--> -->


My cousin is getting married...

and she asked me to help!  My cousin Lisa, who lives in Atlanta, is getting married in a few weeks.  They are having a very small ceremony with parents and grandparents, followed by a reception with about 35 guests.  They rented out a 6-bedroom lake house with a pool in the back where they will hold the reception.  The bride and groom wanted the reception to be very fun and casual.  Lisa has a good friend who owns a very popular BBQ place, which will be catering the reception.  They will be serving brisket, mac and cheese, potato salad, and other delicious comfort foods.

She was not sure how to decorate for the reception since they didn't want anything to be over-the-top.  Here's where I came in!  I was super excited to get her email since you know I have a love for planning parties.  I began thinking and looking for inspiration right away.  How fun it is to plan a laid back summer wedding reception.  So many fun ideas!  Here's what we came up with...

Lisa told me she wanted something simple for flowers, so we agreed that clear vases with flowers would be nice and simple.  She can always add ribbon to the vases to dress them up.  She also said that they wanted to do cupcakes instead of a cake.  My heart went pitter patter!  I love cupcakes and you can do so much with them.  I suggested doing a cupcake tower so she can still display them in a sophisticated way.  If I got married today, I would definitely do a cupcake tower.

Here is a pretty cupcake tower I found {it doesn't hurt that these were also my wedding colors}.  All you need are different-sized boxes covered with paper and ribbon and you have a gorgeous display for your cupcakes.

Lisa also wanted to incorporate some kind of lighting for the reception.  I suggested some strands of light hung around the party.  Another idea I thought would be nice was to hang white chinese lanterns over the pool and tables.  I think this would give the party a casual feel and would definitely add an ambience.
These scream summer to me!

The bride and groom were unsure about favors for the guests.  I suggested a few:  paper fans tied with a ribbon, personalized beer koozies, and cds.  She decided to go with the cds.  I told her that Jamie and I had made a playlist with songs that were special to us since music is a big part of us.  We ordered some white paper cd cases and personalized stickers from Beaucoup.  These made wonderful favors and it gave our guests something to listen to on the way home.  People still talk about them to this day.

I also suggested they do a candy buffet.  I love doing these!  They are easy and make such a big impact. 

This is one of my favorite candy buffets and it was done for a wedding.

Something that I thought would be fun for the guests and also a great keepsake would be to have a photo booth set up.  Instead of spending a lot of money renting one, you can easily make one out of wood.  Lisa's fiance happens to be handy with wood and he even made 2 cornhole sets for the reception.  What fun!  Here is a picture I found that I thought was neat because it can be decorated any way to match the decor.

So cute!

I have so many more ideas just running around in my head, but with the wedding being only a few weeks away, I think she will have her hands full with these.  Unfortunately, I won't be able to be there, but I know the wedding and reception will be beautiful, and more importantly, fun!  Congrats to the bride and groom and I can't wait to see pics! 


  1. Great ideas! I may have to steal the photo booth ideas for the boys next birthday parties!