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A School Theme Wedding Celebration

When two people fall in love and get married, it is always time for a celebration, but when those two people happen to be your friends and…um…over the age of 60… then it is really something special. Wouldn’t you agree? 🙂

Terry and Melissa met waaaay back when they were children in school.  They grew up, went their separate ways, and married other spouses.  Along life’s journey, both of their spouses sadly passed away.

At one of our parties a year or so ago, Terry was sitting on our family room sofa looking through an old high school yearbook.  He commented, “I wonder where Melissa is and what she is doing.  Think I’ll look her up.”

Although he lived 2 hours away in Atlanta, he did “look her up.”  He came all the way down from Atlanta for a dinner with her one rainy night. Around 10:30 that evening our doorbell rang.  The rain was coming down in buckets, and he did not want to drive back in such a torrential downpour, so he stayed with us for the night.  He informed us, “Melissa is not ready to date anyone yet.” I thought that was the end of that story….

Boy was I wrong!  Melissa must have had a change of heart because they did start dating…which led to an engagement…and then a simple wedding at our church with just a few family members in attendance.  Melissa’s son happens to be a minister, and he performed the ceremony. Wasn’t that wonderful?! 🙂

Sooo we decided to do a little dinner party with a bunch of friends from our college days in their honor.  And because they had met way back in school, it seemed only fitting to use a school theme for all the decorations.  We started with “After school snacks” in the family room at 4:00.  I tried to think of foods that would remind us of our childhood.

Chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies, (thanks Mom for baking them!) cheese straws, (not school oriented…I just wanted some! 🙂 ) apples with Heath brickle dip (recipe here) along with milk and bottled drinks.  There was also Chex party mix with M&M’s, Heath cookies, Oreos, Rice Krispy treats, and M&M cookie bars in the kitchen and dining room.

The foyer had the party favors…cardboard milk cartons which didn’t hold milk. (Sorry I forgot to give you yours Richard!)  I ordered the folded paper kit from Amazon, created the labels from photo paper, and put cellophane bags filled with Milk Duds inside. (Get it? Milk Duds? 🙂 )

Here’s my affiliate link to the milk carton kit:

American Crafts Milk Carton, Pack of 12

I wanted the “party room” to be a surprise for our guests.  So we moved the sofa and end tables out of the playroom and moved the big table down from my husband’s office over the garage.  Viola!  The playroom became a dining room (which is what it was intended to be in the original Southern Living house plan.)

I did a practice table set up before I had all the final rsvp’s.  Place cards were mini composition notebooks that came from Kroger, and I didn’t put names on all of them until the last minute.  The flowers also came from Kroger. 🙂

Decorating was easy since I had soooo many old school supply items. For placemats, I had my daughter and her boyfriend use chalk to make the ones on black foam board like we made in this post.

The penmanship chalkboard is one I have lettered before, but it just fit the theme too perfectly to not do again.

Of course Gabbie sat supervising all the craziness. 🙂

Our menu for the evening was not school related…no green peas or mystery meat! This celebration deserved better than that.  We had grilled steak, baked potatoes, salad, and rolls instead.  I thought a long time about what to serve for dessert.  Finally it hit me…wedding cake!  So I texted my very talented niece who makes such delicious cakes to see if she would like to tackle the project.  She wanted to make it, and wow did she do a great job!  The cake was simply beautiful and tasted sooooo good with vanilla ice cream and fresh strawberries. 🙂

I set up the buffet with coffee supplies and a globe for everyone to sign as a token gift for the newlyweds.

My daughter and I plated the salads while my husband grilled the steaks.

We put the salad dressings in Mason jars with tie on labels.

And then it was time to eat!

It was a super fun evening reminiscing with everyone…and the yearbooks were pulled out again. A couple of the guests stayed for the weekend, and we even made a trip or two over to the lake for canoeing and kayaking.  A perfect weekend in my book!

And that brings us to the end of today’s post.  Hope you enjoyed reading about the party.  Next up we’ll take a quick tour around the house to see all the back-to-school decorating that popped up everywhere here. (When there’s a theme, you know I run with it!)  But for now, I have to get ready for more fun!  It’s my birthday and our wedding anniversary today…which is why it was so appropriate that I share a party with you this morning. 🙂 Let the celebrating continue!

Until next time…

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Marcy Ray - August 12, 2017 - 2:18 pm

Marvelous, creative and lovely. I am late in viewing your very special party, and just wanted to say this………….thank you for sharing! Hope your birthday/anniversary was splendid. Always enjoy your blog!

Kay - August 7, 2017 - 9:56 am

So good to see you back in the blog world.Hope you had wonderful birthday and anniversary! Gabbie is beautiful!!!I can’t believe how much she has grown. Looking forward to upcoming decorations and inspiration.

Ruth - August 6, 2017 - 2:26 am

Hope you had a wonderful birthday and anniversary!!! Your “schoolhouse” party gets an A+ from me!

