|The super fabulous photos in this post are from Nicole Montmarquet Photography.|
There is a lot of craziness in weddings. But — One woman’s craziness is another’s obvious must-do. I personally get a panic attack thinking about flowers, but somehow not about fabric. I can bake and cook with the best of them, and will, and in fact made two pies on the day of the wedding (crazy!!), but draw the line at decorating a cake at the last minute. Possibly because I decorate cakes (of two layers, max) by covering them in whipped cream and/or ganache. Period. Classy, but not wedding-worthy, perhaps.
Every time I say to one of the girls, “Can you believe so-and-so did that for her daughter’s wedding?” they remind me that others might say the same about sewing six dresses. But to me, sewing is less panic-inducing than shopping for a specific dress.
|You will note that some fairy lights are already in place. There had already been two weddings in this barn before ours! So we knew it could be done :)|
Obviously no one was going to hem all those napkins (maybe you could if you had a year to plan it out! Stop! Stop the madness!), but I hit on the idea of using a rotary cutter with a pinking blade to simply cut up lots of colorful fabric. (Just so you know, I think that 15″ square is the smallest you can go, but works with fabric that is approximately 45″ wide — you might have to fudge a bit if your fabric is more like 42-44″, but that’s the smallest to aim for. Ideally, they would be 20″, but for that, you’d really need a treasure trove of sheets, methinks, or there’d be a lot of waste.)
This idea would not be particularly cost effective if you didn’t have a combination of the following:
And best of all, I think I can use many of the squares for Sukie’s wedding quilt! (Properly washed, of course.)
Another idea was to use burlap as table runners. I spent a fair amount of time pricing burlap. Found out that burlap comes in different textures. And colors. Started dreaming about burlap. Ended up getting it at Home Depot. The other day, a neighbor left a roll, still in its packaging, out in her “free” non-trash pile (she’s moving). Sigh.
|Real clothespins are way cheaper than cute little craft clothespins, and have the advantage of being quite useful afterwards.|
The rolls at Home Depot can be divided to make 3 foot-wide lengths, and thusly each roll will run down the center of a bunch of tables.
Cut it by pulling one thread out of the length, and cutting along the resulting gap.
Here we have Sukie hard at work at something — seating plan? While Rosie gets flowers in shape.
The girls were quite excited about doing their own flowers, which suited me just fine. Most of the flowers were ordered from Blooms by the Box, which we found not only good price-wise, but also just having excellent customer service. The hydrangeas were from Costco online.
And lots of the extra flowers for the tables were from our very own garden, lovingly tended by Habou. Sukie really envisioned lots of little jars with small posies on the tables, which ended up looking fabulous with the napkins and votive candles (no open flames in the barn!).
|The bunting was made by dear Annie for Sukie’s shower, and re-purposed at the barn. Sukie worked hard on those programs!|
Of course, other than the venue itself (and I highly recommend mooching off of friends), the big-ticket item is the food.
And what you do about food depends a lot on what kind of event you are having. For us, with lots of out-of-town guests and lots of intensive work in other departments, catering was a must. Luckily, we found a caterer who could provide good food at a good price. (Some caterers come with linens and napkins and lots of things like that, in which case, go for it. This one just did the food, so we opted for making the napkins and borrowing the tablecloths from a friend who had bought hers for her daughter’s wedding off of Craigslist for $50. For 25 tablecloths! And generously shares them. Since renting them costs $10 a piece, that was a great boon.)
Sukie wanted food with a Middle Eastern flair, and the caterer had a good source for appetizers that were exactly what she had in mind. We figured it was worth springing for it.
|Middle Eastern: Feta, olives, stuffed grape leaves, spinach and meat pies. Western: Cheese and fruit platter.|
|Along with appetizers and lemonade, some fabric-covered hay bales out on the beautiful lawn.|
For the dinner, we chose lamb kebabs and chicken kebabs, salad, rice, potatoes, and grilled vegetables. We had pita bread instead of rolls.
But a huge savings comes with doing your own dessert.
As anyone with the merest acquaintance with our family knows, ice cream is #1 on our list of desserts. And as it happens, we live very close to a wonderful dairy that produces the best ice cream around. When Sukie and I were discussing dessert, we felt that if we could incorporate Rota Spring ice cream, we would be super happy. And what goes with ice cream, I ask you?
She decided on apple and strawberry rhubarb, and here you have my happy helpers cutting up apples for me!
I made two pies, and seven of my wonderful friends (I think it was seven) chipped in two pies each, bringing them on the day of the wedding to be set out by the caterer!
Brilliant! With chocolate chip or vanilla ice cream (3 gallons each!), it was just so wonderful.
A sweet homemade touch — this one from Annie (friend, sister-in-law of Rosie) — is the wedding quilt that everyone signed with their good wishes. She put the top together, and can quilt it at her leisure.
A few shots of the ambiance in the barn. The lights and the lanterns went a long way to giving that magical quality, don’t you think?
|Watching Sukie’s dance with Papa, which was epic.|