My last wedding recap post was pretty broad, spanning the big moments to the little ones. The day went by so quickly that it was difficult to remember everything, and had I not had a hand in every single detail I probably wouldn’t have noticed the many layers of meaning.
But many layers of meaning there were and, like I mentioned, nearly everything about our day was touched by someone we love.
First and foremost — and probably our guests’ favorite part of the reception — was the brown ale Andrew and I brewed together, the winter before the wedding. He had given me a legit brew kit for the 21st birthday, and because we are such beer-lovers it was only fitting to make our own for the big day. This was a Newcastle-style brown ale, and the batch yielded about 45 bottles. They went extremely quickly, but we managed to save a couple for ourselves. I named my home brew Dutch Wife Brewery as an homage to Andrew’s very Dutch last name, and mama designed this adorable waterproof label to accompany this particular brew. (My first beer was a dark, rich porter that I called “Dutch Wife Busty Porter.”)
Our table decor was collected from flea markets and thrift stores spanning the tri-state area, and also begged and borrowed from friends and family members. Mismatched china was lent to us from church members and friends with flea market stalls, but the china most precious to me was that lent to me by my paternal grandmother. It was her mother’s wedding china — a gorgeous white plate with grey-silver stalks of wheat in the center. In those small details, we tried to connect the generations in a meaningful way.
Old library books scavenged from the Goodwill helped to add dimension to our tablescapes, and vessels of varying sizes and patterns held small bouquets or single blossoms. Most vessels came from thrift stores, but a few special ones like the crystal globe above belonged to my maternal grandmother.
Our table settings were also unique and special to us. In keeping with the rustic, DIY theme, we used kraft paper and discarded wine corks to mark the place settings at the head table. My daddy cut the corks in half while mama and I made labels, arranged the table settings, and affixed them to the corks. Andrew and I actually picked up most of these corks last summer on a quick trip to Little Rock where a very friendly bartender gifted us with his cast-away corks. Another story, another detail!
Some family friends with an eye for photography ran a DIY photobooth for our guests upstairs in the barn. We used a quilt as a backdrop and provided tons of fun props to make for funny pictures — moustaches and paper hats painted by my friend Elise, giant sunglasses and feather boas from the dollar store, and thrifted picture frames from which guests peeked and posed. Many thanks to the Wiles family for their hard work and creativity!
The calico bunting strung over the dance floor was handmade by my mama and I — we spent hours cutting triangle flags, stitching and glueing and rolling up rope. The end result was a whimsical definition of the “fun space” in the barn, and it is a lasting memento from our wedding-planning time to use for soirees in the future.