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My brother got married last week and my family was in charge of the wedding luncheon.
It’s February in Utah, we were on a tight budget, and we have a large family, so hosting the luncheon at a church house gym was pretty much our only option. The problem with gyms are, they aren’t very cute.
How do you take a gym from church-ball to wedding bells on a budget?
Old wood, burlap, glitter, paper doilies, mason jars, and lots of helping hands!
The first thing we had to do was figure out a theme.
Our newlyweds are outdoor loving, dirt road adventurers, who would have been happy with a big family picnic, but since it was February and we had no clue how the weather would be, we decided a vintage/country setting would be ideal and set out from there.
I have to tell you, I had grand ideas, but the unexpected death of a sweet loved one took the wind out of my sails and I had to be OK with scaling things down. I didn’t get to creating a fancy backdrop and I totally forgot to buy the large doilies for the centerpieces.
That’s just how life goes sometimes.
We wanted the luncheon to be a nice, relaxing meal where both families could come together and enjoy each others company before the busy-ness of the reception kicked in. For that reason, we purposefully chose not to have assigned seating.
When guests came through the door, they were greeted with this sweet chalkboard greeting.
(This may or may not have been a painting that was in my kitchen the day before. When you love somebody and you are desperate, you resort to drastic measures!)
That little old washboard is one of my prized possessions.
Now you know.
My neighbor let me borrow this darling old ladder, which we used as a display table of sorts to the left of the head table.
The patina on this thing was awesome!
Because I didn’t get around to creating a full backdrop, we made a simple garland from twine and paper doilies.
It dressed up that ugly accordion wall a little bit, which was very much needed.
In a perfect world, with no death, stress, or sickness, there would be a beautiful backdrop but sometimes less is enough.
I created these little Mr. & Mrs. signs to use as chair swags, but since you couldn’t see them from the rest of the room and the front of the table needed a little something, we hung them in front of the Bride and Groom.
They are so simple to make!
Watch for a quick tutorial next week.
My sister-in-law’s mother let us borrow these amazing old suitcases.
I sort of, kind of, wanted to run off with them before the luncheon was over. But, I figured stealing from family members in a church was probably frowned upon so I reluctantly gave them back.
I found an old fence picket in my wood
hoard pile and hand painted the Just Married sign.
It pointed in the direction of the head table where the newlyweds sat.
For the centerpieces, we glittered mason jars and filled them with Babies Breath.
I was home with a bloody nose when my family set up the luncheon (What can I say, stress does strange things to me!) so I had to hand over control of the centerpieces to my dad and aunties. I had planned to place a large old-fashioned doily under each jar, but in the craziness, I forgot to buy them. My wonderful aunt ran to the store and bought some lace by the yard so the jar would stand out a little more from the burlap and linens.
A large crocheted doily would have been ideal, but well, oopsies! My bad.
That wrought iron bowl on the left was filled with wonderful soft rolls.
The old folding chairs were in desperate need of spray paint but you know, looking back, their chippiness fit right in with the feel.
Let’s just call it a happy little accident!
We placed tea lights in jelly jars all over the room.
Because we weren’t allowed to have any open flame in the church, we opted for battery powered tea lights and candles. They gave just the right glow and softness, along with adding a touch of homey-ness. (Let’s pretend that is a word, mmmkay?)
The Babies Breath gave the luncheon that vintage, country picnic feel we were after.
Bonus, they are a very cost effective flower, are available year round, and are a snap to arrange.
They also tied in nicely to the white flowers the bride had chosen for her gorgeous bouquet.
Looking back, there are a couple things I would have done differently…
like not taking a trip to Savannah days before the wedding, not getting sick, and keeping better track of my notes so I would have realized I hadn’t purchased a few things that I needed and planned on.
But, you know, it turned out to be a fabulous day in-spite!
Two families came together and became one, but most importantly, my brother and beautiful new sister were very, very happy.
And, that’s what matters most.