The Belle of the Ball

September 21, 2013

To round out party week at Knitionary, I want to take you to a lovely garden wedding our family attended this summer.  Our good friends were to see their youngest child and only daughter marry.  This wedding had many beautiful ideas and I want to show you how Pinterest had a HUGE part in this reception!

A clothesline of table cards printed by local printer Elli Bernacchi of In Print Los Altos.
 When the mother of the groom arrived in town she set up shop in a corner of the house
and glued little burlap roses, letter beads, etc. to each card.

We entered through the side gate.

All floral arrangements, table decorations and table settings were executed by the mother of the bride and her all-star team.

Sue and John planted huge clusters of mammoth sunflowers around the garden.
These you see in the background were over 10 feet tall!

 Pretty passed and set appetizers to start.

Bamboo fans in case it got hot, it did not.

A basket of sandals for when our feet got too tired for heels.

Sangria at every table.

The gorgeous bride!

Raffia was tied around each vase to visually harmonize the table.
The table numbers were slices of a fallen birch tree with
the numbers created with a craft store wood burning tool.

Over a thousand candles glowed throughout the night.

The bride and groom dreamed of a backyard garden reception with a casual vibe.  The bride grew up in this house and knew that there could be no better venue for this important day.  Mom and Dad got on board and have a whole year to plan and find they have a perfect reason to get the garden in ship shape making the repairs and changes they had been wanting to do.  My friend Sue walked around the garden for days and days, notebook in hand to decide what needed pruning, pulling, replacing, and general sprucing up. 

Kayti lives in New York, the folks live in California.  They talk often about their dreams for the reception but it was not until Kayti and Sue joined Pinterest that they finally could get their ideas across to each other. They created numerous boards and started pinning away.  In no time at all Sue could interpret what kind of wedding Kayti had envisioned and Kayti could see what changes her parents were making to the garden.  Sue and Kayti were trolling Pinterest most days and having a lot of fun.

Next step was to find the perfect caterer.  Excellent food was very important to the bride and groom so they selected popular local caterers, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.  Kayti wanted long tables set end to end and with the help of the caterer they made a map of where the tables and food stations would go.  Sue shared their vision of the table decorations and he suggested the larger 8'x4' king sized tables that seat 4 on each side when lined up banquet style.  Next, she took her dining room table, which also happened to be 8'x4" and started designing "the wedding look".  She decided that the "look" she preferred had 5 vases of flowers, 3 lanterns and 6 votives on each table.  Multiply that by how many tables she needed (well over 20) and came up with how many vases, lanterns and votives she would have to beg, borrow or steal.  But mostly she purchased and gave herself a budget and stuck to it.  For a year she scoured Ikea, Goodwill, Ross, TJ Max and Michaels and tucked away her finds in boxes stacked in the garage all the while keeping an inventory.

Now enter the father of the bride who is entrusted with the job of illuminating this part of the garden.  He spent the better part of spring bringing in electricity and stringing lights across the large portion of unlit space.  They wanted soft light from above and soft candle light from the tables.

A few weeks before the wedding Sue ordered the flowers from the flower seller at the local farmer's market.  The day before the wedding the flowers were delivered.  Sue set up an assembly line in the garage and what came next can only be classified as a family affair.  The bride, the mothers of the bride and groom, and sisters of the groom and friends set to work to fill over 100 vases and mason jars with flowers.  The medley of vases was made to harmonize by tying raffia around each vase and creating similar, but not matching, arrangements in each vase. They most especially did not want a slick matchy matchy look or a formal designer look.  The look they achieved was eclectic and personal, exactly what they were going for.

On the day of the reception the caterers and their team set up the tables and chairs and placed the linens and settings.   Next the groom and groomsmen, brothers and cousins reported for duty.   They were charged with the task of moving all the vases, votives and lanterns from the garage to the tables.   Sue said they sincerely took their job to heart and scrutinized each table with the eyes of artists, rearranging each piece until perfection was attained! 

This wedding prep was a lot of work, a lot of fun, beautiful to see and a personal reflection of the family's fun and casual style.   It was truly a family affair with both families of the bride and groom coming together to help create a special day for Kayti and Morgan.  And it was gorgeous.

I leave you with this "Cowboy" poem, a genre of poetry I was unfamiliar with but now admire.  The father of the bride recited this, and there was not a dry eye in the house.

The Belle of the Ball  

I drove her all right
To the shindig that night,
'Course I said it was just for the ride,
But it probably bought
Me some dances, I thought
As I walked with her proudly inside.

I paid our way in,
We got our hands stamped and then
I was ready to go shake a leg,
But we were met by some guys
With stars in their eyes
Before I'd hung my hat on a peg.

One asked, "May I Ma'am?"
And she offered her hand,
So I waved as they went off to dance,
And though she'd gone off with him,
I still thought with a grin,
Won't be long now 'til I get my chance.

By the wall were some chairs,
So I took a seat there,
And I marveled as she two-stepped around.
Her blonde hair would flow
As she danced to and fro,
Her feet barely touching the ground.

An hour slipped by;
I had no chance to try-
Seemed hopefuls were lined to the door.
But every once in a while
She would flash me a smile
As she waltzed past me out on the floor.

I was just going to go ask
When Miss Tucker come past-
All five foot and two hundred pounds.
She insisted one whirl,
And I'll tell you, that girl
Purt near flung me plumb out of town!

I'd barely recouped
When Granny Coberri swooped
Me up for a varsouvienne.
Then a schottisch with Trish,
Who was once quite a dish-
But all things up ... someday fall down.

It was becoming apparent,
That with her full card I daren't
Even dream of a dance with her.
Besides, why would she
Want to waste time on me
When I was just one night's chauffeur?

So, except for one trip
To the truck for a nip,
I demoted myself to wallflower.
I watched two flasks abused,
And one fight defused,
And Miss Tucker make cowpunchers cower.

Seemed I sat there for days,
And tho' I'd try different ways,
I could not get close to her at all.
Don't know what I expect-
I guess that's what you get
When you come with the belle of the ball.

I wished I'd stayed at the ranch
As the band called "Last Dance!"
When I turned to see standing right there
By a whole herd of men
Doing their best to crowd in
That gal with the pretty blonde hair.

She winked me her charm,
Took 'holt of my arm.
All them fellers were sure looking sad
When she said through the noise,
"I'm real sorry, boys,
But the last dance I saved for my dad."

Next week Knitionary returns to it's roots.  Actual knitting posts.  Honest to goodness.

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  1. Another pretty post.

  2. I love the family and friends of family worked together to make this beautiful wedding!


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