Sunday, June 28, 2009

An evening to remember!

As I mentioned, my friend Debbie got married yesterday. And, she had asked me to help her decorate a dinner for her family that would be held after the wedding reception. I had sort of set a mental budget of $100 to do this and here is how it all turned out ~ enjoy!

Let's start with the drink table -

I covered a regular folding table with brown paper and then laid a cloth of burlap over the top. An enamel pail of hydrangeas from my yard formed a beautiful centerpiece! Large jars of lemonade and sweet tea were on either side. Guests drank from pint size canning jars with tags around the top edge - and a marker was handy for writing their name on the tag so we could keep track of whose was whose.

Carrie served drinks like this at her rehearsal dinner and I loved it! Thanks for the jar and the inspiration, Carrie!

An old silver cooler was on the ground nearby for ice.

Under the pavilion, we had a combination of picnic and folding tables - I did the same thing with the brown paper and burlap tablecloths. Then, I used two of the blue canning jars (thanks!!), hydrangeas and shells. Between the two jars, I placed a small star tin (sorry, forgot a picture - eek!) with sand and a votive candle in it. I didn't light the candles because it was HOT - the heat index was 105. I didn't want to add any heat no matter how small!

I made small paper fans to place on the tables in an effort to provide some relief from the heat. I saw lots of them being used, so hopefully they were a help! This hydrangea photo was what she had used on her wedding invitations - I took an extra one to Staples and got them color copied four to a page on cardstock. After cutting apart, I just hot glued them to long wavy popsicle sticks found at Hobby Lobby. A short sheer ribbon was tied around in a simple knot.

Leading up to the pavilion from the sidewalk - I created a little walkway out of these shepherd's hooks and jars. Both were left from Carrie's wedding and she graciously let me borrow them! Jelly jars are filled with dried lavender and a piece of wire is wrapped around the top to create a hanger. I skipped the tea lights that originally were in these - several of them melted in my car during the wedding!

Let's see - how did I do on my budget?
30 yards burlap: $30 (thanks Michele for the tip on $1/yard burlap with free shipping!)
canning jars: $12 (shipping, thank you ladies for your generosity in sharing your jars!)
paper lanterns: $2
beverage jar: $14
brown paper: $13
candles: $2
W sign: $2 (initial hanging in the pavilion)
Paper Fans: about $20
Canning jars for drinks: borrowed or purchased by bride
Hydrangeas: free (my yard and some friends yards)
Shells and sand: free (trip to beach)
Plates and silverware (all plastic) were provided by family of the bride
Napkins: $2
Star Tins: $2 (thrift store)

Total: $99

I love that I can use lots of these things again which will extend their value! And, I want to thank the special ladies who sent their blue canning jars so graciously! I also would like to thank each of you who purchased something from The Rusty Robin - this was a wedding gift to my friend from my giving fund that the proceeds of my crafts supplied. Also, my friend Susan was an invaluable source of encouragement and help during the set up!!

One guest said that the evening was so homey and country - that was music to my ears and definitely the feel I was going for!


Anonymous said...

Stunning! Hydrangeas are so simple yet elegant, and nothing beats sweet tea in a mason jar!

Lovely, Monica!

Natalie Meester said...

So pretty and yet stunning! I enjoyed reading this post and it looks so dreamy!

Melissa said...

It's all so pretty, Monica! I love the way you used all of the jars.

*carrie* said...

I'm so glad you posted pix. You did a great job--I'm proud of you!

Carrie said...

You did an amazing job and I'm sure your friend was absolutely thrilled! Great ideas (love the jars and that awesome silver cooler)!

Leanne said...

that was beautiful, Monica!! oh...and I think those decorations would even be perfect for someone who is having a simple,small wedding reception!
I planted three hydrangea bushes this year...of course, I thought of you when I did it! Thanks for sharing!

Wendi said...

Fantastic job!

Bevy @ Treasured Up and Pondered said...

Love it, Love it, LOVE IT!! Hydrangeas are the most beautiful flower in all of God's creation (in my humble opinion) and nothing is as charming as tea/lemonade in mason jars. Love the ice cooler. Plus:
Keeping it all in budget has got to be the best (most satisfying) thing of all, as well.

Mom said...

Beautiful -- a great gift of love to the bride and groom! Well done! Love you, Mom

Grace said...

Everything looks spectacular!!! Great job!

Sarah said...

What a lovely reception. I love ideas like this.

Can I ask where you found the burlap for $1/yard? That's actually something for which I've been looking.

Happy Monday!

Sarah said...

Forgot to ask, where did you find the large glass jars for the lemonade and iced tea? I just love how you have the beverage table set up. Definitely going to employ some of these ideas at my next outdoor get-together.

The Gaertegang Homestead said...

Loved the pics!! Thanks for sharing all of your fun ideas...Looks like a fantastic night!! GREAT JOB!!

Cheryl said...

I love simple, elegant set ups like this. You and your friend did a wonderful job making the rehearsal dinner very special for your friends family...and those hydrangeas, oh my, simply beuatiful. Those happen to be my fave color.
Emily looked so sweet in her dress for the wedding.

Anonymous said...

Oh Monica! This was just absolutely darling!! My friend's daughter is getting married next June after she and her fiance graduate from college and before they go right on in to med school. She is so worried about putting on a lovely, simple reception! I can't wait to show her this!!!!! Thank you for all that you share with us!!


Jennie Shutt said...

Very Beautiful and I love the blue hydrangeas and canning jars.

Debra said...

That turned out beautiful!

Unknown said...

It is all so beautiful...I especially like the drink table. Well done Monica. I'm sure your friend was pleased.

Unknown said...


Lynn McCain said...

I'd love to know where you found the $1/yard burlap with free shipping!

Patty Williams said...


You have a great eye for design and I love your style ! Love the country feel !

Elise said...

Love this!! So cute!! This is how I wish my wedding would've been!!

Monica Wilkinson said...


Sorry for the delay in responding. I bought the burlap from Upon my last check it was up to $1.99/yard and the free shipping was only good on orders over $75. I bought this several months ago - so I guess it was on a special or something.

Sorry I can't help more!


Anonymous said...

Where can you find the burlap?? I am going to be using squares in the center of my tables to put my centerpieces on

Monica Wilkinson said...

My burlap came from ~ you can also find it in the Walmart fabric department or probably other fabric stores as well.