Rachel and Roxanne had very different visions for their wedding. Roxanne's ended up very feminine and vintage, and pink, and lace, and garden, and dainty. Rachel saw hers as industrial, with metal and bricks andglass, and deep colors, and yet it still had a feminine feel to it - adding feathers and satin.
We found a fun venue out in Glendale. It is the Fruit Packing Shed which is part of the Historical Section of Saguaro Ranch Park. Because it is part of the Parks and Recreation Program, it was quite reasonable to rent. The down side is that it is not a traditional venue and except for providing round tables, everything else was packed and hauled across town by us. We felt like a moving company - 2 large trailers of stuff from our house, and an additional big truckload from Debbie's house. Crazy. Also, we were renting the venue by the hour and it was a total guess how much time it would take to set up and take down. I think we could have used a couple more hours. It was a bit rushed to get set up and decorated. Everyone helped so so much. We have such a great family and group of friends!
Myrna Shreeve made these fabulous feather pieces for Rachel's shoes and her hair piece. Gorgeous, right?
I started looking around in Boutiques and Consignment stores for jewelry for Rachel's bouquet. Debbie makes fantastic bouquets using vintage jewelry. They are magical!
Her daughter Roni was featured with her beautiful bouquet here. Another one of Debbie's bouquets can be seen here featuring my nephew and his bride.
Clearly Rachel couldn't toss a metal bouquet to her friends without expectation of blood and injury, so we also had a simple rose bouquet ready for the traditional toss.
Like I said, Rachel was super busy. Not only is it her first semester teaching school, but she is teaching both 1st graders and 7th graders so she is essentially preparing 2 separate lessons plans each day. Besides grading papers every night, she also teaches piano lessons for a few students after school too. Kyle is working a 40 hour week, and going to school full time in the evenings. They are also finding a place to live, looking for wedding rings, planning a honeymoon, etc etc. Anyway . . . she didn't have time to work on projects so I would get instructions like: "Mom, I really don't care what we do for guests to sign in, just promise me it won't be a book with a big feather pen!" So . . . what could I do but go to Pinterest! The difficult thing is that there are so many good ideas, I could spend an entire day searching for just the right idea. We finally decided on a "thumbprint" idea. After I painted the tree, using thumbprints and signatures for the leaves, we did some trials with the ink pad. (Yes, AFTER we were committed to the idea, the painting was already done). We used a standard ink pad with a wet wipe to clean your fingers after you add a leaf to the tree. But the ink didn't come off of the fingers . . . AT ALL! I could just imagine guests coming in to reception with ink on their hands as they hug the bride! We tried other kinds of wipes, we tried different chemical, we tried soaking the wipes in different types of soap. We tried paint thinner. Finally, Kyle suggested trying a different type of ink pad. He ran over to Michaels and bought a chalk-based ink pad and BINGO! It wipes right off! You are so smart Kyle!
We were trying to figure out what kind of centerpieces to use and metal and bricks kept coming up as ideas. But where do you get cool metal pieces? I was about to go scrounge around a salvage yard, until someone said "why don't you just look around your house? and Dave's truck?" I hadn't thought of it because all of our scrap metal from job sites are mostly red because of the fire industry. Dave offered to fire all the paints off and to shine up the brass and we ended up with a lot of really cool pieces. Dave also made the cake table out of a well head pump.
We snooped around some industrial parts of town until we found companies that used these wire spools. We hoped to use them for tables and displays. In theory, it's a good idea. In reality, they are VERY rough and quite dirty. It took some effort getting the edges smoothed up and cleaned up so guests wouldn't snag their clothes or get splinters. But -they looked fantastic! We got them for free and then put them on the curb with a for sale sign after the wedding and made a few dollars back.
A couple of projects we worked on, I found myself thinking "I wonder if my tetanus shot is up to date". The backdrop, as well as a couple of other pieces for hanging on the wall were made from sheets of rusty metal.
There were lots of arts and crafts projects to make. I actually enjoyed them. One of the nicest things that happened is a birthday present from Suzanne. She offered a day of work on wedding projects with me. We spent a Saturday, sanding, spray painting, gluing etc. It was a fun day and a great birthday gift.
This Mr & Mrs Sign was about 3 feet tall, cut from cardboard and painted with metallic silver paint and then hung over the head table. It looked fantastic!
I gathered up lots of frames and framed many childhood pictures of Rachel and Kyle and then made a few custom frames like this one.
We made many many tablecloths and luckily I had a couple of friends (Juanita and Joanne) help me hem them.
This was one of my favorite projects. Rachel told me there would be many children invited (her piano students etc). So we had an art table for them to draw pictures for Rachel and Kyle. We had a beanbag toss game outside, we had a scavenger hunt for them, and we had a couple of game tables with these tic tac toe games. I made these out of painted cardboard and rocks. I picked up rocks on my walks, painted with leftover paint around the house, and made the boards out of cardboard and paper mache. Cost? $0
Another scrap metal project included a chandelier. I wish the pictures showed how cool it looked over the receiving line.
It doesn't have quite the same effect hanging on our porch. Dave plans to sell it, but in the meantime, it is weirdly on our porch. But it was perfect at the venue.
Also still sitting on our porch is a couch we bought on Craig's list. We had so much fun with the pink couch we had at Roxanne's wedding, we wanted to do the same with this one. The kids took it out into the park for some photos of the bridal party and it made for a cute place to put all the gifts.
With all the rough metal and bricks, we softened things up with pretty glass and vases used throughout - all found in thrift stores and and yard sales.
We lined the walkway from the parking lot to the building with luminaries. We decided on quart size mason jars with a candle dropped in it. I sent the kids up into the attic to see how many jars we really owned (I was guessing 50ish), they came down with 140! I should do more canning and less storing empty bottles. Anyway, we came up with the idea to just tape a strip of patterned tissue paper around the jar. Simple enough, right? No. I found out that most stores stock maybe 3 or 4 packages of the same pattern of gift wrap tissue paper and we needed maybe 8 or 9. So you'd think I could just go to another Walgreens or Target and there would be more of that same pattern, right? Well, no. Then when I finally found 8 packages of tissue paper in the same pattern, I discovered that some tissue paper is printed with a different kind of ink that goes invisible when you put a candle behind it. Luckily I tested it out in a dark bathroom before I wrapped all 140 jars. So, I had to search for a different brand. A simple project turned out to be kind of time consuming, but it made for a pretty walkway to the venue.
The last thing Rachel had to round up (at the last minute) was a cute umbrella. No one plans an event in Phoenix and worries about the weather. It was crazy. But the girls found an adorable clear umbrella that turned out so cute in the pictures.