This past December we celebrated our parent’s 50th wedding anniversary. My siblings and I decided to host a party for them. We had a tight budget, especially since it was right at Christmas and I think we pulled it off very well!
We rental a local hall and did all the decorating ourselves. I borrowed as many Christmas lights as I could find and draped them crosswise, swagging them in the middle. Drapery hooks and paperclips were used to anchor them to the grid in the ceiling. I used clear lights with green cording instead of purchasing new ones and, to be honest, once the clear lights were on and the overhead lights were off, you couldn’t tell the difference.
On each end, we made curtain backdrops for the food tables. PVC pipe was used as a curtain rod and inexpensive sheers as curtains. These were picked up at yard sales, Goodwill and Wal-Mart. I used safety pins to attach the lights on the backside. I had a very long scarf that I cut down the middle to drape over the top. Instead of building a stand, I decided to try just hanging it since it wasn’t very heavy and it worked perfectly. Wire was around each end and in the middle of the pipe. It was then hung from the ceiling using drapery hooks to clip it to the grid work. I made the panels ahead of time at home and rolled them up in a sheet to transport them to the hall. When I saw the idea for this on Pinterest, I thought it was so pretty but after I had it fixed up at home I was worried. It looked a little tacky but once we got up in the wall with the lights lit up, it made the room!
The food servers worked great at keeping the food warm! I purchased them from Dirt Cheap for a dirt cheap price! I paid $3 a piece for them. I purchased the sterno cans from the Dollar Tree. The dinner plates were originally for my brother’s wedding from the Dollar Tree about 5 years ago.
Here are my parents getting ready to cut the cake. My sister made the cake and it was delicious! For the cake stand, I used some food cans, surrounded by lights and red mesh topped with a piece of mirror glass that I already had. To conserve space, I removed the glass from larger picture frames I had and stacked the glassware. Linens were purchased online at LinenTablecloth.com It was cheaper to purchase them here than to rent them!
For the table centerpieces, I used inexpensive vases with pine needles and poinsettias. I purchased live poinsettias on Black Friday at Home Depot for 99 cents a pot. Each table had two vases, two tall glass candlesticks and smaller clear votive cups. All of these I had on hand so that saved money.
The glassware did not all match but was all clear. I also ran a little short on matching flatware but just used a different pattern for one table.
I purchased lanterns and pom poms from Hobby Lobby. I was planning on making them but once I caught them on sale 50% off, it was cheaper to purchase them. I made two large matching “chandeliers” and randomly hung smaller ones. The tulle drapery on the food tables were also purchased 50% at Hobby Lobby. I wanted to do something with the chairs but it just wasn’t in our budget and they came with the rental of the building.
This is the beverage table which is missing the center canister in this picture. I used a large dispenser for sweet tea and used two glass canisters with dippers for unsweetened tea and water. The silver bowl held ice. This corner was a little dark so we someone gave us the two trees to use.
My daughter fixed up this table. There is a cd of pictures playing to music on the laptop. It was suppose to be on the tv but once she made it on the laptop, it wouldn’t work on the tv. The large sign, as well as the invitations were purchased from Zazzle.com.
Here’s my brother and his wife in front of the Christmas tree. I originally had a white tree to use here but when we started to put it up it looked discolored. So I sent my daughter home to take the tree down in the sunroom! We decorated it with gold ornaments and mesh ribbon. The base was surrounded by potted poinsettias. I think the green tree looks better than the white would have anyway.
In case anyone is wondering about the food, I cooked everything except for the cake, which my sister did and the chicken, which was ordered and purchased from a local store. The only leftovers were some chicken, garlic potatoes and rolls. I searched online trying to decide on a menu and found some helpful sites but still couldn’t find anyone’s actual experience. Well here’s mine! This was the menu for 50 people even though about 60 actually showed up! Here’s the menu:
75 pieces of fried chicken purchased from a local store
13 pounds of pork loin (I should have purchased at least another 5 lbs)
15 pounds of garlic potatoes (this was a little too much)
macaroni and cheese (I did not make enough of this. I probably should
have used anywhere from 3 to 5 lbs of pasta for this)
2 super large cans of green beans
1 super large can of corn
1 super large can of peas for pea salad
5 large packs of dinner rolls
3 gallons of sweet tea
2 gallons of unsweetened tea
We received lots of positive comments. I think everyone had a good time, especially my parents!
Home Sweet Home @ The Charm of Home