Monday, September 27, 2010

The Reception!

Sorry for leaving you in suspense like that!! I don't think the preparations for the big event - The Reception - kept me from blogging last week as much as having a house full of guests, and not being able to adequately decompress at night in order to focus on blogging. I will have a couple more posts about this event (including the bachelorette party and more details about the AMAZING photo wall below), but in the meantime I bring you our cousin's beautiful, whimsical garden reception ~

Guests were greeted by a flag displaying the couple's last initial

(Entrance sign: $8)

Next, they were asked to sign the couple's alternative guest book by pinning a note of love or congratulations on the map.

[This table was later "glamified" by the florist. Additional items shown not included in previous budget include lavender votive holders (10 total) $10, 6 "tulle spools" $15, and a bud holder $1]

Here is the view that guests saw when they entered the cultural hall

(Still working at this point! The groom's family rented the trees and linens, and purchased/borrowed the paper lanterns. Major budget savers for me!)

Going around the room, here is the gift table

(Card box here. Embroidery hoops here. Votive holders purchased by BT's aunt)

And here is where the couple ended up greeting guests

under the ampersand chandelier!

Next guests encountered the food table

(Shown here are the moss letters, ampersand, some of the flower pot label holders, and the cake platter used for the Baby Shower re-purposed with an orange ribbon for this event. Purchased willow branches $13. Ribbon for cake plate $3)

(The photographers were really into photographing the room details -- it made me feel good to see how carefully they set up their shots, versus just taking a picture in passing of all the different areas. I did end up purchasing a few food items as we were afraid there would not be enough variety - total cost: $60)

This was my favorite area! The couple decided to serve small finger desserts like cookies, truffles, mini eclairs, pudding "sips" (this was a Mormon event, so we decided to call them sips rather than shots) etc. BT's aunt works for a very prestigious catering company here in LA, and has such a good eye for setting up food tables, plus was able to help the bride pick out some fancy looking treats that didn't cost a fortune. The groom's sister did the flower arrangements -- I was in love with them! This table too was later glamified a bit with more flowers.

Funny story. I did not go see the room before the event, so it was a leap of faith that everything would come together. It was amazing how well everything did work out despite not having a visual of the space. There were only a few last minute purchases, including the green tablecloths for the small tables (the groom went out and bought those all by himself - he's a keeper!) and figuring out how to cover the "maximum occupancy" sign above the middle door behind the food table. The groom's family bought some battery powered paper lanterns, and they worked just perfect for covering the sign and adding a little more light to the food table.

Next stop was the Dr. Pepper station (a water jug was also on this table). The groom's family picked up the box of Dublin Dr. Pepper syrup on a trip to Texas. BT only had to buy water ($10). The couple brought in the bumper sticker while were setting up -- just the right thing to adorn the kegerator! The Mr. and Mrs. glasses were MIA for some time, and the etching paint came off after the glasses were set to soak after The Luncheon. Not wanting to deal with the stencil again last minute, I just threaded a piece of paper on a ribbon to adorn each glass.

The next station was a labor of love for the bride. She made 550 cake balls to serve at the event! There were 5 flavors, and they were all lovingly hand decorated.

[Shown during set up so you can see the fun moss rocks I bought from the dollar store (25 bags of 5 rocks each - $25). I have absolutely no room to store them, but simply must find a place for them, as I love them so. The glass piece and votive holders were borrowed. I spent about $20 on votives from the dollar store (2 per pack). Last minute purchase included 3 glass platters to serve the cake balls, as the platters the couple purchased would not fit on the table. Thankfully the florist just happened to bring two additional platters.]

The cake balls were a big hit at the wedding, to the extent that hardly anybody wanted cake once it was served.

Now may be a good time to show examples of the centerpieces

(last minute purchase - glass bowls for "chalky mints" that the groom insisted are wedding staples - $3 for 9 bowls.)

These were also a bit of a question mark, as the bride was only ordering loose flowers, not arrangements, and I admittedly kind of waffled about how much support I would give for table decor (I initially said I wouldn't be involved, but then gave some votive ideas, flower ideas, etc., which made it seem like I was taking on this project). Like the rest of the event, everything just kind of worked out. We had plenty of glassware to choose from to do a variety of vases on the tables. Some glass votives were covered with leaves from our camellia bush for a fun garden accent. As mentioned, the groom's sister did a fabulous job on flowers. The random "tulle spools" we purchased were used to surround the centerpieces.

The next stop was the grin inducing photo wall

This was a big project for BT, and he did not take it lightly. He wanted everything to be just perfect, and was ready to trash the whole thing when the wall paper didn't line up by like a quarter of an inch until I talked him out of it.

He made kind of an old-fashioned chalkboard style frame for the photo wall to keep it steady. The wallpaper was purchased from etsy for $30 including shipping. I bought the large frames with 40% off coupons since I couldn't find any adequate ones at the thrift store (typical - the one time you need them). The small frames were all bought at the dollar store. The bride collected most of the pics used to fill the small frames, and BT and I were responsible for his siblings and his parents. We only had one fail, with our SIL not bringing her pic which would have gone in the upper right-hand corner. The frames were just hot glued on. One more use for this photo wall, and then I am going to try and sell it on craigslist. Estimated cost was about $110. I will do a follow up post with some pics of the wall during the wedding. There was a basket of props available, which made for some pretty fun shots!

Next to the photo booth was the dot banner and fabric covered clothespins with a series of drawings the groom gave to the bride before they got married (story here).

The bride copied the drawings onto vellum paper and mounted them.

Finally, when leaving the room, you could take some bubbles to "blow a kiss" at the bride and groom

The vision is complete!

So let's see - what was the damage for the photo wall, random fillers and last minute purchases? It appears that would be $270 from what is listed here, bringing my final tally to $779 -- $221 under budget. BUT, I know I rounded down a little bit for taxes and shipping and the like, so suspect the final cost was a tad higher (though still under budget).

I had a lot of fun putting on this event, mainly because the couple was so easy to work with, the groom's family was awesome with helping with set up and tear down, and I got to work with a few of my favorite people during the crunch time just before the event started. I really hope it fit with the bride's vision for her special day.


Favorite of the day: Thoughts?

Working on: New direction


telfair said...

WOW!! Great job! Everything looks amazing!

April said...

Wow. I love that everything was so thought out and all had meaning to the bride and groom. Beautiful job. Now, relaxing? :)

mascanlon said...

Amazing and so personalized, what a wonderful memory for the couple. Whats next on your agenda?