Monday, May 30, 2016

Wedding Supplies, Mostly Thrifted

For my daughter's wedding I had about twelve weeks, and a limited budget, to create a beautiful "wedding to remember" and be proud of. It was going to be hand-crafted and I even made her wedding dress. We would be doing everything and purchasing all supplies ourselves, except for renting a few items like tables and chairs. 

I started visiting thrift shops weekly, from Los Angeles to San Diego, for the stuff I wanted. First, it was important to have the plan and know what I was looking for. I decided to collect white coffee cups, flatware, white and cream napkins, tablecloths, punch bowls (to use as salad bowls,) barware, small bottles (to use for vases,) glass carafes (for water,) white plates and clear glass candlesticks (to create pedestals for the cakes,) cookie plates and so on. The hunt was very fun, since I love thrift shopping, and sometimes I had company which made it even more productive since I had extra eyes to find the goods.

This was very labor intensive and I would not recommend doing it if you do
not have help. Not only did I have to wash everything once when it came home from the thrifts, but then again after the wedding. The flatware was the worst, as you can imagine. Especially since I let the pieces sit in a bucket of water for days and days!

We purchased new metal trash cans with lids to use to transport the items, and to use for trash cans at the wedding, and then to store everything again afterwards. 

The bride and groom's table. I found the pretty flower-shaped green plates, bowls, glasses and napkins just for their table. They used family heirloom gold-plated flatware.

The overview of the table set-up. Two long tables stretch the length of the green belt, with two smaller tables for the wedding party and their guests. The bride and groom have their own table complete with hand-crafted letters on their chairs and a vintage bed spread used as a table cover. The guest chairs were used for the ceremony and then carried over to the tables.

We made the pedestals with different sized white plates glued (not just plain glue) onto clear glass candlesticks. They have been so great to have around (I think I made fourteen of them!) and only one has broken in a couple of years. Use an epoxy and be sure your plate has a flat bottom and the candlesticks have a nice flat top that will be substantial enough to hold the plate. The key is finding the center point on the plate and then placing the candlestick centered over it - draw around the candlestick and place the glue there. Let dry overnight. I found several domes that came with cheese boards (which we used for the cheese and fruit spread) and love to use them in the kitchen when I bake.

The cakes on their pedestals. We decided to have 7 different cakes rather than one big wedding cake. The couple cut the "Mother Lode" cake from Claim Jumper.


The beakers were used for the water ceremony. I collected several and only used three.

I love little bottles. Some of these were vases, some were oil and vinegar carafes, but most were little bottles. All collected while thrifting. I used them all over the tables with flowers and fresh sprigs of herbs.

Gerbera's and herbs in the little jars. We also had small jelly jars of jelly beans for guests to take home. The runner is vintage 60s wallpaper was stashed in grandma's attic (I remember it hanging in her bathroom.) I cut it into long, narrow pieces to use down the center of the tables.

Carafes and bottles were placed on the tables filled with water. We also had additional water available with a ceramic container and water stand, where water bottles could be refilled if need be. The wedding and reception was in an open green space and we needed a source for fresh drinking water.  
We served salad in large punch bowls with tongs (which I purchased new at a restaurant supply house) - it was tossed and passed down the long tables, family style. We had breadsticks in jars on the table. They are nice for adding some height.

The punch bowls came with cups that I didn't really plan to use. Then I realized they would be perfect to hold the votive candles. We used unscented soy votives and they melt, so the cups were a great option. We also used the punch cups for salt on the tables. Pepper grinders were also placed with each salt cup.

Sometimes when you go looking for something, you get lucky. And I was very lucky to keep finding enough (150) clean white and cream linen napkins. I mix and matched them on the tables. They were ready to go with the flatware inside, and tied with green paper ribbon. Which we did on my crafting day with family and friends a few weeks before the wedding.

The glasses I selected were not too delicate and on the short side. Tall glasses mean the beverages will be gone faster! These were for lemonade and sangria. Ice cold beer and soda were available in bottles.

White coffee mugs are in great supply in thrift stores and I had no problem finding enough in time for the wedding. I selected large cups or mugs that didn't need a saucer.

We stacked them up on the hot beverage bar. Instead of preparing coffee, we had several large urns with hot water. Coffee (Starbucks Via packets), tea bags, and hot cocoa were sure available.

One of the items I purchased new were shot glasses from IKEA. At the price they sell for there, it was not worth the hunt at the last minute to find enough thrifting. We decided to add cold soup shots as an appetizer with just a few weeks to go. I love these and we use them a lot for different things. Dip with carrot / celery sticks - and milk shots with cookies were two recent party uses.

A menu was placed at each setting. It's nice to know what the evening holds when you are hungry after traveling and the ceremony!

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