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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Rockin 50's Reception

I'm back from vacation and just received the pictures from my daughter's 50's rockin' reception. For those of you who have just joined us, this was a DIY wedding for 500 guests, with a budget of $5,000 and 6 weeks to make it all happen. The $5,000 was earned in 5 weeks by selling trash (clothes on ebay, estate sales and craigslist) It began with our homemade record invitations...
We were able to acquire almost 500 records from garage sales.
As a surprise to the groom- who happens to be a mechanic- we invited 2 members of the classic car club to bring their 1950's cars to display at the reception. These sweet people, who didn't know us prior to this event, drove a bit of a distance, dedicated their time and shared their cars with just the promise of a hamburger dinner and a rootbeer float- we are so grateful to them!
My girls were dressed in poodle skirts made by my talented mother in law and hot pink vans tennis shoes.The cars were parked nose to nose with just a little distance to create the entrance.
Upon entering, guests were greeted by a diner style table and the sign-in book.

The sign-in book was created by the bride on Every other page was blank, to allow room for messages to the couple. The table also featured roller skates (garage sale: $2.00), fuzzy dice, jump rope, tinted daisies, records and a picture of the bride and groom in a malt shop. The gift table was the "rat rod". An old truck that the groom and father of the groom love. A vintage pepsi crate held cards and poster size pictures leaned against the side. We also used a chicken wire frame to display smaller pictures of the bride and groom.The receiving line was staged with a record backdrop. The records were collected at garage sales, drilled and hung with S hooks. Here's a picture before the line started...Mr. Right and I loved the casual dress and opted for custom bowling shirts with our name embroidered from Daddyo'
Here's a picture of one of the centerpieces...
We collected the sundae cups from thrift stores and filled one with double bubble gum and the other with the daisies tinted in the wedding colors. I made the "menus" which feature information about the couple. Here's a close-up of side 1...

After going through the line guests were greeted by Elvis and Marilyn- and got a peek at the cake...
Cake is not the bride and grooms favorite dessert, so they decided to serve rootbeer floats to the guests and just ordered a topper to cut. Guests then entered the "Diner"
Mr. Right and I picked up this jukebox from craigslist for $250.00 (complete with 100 records) It was our "D.J." for the first hour of the reception. The "Hallsted" (my daughters new last name) pennant was made the night before the wedding (ironed on the last letter at 2:00am) Here's a look at the whole backdrop...
We had fabulous friends and family members that cooked and served.

Here's a close up of the diner sign I designed and painted- I used an overhead projector to create all of the signs- and paint pens to fill in letters and small details
Hamburgers, hotdogs, fries and rootbeer floats were served to the guests.Here's more handmade signs and where the guests could fill up on homemade rootbeer, water, and floats. How did we make homemade rootbeer? Use a 5 gallon drink cooler, fill half-way with water, add 5 pounds sugar, one 2 oz bottle of rootbeer concentrate and Two large pieces of dry ice. Let bubble for 30 minutes then fill the rest of the way with water and serve. My photographer didn't necessarily take pictures for a blog post, so I'll have to describe some of the other features that weren't photographed. We set up a kids area with retro toys. I made a sign (which you can sort of see in the background of the centerpiece photo) and set up play doh, match box cars, Mr. Potato Heads, Hula Hoops and Jump Ropes. We included a picture of the couple playing with each of the toys and a bit of history on how the toys relate to the 50's. Here's a few pictures of the tables...

The area was a big hit with the kids and gave the parents a chance to enjoy the music and food.

Here you can see our checkered dance floor. We ordered 10- 1 and 1/8" thick pieces of plywood and handpainted the squares the day before the wedding. This created a 16x20 foot dance floor for the guests to really show their moves!

