Wednesday, September 24, 2008

DIY wedding decorations in Wisconsin

All photos by Shruti Mathur

At this point, I think I need to create a "Shruti" label because she keeps coming through for me! My favorite Wedding Attender recently had a grand time at a wedding in Wisconsin (state of cheese!). This wedding, she says, was a major do-it-yourself affair -- not so much because of the cost, but more because of the bride and groom and their personalities. Aw, shucks, let me let her tell you herself.

Jen and Kyle were engaged for two years but I'm not sure if they started planning the wedding until maybe less than a year before. On top of that, Jen spent the summer in Mongolia, coming home about three weeks before the wedding. So, if you can't tell, they are a really easy-going couple and their wedding reflected that--in the best way possible.

Their wedding perfectly encapsulated them and it was really lovely and comfortable and fun. I think that is the highest compliment anyone can pay about someone's wedding---that it fit their personality perfectly. (I only hope people will say that about mine.)

The week before the wedding we went to IKEA to pick up vases, candle holders and candles for the wedding--and anything else that caught the bride's eye. The day before the wedding they visited a flower farm and picked wildflower bouquets and created potted plants in mason jars, which hung from hooks in the wedding tent and were set on the table at the reception.

Rain is supposed to be good luck on the wedding day, but it was unfortunate that it rained the entire time. They had a backup plan of using the marquee tent for the ceremony and the reception was already planned for the lodge--though I am sure they also had planned to let people spill out onto the lawn instead of stuffing themselves inside!!

Instead of a seated or even buffet-style dinner, they opted for "heavy hors d'oeuvres." And, amazingly, this appetizer dinner was really filling! They had wheels of cheese, fruit trays, crackers, pulled pork with buns, home-recipe chicken satay, mini-spanakopitas, hummus, pita, thin slices of beef, mushrooms stuffed with sausage and cheese and this whole fish that you flaked off chunks was scary. I am certainly forgetting foods. I was STUFFED...which was good, since it was an open bar. It was in Wisconsin after all!

Now, I'm just going to interrupt Shruti's great narrative real quick to point out a few things. I LOVE the mason jar idea. How cute! And I love it that they're filled with sand. Remember what I said about lights and candles -- so important!

Case in point! Japanese paper lanterns at a Wisconsin DIY wedding reception? Why not! In the end its all about lighting up the space and creating ambiance. And it also helps dim the soggy outdoor area that people were supposed to be able to wander about in, but for the rain.

I believe this was the bridal bouquet, with white and green mums, white and green roses, and what appear to be green buds. Simple, but so pretty.

Candles in the fireplace, surrounded by greens and branches with red berries. Kind of a nice, fireplace effect in a, heheh, fireplace. With all that Wisconsin drinking, I think a real fire would have been unsafe.

The cake, adorned by a vase of flowers and the bridal bouquet.

The couple, also recognizing that the park was way from our hotel and also it was Wisconsin, land of drinking, provided a small bus to get to and from the hotel. This was very nice touch, I thought.

Park rules stated we had to be out by 10:30 that night. We managed to squeeze in a lot of dancing and fun before that time...and the bridal party plus a few hardy friends headed to a local bar to just hang out.

This wedding, by the way, took place at Bukolt Park and Lodge in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. And its a perfect example of a wedding not needing a year (or two) and the budget of a small city to pull off a one-day event. Do it yourself! It makes things pretty fun. And by the way, I love the idea of heavy hors d'oeuvres. What a great idea. I'm saving that for my next party.

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