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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Vintage Victorian Wedding Reception

I've spent the last several weeks preparing a victorian style wedding reception for a friend's daughter. So many fun projects- Here's a peek at the lights and overall look... The mother of the bride took paper lanterns and glued paper doilies to the outside. With the light showing through it gave a gorgeous lacy effect. Let's start at the entrance...
Grandmother of the bride donated her antique sewing machine for the outside entrance. We also had a poster print of the bride and groom, candles, flowers wrapped with lace and a "Happily Ever After Starts Here" sign. Here's a closer look...
The sign was made by just spray painting over an old picture that had a beautiful frame. I then applied vinyl lettering. The font is AdineKirnberg. Next we have the entrance doors...
A custom vinyl treatment was easy to remove at the end of the reception but made a big personalized impact.
In the foyer a picture of the Arizona temple- where the couple were sealed- hand painted by the mother of the bride and a little telephone table we decked out in royal purple- one of the wedding colors.
In the foyer we also hung a swing and personalized a watering can for a little vintage charm.
The bride hand carved the couples initials into the seat of the swing.
Last stop in the foyer is the sign-in table. A french dresser taken straight out of my daughters room and set walls covered with embossed wallpaper and then painted that same Royal purple. Here's a closer look...
The Mr. & Mrs. banner was made by the bride's aunt.
For the vintage typewriter I took a snippet from a letter the groom wrote the bride when he proposed. I used American typewriter font and it looked just like it could have been created with the keys.
Each table was dressed in black with vintage books (covers removed- middle book covered with "little black dress" scrap book paper) lantern, key, vintage bottle with flower, picture of the bride and groom and a personalized western union telegram.This picture shows just how striking this couple looks together.The idea for the western union telegram came when I found a few originals at a garage sale. I figured I could recreate some using real stories about the bride and groom's courtship. I started with a blank template of the telegram that I found online. I printed it, downloaded telegram font and then typed up the stories shared with me by the bride and groom. I then found an old age paper image online and placed it behind the text so that the strips of paper would look aged. We printed the lines, cut them into strips and glued them onto the blank telegram (this is actually how they used to do it) If guest went from table to table (each telegram was different) they could get the full story of the bride and groom.

Here was a little vignette to help hide some of the "basketball court". Two french doors with a shutter door in the middle. We painted the chair and table and then left the upholstering up to the professionals.
Next stop was the gift table. Another piece on loan from the Grandmother of the bride, this fantastic 10 foot table was fun to decorate and held the many gifts the couple received. The printer drawers were an auction find and looked great behind the vintage luggage. The "love" scrabble letters were such a fun project- I plan to make a few sets for the shop. Here's a closer look...Simply made using a 2x10 piece of pine. Lots of sanding, then natural stain and vinyl. I designed the letters using the font: Univers LT 47 Condensed. Another personal touch was the chalkboard door...

Difficult to see in the picture, but the couple printed out how they met, when their first kiss was, the proposal etc. I love that the guests can read more about the couple as they approach the receiving line.
For the receiving line we used 16 feet of set walls (same ones we used for my daughters 50's diner backdrop here) treated the same as the sign in walls. We collected frames at garage sales and auctions for a fun geometric backdrop.Now onto the food display...

I so wish I had a better picture of this- it was my favorite element of the reception. We took 2 10 foot tall glass doors- painted the sides black, braced them and then attached a 14 foot board across the top. We draped 5 different types of fabric (cut into 1 and 2 inch wide strips) to create a fabric backdrop. In front of the back drop we had a two tiered table (borrowed from a friend) 2 french dressers (purchased at auction a few weeks ago and painted black) and a vintage vanity we painted black. That held the ingredients to the pasta bar and salad guests enjoyed. Here's a little closer look. After food guest were greeted by out spirited bartenders...

serving up 7 different flavors of Italian Cream soda. We built the bar (which folds up easy for storage) and framed the flavors using an ornate gold frame. Here's a closer look at the backdrop...A paneled door and 2 shutters helped cover up some of the block walls. Now, onto the sweets...

Two black french doors and a purple paneled door framed the cake, cream puffs and chocolates. This cake was incredible. Take a closer look...Individual white chocolate flowers and ribbons of icing from dark purple to white. The toppers were the perfect crown.Two birds made by the mother of the bride.The water table was jazzed up with a little metal chair, iron, vintage books and a miniature version of the "love" scrabble letters.

I created a screen for the video of the bride and groom by taking a huge frame and tacking a white sheet behind it. Here's a better look...
We projected the movie from behind to hide all the equipment and cords.
On the way out guests were greeted by a vintage church pew and another custom banner from the bride's aunt. Such a fun event! So much so that the Brides mother and I are thinking about dabbling in the wedding planning business. Another fun adventure. Let me know what you think. Love, Kelly.


  1. ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL!! I love all the intimate details--the typewriter with the love note, the western union, the video. Everything was so personal and resonated the couple's love. I think you would do wonderful in the wedding business!

  2. You did a fantastic job! Everything looks so great and so original! Well done!

  3. Kelly:

    What do you mean, dabble? You are ALREADY DOING IT! :) At least much of it. And an amazing job at staging and decorating! Really pretty and personal.


  4. I so wish your ideas had been around when I got married! You make the cultural hall look awesome (NOT a cultural hall!).

  5. I assumed you were DOING THIS AS A BUSINESS! You mean to tell me you are doing this for FREE!!?! YOU ARE AMAZING! And a amazingly talented!

  6. Amen to what everybody has said. You are an amazingly talented woman and your ideas are so original! I never thought you could TRANSFORM a cultural hall so much... I LOVE your creativity! :)

  7. I loved this. Where were you when i married off my seven daughters. I love doing crafty things and vinyl lettering fits right in.

  8. I LOVE IT! My kind of wedding, for sure! Forget the bride and the groom, I'm checking out the decor! Haha, just joking. But seriously, you did an amazing job!