Dec­o­rat­ing for a party sets the mood

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - FRONT PAGE - CON­NIE OLIVER

MY hus­band and I re­cently cel­e­brated our 25th wed­ding an­niver­sary. I wanted to share some of the dec­o­rat­ing ideas I had for our party. Th­ese are af­ford­able, stylish ideas that are sure to please any crowd. Our guests re­ally en­joyed the decor and com­mented on it in the pos­i­tive. Of course, th­ese ideas can trans­fer to just about any event, in­clud­ing showers, gar­den par­ties, wed­dings and other cel­e­bra­tions. The in­vi­ta­tions I am old fash­ioned in some ways. I write ac­tual let­ters that re­quire a stamp and have to be walked to a mail­box, for in­stance. So, for this party I wanted to mail proper in­vi­ta­tions to all of our guests. No emails or texts for this event. At the dollar store I found a wed­ding in­vi­ta­tion set em­bossed with a sil­ver de­sign. The set in­cluded in­vi­ta­tions with sil­ver lined en­velopes, pro­grams, place cards etc. This en­tire set was only $3 and I was very im­pressed with the qual­ity of the pa­per. I printed each in­vi­ta­tion on my com­puter in a light grey (sil­very) font. I used the pro­grams to print pho­tos of us over the years, which went on each din­ner ta­ble. If you don’t find what you’re look­ing for at the dollar store con­sider check­ing at the thrift store. I al­ways come across un­opened packages of party in­vites for var­i­ous events. Peo­ple of­ten buy more than they need and end up do­nat­ing new packages to the thrift store. The ta­bles Set­ting the ta­bles is key. If you are us­ing a large rented room you’ll want the ta­bles to be dressed in a sim­i­lar fash­ion to pro­vide an el­e­gant feel­ing. I used in­ex­pen­sive round plas­tic table­cloths pur­chased from a dollar store. Although they weren’t ter­ri­bly heavy, once all of the ta­bles were draped they did the trick. If you’re en­ter­tain­ing a smaller af­fair at home, use linen cloths if you have them and they fit the event. For cen­ter­pieces I col­lected 25th an­niver­sary dishes from the thrift store for a few months prior to the party. I used 25th an­niver­sary teacups and saucers and 25th an­niver­sary wine glasses as cen­ter­pieces with a tea light in­side each one. I placed th­ese cen­ter­pieces on a sil­ver disc, which were ac­tu­ally take-out food lids! (Any­thing sil­ver that caught my eye was fair game.) Around some of the cen­ter­pieces I draped vin­tage sil­ver neck­laces, which I also found at the thrift store for a few dol­lars. For a wed­ding or baby shower, you could use regular vin­tage, match­ing teacups and saucers in a mix of pat­terns and styles, just like they do at a tea­house. Place a fresh car­na­tion in each teacup or use can­dles as I did. Set a pa­per doily un­der each cen­ter­piece for added el­e­gance. I hap­pened to find a few bags of sil­ver, star-shaped con­fetti at the thrift store, which I also strew around some of the cen­ter­pieces. An­other fun idea is to use large ma­son jars filled with wa­ter and pussy wil­low branches or other twigs from out­side. Ma­son jars can be found in abun­dance at the thrift store and you don’t have to worry about need­ing lids. Use food colour­ing in the wa­ter if you have a spe­cific colour scheme in mind. For our party I bought a left­over roll of sil­ver foil wrap at the thrift store and used it to drape the guest book ta­ble. In the cen­tre of this ta­ble I placed a large ce­ramic Her­shey Kiss shaped dish that I bought at an an­tique shop for ten bucks and filled it with sil­ver Her­shey’s Kisses. Find­ing that dish was a happy ac­ci­dent but I could have put the kisses in a sil­ver bowl as well. In place of the Her­shey tag at the top of the ce­ramic dish, which was miss­ing, I made a ban­ner that said “25 years”. The dish sat on a sil­ver tray that I got-you guessed it-at the thrift store. We had a light lunch in­clud­ing punch served in a punch bowl from the thrift store. At the dollar store I pur­chased a plas­tic, sil­ver la­dle for the punch

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