Our Homemade Wedding Reception

I can't believe that it's been nearly 4 months since our wedding; boy the time has flown by! I've been meaning to share with you some pictures from our reception, because if we're being honest, after the dress that's really the most important part of a wedding, am I right?!

We decided on our wedding date about an hour before our appointment at the registry office. We were home for Christmas and despite not even being engaged yet, we planned to book a date for "some time in 2014". The date we chose ended up being our anniversary, in March, which gave us a total of 3 months to plan our wedding. Or to be really precise, 13 weeks & 3 days. When we announced this to our family they looked at us, aghast & told us "you won't get it all done in that time!"....so we worked extra hard to prove them wrong! Ha!

The same day we booked the registry office, I bought my dress & before we returned to London we booked the location for our reception and Operation Plan-a-Wedding-in-3-Months had officially begun!
Since joining Pinterest I'd collected quite a lot of wedding ideas, and Andrew, despite his lack of interest before the planning, had some of his own too. Luckily, we were able to merge our visions & agree on (almost) everything - resulting in something we were both very happy with!
Shan Fisher Photography
We knew that we didn't want a colour theme and that we wanted to do a lot of the work ourselves, and thankfully we found the perfect location for our vision - St. Ninian's Parish Centre, a community centre built inside a church. This space was already beautiful, with the original arches and stained glass windows, so there was little effort required on our part.
Shan Fisher Photography
We were able to borrow tables & chairs from the hall, and decided on a long table approach similar to many barn-themed weddings I'd seen on Pinterest. We then covered them in white table cloths & hessian runners found on Ebay. Luckily the red chairs worked perfectly with our no-colour-theme.

Behind the top table we put one of my first, and possibly favourite, purchases - three huge gold balloons. V&A is something I love to use - heck my blog is even named after it! - and we knew right away that they would have to feature somewhere on the day. Ampersand balloons are like gold dust but it was definitely worth the hunt! We also had some cardboard V&A letters to sit with our cards hamper.
Left image: Shan Fisher Photography
We already planned to have Manx Tartan napkins & Andrew suggested we have Manx Tartan bunting too. An "Andrew's idea but Vicky's project", obviously. In the week leading up to the wedding I made SO MUCH BUNTING!! I still have a scar* on my finger from a disagreement with a pin...

As well as not wanting a colour theme, we also didn't want to give favours (another tradition we decided not to follow), deciding instead to give everyone a Marie Curie daffodil pin & donate to a good cause on their behalf instead.
Right image: Shan Fisher Photography
Another of "Andrew's idea but Vicky's project" was the place settings. Whilst I intended to write on parcel tags, he found a font he liked (called Canter) and I then spent hours making them in Photoshop while my lovely Mum cut out & folded each individual one. I used the same design for our seating chart & menu too - how perfect is sage green & gold as a colour combo?!
I loved the idea of displaying old photos, especially old wedding photos. And it was extra special to have the pictures of our grandparents on show as sadly they aren't all with us anymore. On the left are my parents & grandparents, and on the right are Andrew's.
Left image: Shan Fisher Photography
When we were planning the table decorations I knew I wanted jars filled with flowers as the centrepiece, and as my wonderful Mumma had been saving jars for me for the last few months anyway, this was fortunately not a problem. We then purchased a selection of supermarket flowers (that were conveniently reduced) and she set to work arranging them beautifully! And as we are both avid readers with an affection for old books we wanted to feature some of those in the decor too. Again, my Mum was a huge help in finding plain cover hardback books in some local charity shops - she's an angel!
We then had a pretty awesome cake table in the corner with my handmade cake toppers & mini bunting. We never envisaged a huge multi-tiered cake, that just wasn't us, instead we wanted a table of all sorts of cakes, that way we could have all our favourites! We had: a vegan chocolate cake made by Andrew's auntie, fruit cake made by Andrew, a giant Battenberg, cake pops made by Andrew's mum, macarons, iced fingers from Pat-a-Cake (our favourite bakery), carrot & walnut cake, cherry & coconut cake and a Victoria Sponge made by my sister. It was a thing of beauty!
We spent the night before setting everything up and thanks to an awesome team it went swimmingly! Despite making more work for ourselves, it was totally worth it and our vision came together better than we could have ever expected! For us a DIY wedding reception was the only way to go, both as a way of saving money and because it made it more personal to us as a couple. Entrusting such a big part of our day to strangers just wouldn't have felt right.

Did you/would you have a DIY wedding reception? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!

*wedding keepsake

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