With the bride having bought her dress already, with the groom complaining about wearing a tux in the middle of summer, with no wedding plans made yet, and not having a lot of money to spend, what’s a person to do? I am the mother of the groom and even though it is typically not the groom’s mothers place to plan a wedding, this one fell into my lap. As we were talking one day about the upcoming nuptials and the groom was doing his usual complaining about the tux, my husband jokingly said, “Why not have a Parrot Head wedding?” And it took off from there.
For those of you that don’t know, Parrot Heads are what fans of Jimmy Buffett are called. So we started planning a Jimmy Buffett, Parrot Head, tropical beach-like wedding. In my backyard we have a swimming pool with a 30′ waterfall coming down into it. This will be the backdrop for the wedding. There is also a deck large enough to accommodate 100 guests easily. With a wide-open space and no tables, there were no suitable places for decorations in the traditional sense. But we wanted to decorate somehow. First, we bought beach balls to go in the pool. Then, I cut out and painted two 4′ x 2′ surfboards to hang on my retaining wall beside the pool. One board had the Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville parrot, while the other had 2 loving parrots with a tropical forest backdrop with the bride and groom’s name and the date of the wedding at the bottom. I thought this would make a nice keepsake for them. To each side of the surfboards I added two metal parrots. We also have a lot of tropical plants in our house such as majesty palm trees, dracaena, and croton plants. These were transported outside to become the focal point of the ceremony with the waterfall in the background.
As I said before, the bride already has a dress, (with no refund) so where do we go from here? We convinced her that it was her special day and it would be okay if she were to stand out from the theme. Her dress was trimmed in red, so we matched the groom’s shirt with that red, put him in a white casual suit and rope-knotted flip flops. Sounds weird, huh? And not very Jimmy Buffett-like, so let me continue on. The groomsmen and ring bearer had blue tropical shirts, white slacks and flip flops, while the bridesmaids had a matching blue halter top dress and flip flops. The flower girl had a simple white dress and was barefoot. The minister also got into the swing of things with his tropical shirt. All the guests were told to wear tropical print shirts, shorts and sandals so everyone would be comfortable outside in the middle of July.
After the ceremony, we held the reception right there on the deck. So there was no travel time to a reception; not even a walk across the road. Can you guess what the main course was? Staying with the Jimmy Buffett theme it was (mini) cheeseburgers of course! (And also the groom’s favorite food.) That morning, my sister-in-law made 100 patties while I baked 100 yeast rolls. There was a traditional wedding cake, but the groom’s cake was a volcano cake which my other sweet sister-in-law made. (Quite accidently, when the groom was cutting his cake the song “Volcano” came on in the background!) Another good friend volunteered to make an arrangement of “waterfall” fruit. The pool was going to be open later for anyone who wanted to stay for a dip, so we did not have margaritas, not even the virgin kind or any other kind of alcohol. For refreshments we had a tropical kiddie pool full of ice and soft drinks. While the burgers were grilling we had Jimmy Buffett playing in the background.
All-in-all it was a pretty good day. If you’re thinking of planning and hosting a wedding, make sure you have plenty of time, plenty of patience, and plenty of energy. I have NEVER been soooo tired in my life as I was at the end of that day!!