Thursday, October 31, 2013

An Affair to Remember - a Homemade Wedding

My daughter married her fireman fiance this past Saturday, and this post summarizes the last installment of my series on wedding planning - the day prior to and day of the event!  It was a casual, homemade wedding, with mostly family and a few close friends attending (approximately 150 guests).  As mother of the bride, I was privileged to have done most of the planning, coordinating, and execution of detail, along with the help of the bride, her sister, and Aunt M (my sister).

Let me just say this - it couldn't have been more perfect in my mind, and my daughter said the same afterward (the highest compliment for me!).  There were lots of positive comments on the whole affair and its details, from beginning to end.  There were truly some memorable moments, and I hope I can highlight those here.  Without further ado......

The day before - 9 am to 4 pm - I spent decorating the reception venue with my older daughter and sister M.  My son-in-law took the lead in placing the decor at the actual wedding site - a local lakeside park. The wedding site was decorated the morning of.

Following is what our vehicles looked like, ready for the work ahead, and how the event shaped up.
Reception decor
Lakeside (wedding) decor
We didn't waste any time getting to the tasks at hand.  My daughter, B, did the climbing on ladders to hang lights and wreaths while sister M and I worked on tablescapes for welcome & gift stations, as well as guest tables.
B, on a ladder much too high for me or sister M to even consider climbing!
Here are finished results of our homemade wedding efforts:
The Welcome Table
Right side of welcome table:  the sign in - a Jar of Hearts (cut from vintage sheet music, for guests to sign and/or write a message; "note" spelled with vintage marquee letters and flower head, vintage jar with chalkboard painted lid)
Vintage photos of the bride & groom in doorknob picture holders; Scrabble "I DO"
Guest Favors:  Drink Koozies "To Have and to Hold, and to Keep Your Drink Cold", with date and bride & groom's names, all contained in a galvanized tub and coffee bean grain sack
A section of the guest tables, looking toward the bar area (which was already decorated for an event the next day and we left untouched, except for the masks on the wall sconce lights, which were removed)

Table top detail:  three-part arrangements with quart mason jar & faux flowers, pint mason jar with tealight on vintage doily, burlap wrapped Wet Ones for sticky fingers; twine pieces and butter mints scattered about
The dessert table
A very large cooler, camouflaged with a dropcloth, coffee filter flowers, banner, pumpkins and lights
A portion of the gift table display:  vintage suitcase for gift cards, "MOUNTAINEER" sign made from salvaged barn wood and WV license plates, purchased from a local Etsy dealer.
Unfortunately, I didn't get a photo of the buffet line setup, which was prepared for five different flavors of chicken wings, BBQ meatballs, cheese and veggie trays.

Saturday, I met my daughters at the local salon where the bride was getting hair and makeup done.
My baby girl, after hair and makeup
Older sister B, getting ready
I picked up the bridal bouquet, a European hand-tied concoction of Dutch lilies, red roses, sunflowers, hypericum berries and some foliage, all in Fall colors.  I decided on my mother's angel brooch for the memory of her presence, and had it pinned on the ribbon-wrapped stems.  Daughter M was touched.
Before heading to the wedding site, I snapped this photo in the morning light on the stairwell of the salon:
And this one, my favorite, perhaps my all-time favorite of daughter M:
On to the wedding site we went for official family photos prior to the ceremony.  My son-in-law did a fine job of setting the decor.  As simple as it was, the beauty of the site was really the only decor necessary.
Gazebo on the lake
Gazebo with part of lake in view
The lake, with sun glistening on the water
There were no ushers, just this sign, made from an old, framed poster, chalkboard painted.  The basket held the programs, designed by sister B, printed at Staples.
Photos were sanpped by the hired photographer, but I snuck in a few of my own:
The bride and groom
"I DO" paddle signs made from vintage sheet music glued to paint stirrers
And although the day was gorgeously sunny and near 40 at the time of the ceremony, the night before dropped to 29 degrees, and the wind was gusting to nearly 15 mph, making it feel colder.  Here is a picture of the bride which I captured after most of the photos were taken:
Bride in her pearls, WV garter and cowboy boots, wearing her fiance's uniform jacket.
The bride and groom entered in the most unique way I have ever seen for a wedding procession.  Here's a video of their entrance (just one minute long):
  The Entrance:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmh3daM3Zu0
The ceremony was short and sweet:  The Bride & Groom Arrived, The Bride & Groom Got Married, and then Everybody Partied!

The reception was a beer and wings event (hence, the Wet Ones on the tables), cupcakes for dessert, and lots of fun with dancing, and a Crazy Corner photo booth!
The coma-inducing cupcakes
Crazy Corner with my husband's family
Crazy Corner with a portion of my family
I had some great help with my serving staff hired, who broke down all of the reception decor and leftovers, and by Sunday morning, my sunroom was filled with the aftermath of a good time had by all (not shown is the laundry room, full of vintage tablecloths and doilies).
Most definitely, it was an affair to remember!

If you missed other posts in this Wedding Planner series, you can find them here:
The Wedding Planners
Wedding Decor on a Dime...er Dollar (Tree, that is)
Wedding Planners Part II - a Mother's Thoughts
This entire wedding - including invitations, bridal attire, venues, photography, music and catering - was done for less than $6,500, casually and homemade.

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