Here you can see the incredible light canopy that really set the mood when the sun went down. This we hired out! Thankfully, the maid of honors dad is in the business and gave us a great deal! Another area that wasn't really photographed was the drive in... Complete with popcorn and a video of the bride and groom...We made another hand painted sign, but it didn't get photographed :(
Because my daughter's bouquet was made out of vintage broaches by our dear friend Debbie (You've got to check out her etsy shop here) she threw a bouquet of daisies...
The groom was the hit of the party when he danced to "I'm too sexy" before removing the garter!
Here's a peek at behind the scenes where the grills, fryers and coolers were hidden...By the end of the evening the "rat rod" was full of giftsAnd the happy couple were ready to get on to the honeymoon...
As they drove off in the 1950's BelAir, Mr. Right and I both took a deep breath. What a crazy 6 weeks it has been- but worth every minute of it. We are so happy for our beautiful Amanda and our new son in law Brennen. Thank you to everyone who made this evening possible. Love, Kelly.
Linking Up To:
Anything Related @ All Thingz Related
Table Top Tuesdays @ A Stroll Thru Life
Get Your Craft On @ Today's Creative Blog
Tip Me Tuesday @ Tip Junky
Take A Look Tuesday @ Craft Edition
Three Or More Tuesday @ The Gypsy's Corner
Anti-Procrastionation Tuesdays @ New Nostalgia
Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays @ Coastal Charm


  1. You literally blow me away, and boggle my mind. There is no way you actually slept in those 6 weeks, I'm quite sure of it. The amount of things you did, and the creativity is just amazing! Your daughter is one lucky girl. Thanks for sharing all your ideas and hard work. It was fun to see how everything turned out. Happy for you that you can breathe easy....until the next big project comes up, i guess.

  2. AMAZING!!! Most creative wedding I have EVER seen!

  3. From one Kelly to may make our name a freakin' legend! This was one of the absolute cutest and unique ones I have ever seen! YOU ROCK!

  4. You can really see the love that went into this fabulous wedding and reception. Your creativity is incredible. I'm sure this is one wedding where everyone, from the oldest to the youngest, came away with a smile and was grateful to have been included in the festivities.

    Bravo! Fabulous job!!

  5. Just Fabulous Kelly!! Will you adopt me????

  6. I was so honored to be able to attend the wedding reception even tho I live in Utah now. Brennen is a really good friend of mine and he could not have married a better person. FAN-FREEKIN-TASTIC job on everything. One of the funnest receptions I've been to!

  7. This is incredible! Doesn't get more fun than that and a memory not to forget! You did an amazing job! WOW

  8. AMAZING!! You are so talented. Congrats to you and your family!! :)

  9. WOW!!! Everything looks so cute and fun. You did an AWESOME job =)

  10. i love how it all came together! everyone looks like they had a blast...gorgeous bel air! i'd love to have my own one day, or maybe a nash metropolitan, since they are way more my size. great idea with the dance floor and swooning over the lights strung up!

  11. This looks like everyone just had so much fun. Lots of great ideas!!

    Have a great week!

  12. Simply Amazing!! What a great idea..on everything! Everyone looks so happy and having such a blast from the past!!

  13. WOW...can't believe that you put all of this together in 6 looked outstanding and I loved the vintage cars. I so wish my daughters wedding in July had a $5,000 budget, but our budget is way lower than the average wedding for over 400 guests. Thanks for sharing this special day at my NTT party.


  14. I found your blog from the. Today's creative blog link,and I just had to leave a comment. This is the cutesy idea! It makes me want to redo my wedding! I grew up in Fairmount, IN, the home of James Dean and every year in sept. Is James Dean Days, this would have been absolutely perfect!! Love it, great execution of such a clever idea!
    Kelly Young

  15. Good job! Though it looked a little more like a ward party than a wedding reception. But definitely creative and I am sure everyone had fun!

  16. Oh, my goodness. I've never seen anything like this. How creative it all was and what wonderful memories were made. WOW!

  17. Brilliant! That is the most creative idea for a reception, and you did a lovely job! =)
    Amber (Lofgreen) Marler

  18. All the pictures are really nice and breath taking. I hope I would have been a part of the game. But any ways loved the post a lot. Thanks for sharing.

  19. This was an awesome theme! You gave me so many ideas for our reception! We are also having a 50's themed diner reception, and Ive been looking all over the internet for wedding venues that will go with what we what, the back drop was an excellent idea!