wedding tablescape

I am a hoarder.

I think we all know that by now.  That is pretty much how I ended up in this biz.  I love old stuff.  I love making stuff pretty.  I love collecting.

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about my wedding centerpieces.

For months leading up to the big day, I collected silver water pitchers and teapots preferably tarnished.  A couple of antique champagne buckets as well.  In fact, I collected more than I needed.  Because I am a hoarder.

The shapes and sizes of the centerpieces alternated on each table with the floral palette being the commonality.

© Love Shack Photo

I already had a growing collection of vintage aqua blue mixing bowls.  This is my mantel from last summer proudly displaying the collection which was growing rapidly at the time.

Mixing bowl collection  and a ladybug

The color scheme was just right for our wedding so I was determined to incorporate my personal collections into our centerpieces.

We had 20 guest tables, 4 food tables and like 10 cocktail tables, I think.  In my mind, they all needed to be adorned with fresh flowers.  Arranged by me.  Large and small.

© Love Shack Photo

Was I nuts?  Maybe.  I like to think I came to my senses though when I came up with the brilliant idea of only arranging fresh flowers in half of the containers – mostly the silver pieces plus some blue ball jars which coordinated with our wedding invitation.

spring mason jar wedding invitation DIY blue green (5 of 10)

My solution to remaining sane was to arrange the other half of the centerpieces the weekend prior to the wedding.  I used flowering plants instead of fresh flowers since they would keep easily and that way I could divide and conquer on the centerpiece front.

© Love Shack Photo

Each mixing bowl was filled with pink flowering vinca, trailing vines and succulents.  Topped with moss and Cape May wine corks.

© Love Shack Photo

Bonus, most of these plants have been flowering in my garden all summer.  The wedding centerpieces were merely a layover for them!

Another collection of yellow McCoy planters in 3 sizes were displayed on the food stations.

© Love Shack Photo

So that left the larger vessels which were arranged just a few days before the wedding, packed up and then driven across state lines.  I think I successfully pulled of the task.

flowers 2

Here’s a glimpse at what my kitchen turned floral shop looked like all in the name of DIY…

flowers

That makes me happy.

So I am going to tell you the secret to pulling off arranging your own wedding centerpieces without going insane.

© Love Shack Photo

#1 Be Flexible

I was not committed to specific flowers, only a color scheme.  I arrived at the wholesale florist that particular day, 3 days before the grand event, and did what I do best.

Shopped.

Lilacs were in season so I started there and then built a springy palette around it.

© Love Shack Photo

Having worked in flower shops for years, I know the old requests of “no mums or carns.  No babies breath.”  I grew to dislike all of those common flowers during my florist tenure.  But guess what, I got over it.  I actually like these and as Carrie Bradshaw once noted, pink carnations are making a comeback.  Yes, still.  I’m fond of the hot pink minis so into the arrangements they went.

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And the spin on mums?  Sunflower-esque pom pom mums.  Both these and the mini carnations are great filler flowers.

© Love Shack Photo

Moss covered pods were a nod to Ryan’s woodsy style.  Pink waxflower, lisianthus, sunflowers, pink tulips, variegated pittosporum, green status and more…

I took my selections home to my kitchen turned floral studio and got to work filling antique champagne buckets, ice buckets, ball jars, silver water pitchers, tea pots and a few smaller mason jars to don the cocktail tables.

© Love Shack Photo

#2 Be Organized

My to-do list was mostly completed at this point in the wedding planning process.  Had it not been, I don’t know that I could have pulled it off.

This tip is also two-fold.  You have to be organized from the beginning as it relates to collecting your vessels.  See: hoarding.

© Love Shack Photo

Honestly, DIYing these centerpieces was probably the most zen part of wedding planning for me.  Other than the spa, of course.

If you are a DIYing bride with some floral design abilities, I have faith that you can tackle your own centerpieces too!  If not, you can always ask your florist to use your own collected vessels and vases to personalize your centerpieces.

© Love Shack Photo

Next up…Ryan’s secret to getting the mini chalkboard table numbers to stand on their own.  And if you missed it, check out details on incorporating atlases into your tablescape here.

Centerpiece photos by Love Shack Photo

directional guidance

It has been a crazy busy summer already.  We’ve barely come up for air.  Honestly, a small cry from how we planned to spend our summer.  But someone once told me life is what happens when you make plans.  So true.  Less planning, more living.

So when we do get a minute to breath, we relish in reviewing our wedding photos over and over again. We notice something new every time and relive that perfect day when just about all of our friends and family were in the same place, just a few months ago.  Which, by the way, doesn’t help us select photos to frame and to put in an album nor determine which should end up on the cutting room floor, as they say.

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Speaking of, there are so many hysterical dance floor photos that I am considering posting an outtake reel here…although I may be disowned by a few people.  (If you beg me, I will totally post it though.)  Signature dance moves, silly faces and all.

© Love Shack Photo

N-E-way, where did we leave off in the wedding DIY deets?  We talked about the cake and the must have cake table.

Dana & Ryan Cape May Wedding

We talked about the DIY trailhead highlighting where all of our friends and family traveled from.

© Love Shack Photo

I think that transitions nicely into the map thang we had going on…

© Love Shack Photo

I racked my brain over what to do with the table settings.  We knew right away that we would have food stations for dinner. This created a party atmosphere (which isn’t hard to do with our group) as opposed to a formal sit down dinner where people felt like they couldn’t get up and mingle as they please.  There is nothing wrong with that setting but it just wasn’t what we were going for.

© Love Shack Photo

With all of that said, I didn’t want the tables to be bare either since the food would be served at the stations.

