I quickly decided that, to go with the bunting and the flowers, the tables needed to be fun and colourful too.
Mixed doilies, various jars, charity shop-bought vases, cut-glass decanters – all put together to make the most of the large tables covered in white cloths.
I had the help of my sister-in-law’s mother Mary and friend Jen in collecting doilies from charity shops – all crocheted and in different colours, different patterns and sizes and costing no more than 49p each. Each table had three or four doilies in the centre. It broke up the dullness of the table cloth and softened the crispness of the white.
I used two jars and one vase on each table also. The larger jar had 5 tall flowers, the smaller had 3 short flowers and the vase was stuffed with a string on battery powered fair lights. I couldn’t believe how effective everything looked together. It totally blew me away! I was so pleased that all the little ideas that I’d had had finally come together!
By the way, battery powered fairy lights are completely and utterly the way forward!! They are so effective and worked brilliantly in the cut-glass vases and decanters. Our venue weren’t keen on us using candles and I hate the fake tea lights so this was the perfect solution! And now I have 12 stings of lights that I can use for christmas and parties! I shopped around and found a great deal on Ebay by a company from Japan. They took weeks to arrive so if you’re going to go ahead and use an international trader then PLAN AHEAD!
The most contentious issue, and one that we spent many, many hours debating, was the issue of favours. We had so many romantic ideas – personalised magnets, wine glass charms, pin badges, seeds… – All lovely ideas but all averaging at £1.50 per person. That was £135 on trinkets! Erm… no. I love our friends and family but… really?!
So, we decided that we could make up little bags of sweets and have some stickers printed with our initials and the date.
We also had little activity books made up by a lovely trader on Etsy called LoveInColours for our younger guests. Each one was personalised, came with crayons and we could choose the colours and age-range for each child. The kids LOVED them and they kept them amused whilst the boring grown-ups made speeches.
And finally… there was ALE. We, as a couple, LOVE ALE. And I happen to be lucky enough to have a brewer in the family. We needed ale at our reception and unfortunately our venue would not let us have a keg of our favourite brew on the bar so we asked Brass Castle Brewery of Malton – http://www.brasscastlebrewery.co.uk/ – if we could have 100 bottles of their wonderful vanilla porter ‘Bad Kitty’. We relabelled the front of the bottle with our names and date, keeping the back of the bottle with all the details of the brewery and the ale so that our guests knew what they were drinking, in a flash of inspiration we decided on the name ‘Matrimoni-ALE’. We displayed the ale on a table by the dance floor and everyone took a some home with them!