As you probably know by know I’m an avid entertainer, and my own wedding was my pièce de résistanc. My mom and I worked from October – when Andrew and I got engaged – to May to pull off a budget-friendly yet elegant wedding.
We crafted tirelessly for months. I designed the save the dates, invitations, programs, and crafted countless chalkboard signs out of vinyl and my trusty silhouette. (Andrew helped too!) My mom hand sewed over 200 polka dot napkins, created table number holders and spray painted all the things gold. And that was just a few of the projects we DIYd and took on.
While I love to craft, the effort I put into party planning is rarely about me. I like to honor my guests by providing moments of delight as they enjoy a party. There is nothing I love more than seeing the smiles on my guests faces as they enjoy the fruits of my labor. My wedding was no exception. The evening was a happy blur of love and gratification that our special day was just as special for everyone else.
Below I’m showing off the decorations from the wedding – all those detail shots that my amazing photographer so elegantly captured. I will follow this up with a Part II next week with the rest of the photos of the flowers and outfits.
I hope this will provide a little inspiration for a wedding you’re planning, or just give you some fun ideas for your next party!
Ever since I was young I day dreamed about getting married in our little chapel at First Presbyterian Church in Georgetown, Texas. There was never a question that I wanted to get married in a church, and when they build a wedding venue right around the corner the year I got engaged, I knew it was meant to be.
We didn’t do much to dress up the historic sanctuary as it’s a lovely space as is. Just a few flowers and some greenery with bows on the ends of the pews.
Plus we didn’t have much room with as big of a bridal party as we had! They barely fit.
It was a traditional ceremony. Pastor Mike, who I grew up hearing on Sunday, married us in a lovely ceremony in front of our family and friends.
I designed the programs myself and had the covers letterpressed and in the insides printed.
My mom and I hand tied them with ribbon we bought on Amazon.
After the ceremony guests moved from the church to the reception venue, Union on Eighth, which was just around the corner. This sign greeted guests as they exited the chapel.
We then had gold glittery arrows directing guests down the sidewalks to the venue.
I had seen this idea on another blog but couldn’t for the life of me figure out what they made the arrows out of. I wanted something durable that would hold up in case it rained (The day of our wedding was the only day that month it didn’t rain!) and also be able to withstand a lot of traffic.
Ultimately I bought a couple yards of Gold Glitter Large Stargem Crafting Vinyl Fabric from Etsy. The arrows were pretty simple to cut out of it. It was thick and sturdy – just what I was looking for!
Here is the bridal party walking from the church to the reception.
The Cocktail Party
After the ceremony, guests gathered in the venue’s courtyard. We had several cocktail tables set up and a tent housed the bar.
We used brass candlesticks and vases for centerpieces.
While there are all sorts of crazy guest book ideas floating around pinterest, we opted to go for a good ole traditional guestbook. I found this pretty one at Paper Source. Only a few of the pages were filled so I used the back pages after the wedding to feature cards and notes we received at our showers and on our wedding gifts.
I had seen this idea on Pinterest and when I visited the venue and saw this beautiful tree I knew I wanted to copy it.
Luckily, my mom had already collected photos of our family members weddings for my sister’s wedding ten months earlier and my sister-in-law had photos from Andrew’s family that she had used for her wedding. We put them in assortment of gold frames and hung them on light pink ribbon.
My brother-in-law Taylor found me a rustic piece of wood and cut it out for me so I could make this cute “Family Tree” sign.
The photos are so cute, but I never even got to see it in person because I was so busy being the bride!
One of the most last-minute projects was finalizing table assignments. To make it easy we printed them on 4×6 photo paper and stuck them on a large chalkboard my mom made.
This ended up being a genius approach as we had people canceling last minute and it was really easy to reprint the cards and swap them out.
As part of the rental, our venue provided a few cool pieces, including this awesome industrial metal piece which served as our indoor bar. My mom found the pretty battery-powered lighted letters at The Junior League of Austin A Christmas Affair in Austin soon after we got engaged. Bonus: they are now a fun accessory to display in our home!
And a bar wouldn’t be complete without some matching gold monogrammed cocktail napkins! I designed these without the date intentionally knowing that if we over ordered we could re-use these napkins at parties we host in the future.
I think every good party needs a signature drink. In the case of our wedding I decided to make a sign that showed off me and Andrew’s drinks of choice. The vodka soda graphic isn’t very creative but after making so many chalkboards I was running out of steam!
This is a photo from when Andrew decided I hadn’t had enough chardonnay and decided I needed to drink his vodka! 🙂
The venue provided these beautiful hand-crafted farmhouse tables and coordinating chairs. We maxed out the space on guests so we arranged the tables in long rows. It was functional and really beautiful!
Here is what it looked like at dinner with our guests.
Instead of traditional centerpieces, we used brass candlesticks, bud vases, traditional vases and tea light holders that my mom and I collected over the course of our engagement. We scoured garage sales, estate sales, etsy and goodwill for good deals and ended up with a pretty solid brass collection!
Our florist did an amazing job of converting candlestick holders into vases to bring some height.
For the flowers I wanted a messy English garden look. I didn’t want traditional symmetrical arrangements, but something more natural looking. Our florist nailed it, using lots of greenery with hints of blush and pink. For flowers, she primarily used garden roses, anemones and ranunculus.
Since we had a hodgepodge of brass pieces, no two arrangements were alike.
For tables numbers I wanted something simple that wouldn’t distract from the pretty place settings or gorgeous flowers. I ultimately found and ordered Gold Foil Table Numbers on Amazon.
