This post is Part V of my series I’m calling Wedding Details where I break down the various choices and elements incorporated in our wedding. See the DIY Wedding Details page for the full series!
As I’ve mentioned before Adam and I were married in his parent’s backyard in Bend, OR. Well, we were “married” in their side yard, but the cocktail hour, dinner and dancing all took place in their beautiful backyard.
The wonderful thing about their home is that it was already beautiful so it took very little on our end to take it from “home” to “wedding”. Since their home wasn’t a traditional event space pre-wired for events, I knew we’d need lighting, and it was pretty early in my planning that I fell in love with Christmas lights and custom flags. So right after Christmas of 2012 all family members were instructed to find the liquidation Christmas light sales and buy, buy, buy. Two days before the wedding my family and I dumped all our loot on the patio and got to stringing lights. In 103 degree weather.
Needless to say they weren’t huge fans of my idea then, but at the wedding as we danced under the twinkling lights everyone forgot all about that pesky 103 degree day of setup. Behold, me looking ridiculous with twinkle lovely behind me!
The part of our plan that was the most meaningful though were the flags that crisscrossed above our heads while people mingled, drank, danced and laughed. I am lucky enough to have a super seamstress for a mother-in-law, so very early on in the planning I asked if she would be kind enough to make the flags for our reception space. My mother and my mother-in-law went to work gathering small sections of semi matching fabric in corals, tans and greens, and my MIL and I even spent a few fun afternoons in Anchorage last summer digging through quilting bins looking for adorable matching-but-not-really fabrics.
These swatches became the flags that hung from the trees, and the napkins that people used at dinner, and even better, when it was all said and done my mother-in-law gathered them all up and will use this fabric we hand selected to make Adam and my wedding quilt. I can’t wait to see the finished product and have a tangible piece of our wedding forever.
So those things were lovely, but there was so much more! DETAILS EVERYWHERE! One that I didn’t get to see until the wedding which was 400 times better than I’d imagined was our card table. My mother and family friend Liz put this piece of adorable together and WOW. A rusty fishing tackle box, handmade tiny flags reading “cards” strung between two fishing poles complete with crystals to sparkle in the sun like water droplets and even little fish. NICE WORK LADIES!
Last summer when I was in the planning stage I asked people to chime in and tell me what things they wished they hadn’t wasted time and money on for their weddings. One of the things everyone said was to forget favors. Forget them! Thank you for getting me off the hook. Originally Adam and I had contemplated making tiny 1 oz packages of Alaskan smoked salmon as our favors, but then with all your helpful advice we said to hell with tiny favors no one can really enjoy and decided instead to just treat everyone during cocktail hour to smoked salmon caught, brined, and smoked by us. The smoked salmon table featured two framed signs telling people that the bounty they were enjoying was prepared lovingly by Adam and I and if I do say so myself, I think it was a hit!
So although we’d decided to forgo traditional favors that didn’t mean my Mom didn’t want people to enjoy a little something if they chose. So of course her and our family friend Pam went above and beyond once again. They headed to the LA garment district and purchased some pashminas. Not enough for everyone, just enough for people to enjoy if they choose. Then they hand dyed them coral, and then each one was tied with twine, stored in a tiny and completely adorable wheel barrow below a hand painted sign.
As I’ve mentioned before we didn’t have very many people hired to work the wedding. Beyond the photographers and the BBQ staff pretty much everything else at the wedding came together because someone said they’d help out. So when it came to drinks we had to rely on the help of family and friends.
We served four different kinds of booze at the wedding. Beer, wine, a “his” cocktail, and a “hers” cocktail. Beer was a help yourself sort of situation and it was stored in our beer canoe. One of my early ideas I fell in love with on pinterest that was even more fun to see in person.
The wine we served we purchased beforehand and then I soaked in a tub for two days before scraping off each label, drying them and then applying our custom made wine labels (designed by me!). I considered this our way of bringing Oly and Stella to the wedding. It was a ton of work, but it gave me that personal touch I really wanted. Couldn’t have been better.
Lastly for booze were our “his” and “hers” cocktails. I had originally planned to have a white wine sangria with fresh fruit bla bla bla but after shopping for booze all day and becoming WAY overwhelmed I said to hell with it and served margaritas. I mean, there’s only so much effort you can put into your wedding you know? Sometimes you get overwhelmed and go with a solid second choice. Whatever, they still tasted great!
Adam’s cocktail was more complicated and full of meaning. He chose a picon which is the national cocktail of the Basque people. Interestingly enough I am something like 1/16 Basque, and Adam grew up in Basque country where a picon is not only on the menu, it’s everyone’s drink of choice. Also, they pack a punch and will knock you out after two, so perfect for a wedding crowd!
Beyond that the cocktail tables and surrounding area was decorated with antique water jugs stuffed with baby’s breath, antlers and AJ’s sprinkled throughout. All items thrifted by my mother or happened to already be pieces Adam’s mother just happened to own!
And there you have it. The little details that made up our cocktail hour / reception space!
This is part of a series I’m calling Wedding Details where I break down the various choices and elements incorporated in our wedding. See the DIY Wedding Details page for the full series!