Friday night, without a hot date (The Man was working), I decided to go out and do a little sourcing for the wedding. I got a sweet little green dress and white cardigan for The Bug. It's the same one I looked at last week and when I kept thinking about it, I decided to go get it. Total price was less than $25 total. Happy about that.
I was also looking for some very narrow rectangle trays for loose orchids on the tables. I am determined to find something for less than $3. I found a couple of possibilities. When it really sank in last night that the tables are only 30" wide and plates are usually 13" wide (factor two on each side of the table, so a total of 26" of table space) I had to do some rethinking. Ack. That only leaves you about four inches of space for anything down the middle with a little more room in the spaces between the table settings. That is not a lot of space. Sigh...
I found a gorgeous banana leaf woven tray for $2.99 last night and brought one home and laid it all out on the table with a sample table runner and the gorgeous wicker lanterns. I even picked up a $1 hawaiian lei to use as sample flowers to put inside the tray for my practice table. Unfortunately the tray is too wide at six inches. I am so bummed about that. Back to the drawing board.
While I was wandering the housewares department at TJMaxx I saw this extra large tray. It caught my eye immediately and I could see using it to hold escort cards, maybe sitting in shallow sand on the bottom. There was just one problem.
It was a little worn, which I am totally okay with. I always love things a little roughed up. But the bottom was completely falling off. In fact just carrying it around the store I was afraid it was going to collapse into pieces. I took it to the cashiers and asked if they could give me a price reduction, based on the damage. I anticipated they might offer me 10%, 20% if I was really lucky. That has happened to me at other shops. But I was pleased when it came back marked down from $12.99 to $6.99. She shoots, she score!
When I got home I looked up this brand of tray and these retail in new condition for $60. So I got it for just 12% of the original cost. Even better, there was no additional cost to repair it. First I applied a little glue all the way around the areas where the bottom had detached.
Then I found some very small nails in my supplies and went around the entire bottom of the tray nailing it down. Then I wiped the tray down. It's amazing how nice it looks and how sturdy it feels. I'm thrilled about that.
Now I have this beautiful tray to use for the wedding but even better to enjoy for years to come. I am so happy that much of what I've been buying for the wedding I will be able to use for entertaining or easily resell to anyone planning a beach wedding. As I've mentioned before there are some great sites for reselling wedding decor on the internet.
This will be a keeper. I can see myself happily carrying food to an outdoor dining space on this beauty. It's nice and large so it will accommodate lots of supplies or larger bowls and pans. Now that I think about it, this would look pretty fantastic on my dark brown coffee table right now! I'm so happy I found it, got a great deal on it and so easily brought it back to a long, useful life. And I'll be enjoying it for a long time for just a very small investment of money and time.
all images by kalanicut