They were simple and the right price! My mom crafted the table number holders out of hot glue, clothes pins, craft ribbon, gold spray paint and some stands she found!
No matter how hard I looked I just could not find napkins for rent that I liked. Polka dots are my favorite – and something I tried to incorporate into little places in the wedding – so mom found this fabric at JoAnns and sewed 200 custom napkins! This was no small feat. She had friends over to help cut, press and fold the napkins so they would be ready for the big day and it took several weeks to get them all done.
I think they looked beautiful and gave just the look I was going for.
We rented white plates that had a gold trim and gold chargers to coordinate. We also rented silverware that was silver but with gold accents to tie the whole place setting together.
One of the hardest things about planning the wedding was finding the caterer. We got bids from several caterers and even did tastings with a few. Time and time again we were completely underwhelmed at the quality we were getting for the price.
We kept requesting a farm fresh menu – a simple protein without a creamy sauce, a salad and some veggies. Most caterers had set menus for weddings and none of the menus looked remotely like what we were asking for.
Then one day I stumbled upon the website for Whole Foods Catering (which, sadly, no longer exists). We got a bid (it was super reasonable) and set up a tasting (the food was sooo good). Living in Austin, we both eat at Whole Foods a lot. They serve tens of thousands of people each day at their buffets. Needless to say they know how to do buffet food. Juicy chicken, salad that isn’t wilted.
They created a custom menu just for us and were super easy to work with. Our guests, even now, compliment us on how good the food was at our wedding! I am so sad they are now closed! Here is the menu we ended up with:
The dessert table was one of the most functional and beautiful parts of the decor. Our florist created the awesome rustic greenery display that hung over it and dressed up the table with several arrangements.
We hung tassel garland in coordinating colors to dress up the tables.
I also created a chalkboard to encourage our guests to use our wedding hash tag on their photos.
I was into the idea of a classic cake, but it was not one of the things I wanted to spend a lot of money on. So we opted to have a small tiered cake and then serve guests off of sheet cakes.
To dress up the simple cake our florist added flowers, and we topped it off with this Love Cake Topper in Gold from Better off Wed on Etsy. I loved the cake. It was simple yet elegant. And delicious to boot!
Whole Foods catered and also provided the cake. We chose the Berry Chantilly cake because it was light, fluffy and had fruit in it! It’s not too sweet which we both like. I also love that we can go to Whole Foods anytime and buy a slice. Each year for our anniversary I go and buy a mini cake for us to eat for dessert.
And, of course, Andrew would never skip a tradition where he gets to put food on my face.
Groom’s Cake (Milk & Cookies)
Andrew has a big sweet tooth and is quite a dessert aficionado. When we were first dating he introduced me to the concept of “breakfast dessert.” (It is as it seems. Dessert after breakfast. It’s still something he still strongly believes in.) That said, he isn’t a big cake guy. But Andrew is quite the a cookie connoisseur. So instead of a traditional groom’s cake Andrew decided he wanted cookies.
He taste tested several and decided on peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies from Galaxy Bakery in Georgetown.
The only thing he really asked for out of the wedding (other than being able to eat dinner by ourselves — he wanted to make sure he was going to get food) was milk to go with his cookies. So we served up milk in cute little shot glasses.
Late Night Snacks
Instead of doing a favor we opted to do a late night snack. On the way to the send-off we passed out breakfast tacos from Dos Salsas.
Tacos are Andrew’s favorite food – especially of the breakfast variety and we figured our guests would need a little something in their stomachs after a night of alcohol consumption.
Our day-of coordinator packed a t0-go back with some for us to take, and we happily downed them on the car ride to our hotel.
Sparkler Send Off
Since the first time I saw our venue, I knew it would be perfect for a sparkler send-off. A die-hard Taylor Swift fan, I used her “Sparks Fly” lyrics to create a pretty chalkboard sign and matching matchbooks.
I love this photo from our send-off! It hangs in our home.
Ever Texans, we rode off to our honeymoon suite in Andrew’s truck.
My mom and sister even made a cute sign to go on the tailgate.
My mom and I were so pleased with our various vendors we decided it would be cool to honor them with a little frame at the reception. See below for a full list of vendors and links to their websites!
- Band: Dysfunkshun Junkshun
- Caterer + Cake: Whole Foods
- Cookies: Galaxy Bakery
- Breakfast Tacos: Dos Salsas
- Floral: Casa Linda Florals
- Photography: Luxe Photography
- Bartender: Erin Green
- Beer, Wine & Liquor: Far West Liquor
- Venue: Union on Eighth
- Rentals: Sweet Sunday Events
- Napkins & Matchbooks: A Personal Touch, Anne Cain
- Calligraphy: Mint & Maple Designs
- Printing (Programs, Invitations): Vertalee Letterpress + Roberts Printing
- Ribbon on Programs: Amazon.com, 1/4 inch Ribbon, 100 Yards
- Cake Topper: Better off Wed on Etsy, Love Cake Topper in Gold,
- Gold Foil Table Numbers: Amazon.com, Table Numbers 1 Through 40, Gold Foil on White
- Navy, Gold & Pink Tassel Garland: Prospect Goods
- Sidewalk Arrows: DIY with Large Stargem Fabric From FabricEmpire on Etsy
- Family Tree Sign: DIY with vinyl & wood from Delta Millworks
- Napkins & Table Runners: Navy & White Polka Dot Fabric from JoAnn’s Fabric, Hand Sewn by my amazing mom!
Photos by: Luxe Photography