Leigh - August 5, 2017 - 9:10 pm

Happy Birthday and Anniversary! What a joyful occassion and how blessed you all are to live so close to life-long friends. Thank you for sharing such a special occassion!

kathy - August 4, 2017 - 10:45 pm

Happy birthday and happy anniversary! I think I have asked you before what you were thinking doing that. LOL! The party was splendid! I can’t wait to see the next post!

Kayleigh O'Neal - August 4, 2017 - 10:32 pm

I told you many, many years ago that I wanted you to decorate my home and that is still true today. I LOVE everything you do Kelly Gray – it’s just perfect!

Gail - August 4, 2017 - 6:13 pm

I LOVED all your decorating and plans, as always! I was REALLY, REALLY hoping there would be a pic of the bride and groom.

Sandy - August 4, 2017 - 1:07 pm

Happy Birthday and congratulations on your Wedding Anniversay. I was so delighted to see a post today from you. Just like your other readers, I miss you. Excited to see the fruits of all your hard work on your home. Don’t you sometimes wonder how you did the celebrations you planned while taught? I reminisce too. Five years of retirement have been a blessing, but I’m still a teacher at heart. Just ask my seven grandchildren.

Emily - August 4, 2017 - 11:11 am

What a lovely party for such lucky newlyweds! As a retired school teacher, I can relate to the school theme. So cute!!! I was so excited to see a new post from you!

Kristy - August 4, 2017 - 10:53 am

What a surprise to see your post today! Congratulations to your friends….nice to find love the second time around.
We are in full party preparations for next week’s party for my FIL, 80. Your previous parties have been great inspiration. Thanks for sharing.

Kim - August 4, 2017 - 8:12 am

You do the *best* parties!!! Your details are amazing. I might just use a few of your ideas for the first day of school breakfast 🙂

Kim - August 4, 2017 - 8:12 am

You do the *best* parties!!! Your details are amazing. I might just use a few of your ideas for the first day of school breakfast 🙂

jae - August 4, 2017 - 2:08 am

What fun decor, just party perfect! Hope you had a wonderful birthday and anniversary day, and how nice to see your post in my mailbox!

Garden, Home and Party - August 3, 2017 - 11:00 pm

What a fun story and such pretty table accessories. Congratulations to your friends.

Design Chic - August 3, 2017 - 10:51 pm

What a wonderful story and perfect way to celebrate a very special couple. Love seeing all of the details in your decorations. . Happy Thursday, Kelly!

Vicki - August 3, 2017 - 10:29 pm

What a wonderful and memorable celebration!
I hope you have been treated wonderfully today for your birthday and anniversary!

Holly Palmgren - August 3, 2017 - 10:09 pm

Happy Birthday and Anniversary Kelly!! I hope you had a wonderful day. I was so excited when I saw an email from you!! I totally understand why you are taking a break from your blog. I hope the weather has cooperated for you for painting and that you are close to the finish line!! Thank you again for your post today. Enjoy the rest of the summer.😀

Lynne - August 3, 2017 - 9:52 pm

Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary! What a fun party post! It is so evident how much time and thought you put into planning this special celebration. Your entertaining posts are always so detailed, fun, and inspiring. I hope you enjoy your special day!

Judy - August 3, 2017 - 8:39 pm

Kelly, what a good friend you are to create such lasting memories for the lucky couple! As always, everything looked terrific. I absolutely loved the milk carton idea. I’m doing a back to school luncheon for our retired teacher group, and I’m going on Amazon to see if I can order them. The chalkboard was another great idea- I’m going to find my small one and use it. Thanks for your wonderful , inspirational ideas!

Donna - August 3, 2017 - 8:36 pm

Thanks for a wonderful post! So glad to have you back again. What a special party.

Tricia - August 3, 2017 - 8:35 pm

Hope you enjoyed a Happy Birthday and Anniversary, Kelly.

Jeanne Bell - August 3, 2017 - 8:29 pm

Happy Anniversary and Happy Birthday….miss you lady hurry back!

Nan, Odessa, DE - August 3, 2017 - 7:43 pm

Oh, happy day!!!!

Doris - August 3, 2017 - 6:57 pm

Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary! Great party–thoughtful ideas for a wonderful celebration!

Gabrielle - August 3, 2017 - 6:29 pm

It all looks lovely Kelly. What fun!

Liz - August 3, 2017 - 6:11 pm

Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary! Loved your post and your school themed party looked wonderful! Undoubtedly the happy couple loved being honored in such a special way!

Sherry M - August 3, 2017 - 5:40 pm

What a treat you created for your lucky friends. I loved the story of how they were able to reconnect and find love and companionship after so many years. Your ideas for the occasion were perfect. I loved it all..from the decorations to the menu. And of course, your supervisor was so photogenic! With all the work that has been going on at your house this summer, you deserved to let your creativity soar. Now, go celebrate your birthday and anniversary, BIG TIME! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Anniversary to both you and your husband! Thanks for sharing!

