Friday, November 19, 2010

Details, Details....and a Labor of Love

Several months ago my good friend Joan and her daughter Paige asked me to help in decorating their wedding reception.  We enlisted Diana, another of my very talented friends to help.  Anyone who has taken on the challenge of a wedding without the help of a wedding planner and caterer can tell you that it is all about the details....hundreds and hundreds of details.  When it comes to so many details, Paula and I have often said, "we love a good list".  So I started a spreadsheet of all the things we needed, who was responsible to take care of it, cost, how many we needed, etc, etc.  Our list grew into several pages of all the tiniest details and information.  (When I start to get overwhelmed with a project it helps me feel better to get it all down so I can check things off that have been accomplished, and I have been known to add something to a list, just so I can check it off.)  I thought you might appreciate some of the many details.

When we were brainstorming and deciding what Paige wanted we soon figured out that the theme was all about light.  The colors were deep fall colors which gave us lots of flexibility.  The reception was held in another friends beautiful back yard.  Paige's dad was in charge of the canopy of white lights over the entire yard and another crew wrapped all the tree trunks with white lights. Diana and I for months had gathered clear glassware that were filled with candles and hung from all the branches in the trees.  That was a job all by itself to hang all the glassware.  My favorite was the cut glass punch cups.


The centerpieces were branches in a large hurricane vase filled with rice.  Hanging from each centerpiece branch were several pictures of the couple, cards with phrases or quotes, crystals, pearls and tea lights wrapped in ribbon and tulle.  Inside the vase we slipped more photos held up by the rice.  The entire arrangement was nestled in a ring of roses.  I must say we were happy with how they came together.
The gift table - I used my steamer trunk to display a few fun things along with an old typewriter and suitcases.  We clipped the picture of Paige and Sam to the hanging part of the trunk.

Entry - The guest book table we placed under this huge tree (also with all the glassware/tea lights hanging from the branches).  Notice the chandelier (one of 5 we used) and window hanging from the tree.   We put pictures of the couple in the panes of the window.  We lined the walkway with candle filled hurricane vases wrapped with tulle and ribbon.
Gate - We wanted to camouflage the side gate, so we made this huge drape and topped it with another chandelier.


Food tables -  Don't you love this patio with the fireplace!  We put candles and assorted fall sprays on the ledges.....loved it and it was probably the easiest part of the whole things.  In front of the fireplace was all the food tables.  Paige wanted something different and they decided to serve cookies.  I must say that at first I didn't think cookies would look that grand or wonderful.  I was so wrong, Joan and another friend made ALL the cookies themselves.  These were not just your typical cookies, they were all dusted with gold, dipped in chocolate or just beautifully presented.  Everyone LOVED it....it was so different and fun, which is exactly what Paige wanted.
Cake table - You can't see them very well in picture, but above the cake table we had 3 more chandeliers.....the effect was fabulous!
Chandeliers - We loved the idea of using chandeliers, but that can be pricey.  Two of the five I had purchased while I was in Texas at a Habitat For Humanity Home Store several years ago.  They were in in disrepair and in pieces and I just hoped that all the many pieces were there.  Two more chandeliers Diana and I found while out thrifting (both for $5) and we spray painted and added all the crystals.  The last one was made with a 7gypsies ATC/photo stand and crystals that we carted back from our trip to New Zealand in 2007.  It must have been meant to be....who else has those things on hand!!

Okay, I must say we were pleased with how everything came out.  All the little lights and candles were gorgeous and they best way to describe it was magical.

Thanks to Kathy, the photographer (...and also my very talented daughter in law) for the wedding photos.  She is simply fabulous!....check out her blog here.

12 comments:

  1. That is absolutely amazing...gorgeous! It must have taken you a year to put it all together. Wish you were in charge of my wedding!

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  2. WOW Deb - this looks absolutely stunning!!!

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  3. I'm absolutely speechless after looking at the photos over and over and over... what a lovely way to begin a life together- I don't think I've ever seen a more thoughtful (and certainly beautiful!) presentation for a reception. What a lucky couple to have such fabulous and loving friends willing to put this all together. You created magic.

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  4. What an amazing job you did! The decorations are gorgeous and so beautiful and personal! Love all the little details! Makes me want to get married all over again...

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  5. Jawdroppingly gorgeous! Renders me speechless (and that's hard to do). Thank you for sharing. What's in the apothecary jars? The things that look like little tomato pincushions. Again -- BEAUTIFUL!

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  6. What Edie said..."jawdropping GORGEOUS!" I'm hiring you to do my boys receptions. This is so fabulous I don't even have the words. I bet Paige was THRILLED. I'm going to start watching for chandeliers now so I have them for the wedding receptions. It is the most chic and beautiful wedding reception decor I've ever seen.

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  7. Absolutely beautiful!!! Good job to all involved. And Joan must have been busy for weeks making all of those cookies!!!

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  8. amazing - absolutely gorgeous! that must have taken loads of time and it definately shows... the details are just wonderful! love the chandeliers! if i *ever* get to be involved in a wedding, i'm definately remembering you!

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  9. Absolutely gorgeous! I thought it looked "magical" the minute I looked at the pictures. What a wonderful job you did.

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  10. OMG!!! That is exactly the wedding I would want now if I weren't married already! So beautiful and thoughtful and I love the vintage elements and the chandeliers!
    WONDERFUL! karen....

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  11. OMG!!! That is exactly the wedding I would want now if I weren't married already! So beautiful and thoughtful and I love the vintage elements and the chandeliers!
    WONDERFUL! karen....

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  12. ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!! (big grins)

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