First, we ruled out dry ice as a potential part of the centerpieces. There's actually an Albertson's near Mr. T's mom's house that sells dry ice, so we bought a pound and tested it out. FMIL T thought we could put a dish under the centerpiece pumpkin, with something in that dish to elevate the pumpkin itself, and have dry ice in the dish, waiting to be activated with water at the start of the cocktail hour. Here's what we found:
- Dry ice melts pretty fast. Timing its placement in the centerpieces would be tricky (AKA, a pain).
- Unless you have a lot of ice, and a lot of warm water, the effect isn't as grand as one would hope. When we had everything in place, you could barely notice the steam snaking out of the centerpieces. And for that much trouble, I want a lot more wow factor!
So, we decided to do dry ice in big cauldrons at the bar and the escort card table. Someone will still need to get the dry ice, not too far in advance of the ceremony, and then we'll have to make sure the staff knows not to activate it until cocktail hour, but apparently 5 pounds of ice and a good amount of hot water is supposed to give you enough steam to last an hour, which is perfect.
So now our centerpieces will consist of:
- Pumpkins, which we'll need to buy beforehand and carve a few days before the wedding. We've decided instead of table numbers, we'll carve "icons" into the pumpkins, like a bat, ghost, cat, raven, etc. Then folks will be assigned to the raven table, or the cat table, etc.
- Flowers that will go in the pumpkins. Even the "cheap" websites like fiftyflowers.com are pretty expensive, so we're going to hit the SF FlowerMart and Trader Joe's between Wednesday and Friday before the wedding. This stresses me out a little, as I feel like we have a lot to do at the last minute, but I think it's better than overspending on something I didn't even want to have in the first place! And flowers die so fast--no need to spend top dollar. Unless they're Black Baccara roses. Mmmmmmm. Anyway, filling out the flower arrangements are an assortment of feather and other picks that FMIL T and I have gathered over the last few months. This weekend we also cut branches off her curly willow and spray painted them black, applying orange glitter as they dried. That was Mr. T's job this weekend! So we'll have creepy glittery sticks in the centerpieces too.
- Fake tea lights that will sit in the pumpkins (under the flowers, which are not going to extend all the way down) and hopefully illuminate our icons so they are more visible and just plain look cool.
- Wreaths. The pumpkins will sit in the center of these. We bought some plain twiggy wreaths at Michaels this weekend and my task was to spray them with clear enamel and apply copious amounts of orange glitter to them. FMIL T is keeping them at her house to apply other fun things to them with hot glue.
- Votives, which we already bought.
- Possibly scattered (fake) Fall leaves. FMIL T had bought some of these.
Hopefully it will all come together! My concern is that folks aren't going to be able to see around the centerpieces, so we've committed to buying shorter, fatter pumpkins.
We were also on the hunt for cheap frames that could hold the various signs we'll need to post, like our menu for the bar, the menu of cupcake flavors, etc. We didn't find a ton, but the ones we found were only 99 cents, so I'm not complaining.
We pretty much traipsed all over town in hunt of frames, spray paint, containers to hold all our crap, wreaths, glitter, fake tea lights, and other fun decor elements. At the end of the weekend, I was exhausted! So much for a long holiday weekend. We packed most of it up and brought it to our house, where it's all cluttering up our front entryway. And the wedding mess begins! The cats were very puzzled about all the new stuff.
And of course, I didn't take any photos because I'm a bad bridal blogger. You'll just have to see it all later, I guess!