Thursday, May 31, 2012

Small Wedding, Big Bash

As promised from my previous post, I want to share about our open-house style reception. After having a small, intimate, quick wedding, we had the big bash about 4 months later. I found this to be a wonderful concept. It gave the hubby and I time to settle into our place, and find more time to plan our party. I couldn't imagine how much more exhausted we would have been if we moved, had a ceremony, had a huge party, and left for a honeymoon all in the same day. I don't know how other couples do it.
Instead, we got to plan our reception together in the comfort of our own apartment. I actually enjoyed each step of the process - from the invitations, to the decorations, to the atmosphere we had the party in, to the food (well, maybe not planning the food - this was never my expertise...) Check out some of our ideas and pictures below:


Our color scheme was Brown and Blue
Me, being the simple, DIY girl I am, found a lot of my ideas on Pinterest and made most of the stuff we needed. One of them being the Mason Jar centerpieces with a floating candle. I simply got wider hemp material and hot glued it around the mouth of it. Just add water and floating candle! I was amazed at how expensive the candles were at many stores, but found a pretty great deal at

We posted lots of pictures around the room of our ceremony so people could see what our wedding was like. We also had a daisy flower theme going too. I found really cute daisy pieces at

The tables had the Mason Jar centerpieces as well as the daisy pieces. They also had little, clear plastic bowls of candies that matched our colors (Almond Joy Pieces in one, and York Pieces in another). The pens were on each table for a fun Crossword puzzle I made about my hubby and me for people to fill out and learn more about us. (I found a website via searching for a free puzzle maker). Definitely was fun for the family!
We hung pictures from our ceremony and wedding pictures around the room on thinner hemp material, thumb tacks, and clothes pins. It was fun watching people walk around and look at them!

The sitting tables were covered in our light blue color, and the longer serving and decor tables were covered with our brown color. It made our colors even more vibrant!

We had a table with the bouquet I held int he wedding, along with my husbands boutonniere and our wedding programs on them for people to see. It was another great way to liven up the room.


We put together mini drawstring bags with coffee beans. The tags on them say "Love is Brewing - Mark & Ashley". They were a hit, and since the hubby and I are avid coffee drinkers, they were absolutely perfect!

They're hard to see in this picture, but to the right of it are sheets with a crossword puzzle about us. They were a fun way for people to learn about us and our families and friends to learn more about each of us.


My favorite part of our reception was definitely the atmosphere and laid-back feel of it! Everyone had so much fun and plenty to keep them busy if they wanted, especially with how busy we were greeting and talking to people! There was light music over the sound system with positive and Christian music. 

One of the accommodations we provided for parents was a Kids' Corner, complete with coloring sheets, and kid & family-friendly movies playing the whole time. A table made just for them, and bean bags to watch the movies on.

Lots of different coloring sheets for both girls and boys! Even some with characters from the movies we showed. I found many free downloads online for these. 

Our church had some old kid-friendly magazines that kids were able to look at and take! 

 Another cool element to our party was the room for viewing our wedding ceremony. A separate room near the main room with a tv and dvd player that we had our ceremony playing on. People could come and go as they pleased. All they needed to do was push play. =)

  We put copies of our ceremony in the room for people to follow along with. 

Our guestbook was a couple's devotional Bible and index cards. It was fun to look through the index cards and we still are finding verses people underlined and highlighted to this day as we go through the Bible!

Food & Seating:

This part was the biggest stresser for me. When it comes to food and knowing how much to get, how much to pay and where to get it, I couldn't tell you. We decided to provide the main dish, beverages and cake for our guests, and asked anyone who attended and who wanted to, to bring a dish to pass. I was fearful that this wouldn't work, but between all of our family and our wonderful church family, we had plenty of food to go around!

Seating was open-house style, thus, we didn't need to worry about seating charts and running out of room. You grab a plate, fill it up, and either walk around, or take a seat at one of the 10 tables we had set up. This too, worked out really well with people coming and going anytime between the times we had the party.

Our gorgeous, gorgeous cake! Made by one of the wonderful ladies in our church. It was her wedding gift to us! I love that it is complete with daisies and our colors.

Our awesome, open-house food spread. Definitely had enough to go around!

All in all, this party was a great one! Everyone had so much fun and though we were exhausted at the end of the day, it will be a day for us to remember for years to come!

My Resources - These sites are ones that helped me get ideas and where I got a lot of the things I mentioned above:

The Knot
Oriental Trading
Joann Fabrics

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