Gosh I love decorations and party details. You know it’s true. Half the posts on this blog have to do with all the insane details that make special events extra special. You can imagine how much fun Rachel and I had decorating for a wedding.
Before we begin, I want you to know, tomorrow I am going to wrap up Wedding Week by walking you through the actual wedding day events. There will be lots of beautiful action shots, and I’ve been careful to save as many of these as possible for Friday’s post. But in order to show you the decorations we made, I am going to have to reveal a few very special ceremony photos today. Consider these shots a tease for tomorrow!
On to the decorations.
Once the decision was made to have the ceremony at our home, we had to figure out where everything would take place. We determined our living room (emptied of furniture and replaced with white folding chairs) would be where the guests would sit.
Our front staircase and entry hall would be the aisle where Rachel and Timm would walk to meet Patrick.
They would exchange vows in front of our kitchen island. The alter would be a very old trunk, which was a gift from Patrick to Rachel when she moved to Colorado for a year.
Originally we developed an elaborate plan that involved a fabric drape to hide the kitchen from view. But somewhere along the way Rachel looked at me and said, “Wait. I’m getting married in a house. Houses have kitchens. Let’s not try to hide it. Let’s just make it look pretty and part of the natural setting.” Wise decision.
With the layout set, we started planning the decorations. We knew we wanted to enhance the natural beauty and architecture of the Hurley House. Staying with her mixed metallic color scheme, her hymn paper motif, and her love of all things handmade, we dove in.
Every wedding needs fresh flowers. Rachel hired a professional florist to make her bouquet and all the guests’ pin-on flowers. But we did the rest of the arrangements on our own in an effort to keep costs as low as possible.
With the help of a few willing sets of hands, we made it happen!
We kept it very simple. White roses with borders of baby’s breath in very tall silver containers.
Next, there were poofs. Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of poofs.
There were big poofs. These giant beauties were assembled from a poof kit, and we hung them over the kitchen island. They became the visual backdrop for the ceremony.
There were small poofs. With the help of a lot of friends at a really fun “Poof Party,” we cut, folded and strung hundreds of these grapefruit-sized poufs onto twine. Then we hung them vertically throughout the house, mostly in front of all the windows.
Rachel also made lots and lots of bunting cut from hymn paper. This photo is actually from the reception, but it’s a good shot of the bunting. We draped the bunting strands horizontally to balance out the vertical strands of poofs (which I realize aren’t vertical in this shot).
Then we added tons of white twinkle lights and hundreds of votive candles everywhere in between.
The results were beautiful layers of texture, colors, and light. And we made it all from scratch.
This is a pretty good shot of the scene from the view of the audience. You can see the giant poofs, the candle stands, and two of the tall arrangements. You can also see our microwave oven, and that’s a refrigerator right there behind the violinist. The guitarist is standing in front of the kitchen sink. Real houses have real kitchens.
The final layer of decorations included all the very special details that Rachel crafted and collected.
This is a hand-written welcome sign, set inside the typewriter that Patrick gave Rachel for Christmas one year, placed on the front porch table near the front door.
On our glass-paned front door, she hung a much larger version of the hymn lyric insert card that had been included with the invitations.
Once the guests were inside, they were directed to the guest book and the flower boards. Rachel provided a flower for every guest to wear. Again, another example of one of those amazing touches that you get to have with such a tiny wedding.
The flowers were pinned to two paper-covered cork boards. There was a sign that read, “Please choose the flower you like best and sign your name as our special guest.”
The guest book was an antique-looking graph-paper ledger book. On the two corners were gold glitter hearts. One read, “Our Wedding Day,” and the other one read, “12.10.11.”
Each guest ended up signing more than their name.
There were hymn-paper cones lined up by the door and filled with confetti made from silver, gold, and ivory tissue paper.
On each person’s seat was a program, a hand-written letter, and a tiny envelope with each person’s name in calligraphy. On the mothers’ chairs there was also an embroidered handkerchief with their initials and the date. Beautiful.
One of the ways we decided to embrace the reality of there being a kitchen in very plain view, was to hang on the refrigerator a copy of the wedding invitation, the family dinner invitation (which replaced a traditional rehearsal dinner), and a photo of the happy couple.
When the ceremony was complete, the bride and groom took pictures with each guest. During that time we had a cocktail hour in our dining room. The featured cocktail was a French 75, and each champagne flute had a grey and white paper straw festooned with a festive little metallic paper poof.
The last place where we added decorations was at the reception, which was held at Ellerbe Fine Foods. We hung the same strands of poofs and hymn paper bunting. There were calligraphy place cards and printed menu cards…
…hymn paper hearts and very simple arrangements of white roses…
…decorated with handmade ribbon flags.
Instead of a groom’s cake, they served homemade hot cocoa, with homemade giant marshmallows. Each marshmallow was decorated with a tiny ribbon flag. The marshmallows were arranged on a silver platter, and served with the wedding cake and hot cocoa. Perfect for a winter evening.
The whole thing was such a fun process to create and execute. And the end results were beautiful.
The only thing left is to show you the actual event. Are you excited?