Lanita Anderson - August 3, 2017 - 5:05 pm

What a creative idea…..loved seeing all of the pictures and hearing about your great ideas! I’m sure the guests had a wonderful time celebrating with the happy couple! Thanks for sharing – looking forward to seeing the rest of your “back to school” decorating and ideas. My youngest son is going to be a senior in high school this year and I am thinking about doing some back to school decorating – I’ve been gathering my thoughts and ideas! I have some time….school here doesn’t start until September 5th!

julia - August 3, 2017 - 4:22 pm

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Kelly! I was already thinking that your b’day was soon and was going to say so before I got to the end of your post. Blessings to you…..What a wonderful occasion and party! Very special….Take care. Julia

paula - August 3, 2017 - 4:01 pm

Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary! From a retired teacher’s viewpoint this party decor is an A+.

Talia - August 3, 2017 - 3:50 pm

Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary! You truly have endless talent! I so wish I did – we are in the process of planning an October wedding for my daughter and I wish I possessed your talent!

Debbie - August 3, 2017 - 3:50 pm

So glad to see your post! Happy birthday and happy anniversary1 I love your creative ideas for the party!

Lynne - August 3, 2017 - 3:00 pm

Happy Birthday and anniversary! You certainly have a way with party decorating! Can’t wait for your return to regular posting and seeing all you have accomplished this summer.

Lynn - August 3, 2017 - 2:27 pm

Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary! Here’s to many, many more.

Dawn - August 3, 2017 - 1:59 pm


Happy birthday and happy anniversary too! What a great day to celebrate! The party looks just delightful. I am sure a great time was had by all. The school theme was just perfect. Thanks for sharing! Take care.

Monica - August 3, 2017 - 1:58 pm

Beautiful post! Your school theme sounds just perfect, and it seems everything you coordinated made the party over the top wonderful!

Leslie Anne Tarabella - August 3, 2017 - 1:27 pm

You are just the sweetest friend in the world! What a romantic story to find love, no matter where you are in life. I love the theme and all your little extras. The details make it complete!

Kathy - August 3, 2017 - 1:08 pm

Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary! Love the theme of the party. As usual everything is perfect. Can’t wait to see the rest of the house. Missed you this summer but totally understand.

Patricia Smithey - August 3, 2017 - 1:06 pm

Good to hear from you! Wonderful post as always. Happy birthday and anniversary!!!! Hope you both have a great day.

Lori - August 3, 2017 - 1:01 pm

You are an amazingly thoughtful entertainer, Kelly! From a Krispy Kreme birthday to a school-themed wedding celebration and so many other fun celebrations, you sure make the people in your life feel special–and your readers/admirers too! Thanks so much!

Marianne in Mo. - August 3, 2017 - 12:47 pm

What a fabulous party! You are the hostess with the most-est for sure! Hoping you have a wonderful anniversary & birthday today!

Jaybird - August 3, 2017 - 12:40 pm

Kelly you did an AMAAAAZing job….that was sheer genius!!
Loved seeing Gabby as well!
Hope you had an absolutely wonderful birthday and anniversary, and many blessings upon you both for the upcoming year!!

Nancy - August 3, 2017 - 12:39 pm

It was just so nice to see your post pop up this morning. I am soooooooo glad you are back after the summer. I have really missed your posts and inspiring ideas.
As always, I love whatever you share with us. A very Happy Birthday, Kelly, and Happy Anniversary to you also.

Donnamae - August 3, 2017 - 12:28 pm

You give the best parties! Happy Birthday…and Anniversary! What a day! 😉

Sandy - August 3, 2017 - 12:14 pm

Kelly, I know you had to be a fabulous teacher, but I think you missed your calling. You are an extraordinary party planner. I never cease to be amazed at your ideas. Gabbie is adorable and I noticed her color matched the chair.

Louvina - August 3, 2017 - 12:08 pm

What a lovely, lovely dinner party! So much fun! And you gave us a “gift” on this special, special day– your birthday- anniversary! Perfect timing for everyone!! Thank you so much Kelly! It was like a “walk down memory lane” during our growing up years!! Congratulations to your friends with much happiness and blessings on this new chapter in their lives!! Just makes me smile!! Everything was so creative and I’m sure many of the blog readers will be able to borrow ideas to use in these Back to School Days!! 💕🙏🎶🤗❤️😘💯🐾🍎💕

Sue - August 3, 2017 - 12:05 pm

Every detail perfect ! I can’t believe you brought down the table from your husband’s office! Extra credit for you (and your husband too) I look forward to seeing the rest of your decor. AND happy birthday and anniversary! Have a wonderful day doing something fun! 🎂

Frances in England - August 3, 2017 - 12:02 pm

Happy Birthday! and Happy Anniversary! (you really know how to make a day special, LOL) I love the set up for the school party, and am sure it was a big hit. You’re making me want to have a party…

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life - August 3, 2017 - 11:44 am

What a fabulous party idea. The decor looks amazing. Also Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary!!!!

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