Native American Reaffirmation Ceremony

sunnnyJuly 25, 2013

Hello. We have the honor of hosting our friends Native American Indian wedding ceremony at our home this fall. He is 1/2 Indian. They have been married 30 years and will be renewing their vows. I'm thrilled and enjoy entertaining but GOSH this is big.
They will have a traditional saging, blessings of family, water, sky, etc. He is currently building a large tee-pee and already has his dress and head dress, she is having her dress made. They are planning for 75 guests. We have 5 acres so parking and seating, etc. is not an issue. She and I are making an Indian stew which will be served taco style in indian fry bread with grilled corn in the husks and probably a squash soup or other 'fall' type soup. We will have tea, lemonade and water with lemon. This will be rustic but still have an elegant flair if that's possible. She plans on having a wine and beer tasting bar which I have already paired with several choices of cheeses, olives, baked brie, dried apricots and nuts, and possibly a few other things. She will have a bartender for this portion of the event. IF... and I said IF we can get our brick oven built it will have concrete counters on either side and will be the counter for the wine area. If not the hubbies will build a bar from pallets which I will spray stain and we will add burlap as a table dressing. Do you think this would work? We have access to lots of free good quality pallets. We have found old beat up chalk boards and are going to write the wine and appetizer pairing on each board along with a few words about each wine.
She has 4 people to help in the kitchen and to help 'serve' although it will be buffet style. Should we divide the food into 2 areas so people can go to either line and not have to wait so long to get their food? Maybe a central drink table and tableware table?
They will have Native American music for the ceremony then piped in music through outdoor speakers for dinner and cocktails and I'm hoping to talk her into a band for after dinner. We have a large deck which I think could serve as a dance floor. We have a wrap around porch which we are thinking of for food and drink tables.
For the seating tables we are planning on buying solid colored cloths from somewhere - maybe Ikea and then topping them with woven blankets and Indian style blankets. We will also use hay bales for additional seating and to put around one side of the the deck for seating. I'm going to put burlap and white landscape fabric (very cheap and can be used on anything!) Tied at the ends with some sunflowers or other fall flowers on the hay bales.
She has purchased nice quality plastic tableware.
Some of the things I've looked into are additional porta potties since we are in the country I don't want to over strain my septic system. We need lighting for the parking area which is a pasture. What could we use out there?
For table centerpieces DH and I have cut small tree branches and made them into inverted tee-pee frames (Without the hide skin LOL) , sort of the bare branch look , tied them with fall colored ribbons and they will sit in the center of the tables. I'd like to suprise her by somehow bringing in family quotes and inspirational messages. I've considered asking them before hand and framing them but I don't think I'll have time and don't want to spend the money. What else can I do with this idea? For the head table we are having a larger 'stick' tee-pee frame, fall flowers at the top where the wood crosses and adding a dream catcher hanging in the middle. It would be tall enough to be above eye level. I am lost for the food table and cake table. I saw a lovely tablescape which had different types of wood, cut into circles of different sizes and different thickness, with clear and blue mason jars with candles and some fall flowers. It was beautiful! If I can find the photo I'll post it here. Does anyone have other ideas or suggestions? What about the cake table??? Holy Cow that's hard!
We are doing simple things like making sweet and unsweet tea in advance and freezing them in gallon bags or milk jugs. Her stew will be made in early Oct. and frozen. A local restaurant is making the fry bread.
What have others experiences been with a home wedding? Do people come in and out of your home constantly? How do I keep kids outside and not come in and play in my sons room? I'd like to keep our bedrooms as private as possible. Can I ask them to remove their shoes if they come in? LOL
We've thought of things like clean or new trash cans, liners, TP, etc. It's what we've forgotten that scares me!
Wishing everyone a good night,

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wow, Sunnny, that's a lot to address at once. :)

Re dividing the buffet into two stations: I wouldn't do that. It sounds like it will be very casual, so not everyone will want to eat at the same time. One buffet line can handle 75 people -- especially if it's set up so that people can go down either side of the buffet table.

Re using pallets to make a bar area: yes, they should work great, but only if you reconstruct them to eliminate the big gaps between the boards on the tabletop portion. IOW, you need a smooth solid top.

For lighting in the parking area: if you have an electrical source, tiny white xmas lights could be strung. If not, can you get some tall torches to stick in the ground?

Portapotties: yes, you'll need some. The only way to keep people out of your house will be to post someone at the doors to stop them. :p

I don't quite understand the tee-pee centerpiece discussion and what you're asking about a cake table.

Good luck! and hope you have great weather that day!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 9:31PM
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I agree with Party Music that the buffet line should be on both sides of table & have soup, corn, then stew,(do they make it with flatbread or will they be already put together? I haven't had that so don't know how it's done.. Drinks I always prefer to be in 1 area ,not main food table as a spill can really slow things down. Cake table- cake,forks, napkins & maybe couple of small containers of flowers, any canoes available?? How about a couple of child sized moccasins. Make them out of felt & bead on the front of them(glue or sew on) put a plastic container in where foot should go with low arrangement of fall flowers. Your idea of memories or quotes is good, make that a game where you pass out rough paper in rawhide or beige color & ask them to write something for bride & groom would need pens or pencils to write with but advice, favorite memory about couple or "how to get through the net 25 yrs" would be fun & interesting memory of the party. Only thought is be sure things are pretty secure in case of wind, would heat be a problem, might consider a tarp or 2 to shade some areas if you have trees or house you can anchor them on. Home Depot has brown ones that are nice & last quite well. Also have beige colored 6 ft wide shade cloth that can be anchored with long high wires to higher trees or close to roof so have some shade. It's sold in rolls 100 ft long or shorter 6 ft by 20 ft long. smaller rolls are $29. I think, I shade parts of my yard & makes a big difference. Sounds like a fun party!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 12:53AM
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