladies is a gal who never puts makeup on and went to great lengths to do so.  Surely, there must be some other amusing way to pass the time.  I am not ashamed to say, I refused to take part.  Although, my dear husband did sweetly peel the oranges for me to eat.  Now that is a sweetheart.

In all fairness, I must say, the lovely Rampersaads pulled this little feat off more elegantly than one could imagine.  I guess that's what happens after so many years of working together.

We thoroughly enjoyed the preparations, the food, the fun and the fellowship of the Sweetheart Banquet.  We are grateful to Miss Jackie for her hard work and dedication to keeping the romance in our lives.  We are thankful for the young people who diligently applied themselves in decorating, cooking, serving and cleaning up.

We decided all this poshness is exhausting work.  After falling into bed at 1 AM, I didn't drag myself back out until after 8:00 the next morning.

Pastor declared the evening a success, as did all those in attendance.  It will be hard to top next year! 

Well, except for the oranges, that is.


  1. This looks like such a fun night! I love the idea of doing a spa day before hand for everyone to get ready together - I think the prep time is one of my favorite parts of getting all dressed up!

  2. Everyone did look beautiful! But, you have to know... the oranges were so much fun!! :)

  3. That looks like so much fun. I haven't been to a Sweetheart Banquet in years. I love the decor (the girls did a fabulous job), the wedding photos were the best part I think. I love the spa idea too. Everyone looked beautiful and it looked like a lot of fun.