If you’ve read this blog in the last six months, you know I don’t love weddings. In fact, the thought of them makes me break out in hives. I like parties, but I don’t really want to be the center of attention (unless there is a LOT of champagne involved, but then someone always suggests karaoke, and that NEVER ENDS WELL), I don’t particularly like my photo taken, and if I’d had to have a party on my actual wedding day*, I am pretty sure I would have exploded in a delicate poof of turquoise sparkles. (OR SCORCHING LIGHTNING.)
My parents were very understanding that we didn’t want a traditional wedding — we just wanted to do the deed at City Hall, and celebrate later. Or not at all. This ended up being optimal, because I was able to enjoy the company of my extended family and my extremely beloved college friends (henceforth referred to as “the nerds,” because that is who we are), without worrying that everything was going to be perfect.
My dad opted to have a party for his family and my college friends. I told him, “Well, do whatever you want…but make sure there’s plenty of drinks, and I guess the decor should be turquoise, and I’ll take care of the favors.”
Over the months, this morphed into a 50+ person party (my dad has a huge family, as he is one of 7 children, and his mother was one of 13), and…you know…try as I might, I still had OPINIONS. On how things should be DONE.
(The people who know me are gasping! Opinions? JENNIE? No, she is such a delicate flower!)
So here is how I made a 50+ guest buffet dinner a little more personal — with help from friends and family.
First: favors (pictured above). I’ve already written about my salted caramel squares — so I made two batches and enlisted my husband (god, that’s weird) and brother to help me package them in silver & clear treat bags (purchased at Michaels), tie them with turquoise ribbon, and attach custom-printed tags. That’s a free, customizable Avery template — it just happened to be the colors I wanted.
Second: balloons! I saw this pin and thought it would be a really nice idea to personalize the party without going too crazy. Originally, I wanted to do a “balloon chandelier” with two rows of ten balloons over a specific area, plus one balloon over each table. Well, life — and the summer heat — got in the way, and a few of the balloons decided to pop before we got to the location. And then, of course, when we got there, some of the balloons didn’t want to stick to the ceiling (even with double-stick tape — vents are good for cold air, but bad for twee decor!). My solution was to stick single balloons over the tables (you have to have double-stick tape on top, or the photos will weigh them down), but just let the other balloons sit on the bar/mantel and the gift table. It seemed to work out well — people were amused by our ridiculous baby photos, and liked to pick them up to look more closely.
And it added interest to the tables:
The centerpieces were provided by my aunt, and customized by some leftover peacock feathers I had on hand for my bouquet and hairpiece. The tables were rounded off by some clear and turquoise “diamonds” (get them at Party City! One package of clear and one of turquoise were enough for 9 tables), because why buy confetti when you can have DIAMONDS?!
And the rest, my friends, is a sparkly blur of champagne and good company — which is the best you can hope for when surrounded by dear friends and family.
* ask me about the squished mouse on my wedding day