We decided to save money by doing eclectic table decor. That means that instead of all the tables having the same centerpiece, or even four or five repeating designs, every single table would have a different centerpiece. This way we could borrow and thrift store shop for what we needed, bringing the cost of the centerpieces way, way down. It helps that my mother in law collects vintage glass and had a storage shed full of pieces we could borrow. We also did some second hand shopping to fill in the gaps and add in the all important metal pieces that were necessary to the steampunk theme.
The flowers were mostly from a large hydrangea plant in my front yard. It did it's part for the wedding by producing it's largest crop yet of perfectly colored, light green flowers.
The wire trees were made by the groom. He's been doing them for awhile and made a few more specifically to be used as table centerpieces.
Nearly every table had a doily from my mother's collection. She has doilies that she has made as well as ones made by her mother and grandmother. The purple and yellow flowers were ordered from a local flower wholesaler.
For some of the tables, Sarah and Ashton colored plain water to help bring the wedding colors into the table decor a bit more. (It looks a little brown in the picture, but the water was a light purple.)
The books came from my mother in law as well.
I made large squares of fabric out of the dress leftovers and did a rolled hem on my serger. They worked great to ground the arrangements and bring them all together. For some reason I only have pictures of the green squares, but I did purple and gold ones as well.
We had a logistics nightmare with the wedding location. Since it's usually 100 degrees in the shade the first weekend in August, we decided we absolutely had to have an indoor wedding. Around here that means in a church building, or at the local National Guard Armory. Not kidding. You have to go more than 40 miles to find an indoor wedding venue, and we didn't have the funds for it anyway.
So we did it at our church, only you can't take pictures if you get married in the chapel and the groom wanted his family to feel comfortable doing so. So out goes the largest room in the building. The room usually used for weddings only holds about 75 which was going to be about 75 seats short of what we needed. So that meant holding the ceremony in the gym, the room we had to have the reception in, the room that was not big enough to set up for both.
We set up for the ceremony and made plans for how we would work the reception. A friend came in the day before and helped plan out where the tables would go, then we put them all back. The next day, she was in charge of making sure the tables were placed properly. The night before the wedding, my husband, the bride and groom, and I all went up to the church and set up a single table. We set up a centerpiece, then I took a picture of it, and it was put away in a box. We did this for each one with every centerpiece grouping being in a separate box. That meant twenty boxes. That night I printed out the pictures of the centerpieces and the next day the pictures were put in the correct boxes.
For the actual set up, I had to count on the good will of our friends and family. As soon as the ceremony was done I asked for help (in my very loud school playground monitor voice) putting chairs up and setting up the tables for the reception. At first people just looked a bit confused, but as the groomsman and close family took up the challenge, everyone else pitched in as well. I handed out the centerpiece boxes and people carried them to random tables and set them up according to the picture provided. I was really, really worried, but it went so smoothly. The room went from ceremony to reception ready in less than 10 minutes. Yes, 150 chairs moved and 19 tables brought in and set up completed with tablecloths and centerpieces in under 10 minutes flat.
My family and friends are awesome. They didn't even complain about being free labor. They all just complimented us on how smoothly it went and how the centerpiece pictures made them so easy to set up.
Then we had a lovely dinner consisting of five salads, Caesar, potato, broccoli, tabooli, and watermelon. We also had seven different flavors of home made English scones (half baked by me and half by my mother) and sliced meats and cheese. For drinks we had a lemonade bar with berries to mix into the lemonade. It was all served buffet style on my my mother in law's glassware as well. (Told you she had a lot.) The glass serving dishes made it all look very elegant. From what the guests said, it tasted great too. I thought the lighter picnic style luncheon menu worked beautifully with the theme of the wedding and the summer weather. Since it was a picnic, we did paper and plastic to eat off of. It made clean up so much easier.
After dinner the bride and groom came back for a party. She and her father danced to a recording of a song he wrote for her before she was born. It was awesome and beautiful, and yes, I cried.
Then we played the shoe game to much laughter and enjoyment from the guests. Steve moderated and asked the guests to ask the questions. We got some really fun ones that way. Then we danced. A lot. I danced barefoot because by this time my shoes were evil.
Then she threw her bouquet.
It was a good day.