I Do… So Love October Weddings (Part II- Dazzle the Church and Reception)


Recently, Dean and I celebrated our 6 year wedding anniversary and spent the following weekend attending a wedding in Chicago. It brought back all kinds of memories of the effort and time we put into making sure our own wedding was the party of our lives. In the last segment, I talked about how we looked- dresses, shoes, bouquets and boutonnieres. In this segment, I’ll talk about all the small details- how the church, reception and tables were decorated. This was my favorite part of the planning!


The church in which we married was very old and simply furnished. We opted to skip altar flowers and, instead, bought some potted mums and wrapped them in burlap to add fall flair. The ends of the pews were decorated with indian corn embellished with brown bows. I made two fall wreaths for the red church doors. They were made of a grapevine leaf form covered with dyed leaves and pinecones. See my next post on autumn decor for a quick tutorial.


Our reception was held in the barn at the Salem Cross Inn.  It has a rustic feel too it and required very little decorating.  The barn is filled with antiques, many of which were rescued from a severe flood. Through Christmas, the barn is lit with soft white lights that made the dance floor feel magical. If you choose the prime rib as an entree, it roasts on an old-fashioned spitfire during your cocktail hour. We borrowed upon the look and feel of the place by using a vintage suitcase to hold our “guest book,” which consisted of post cards from all the places we’ve collectively lived (Salem NH, Long Island, Boston, Ft Lauderdale, San Francisco and Austin). Our parting gifts were apples picked from a local orchid and we hand stamped white bags with an apple motif. Our only fault here was displaying the apples in baskets and encouraging the guests to bag their own apples.  I think my parents were eating apples for weeks afterward.


We spent the majority of our effort on the table decor. For the guest place card holders, we used mini pumpkins. Our tables were named for the various countries we have visited.  They were marked with mini suitcases similar to these sold here and decorated with old time travel posters and luggage labels.

The centerpieces were made out of wheat. I got the idea from Martha Stewart who says you just secure several bunches of wheat with a rubber band, hide the rubber band with a ribbon and trim the ends so it sits on the table evenly. Oh is that all? Well, they were not at all stable that way and required a lot of wheat. This is the point when Dean became involved with the centerpieces. He got the idea to glue bunches of wheat to a cone. We were able to get wheat at Garden Ridge and Hobby Lobby. The cones were cardboard Santa hats from the Christmas section at Hobby Lobby.  When we bought all those up in every store, we turned to plastic megaphones. We would tape together 5 or 6 pieces of wheat. We then glued the bunches all the way around the cardboard cones. After 2-3 layers like this, the center pieces looked amazing. We then added long stalks of orange aveeno and green grasses and secured with green ribbon.  I bought green silky ribbon, but when that ran out, we used the green ribbon from all our Pottery Barn registry gifts. Worked like a charm. The centerpieces were very stable and durable this way; however, it took forever to make 20. We had an assembly line going on our kitchen island on many hot August nights. Then, we lovingly packaged them up and shipped them to NH, and they survived the trip! I still have two, which are currently on my dining room table for the fall.

I also had an insane desire to make my own napkin rings. These were made of gold wire ribbon to which I sewed an acorn or pair of acorns. Prepping the acorns was the hardest part. Acorns tend to harbor acorn weevils and you do not want these little bugs making an appearance on your dinner table. After we collected the acorns, we froze them (for months). When I was ready to make the napkin rings, I cooked the acorns on low for several hours in the oven. I then sprayed them with clear, glossy spray paint to preserve them.  It was a little tricky sewing on the acorns (this ultimately worked and looked better than superglue), but they came out great and I still have a set of 12 to use at Thanksgiving.  The only bad part was the reception site made me put the napkin rings on the napkins. Thanks to my Mom and my high school girl friends Jamie and Megan who stayed up until 1 AM with me during Red Sox play offs (we later won the World Series for the first time since 1918) to sew napkin rings and learn how to properly fold a napkin.

Thanks again to our photographer David Tucker who gets the credit for the majority of these pictures and was truly a pleasure. I am so glad for the randomness in which my coworker Kathy (in Austin) recommended her sister’s friend who turned out to be one of the best wedding photographers in all of Boston.

Of course, when it comes down to it, no one but me really remembers the decor. They remember whether they had a good time and if the food was good. The two things folks consistently recall about our wedding are the Salem Cross Inn’s chocolate mousse cake and our band, kickass Boston cover band Magnus. We rocked the night away, and it was truly the party of our lives. Cheers to my love and everyone who made it a beautiful night.  Thank you.

One thought on “I Do… So Love October Weddings (Part II- Dazzle the Church and Reception)

  1. Pingback: Autumn- My Favorite Season | While Everyone Else Is Sleeping

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