Stormy weather in the hills of Utah threatened to spoil the fun, but we were blessed with a few hours of lovely, non-blustery weather in which to throw together all the decorations for my niece's wedding!
I was very frustrated (understatement) about the windy and rainy weather on Friday (this is June in Utah, after all) that prevented me from setting everything up at a relaxed pace, but it all came together in the end.
The reception was held in the lovely backyard of the groom's bishop's house (a bishop is like a father or a pastor in other denominations), and it was such a pleasure to get to know him and his family a little bit. Incredibly nice people, so generous and unassuming. Camille (my niece) wanted a theme that was fun and fresh, with a combination of retro and English tea party undertones. She chose fabric from Amy Butler's August Fields line and we built the theme from there.
Camille had seen pictures of a wedding online that had colorful pennants draped beneath pretty white tents, and although the budget couldn't support renting tents, I was able to get quite a bit of bang for the buck by sewing these pennants and draping inexpensive white fabric over the rails of the balcony.
I purchased loads of paper lanterns, and had planned to hang them on the wire armatures and put them all over the borders of the yard. The stormy weather prohibited that until just before the reception, and I discovered too late that the wires I had bent to create the armatures were too short and wimpy for the larger lanterns (I'm telling you this so you don't make the same mistake, should you ever attempt this!) Lesson learned: always test things like this out beforehand!
Still, the few lanterns that I was able to get in the ground were a fun addition to the color scheme. We put lots of them in the trees, and since we ran out of time, we just tossed the remaining lanterns in the bushes around the patio...
Happily, the wedded couple was so giddy from the excitement of tying the knot that they neither noticed nor cared. Actually, they were very easy going about the whole event - I was the only one preoccupied with getting everything "just so". I admit it - I'm a perfectionistic type A person...what can I say?
Ah, such an incredibly handsome couple, don't you think? Camille found an outstanding man to marry, I know they'll be very happy together.
I grouped some white peonies and gorgeous roses together for the bouquet, and you can't really see it but I took an unwanted sash tie that had been removed from the dress and wrapped it around the stems. The end of the sash was embellished with some lovely beadwork, so the result was very pretty.
These pictures were taken at the end of the day, so the flowers were sagging a bit, but still so lovely.
We had originally planned on using orange ranunculus and white peonies for the arrangements and the bouquet, but since the ranunculus were out of season I ordered these breathtaking roses instead. I was just totally enamored by them, with the delicate tinges of rosy coral on the edges and the warmer tones in the middle.
Please don't make fun of my unfocused rose - I had about 10 minutes to run around and take pictures of everything before the start of the festivities, so I didn't have time to really concentrate on taking great photos. Nor did I have time to even shower or change clothes before the party started (it was a crazy, crazy afternoon, I can assure you!) I was putting flowers on the cake during the beginning of the action, and was scurrying around making sure the food was all taken care of in my jeans and with my greasy hair pulled back in a ponytail. Thank goodness I wasn't in any pictures until things slowed down a bit and I was at least able to change into a dress. I'm very grateful for the small army of family and friends who helped get all the food together at the last minute. There just was not any time to do it any sooner, what with the bouquets, boutenirs, and corsages to make that morning, and the decorations to put up when the weather improved, and then the food crew to organize (thanks, everyone, for all your hard work!) and the cake to decorate.
I used less expensive dahlias, mums, and carnations to create the centerpieces and serving table bouquets, but they're still quite pretty. I put all the arrangements in ceramic pitchers, which provided a fun and whimsical element to the bouquets.
We kept the menu pretty basic, since it was an after-dinner affair and for cost reasons as well. The food we did serve was dressed up for the occasion. This fruit kabob display was something that my mom taught me to do way back in the days of 4-H, when I was a young teenager. I did this for a competition one time, and if I remember correctly it was a hit. The fruit dip was a simple yet delicious combination ofcream cheese, marshmallow creme (of all things!) and lemon zest. The elevated bowls holding the dip are actually just little bowls from IKEA with an inverted egg cup tacked to the bottom with StickyTack.
The brownie bites from Costco got a facelift with dark and white chocolate, and a strawberry garnish.
Since I was bringing my dishware across the country in suitcases, I didn't want to risk bringing my elevated cake plates. So here we have the stacked plate+painted glass candle sconce arrangement once again! I temporarily attached the pieces together with StickyTack, the white stuff you can use to tack posters to the walls. I have used this technique countless times, including Halloween and birthday parties, and just change the ribbons to suit the occasion.
I failed to get any photos of the punch, but it was so pretty with lemon slices and whole strawberries floating in it. Camille wanted lemonade, and so I punched it up a notch (har har) with a generous helping of ginger ale added to the double-strength lemonade concentrate. It was very popular, so I'll give you the exact proportions here: Use 2 cans of lemonade concentrate for every 2-liter bottle of ginger ale. Premix the concentrate with half as much water as you would normally, add it to the punchbowl with LOTS of ice, pour in the ginger ale and garnish with lemon slices and strawberries. Very tasty, very easy, and very summery.
Camille borrowed a darling apothecary jar from a friend, and we filled it with jellybellys that people could scoop into little organza bags. It was a very fun way to give out party favors. The golden frames housed bridal photos that the wedding photographer brought...the frames were not exactly in keeping with the aesthetic theme of the other things on the table (had to put in that little disclaimer), but not the end of the world. :-)
Here's a quick snapshot of one of the ribbon boards I made. We put childhood photos of Camille in one, and her husband in the other.
In case you were wondering, I didn't actually make or even frost the wedding cake. Pretty hard to put all the layers of a huge cake in one's suitcase! :-) They ended up ordering the cake from Albertsons (it was pretty good! I had some of the red velvet layer and thought it was quite tasty) and I just put the flowers on it. Some of the icing had been bungled in transit, and the seams between the layers were pretty apparent (I didn't have any extra icing to cover it up) so I just got very ambitious with the flowers and leaves to hide the boo-boos. That was definitely the fastest, easiest decorating job I have ever done!
Hooray for gorgeous flowers, hooray for good weather at the last minute, and hooray for everyone who helped make Camille's wedding a beautiful and memorable occasion. A huge thank you, too, to all our friends back in Virginia who took turns watching Eliza and Hyrum while we were gone (just Steve, Hazel and I were able to fly out to the wedding) and to all who helped watch Hazel in Utah. It was hard for me to be basically childless for a few days (I kept on looking around thinking, where are my kids? What are they up to?) and I worried about inconveniencing our friends who were watching our children, but it was for a very good cause.
So here's to true love, and an eternity of happiness together. Congratulations Tij and Camille! I wish you all the best.