Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Happily After All: Decorating the Reception Hall

Well...here it is! My first official recap from my wedding! I still don't have my pro pics back yet, but she emailed me yesterday to say that she would hopefully be done by the end of the week.  But I don't really need them for these next two, so I figured I'd get started.

You all know how I spent my Thursday night before the wedding.  I was up until about 4:30am working on my programs.  After just a couple of hours of sleep, I had to get up to go and decorate the Country Club.  A long, long time ago, we decided that my boss, and two of the girls I used to work with were going to decorate for me.  I helped out at one of the girl's wedding a couple of years ago, and they've done so many they could probably do it in their sleep.  So the original plan was that they were going to get up early on Saturday morning and decorate, and then I wouldn't have to worry about a thing.  Well if you know me...! haha you know that I can't just hand over control that easily.  But it worked out because the CC was open all day Friday and we could get in early to set up.  So we planned on meeting out there at 9:30am.

So that morning there happened to be about 5 guys floating around my house so I had them do all the heavy work of loading my piles and piles of stuff into the truck to take into town.  Then I was off!  I pulled into the circle drive of the CC and started unloading everything.  I managed to fill up the entire back of the truck, plus some.
I met up with Tricia, the girl in charge of everything to see how things were going.  I was told that all of the tables and chairs and linens would be set up to my preference before we got there.  And for the most part they were.  But the tables weren't really set up how I had shown her, and already made my chart.  They were incredibly crowded and a couple were on top of the bars in the corner so that definitely wasn't going to work.  She brought in some people to move it all around, and she was surprised herself at how well it fit afterwards.  She said she was going to show it to her workers as how it should be set up with large numbers in the future.  (Yay me!)

Then we sort of just went at things systematically.  Jane and Rose worked on all of the tulle and lighting around the head tables, gift tables, DJ table, front entrance table, cake table, and refreshments table.  So the majority of the time we were there, that's what they were busy with.
Oh and in case I forget to mention it... we were there for SIX HOURS!! It took way longer than I thought it would, but it turned out perfectly!
While they were doing all of that I was busy getting all the tables set with table squares, centerpieces, votives, place settings, table cards, favors, etc.  At that point, I was also pulling all the extra chairs and settings that she had put at each table.  For some reason she set every table with 10 people, even though I had told her specifically how many were at each table.
Remember this?
So that was a lot of unnecessary time and effort, but oh well!

I suppose you'd like to see some pictures now, instead of just reading me rambling on.  I'll take you through the tour!
Here is our card box and gift table.  You can catch a glimpse of the tulle and lights at the bottom of the picture.  The room looked AMAZING all lit up at night.  Just wait for the real pictures later...you'll see!
The refreshments table.  These are the awesome drink holders I got for my bridal shower.  I actually only got one, but I went out and bought two more.  They were filled with lemonade and fresh lemons, iced  tea, and water.  This way people could grab some drinks without waiting in line at the bar.  In case anyone is wondering, they're here for $29.99
Here's my fun little set up at each bar.  The mints are in vases from my shower, and then of course the coasters, napkins, drink stirrers, and some fun green straws I found at Easter time.  The coasters hardly got any use at our wedding for whatever reason.  But the drink stirrers, that's another story.  My cousin's fiance kept one in his pocket for each drink he drank.  He worked up quite the collection that night =]
Here's our cake table out in the middle of the floor, minus the cake.  This was the only table with tulle that didn't have lights.  There wasn't an outlet on the dance floor, so we just put a lot of votives and a couple pillars on this table.  And the cute white letters from work! They were full of green candies later on.
Here is the seating chart and table map in the front entrance hall.  My table map is another last minute addition.  I think I worked on this Thursday night as well.  I figured with there being so many tables, it would be easier for people to see where they were going.
This table sat right across from the seating chart and map in the front entrance.  To the left of this, there were two more tables that eventually held the seating card/favors.  I'm hoping the photographer got a picture, because those didn't go out until Saturday so they wouldn't melt.  But on this table, I have pictures of all our family members on their wedding day.  If you look close enough, you'll see they aren't all full yet.  I still had a couple to pick up from the store.
Here's a rough idea of what our head table looked like.  I say that, because there were additions made on Saturday that really topped it off.  But I'll point out some things of note.  On the tulle and lights, we used some of my pew bows at the top points of the swagging.  We also used six bouquet holders spaced along so that our bouquets could add color to the front of the table and we wouldn't have vases in our faces.  I got those from Hobby Lobby in the bridal section.  I found a place for the Mr. and Mrs. sign project that I initially thought would hang on our chairs.
What you don't see there yet, is the large banner that hung behind us on the wall and cute green bows that Jane added to each chair when she ran back out there Saturday morning.  You might be able to catch a glimpse in the bottom picture of the wine glasses and beer mugs at each place setting.  Those were a big hit.
Moving on to the tables! I had them put out pre-folded black napkins at each spot.  You can see the green table squares, photobooth favors, table number, centerpiece, votives,  seating card, and photo request card.
Here's a close-up of each table setting.
And a close up of the candle centerpiece:
And one of the flower centerpieces, minus the flowers (those were delivered Saturday morning):
All of the table to the right:
I can't wait for you to see the pictures from the actual reception! It was so gorgeous.
Here's a rough idea of the kids' area.  I went back on Saturday morning and added a green vinyl tablecloth so crayons wouldn't get on the white linens.  And there were also crayons and glow sticks and fun stuff on the table as well.  In the first picture you can see a close up of the ribbon topiary, and in the last you can see that there is a large open space in the corner for them to run around in or lay down in towards the end of the night.  I picked up all of the games from Goodwill for about $10 the week of the wedding.
Here is my boss's project right next to the gift table.  She worked on all of the letters for a couple months before the wedding.  T is for "Tischer" and has our engagement picture.  I is for "Illini" for our college mascot and has a picture of Mr. T in his football uniform and me in my cheerleading uniform.  S is just decorated cute.  C is for "Chief" and has pictures of our baby.  H has our wedding date and E is cute.  R is for "Redskins" our high school mascot and has again, football and cheerleading pictures on it.
Here's another picture after decorating, that got the gorgeous tented ceiling and chandeliers in it.

And I think that's about it!  It probably took you forever to read though, and that's about how I felt setting it all up! But I really enjoyed doing it all.  I'm really hoping my photographer got a bunch of detail shots.  I asked her about it, and she said she did, so fingers crossed!

Next up: how the rest of the day went and our rehearsal and dinner!


  1. it all looks so fantastic!! I wish I would be able to set up the reception, but our CC has a Saturday brunch that won't allow anyone in to set up until the afternoon of the wedding, so I'll have to rely on others.

  2. It looks truly amazing. You should be proud of all your hard work and time. Man, girl...I don't know how you did it. Looks so pretty. The colors and style are wonderful and look so great all set up. You are a bridal hero! Amazing!

  3. Ok clearly this is my dream reception. I'm a little sad looking at it because THIS WAS MY VISION for when we were able to have a reception. Seriously, A+. I'm in love.

  4. It's official: I'm obsessed with your wedding.

  5. Amazing as always. You did such a nice a job. I'm going to refer back to your blog again and again as I continue the planning process.

  6. This is gorgeous! Makes me realize how beautiful tent weddings can be!

  7. Thanks for taking the time to share each detail!

    Love it all

  8. Thanks a lot for sharing this information. I am getting married soon and I chose Wedding venues in San Diego for my big day. I have attended my cousin’s wedding there and it was great. Hope everyone enjoy my wedding too.  


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