When my baby sister announced she was getting married via invitation in the post(!) Shan and I volunteered to help her decorate. She and her fiance had booked a space at a lovely park in Brisbane and she wanted a low-key picnic wedding. After a few more chats we decided on a vintage pastel picnic wedding theme. We had creative freedom but were restricted by a few things:
Budget – we offered it as our gift to them, in place of money, so we had to stick to what we could afford.
Location – we didn’t really know what the space looked like so couldn’t plan it out too much. Also, the Council didn’t allow any pegs to go in the ground, so we had to use items that were freestanding.
Travel – whatever we wanted to use had to fit in our car, with us.
Weather – being Queensland and summer it was almost guaranteed to rain in the afternoon. So we used items that could be packed up quickly.
Time – being a low-key wedding we had a very brief window between the ceremony and the reception to set up so it had to be practical and well-planned.
We used a lot of our own bits and pieces, but to make it special we made them a few key personalised items just for their day.
I built a wedding sign from wooden fence palings we had and used paint we had left over from a previous project – luckily for us it was pastel green and worked perfectly.
It was a simple project and took about an hour all up. I cut one of the fence palings into 4 pieces, painted those pieces green, wrote on them and then secured them to the second fence paling. The second fence paling was then screwed to a large bit of hard wood for the base.
What we didn’t have but needed I found in charity stores. We used metal serving trays for the food, old sheets for the picnic rugs and other bits and pieces for decoration. Shan also used scrap material and old sheets to make bunting.
We collected jars over a few weeks and used coloured and white paint to make a range of pastel vases for the centre pieces.
My sister said they were expecting more cards than presents, so they wanted a wishing well. Knowing the wishing well thing has totally been done and that the size made it impractical, I transformed an old photo frame into a card box. My bro-in-law speaks French, so ‘merci’ was chosen as the little message. Again, this was made using materials I already had – pine, paint, screws.
While thrifting one day, I came across this old cassette box for $4. I called my sister and asked what she had in mind for her guest book. She said she hadn’t given it much thought – super casual, I know! – so when I suggested the cassette box she was excited. I managed to get a whole bunch of old tapes from my nan and we cut pastel paper to fit in each cassette for people to write on. We made a little frame to go on top that read: “mix-tape messages of love”.
And the result – well it all turned out pretty perfectly.
In addition to the magnificent bunting that we hung around the food hut, Shan made this way cute pastel paper garland. All the kids loved it and my sis and her hubby now have it hung in their house. The bunting they’re going to keep for their future baby room.
To jazz up the food, we made food and drink signs – super simple but cute and effective. The old briefcase I picked up for $3.50.
The ‘gifts and good wishes’ table came out really well – people loved writing messages for the cassettes and the card box was a novelty for the oldies who thought it was all pretty clever.
Each picnic area had a different centre piece. We used our crates (which usually house our DVDs), pieces of lace (cut from an old curtain), old books, vintage toys and the pastel vases with daisies and bark in them. On each crate was also a frame with a little love note in it. My sis loved the frames so much she asked to keep them all to have in their new home.
We hung lanterns from the trees which the kids loved the most.
Other old items were used around the area – like this suitcase/typewriter/book stand combo which sat in the middle of all the picnic places. Our little niece and nephew were enthralled with the typewriter for a solid 15 minutes.
Shan made the happy couple personalised pin wheels by printing their names on the inside. They loved them 🙂
As the expected storm rolled in, they cut the cake and we packed up their little pastel vintage picnic wedding.
A super simple wedding and it only cost us about $100 and a few days to pull together.