I have 3 boys... I'm never going to be able to plan a wedding. So, when my cousin got engaged, I jumped at the chance to be able to decorate for her wedding reception.
I found small peach flowers on clearance at Tai pan and was able to get foam balls at the dollar store to make peach balls for the glass dishes. I lucked out and found 16 small frames at a yard sale for $2. I painted them silver.
In the entry to the gym, we had the guest book table. I actually got the table for $5 at a yard sale and found the silver paint on clearance at Home Depot for $2.50.... score! On top of the table, I made a paper table runner. I taped book pages together on the back side. Then I used this lace Martha Stewart punch to punch a lace trim all along the edge of the book pages. The items on the table, were picked by the bride and groom. They wanted their favorite books and their Dr. Who cookie jar. They also wanted advice cards to go in the cookie jar. Their guest book was made by Jessie's cousin, Sally. I made the flower pens.
I made the advice cards and a sign to let people know they needed to write advice. They are a free download here and here.
Behind the table I made a "dates" chalk frame. The frame was something I had picked up at a yard sale and painted silver. The chalk board was from Home Depot... already painted with the chalk paint. All I had to do was have my hubby cut the wood to fit the frame. Then, I had to write on it in chalk.
The other side of the gym was the serving table. I used books stacked up with trays and platters on them. I also put any other decor I items I had left over that we didn't use on the table. The banner above the food table said "Happily Ever After"... food brings happiness, right? And there was nothing I could really do about the ugly blue curtain on the stage.
The photo booth was very similar to the couples backdrop... without the peach swag. We used dictionary pages taped to the wall. And we hung a frame from the basketball hoop above with twine.
And here I am with all of my girl cousins on the Williams side of the family.
Now... let's talk about organizing! I am a school teacher. Jessie got engaged at the beginning of the summer and her wedding was at the end, so it gave me the summer to work on the wedding. However, she got married the Saturday before school started. So, not only did I have to decorate for a wedding reception, but I had to set up a brand new classroom... super stressful week. I knew this would be stressful and that I would probably have to rely on other people to do the actual set up. I had to be super organized. So, I (and my cousin Libby, the bride's sister) put all of the centerpiece groupings together ahead of time. We took pictures of each center piece, labeled the pix and packed them in a labeled box.
I also drew pictures of the gym with the layout of how I wanted to tables set up. Everything was in a binder with the supplies they needed to set up. While I was working all day Friday before the wedding, several people went to the church and had almost everything set up before I got off work.
Another great organizing tip, we actually not my idea. Jessie lives in Salt Lake and I live in St. George and the wedding was to be in St. George. So she set up a facebook group to plan the wedding. Every idea that I had, I could post on the facebook group so she could see pictures of it and tell me her opinion. That worked out really nice.
All in all, I think it turned out nice. Yes, there are things I would have done differently, but it was a nice wedding on a shoestring budget. I didn't completely add everything up, but I would say all of the decor came in under $150.... not that's amazing!
Also, I claim to have done everything, but my cousin Libby helped a lot and also my friend MinDee. Thanks you two!!!
Oh, and I want to thank my friend Brandy for the pix! She was the photographer for the wedding. The pix that look good in this blog post are from her... the crappy ones are from my cell phone... lol. I was too busy to get out my nice camera to take pix.