From the centerpieces filled with dried flowers and cinnamon sticks to the candy-filled favors, mason jars put the country feel in the Calvin/Salisbury barn wedding.
The best part, I’ve been married for over a year and a half and I’ve found many ways to reuse the jars. At Christmas I filled the leftover 8-ounce jars with homemade cocoa and gave them as gifts. I’ve used the jars for candle holders, juice glasses and yes, even for another couple’s wedding. This past year, Mason jars have become the thrifty bride’s go-to.
Our October fall wedding wasn’t extravagant. It was small (63 guests) and on the grounds of the Holliston Historical Society. We picked the location because of the barn. The historic white barn with Christmas lights in the rafters, a finished cement floor, full kitchen and two bathrooms was the perfect reception hall (and it was a great price). Check out it’s website at: http://www.hollistonhistoricalsociety.org/
Once the date and location were set, my husband Mike and I started mapping out our ideas for a theme. We agreed upon a fall wedding with a color scheme of burnt orange, brass and hints of yellow. We wanted to just have a fun party celebrating the years that got us to that day, and we didn’t want to go into debt over it. This meant planning early and shopping at the end of the season.
I was engaged for two years before we got married, so I had plenty of time to plan. When the Mason jars went on sale during canning season, I loaded up. I needed 70 of the 8-ounce size for favors. We ended up buying eight cases of 12 at a bit over $8 a case. These jars were filled with penny candy, purchased in bulk. We used twine to secure the burlap on the lid. To put a personal touch to the entire piece, I learned Quilling. Quilling is when you roll strips of paper into coils. Those coils are then shaped and glued together to create designs. Over several months, a group created a batch of flowers and spirals shaped to look like springs in a watch. The flowers were put into a resin mold and turned into charms for the female guests.
The centerpieces were a tad tricky. Basically, I relied on my crafty family members to turn an idea into magic. We planned on eight tables, of which four would have a glass pumpkin (purchased on the clearance rack at CVS for $2.50) filled with autumn colored M&Ms; the other four would have a combination of various sized Mason Jars filled with dried flowers and scented herbs. Easy enough.
When planning your wedding, think about the seasons. The trend of buying colored M&Ms and filling jars is cute, but can be expensive. Remember stores put out seasonal colored M&Ms and if you don’t mind a mix – can be a great way to cut back on the extras.
At the end of the wedding, all of the centerpieces found new homes and are in use. What wasn’t used for centerpieces lived in my mother’s basement until another wedding rolled along. This past July, a good friend was married. He spray painted our leftover 16-ounce Mason jars gold, filling them with wild flowers as centerpieces for his picnic style wedding.
And now, as I end this column, I am finishing a refreshing glass of iced tea in a Mason jar. Andrea Salisbury
Other party ideas using Mason jars: