I am an unfinished work, and so are many of my projects. This blog is just an odd collection of things I make and do.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Wedding Chaos....er, Reception

Helen and her Mom before the wedding

About a month before my son's wedding, it dawned on me that his bride, Helen, needed some help! Her mom, who lives in another state, found out she had to move, and didn't have much wedding planning done yet.  The bride had great ideas but needed some help to execute them. It was really fun to get to be involved with the planning and decorating!  I have all sons, so I don't get the opportunity to be mother of the bride, who usually does all those things.

I've never been so grateful for the internet! We had a fairly small budget, as weddings go, but that didn't stop us! We passed ideas back and forth, met a couple of times for shopping, and came out with a very pretty reception.  Her dad is a chef, so the meal was planned and taken care of by him, even the cake.  It was delicious and beautiful.

Theme: Flying Into Eternity

Our church building, where the reception was held, has kind of inset side panels in the walls.  We decided to focus on them.  This was the planned idea.

This is what we ended up with.  It's hard to see, but at the top of each scallop there is a pretty tulle bow.  It was more noticeable in reality. My husband made the airplanes out of paper, sprayed with glitter paint.  I love that stuff!  We used a whole can of it and wished for a second by the time we had the decorating complete. I think if I was doing it again, I would get pink tulle for the bows, but this was pretty too.  It could have used a little more color.

Inspiration for the head table.

Inspiration for the backdrop

What it looked like:  The ribbons drape along the front of the tables, for a very pretty draped effect.  After looking at fancy bows, Helen decided she wanted a very simple tied bow.  I glued the satin ribbon to a shimmery white wire tulle ribbon, which gave it enough stiffness to hold its shape beautifully.  The backdrop is shimmery tulle with added glitter spray, backed by a white paper.  The whole thing is mounted on a frame made of PVC pipe.  We just taped the paper and tulle on, then added bows like the ones on the side panels of the rooms. The bridesmaids' kissing balls were made ahead out of crepe paper roses by the groom's sister-in-law.  She also made the beautiful paper rose bouquet for Helen, which you can see in the top picture. 
Head Table Place Setting.  Helen had received two goblets as shower gifts so we used them for their places at the head table.  We set it with nice china, but the meal for the guests was served on "fine styrofoam," so you see here a foam plate set on the fine china.
She originally wanted to hang the clouds from the ceiling, but there was no way to do that, so we used the ones she had as centerpieces. There were enough for about half the tables.
For the rest of the tables, we used the pictures, a couple of airplanes, and these tulip vases which a neighbor gave Helen's mom, "just in case."  Helen ordered the table runners from Smarty Had a Party.  We sprinkled them with plastic "diamonds" for a sparkly effect.

Food table, decorated by Helen's dad.  We set it up banquet style, with the beautiful salads pre-made and served on the plates. 

Guest book sign-in.  We decided to forgo the usual guest book, and have a guest list on a clipboard instead, so the happy couple can simply put the pages into their wedding scrapbook.  The pink ink is a bonus.  I took a plain brown clipboard, glued on pink construction paper, sprayed it lightly with glitter paint, and tied on a sparkly tulle bow.  Bonus:  I now have a pretty clipboard!

We put a couple of tables in the foyer to assure guests they had walked into the right place.  Helen's mom provided picture and the couple statue for the tables.

The cake.  It was a single layer for them to cut, with slices set out for the guests as well.  I like how the strawberries almost look like hearts.  It was covered with white chocolate, which turned out to be fun as it made it hard for them to cut it in preparation for that first bite.

I was very pleased that, in keeping with older tradition, they kindly fed each other a bite of cake.  It symbolizes nourishment and trust.  I don't like it when people stuff each other with cake all over their faces. It's good fun, but I love the way these two just gently fed each other a little bite--like a promise of sweetness for each other and more to come.

We made the placemats, guest list, photo centerpieces, and little email cards all in matching color and style to tie it all together.

Placemat--printed on 8.5x14-inch paper.  It's a little narrow but it was pretty.  We had already searched high and low for pink paper place mats, and these were easy and we could print them at home.

Photo backgrounds. We used a full sheet plus half sheet (cardstock) glued together to make the photo triangles for the centerpieces.  I will forever be indebted to Helen's sister for spending hours cutting, pasting, and gluing them all together for me the day of the reception.

We placed little tent cards with this information, 2 to each table.  I have not heard yet whether we received any pictures, but I do hope some of the guests have taken some and sent them to Mel.

Somewhere in all this, I managed to find an outfit to wear. It's not perfectly her color scheme of pink and silver, but it did meet her approval.

The picture doesn't quite do justice to the sparkles on the shirt--or sparkles anywhere in the decorations for that matter.  I wore a flowing black skirt and felt quite beautiful and comfortable with myself.

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