© Love Shack Photo

Enter 160 atlas pages to the scene, my friends.  I found old and new ones.  The blue, green and yellow colors coordinated perfectly with our springy palette.  Each page served as a charger or place mat.  Also, a subtle nod to the “On the Way to Cape May” theme.  With a splash of burlap for good measure.  Oh and here’s a secret for you if this look is up your alley:  Take your atlases to FedEx/Kinko’s to have the pages cut in bulk.  It will save you hours upon hours of time tearing and cutting pages.

© Love Shack Photo

Bonus, everyone was encouraged to scribble notes to us on their map.  This ended up being totally entertaining for guests as they waited for dinner and an icebreaker at a few tables.

© Love Shack Photo

Plus, we jumped on the instagram trend and incorporated our own wedding hashtag (#recanize) and encouraged guests to share their candids.  It is a blast to relive them every time and we plan to make a little album of candids with maps as the scrapbook pages.  One of these days.

For brides-to-be out there, we placed note cards at each table communicating the hashtag info to guests…

instagram hashtag

Go ahead, take a look at the hashtag on instagram.  You know you want to.

And one more map for the road….ha, get it? Road? Ok.  Our guest book was a guest map which we framed.  People signed all over the country and of course Cape May had a little heart on it.  I found this on etsy.

© Love Shack Photo

I have to admit that I restrained myself from being an etsy bride.  I only ordered this map, which was made locally, and Wilson’s seersucker bowtie and leash which is just priceless as far as I’m concerned.

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Next up…the centerpieces.  And why I might have been temporarily insane for doing them all myself just days before my wedding.  What was I thinking?  Come back on Friday to find out!

© Love Shack Photo

All professional photos shot by the talented folks at Love Shack Photo.

guest post: a shower fit for a bridesmaid

I’ve got a little treat for you today.  Something different anyway.  Last week I posted about my bridal shower, specifically the handmade gifts and details that went into it.  Well, today my MOH is here to rehash the behind the scenes DIY details that went into the event. Take it away Leigh…

As you may know from Dana’s blogging history, she’s been to a lot of weddings. Beyond just being your standard wedding guest, Dana takes what makes Circa Dee amazing and translates those talents into the fabulous, thoughtful events for her friends and family. A 10-time bridesmaid, 3-time reader, toast-giver, bachelorette party-planner, bouquet mastermind, you name it – she’s done it. So imagine the pressure when Dana asks you to be her Maid of Honor, which means planning an event for her!I jest. (A little.)In all seriousness, helping to plan Dana’s shower meant putting some of her favorite things, ideas, and people into one room. Here are a few aspects of the shower to highlight how we did that.The Theme – As a nod to Dana’s role in so many weddings, we went loosely with a 27 Dresses theme.  We incorporated dress and bridesmaid details throughout the day.
The Invitation – Designed by the lovely Poppies and Petals, we crafted a newspaper-inspired invite. Here, we asked that ladies wear a bridesmaid dress. (While I didn’t remember discussing this much in the past, Dana admitted that she checked her closet the morning of the shower to see if her bridesmaid dresses were still there! Without borrowing any of Dana’s dresses, we still had about a dozen ladies join in the fun of dressing up.)
27 dresses themed bridal shower
27 dresses themed bridal shower
27 dresses themed bridal shower

The Centerpieces – I fully admit to stalking Pinterest for this idea, but adding our own flare. We took a page from Dana’s vintage, rustic style, and used mini galvanized buckets as our base. We then added floral foam, some moss, and a few rocks to weight down the piece. Then, we added everyday kitchen skewers (hello, re-purposing!), stuck into the floral foam. Between the skewers, we strung a piece of yarn and a few mini-bunting flags. (We even borrowed Dana’s punch for this step, under the guise of Poppies and Petals custom card order.) We chose paper in sea-glass and vintage inspired tones, with a hint of pink because, come on, this is a bridal shower! Then, my favorite part, we found a template for mini dresses and cut them out on the Big Shot. Some twine was strung around the waist of the dresses for some extra detail and attached with a too-cute-for-words mini clothespin. I really love how quickly this project came together!

27 dresses themed bridal shower

Decorations – The room at the restaurant where we hosted the event didn’t need much adorning, but we added balloons in sea-glass colors. I also stalked Dana’s Facebook, blog, and emailed ladies who had included Dana in their wedding to find pictures. I had a  blast reliving all these amazing events, and Dana’s various haircuts over the years. Some photos for framed, and others were displayed out on tables. We also asked our guests to leave a wish for Dana and Ryan. These notecards and pens were displayed in a vintage planter I found at a local vintage shop.  I’m hoping to turn these photos and notes into a little book for Dana at some point.

The Favors – Dana already showcase the Ball Jar cookies, which she’d been dreaming of having. We also gave away little tokens to the ladies that wore bridesmaid dresses, of even-more-mini galvanized buckets, filled with candy, and adorned with another little dress.

ball mason jar cookie favors

The Food – No shower is complete without a great spread. Dana’s mom selected a variety of Italian dishes that included Dana’s favorite – Caprese Salad! While Dana unwrapped her mountain of gifts, we enjoyed homemade cookies baked by family and friends. Then, at the end of the party,we enjoyed not one but two cakes – one Tiramisu flavored and one from Alice Bakery (two more things Dana loves!)

bridal shower spread

Thanks for taking time to read about how to put on a party for Dana! I think we met this immense challenge in style and made a great day happen for our beautiful bride!

Thanks Leigh!  I have to admit that it felt totally bizarre showing up to a shower empty handed.  And you should also know that it took everything in me not to bring my camera and snap pictures or instagram the whole event.  After years of bridesmaiding (yes it is a verb), it was a blast to be on the other side!  I just wanted to live in the moment without social media…shocking.  And I bet you didn’t know that my blogging originally began in the wedding world, did ya?