Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Our Wedding Story {{ Reception Decorations }}

I'm just going to go ahead and start this post by saying that decorating for the reception was HARD. Very, very hard. I spent months creating the decorations for this. Seriously. Months. It is also pretty hard to walk into a hall and turn it into the reception of your dreams. Halls aren't typically pretty. Just places for bingo and Friday night fish fries. As pretty as I knew our ceremony location was, I really wanted to bring some of that prettiness to our reception. Let's take a tour....

When you first walked into our reception venue you saw this sign. It was borrowed from a friend of a friend's wedding. The tree behind it was a yard sale find for $10. We were originally going to wrap all the trees around the hall in twinkle lights, but the trees weren't very large and the strands of light were pretty long. It would have been overkill.


Here are the tables. The table cloths were just white paper cloths. Fancy cloth tablecloths just didn't work with our centerpieces and the tablecloths that come on a roll were too flimsy/shiny to work. Each table had a burlap table runner with frayed edges. Some were gifted from a friend leftover from a wedding she helped plan. The others I just cut from burlap to match what I had. The table markers all sat on wood slices that Chad cut himself from a cut tree. We originally intended to keep the bark on them, but it didn't quite work out. We set the cut slices in the sun to dry out and hopefully kill any bugs that were growing. The bark never dried out like we wanted it to. Instead it started to mold. We had to pull off all the park, sand down any sharp edges and power wash. After power washing, Chad painted a clear coat on each slice to protect them. The table markers were created using white burlap and mason jars. I handed painted the table numbers in navy acrylic paint on the white burlap. Then I used a glue gun to attach the white burlap to the jar. There was a tea light candle in each mason jar to illuminate the number a bit. Hot glue peels off of glass pretty easily so after the reception I was able to salvage the jars. Each centerpiece also had a clear mason jar and a blue one filled with river rocks and our fake white hydrangeas.  





Here is the head table where Chad, Trace and I sat. It also had a burlap aisle runner and centerpiece that was missing a table marker. I made the just married burlap bunting to hang on the front of our table. I cut the triangles out of matching felt, hot glued to the burlap before cutting the burlap. This prevented fraying. After the triangles were cut I painted the lettering on using navy acrylic paint. I then hot glued hemp to the triangles for hanging.






Behind the head table was the gift table. I borrowed a suitcase from Chad's cousin (Hi Crystal!) and created burlap bunting using the same method as above. This bunting said gifts. This table also had a burlap table runner and river rock filled mason jars along with some burlap flowers. There was plain burlap bunting hanging on the front of the table along with some fabric bunting in colors of light blue, pale yellow, tan and white. The fabric bunting was created using zig-zag scizzors, bias tape and my glue gun.







Our seating chart was created using old windows that I borrowed from a friend (Hi Gessica!). I hand wrote the seating chart on different panes using a dry erase marker. The lights were dimmed once the reception began so we put twinkle lights under the glass to make it easier to read. To keep the windows at an angle to allow the lights to sit, we used spare wooden disks. This table also had burlap table runner, burlap bunting and fabric bunting along with burlap flowers. 




We also had a table set up for our guests to leave wishes for us before grabbing their wedding favor. The wishes were written using white card stock that I had cut and stamped with blue hearts. My good friend Katy helped with creating this fun touch! After the wishes were written our guests were to put in the big birdcage. This was borrowed from a friend. I painted a thrifted picture that I got for a quarter using chalkboard paint and wrote instructions for our guests on that. This table also had a burlap table runner, centerpieces minus table markers and burlap and fabric bunting.





The other side of the table had a large basket filled with homemade strawberry cake pops. Making these took FOREVER. After assembling the cake pop, I dipped in either yellow or blue colored chocolate and put in a treat bag. The printed tons of the same mason jar picture that was on our wedding invitations and cut into little circles using a scalloped circle punch. I then used a small hole punch to cut holes for the stick. I painted another thrifted frame to turn it into a chalk board to tell our guests to take a favor. The basket was wrapped in burlap flowers.






Now here is my favorite touch!!! We opted for cupcakes instead of wedding cake. I originally planned on making my own, but my mom and good friend Dawn talked me out of this. And I'm sure glad they did!! We got half chocolate cake and half white cake cupcakes. All were topped with white frosting. I did insist on cutting out my own yellow fondant hearts to top the cupcakes though. Now on to the cupcake stands.... I LOVED THEM. I made 4 large stands using cardboard cake circles from JoAnn's. I spray painted them yellow, wrapped in burlap twine using a glue gun and made mini fabric bunting to hang around the edges. I used the same fabric as the large bunting I made so the colors all went together. This was a huge pain in the ass, but I am so glad I did it. Each cardboard circle was glue gunned to a clear mason jar. There was the occasional burlap flower tucked in between cupcakes where there was room. This table also held a centerpiece minus table marker and burlap table runner. There was also burlap and fabric bunting hanging on the front of the table.








