Summer Outdoor Wedding Reception

The summer outdoor wedding reception that Josie and her family put on for the over 300 guests in attendance was so clever and creative that my mouth was open in awe most of the time.  Hi, everyone!!!  We’re so glad you are here to see our second (and final) day of reliving our son Cory’s and his new bride Josie’s wedding.  If you didn’t stop by yesterday, you can see some beautiful photos taken by the iphones of guests and by the professional photographer here.  Today’s post is LOADED with photos, and I apologize for being the overly proud mother.  However, it is also packed with great ideas that any bride could do.  So, grab a glass of sweet tea, sit back, and enjoy.  Oh yes, I should tell you that I took some of these photos the day before when things were getting set up, but you can get a better view that way.  (These photos were all taken with a little point and shoot camera that fit into my purse).


Wedding tent

Josie’s vision has always been to have their reception/dinner/dance under a grove of cottonwood trees on her family’s ranch.  They had the biggest tent I have ever seen delivered and erected.  I took these shots the day before when the sides were down so that everything inside could stay dust free.



Wedding reception - The 2 Seasons

She wanted each place setting to be different so her mom spent months going to thrift stores and sales to buy over 400 plates.  Every setting had the same style clear green charger, the same napkin design, and flatware.  The tables were all round, and the tablecloths were a soft burlap that didn’t shed.



Wedding place settings

I have been crazy about cowboys since my first trip to Nebraska when I was eight years old.  So, I was thrilled to end up with this adorable cowboy plate.  (I sleep in cowboy pajamas, for crying out loud!!!)  A fan was placed on each seat, and with the 90 degree plus heat and high humidity, they got a lot of use.



Wedding reception flowers

Another thing I loved was that each centerpiece was in a different old pitcher, and each floral arrangement was different.  The flower types were the same, but some of the pitchers were silver, some were clear glass, and some were crystal.



Wedding reception - The 2 Seasons

An antique buffet was sitting to the side of the dance floor, and it held wedding photos from family members along with the bride’s bouquet and childhood books.  People enjoyed looking at the old photos.



Wedding reception - The 2 Seasons

The tent was within walking distance of the church, and while everyone strolled in, they were met by this adorable band who played for several hours in the hot heat.



Wedding reception - The 2 Seasons

This idea was clever.  They used a very old door with really old paint and attached rows and rows of twine to it.  Then they attached little cards with each couple’s table number using clothes pins.



Wedding reception - The 2 Seasons


The bars were outside of the tent, and the bases were old whiskey barrels.  The tops were made out of an old tree from the property.



Wedding reception - The 2 Seasons

It was sanded and sealed to perfection.



Wedding reception - The 2 Seasons


The same wood was used to refurbish this old farm wagon.



Wedding reception - The 2 Seasons

The wagon held everyone’s glass, which like the plates, were all different.  That was so clever.




Part of the wagon also held an old trunk for gifts and cards.



Wedding drinks

There were shots, special brews, Kentucky bourbon, soft drinks, beer, and plenty of water to go around.

 Wedding reception - The 2 Seasons

Josie wore a cathedral length veil for the ceremony, and it was the perfect complement to her lace wedding dress.  When she donned her reception boots, she wasn’t the only one in western wear.  She is an Academy Award nominated/Emmy Award winning documentary producer, but she still loves and wears her boots.



Wedding reception - The 2 Seasons

The bridesmaids switched to their new boots, too.



Wedding car

Everyone enjoyed get a close-up look at the wedding car.




We all enjoyed seeing the old tractors.  They added to the festive farm/small town wedding atmosphere.



Family shots

The day was filled with love, tears, laughter, joy, and hope.  We ate, and talked, and danced, and smiled till we hurt, but it was a special day in all of our lives.  As I watch our family grow, I realized how fortunate we have been and never take it for granted.  Thank you all for little me share this family event with you.

Take care.

Linking to Savvy Southern Style




  1. says

    Such a cute reception. I have a hot wedding to go to in August. I hope that it cools down some by 6:30 for the outdoor ceremony. I am thinking probably not.

  2. Tracey says

    Wow, what a gorgeous wedding reception!! Many thanks for sharing with us Janette. Here in Australia we are freezing, so seeing a summer wedding at the moment makes me feel just a tad warmer. Thanks again, Tracey.

    • says


      Stay warm over there in Australia. We are glad you enjoyed the summer wedding and you can feel the summer heat we got to experience.


  3. Donnamae says

    Wow…what a unique and fun reception! I love all the different details…like the assortment of plates and glassware! So clever, and yet so simple! I’m sure it’s that attention to detail that helped to make it a fun and memorable day! 😉

  4. Cindi says

    What a fun wedding. I was wondering with the different plates, did you take them with you to a buffet line or was it served and the plate put on top of it? Also how did it work with the glasses? Did you use the same glass all night!

    Cindi Cooper

    • says

      Hi Cindi,

      It was a fun wedding. The wedding was a buffet so each person did take their own plate with them from the table to the line. The glasses were out in the wagon and it was your glass for the evening. When you wanted your glass you just went to the wagon and picked which ever one you liked and wanted to use. It was so cute and creative. The guest really loved both the plates and glasses.


      • Cindi says

        Thanks, Jordan. I have a 21 year old daughter and hopefully some day we will be planning a wedding and I love these ideas.

        Best of luck on your adoption. Children definitely change your life, in a GOOD way.

        Thanks again,

        Cindi Cooper

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