For a wedding near Christmas time, Janelle and Michael had a lot of crafty help from family and friends to make their wedding memorable and unique. I love the idea of keeping the kids entertained by letting them make ornaments!
My husband and I were married nearly 10 years ago in the middle of December. With a very small budget we ended up with what I felt was a beautiful family-friendly wedding reception.
We held the reception in a church gymnasium (free) and then decorated it so it didn’t feel like sweaty sports socks. We only turned on half of the lights, then had the rest of the lighting from electric candles on the tables (no open flames allowed), white Christmas lights decorating a dozen or so borrowed evergreen trees, and the lighted poles on either side or the reception line… A friend is a professional hair stylist and did my hair as a wedding gift. We had a connection to a woman who does beautiful cakes as a hobby very inexpensively. Fancy cut crystal punch bowls, candle sticks, etc. were borrowed from my grandmother. My cousin who does professional photography took all the pictures for only the cost of gas money and film. An old friend of my husband’s did the flowers for a great price too. So those things were taken care of. It’s all about who you know! I believe the final cost to each of our parents was below $1000. Proof that you can pull off a memorable evening on a shoestring!
Because we knew we would have a lot of children at the reception we had a little activity people could do. Near the back was a Christmas tree decorated in colored lights instead of the white lights on the other trees. It had been purchased for us as our first tree. A couple of my sister-in-laws helped people make yarn snowmen and paper ornaments to fully decorate the tree. The tree was wrapped up and transported to our apartment afterwards so when we got home from our honeymoon just before Christmas our apartment featured our own decorated tree with all our wedding presents under it!
Janelle designed, patterned, and put together her own wedding dress.
Janelle’s younger brother who was in high school at the time gathered up a bunch of his friends to entertain the guests. They played a funky percussion piece on metal trash cans, and also some fun stuff on bass drums.
Friends and family members cut out hundreds of snowflakes in the weeks or months before their wedding and sent it to the couple.
I particularly loved the ones cut by my sister and her family since they couldn’t be there (she had a baby the next day!). We put some along the stage curtain behind the line, but most were suspended in a snowy canopy. My brothers were in charge of engineering the snowflakes They ran fishing line from each corner of the room, then hung the snowflakes off the lines with more fishing line. Several dark colored helium balloons were attached to each line to suspend it. The balloons hid in the darker areas by the high ceiling while the snowflakes hung throughout the room. One little boy walked in to the room and said “Wow Mom, look! It’s a snow storm!!!” It helped lower the ceiling from a gymnasium to a more intimate snowy dome.