Wedding Wednesday: It’s my Reception and is it PURDY!

My wedding reception is here! My wedding reception is here! I got my wedding photos back from Miranda Laine Photography and I'm showing off the fruits of my (and a cast of thousands!) (Not really.) (Though it seemed like.) labors.

Here's a basic breakdown of Le Wedding Reception:

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DIYed Cloth Napkins and Thrifted Plates + Flatware

I made all 100 of the napkins myself from Wal-Mart, Hancock Fabrics, and JoAnn's Fabrics that I bought a yard at a time (and used coupons whenever possible). I ended up with about 4-5 of each different fabric and my amazing planner, Jana, mixed them at each table setting so it looked perfectly mismatched! She also used that leftover ones to line the berry baskets for the buffet (which I never considered but it looked incredible!).

The plates and flatware were thrifted from Goodwill Stores all over San Antonio and Austin (plus a few garage sales, Wal-Marts, and Salvation Army Stores!). Here's the deal, my mom is a tax accountant and you cannot be raised by a tax accountant without constantly thinking about how and what you write-off as a charitable donation! Soooo, once I got a quote back from the rental company that renting a single plate or fork or knife would cost me $1.00 EACH I quickly got to work trying to figure out how to “beat the system”. AND I DID! For a year, my matron-of-honor (she was a thrift store badass!) and I visited various thrift stores and garage sales and bought any plain white dinner plate in decent condition + any clear glass salad plate that were $0.99 or less. I also discovered the motherlode of flatware at a local Wal-mart – 4 packs of forks or knives at $0.75 a bundle (in the clearance section). Using this method, I was able to have affordable table settings for everyone at my wedding PLUS I actually MADE money.*

*You can write-off ANY items for the value it will be resold at a thrift store. So that $0.25 fork? Is a $0.29 write-off around these parts. And you just EARNED $0.04 toward your wedding!

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Homemade Wedding Cake + DIY Topper

Just like for the Alaskan civil ceremony, I made our wedding cake myself (I used this cake recipe and this one for frosting – both from Martha). I made the cake the night before (and used this trick I saw on Pinterest to keep it moist) and did the frosting then, too (I stored it in the fridge overnight). After breakfast the next morning, I placed it on a Martha Stewart cake stand (an old Christmas gift from my mom and omg, do we see a pattern here?!?!) and frosted it.

At the last minute, Katie asked me if I had a wedding cake topper and I realized that I had completely forgotten to make one! So we grabbed the one from our Alaskan civil ceremony and voila! Sentimental and pretty!

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Wholesale Wildflowers Directly from the Farm

This may have been my greatest Budget Wedding Moment! I had really, really wanted to do the flowers for my wedding myself but, with a new (and totally all consuming) job, I had to admit defeat and look for help. I reached out to a local florist (I found her via Wedding Wire) who couldn't help me with my flowers but did help me track down a local wildflower farmer who was willing to sell me flowers in bulk! My matron-of-honor and I drove to the farm the Friday before the wedding, walked into the cooler, and picked out the flowers for my centerpieces. $100 later, I had three HUGE buckets of freshly cut zinnias, Black-eyed Susans, dillflowers, and snapdragons. $100 for centerpices for a 100 guest wedding… y'all enjoy that now. 

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Old Food Cans and Jars for Centerpiece Containers

This was another of my little wedding scores and it only cost me $0.79! From the beginning I just couldn't see the value in renting or buying a bunch of containers to arrange flowers in for my centerpieces. So! I made do. I collected old food jars (jelly, salsa, pickle) and old food cans (tomato, coffee) for my centerpiece containers. My junior bridesmaids removed the old labels and used a $0.79 can of spray paint to cover the old cans. Once the flowers were in them, they looked charming and fit perfectly with the homemade look I was going for.