The bar area was decorated using burlap and fabric bunting.


The buffet table also had a handmade chalkboard that listed the menu. It was decorated with a burlap flower.


The hall had twinkle lights all over the ceiling that matched our colors! It was great luck. We hung tissue paper pouf balls all over the ceiling. This looked so cute when the lights were dimmed.


And that is how we decorated for our reception. I loved it so much!!! Our wedding was on a Saturday and luckily we were able to get into the hall on Friday to decorate. My mom and dad were my lifesaver that Friday!!! Chad's sister DJ was also a huge help! We started decorating at 9 I believe and didn't finish until 4! After decorating my mom, niece and I got pedicures and then had a quick "rehearsal dinner" at Applebee's. We were beat!!!




Here are some pictures of all the decorating action. I used my parents spare room to store all the decorations. They sure were happy to get rid of everything once the wedding was over!!


Fun fact... There were what felt like millions of chairs to put away to set up the tables how we wanted. This was a huge pain and luckily my brother was able to swing by and give us a hand with that.



We needed a tall ladder to hang the pouf balls from the ceiling.


I used my glue gun until the very last second. Notice the beer. It was much needed. 


Thanks for stopping by! 

Next up... Our reception-our arrival, toasts and first dances!!!

***All pictures (except decoration and dinner pictures) were taken by my wonderful photographers. Kim with Kim Smith Photography and Jackie with Autumn Photography. I cannot say enough good things about these two. They were very professional, but also fun at the same time. 



Monday, April 28, 2014

Chicken, Pesto and Mozzarella Panini {{ or Grilled Cheese }}



I needed a quick dinner that I could make just using leftovers. I put this sandwich together and I'm glad I did. It's my new go to quick fix!

What you need:
1 bun (I used ciabatta bread here)
2 tablespoons basil pesto
2 tablespoon whipped cream cheese (I used spinach artichoke cream cheese because I had it on hand)
3 tablespoons shredded mozzarella (I’ve also made with sliced fresh mozzarella and it’s good!)
3 tomato slices
1/8 cup cooked chicken, shredded
1 teaspoon butter

Step 1) Preheat Panini press (or skillet it making grilled cheese). Spread butter on sides of bread that you want toasted.

Step 2) Place bottom of bun on Panini press (or skillet). Spread cream cheese on bottom bun. Cover cream cheese with chicken and top with the shredded mozzarella. Spread the basil pesto on the non toasted side of the top bun before placing on top.

***Note: If making a grilled cheese you may want to make open faced because this sandwich may be too large to flip. To make open faced you will place bottom bun on skillet, spread cream cheese and top with chicken. Place the top bun toasted side down separately on the skillet and top with the basil and shredded mozzarella. After heated and toasted then add tomato slices and combine both sides of sandwich before serving.

Step 3) Cook your Panini. My press took about 7 minutes. Remove from press and gently pull slices apart to add your tomato slices.

Step 4) Enjoy!! 





Friday, April 25, 2014

High Five for Friday

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m happy Friday is here!!! Here are this week’s highlights….

The additions I made to my mason jar herb garden are really taking off. It’s crazy how much they grow overnight. I started with basil, dill and parsley and once those took off I decided to add sage, rosemary, cilantro, chives and oregano. I made some dip for Easter using the dill and it was fun to say it was homegrown!





I have a new favorite shirt. I am obsessed with the website jane.com. It’s a daily deal site tailored towards women with the occasional baby or home item thrown in. The prices are very reasonable and all of the stuff I have ordered is very cute!!


On Easter Sunday we celebrated with my family. It was so fun. We also celebrated my brother’s birthday. The cake I attempted turned out pretty awful. I don’t think the layers of cake were leveled enough and that’s why the entire thing fell apart. Oh well. It makes for a pretty funny picture.




My little brother (who looks like a giant next to me) turned 28 yesterday. Feel free to wish him a happy birthday in the comments!!!


On Saturday night we had a little family trip to get ice cream after dinner. Then we went to the park. The park was deserted so I got to play on the equipment with Trace. It was a fun little Saturday night! It’s kind of funny how my idea of a fun Saturday night changed after Trace was born. 





Hope you all have a great weekend!!!

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