Saturday was a very exciting day for our family–my son proposed to the love of his life, and both families were close by and got to watch it all unfold! Witnessing the proposal was a very moving and magical experience, and it meant the world to both of them that we were all there.
After pictures were taken and we had a round of drinks at a nearby dessert bar, we all headed back to our house for a party. Her family had just traveled from upstate New York, and this was the first time that the two families were meeting, so my son wanted this to be a very informal gathering. He wanted there to be plenty of time for relaxation and casual conversation. Even though this was to be a very casual get-together, I wanted the house to look festive because, after all, this was an engagement party! So I made all of the decorations in keeping with the theme and my son’s wishes. As I have said many times before, one of the best parts about paper crafting is the fact that you can customize any project to fit a theme, style, or recipient and, in this case, I did all three!
Now that you know the back story, it’s time to get to the fun part–the actual decorations! My goal was to have some form of decoration in all of the major parts of the house where people were going to be, and I used a combination of banners and table top decorations to accomplish this goal. The color scheme was teal and purple, and these are the patterned papers I used in some form on almost all of the decorations I made:
Let’s start with the side porch door, and I’ll walk you through the decorations as people saw them as they came through the house:
I really wanted to dress up the side porch door, as this is the first thing that people were going to see as they arrived. So I made a vertical banner, which I had never done before. I wanted the words on the banner to speak to this being a celebration for both my son and his fiancé, so I chose to use “Best Day Ever”. The banner ended up blending in with our door color, so I got two bunches of balloons for either side of the door to help draw your eye to the banner.
Here are some pictures of the banner against a white door, so that you can see the detail more clearly:
Each of the 4 x 4 letter blocks was adhered to a long piece of white burlap ribbon. I looped the top end of the ribbon around a piece of dowel and tied coordinating strips of ribbon to the dowel on either side of the banner. I then tied the hanging loop of twine to the small eye hooks my husband drilled in to either end of the dowel.
The next decoration people saw was another banner as they entered the kitchen area:
This time I attached streamers to the 4 x 4 letter blocks, so that everyone would have to walk through the streamers. I don’t know about you, but I think streamers scream party, and I wanted the happy couple to walk through some streamers on their engagement day!
The last banner I made was hung the mantel, and you could see it from anywhere in the kitchen area:
Out of all of the banners I made, this one was my favorite. Because this was a double banner, I used 3 x 3 letter blocks and strung all of the blocks together with ribbon. I put command hooks on top of the mantel and hung each banner by tying the ribbons to the hooks. I know it is customary to put the woman’s name first, but it rhymed by flipping the names around!
Now let’s go into the sunroom, where the appetizer table was:
The plates and napkins were on top of a cabinet that was by the door entering the sunroom. As a decoration for this cabinet, I covered the couples’ initials with some of the different patterns of papers. I kept each letter very simple, except for tying a wooden button on with some twine to her initial. I also added some tiny hearts table scatter to the top of the cabinet as an extra touch.
I didn’t have much room on the appetizer table for decorations, so I decided to use a stack of books. My son and his fiancé attended the same Master’s Degree program in Creative Writing and both work in the publishing industry, so the books have real significance to them.
I covered the books in brown paper–which I haven’t done in MANY years– and it brought back a rush of memories of starting each new school year by making my own book covers with grocery bags. I was so proud of myself when I thought of the idea of adding the equation to the spines of the books! I thought that it not only tied in with the occasion, but also tied in the fact that her undergraduate degree was in economics.
And did you notice the mason jar of flowers on top of the books? This actually is my most favorite decoration of all, and I had one jar on the appetizer table, and one on the kitchen table:
I took flowers from our garden and placed them in the mason jars, with the white hydrangea clusters on top of the daisy varieties. I then covered the flowers completely with water, followed by a thin layer of vegetable oil. I added a tea-light to the center of each jar and lit the candles. The oil layer provides the buoyancy needed to allow the tea-light to float.
I think these jars of flowers are just beautiful, and I know that this is going to be my preferred method for arranging flowers from now on. Flowers and candlelight always add a touch of romance, and I was happy that I found a way to incorporate both in to the decorations.
The get-together ended up being everything that my son had wanted, and it truly was a great ending to the BEST DAY EVER! He loved how festive the house looked with all of the decorations, and the two families had a wonderful time getting to know each other.
Before I close, I have one more project to show you–the party bags. You can’t have a party without favor bags!
I filled bags with 3 different flavors of popcorn from our local popcorn shop, and attached a tag that said “He POPPED the question, she said YES”! This isn’t my original idea, but, when I saw it on Pinterest, I knew it was perfect for our popcorn-loving family!
Here is a closer look at the tags–the background paper used for the tag reminded me of popcorn kernels. The label was computer generated and printed on adhesive label sheets. I punched the label out with a circle punch and mounted it on a solid card stock circle also made with a circle punch. I know it was a little corny (sorry, I couldn’t help myself!), but everyone loved them!
Thank you so much for sharing in this special day with me–this is the first engagement for our family and it’s very exciting! I not only made all of the party decorations, but I also made our son and his fiancé a gift that I would like to show you as well. I will try and get a second post up later this week.
Until then, take care, and, as always, remember:
“May what waves kiss your feet; / the sand be your seat; / and your friends out-number the stars”
P.S. She said yes!