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Glitter Cardstock Initials and Gifted Cake Server

This was a simple little DIY that I did a few months before the wedding. I used 40% off coupons to buy heavy cardstock letters from Michael's and then rummaged through my craft drawers for Elmer's glue, a foam brush, and Martha Stewart glitter. A big mess and about 15 minutes later – I had a bit of cuteness for the dessert table at the reception!

The cake server set was on our registry and a wedding gift from everyone's favorite Ranty Bride. I loved that it arrived before our wedding and that I was able to use it in our cake cutting ceremony. Again with sentimental awesomeness…

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Berry Bushel Baskets for the Buffet

We catered our own wedding reception by hosting a sandwich and salad buffet. I was at a loss as to how to display/contain the wedding food until a helpful suggestion from Jacin lead me to berry baskets. See, The Boy grew up working at his grandfather's produce stand every summer and has really fond memories of those times. So! I researched and discovered that I could buy assorted sizes of Texas Basket Company berry bushel baskets (say that five times fast!) from Wasserstrom (an online restaruant supply company).* The best part? When they arrived, The Boy (who was unaware that I had done this) looked at them and said “Those are exactly like what my grandfather used at his produce stand!”… aaaand score!

*I tried buying directly from the Texas Basket Company but they are not set up to ship small orders so the shipping ended up being nearly twice the cost of my order!

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DIYed Tables from Old Wooden Pallets

This was another “Oh HELL No! I'm not paying that much for a rental!” moment. I refused to spend money on renting folding tables (or fancy schmancier tables). So The Boy and I figured out how to build them from old wooden pallets (tutorial forthcoming, I promise!)! We picked up the bulk of the old pallets from Lumber Liquidators (but did go dumpster diving for a few!). Once we figured it out, it went relatively quickly and they looked AWESOME! So awesome that we're going to beef them up a bit and use one for our new dining table and the others for outdoor dining.

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Professional and Homemade Dessert Table

From the beginning we knew that we didn't want a huge wedding cake. So we ended up ordered a bunch of yummy cake bars, fruit tarts, mini pecan pies, and cupcakes from Blue Note Bakery. To fill out the dessert table (and help us stay within our budget), I baked a few dozen cupcakes (using modified from-a-box recipes) and homemade frosting. I made the cupcakes the night before the wedding and frosted them the day of when I did the wedding cake. I also added cute flags to the tops of the cupcakes (FREE from Love Vs. Design here and here). At the end of the night, there was barely anything left of ANY of the homemade or professional goodies – a sure sign that your guests don't give a damn as long as it tastes good.

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Old Mason Jars and Stripey Straws

Yes, I did have Ye Olde Mason Jars and Stripey Straws at my wedding. The Boy and I grew up drinking out of Mason jars (and still do) and the stripey straws are just damn pretty! I already had about a dozen Mason jars when we got engaged and then just looked for them at garage sales and thrift stores all year long. I got three colors of the stripey straws from Shop Sweet Lulu and went ahead and bought the Seaside Straw Pack and the Lipstick Pink Pack. Both held up really well to the Texas heat, beer, lemonade, water, and tea.

{All Images Courtesy of: Miranda Laine Photography}

Whee! Everything turned out as homemade-y and simple as I wanted and we still managed to make it all look relatively pretty (and more importantly, within budget!). SUCK IT, NAYSAYERS! Whattya say, Tulle Nation? Was it everything you were hoping (and waiting) for?

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Also, don't forget to vote on this fun collaboration between Kiss My Tulle and the always awesome, Lovebird Productions! We're debuting a new video miniseries called, “Welcome to the Wedding Closet”, where we each make a wedding guest outfit for a specific type of wedding from whatever we find in the other person's closet (and you can absolutely look forward to us making fun of random shit we find in there, too!)! Check out Kiss My Tulle's Facebook page and vote on the type of wedding you think I should dress Katie for and then swing by the Lovebird Productions Facebook page and pick out what style of wedding that Katie will be dressing me for! Voting runs from today through next Monday. Send your friends and be sure to give us a “Like” while you're there, too.

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