Here are the votive jars we made for the reception.
Douglas and I wanted our wedding to be memorable for all the right reasons. I think that is something that all couples aspire to. We wanted the ceremony to be the most important part, so hopefully something like this is the first vision that comes to people’s minds when they think of our wedding.
The reception was to be a celebration of our marriage, not the reason that people would come, but we still wanted it to be one heck of a party! We decided that we wanted to have good food, which was provided by Seaqua Deli, an open bar, and dancing, but we were determined not to spend a lot of money on decor. When people are remembering things like this, I do not think that the decor matters that much at all.
We were lucky to be able to hold the party at the Shoreham Country Club. That place is so beautiful with its views of the Long Island Sound that we did not have to do much decorating.
I was sure that we would be able to make all of the decorations for little money. Over the years, I have collected large quantities of beach glass. The glass comes from beaches all over the world, since I bring some back from many of my travels. I have even found a few elusive red pieces. I wanted that to fit into the decor in some way, especially since the reception would be held at the beach where I had collected some of the glass. I just was not sure what I would do with it.
I have used the glass in numerous projects over the years, and I wanted to use it in the decorations. When I found a bag of eighty votive candles for $1 at a garage sale, the idea of the votive jars came together. First, we had to collect the jars. There would be eighteen tables at the reception, and I thought that it would be best to have three at each table. That meant that we needed fifty four jars. I sent out pleas to my friends and family to send us jars, and we got about twenty from them. We needed a little more than thirty and collected them by eating a good amount of salsa, pickles, etc. We used jars of all different shapes and sizes.
The Tuesday before the wedding a group of us gathered at my Aunt Missy’s house to assemble the jars. Douglas and I owe a lot to her, her children, the exchange student visiting from Spain, my father, sister, brother-in-law, and sister-in-law for all their help. The jars never could have been finished without their help! First, we had to stop at the beach to collect the sand. The beach is only a mile from their house, so that was easy. We loaded it in a kitty litter bucket. Back at the house, everyone started pouring sand into the jars.
We had cleaned most of the jars as we collected them, but there were a few that still had their labels. Douglas and Jason, my brother-in-law, finished peeling the labels off of the remaining jars. We soaked them in hot water and then used Goo Gone (a wonderful product that I highly recommend) and razor blades.
After filling the jars with sand, we placed the candles in the center and put beach glass around the candles.
Originally, we were planning to leave the jars plain, but my aunt had some ribbon and twine left over from other projects. After testing several designs, we decided that the jars looked better with a simple bow of twine rather than ribbon.
I think that the jars looked stunning on the tables, and the total cost to us was the $1 I spent on the votive candles at the garage sale.
Several people took jars home as keepsakes. I also have many of the jars decorating the Cape of Dreams.
I happened to have the beach glass already collected, but there are many varieties of this project that you could do. I think that the jars would also look pretty with small stones or marbles. The possibilities are endless. Let me know if you think of anything else or do the project yourself.