Western Table Decor – Every year our church organizes a special party for our widows and widowers. Each of our deacons is matched with someone to look after and there is always a special evening where we all come together to honor them. The programme, menu and decor vary each year, from more formal to more light-hearted themes. Since we couldn’t make this event last year, we were especially looking forward to it this year. I don’t usually have a role in helping with this event, but a friend of mine did this year and asked me to come along and help him organize it. We quickly decided on a casual theme and today I’m sharing what we came up with for our “Oklahoma”/Western themed banquet scene and table decorations.
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Western Table Decor
If you’re a new reader, I often help decorate events at our church, and when I started all those years ago it was hard to find good ideas online for decorations for large events while working with a set budget. So, since we have events or banquets, I’ve been sharing stage and table decorations here for years. We’re usually pretty tight with our budgets, which means the team has to get creative! And that’s when things often turn out for the best, right? Almost every event I help organize starts this way… I pull anything out of my house (or my mom’s house) that might work and load it up to take and use!
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On arrival, the first stop was this registration table with name tags on each side. My friend had some old guys and we mixed together some little cowboy boots, an OK cutting board my son made, hats, lanterns and a sweet bucket for prize tickets.
Several years ago I bought several black and white gingham tablecloths for my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. Soon our church also bought many of them to use for various events… They are a nice change from the usual solid black or white tablecloths and can be used for many different occasions depending on what you put with them. So, between what belongs to the church and what belongs to me, we usually have a lot of gingham tablecloths for large events.
We used a red bandana at each place for the napkins, then one in the middle for the center. Each table had a large orb box with candles, wheat ears, Oklahoma chocolate and a few sunflowers. We tucked the program and menu cards under the napkins, and as the meal approached, more essentials were placed in the center (bread basket, S&P, coffee mug, creamer, etc.).
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For staging, we used 2 sets of curtain lights (clipped with binder clips on top) which hang in front of the black carpet on stage at all times. I imagined it looking like a dark, starry sky, and it sure did! This is the first time I’ve used screen lighting and I’m a fan! They have several different modes you can set them to and were really nice for backgrounds
We picked up some hay bales from the local feed store, then my friend and I raided our house for all things Oklahoma and western! You probably recognize a few things here-ha!
The brightest star of the scene was the beloved cow! I had a pretty good idea of how I was going to set things up before I started. The night before the event things were made and pulled out of the church storage room to use and I saw the random cow cutout… I squealed with joy! I knew he was what we needed for the finishing touch. Our event coordinator said “I almost dropped the thing a few times, but I never did…” 🙂 It was just waiting for me! (I just had to remove the “Eat More Chickin'” sign he had around his neck! #IYKYK)
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My friend had an old side saddle that had been passed down through the family and we collected as many boots, hats and other rustic items as we could find.
We have also made gift bags for each person to take home. Everything we included was from an Oklahoma company! Better Chocolate Factory is OK and they make these adorable oak molded chocolates that we’ve included. Each bag contained a variety of cowbells, rustic crosses, or stars from Hobby Lobby (all from the Christmas decorations section) and we sent them home with bandana tissues (also from HL). We got a variety of cornbread and cracker mixes from Shawnee Milling Company and added one to each bag and finished it off with a custom OK postcard made by a local graphic designer.
Here is a look at the table just before the event started with salads and desserts. Our menu includes BBQ steak and chicken, roasted red potatoes, green beans, salads, Texas toast and desserts – all crowd pleasers! And just an idea if you ever do a similar event – our youth choir students prepare to go on a mission trip every summer. At events like this, we often ask them to serve food, refill drinks, etc. and then leave a tip jar on the table. Any tips go towards their mission trip, it’s a win/win for everyone!
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We encouraged participants to wear western clothing of their choice if they wished. I usually don’t think about what to wear to things like this until a few weeks ago, but a few weeks ago my friend picked up this darling sundress from afar (cheap at the store if you can find it!) that she had for a fun outfit for the evening. Will try to layer up and work. I saw that dress and loved it but knew it would be too small for me. But I knew I would love it if I could make it work as a long skirt! I rounded up two of them, cut off the top of one, sewed the pocket onto what would be the bottom layer, and combined the two into a maxi skirt! I went and it’s far from perfect, so absolutely no tutorial, but I think it turned out pretty nice!
I shared the project on my Instagram stories as I went and several people mentioned that they picked up that dress to use as a Christmas tree skirt this year…so clever! Now I might look for someone else, ha!
It’s so cute on her as a dress, but I said I’m a few inches on her so I was afraid it would be too short for me.
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The deacons always provide a group of restaurant gift cards to give away as door prizes. Our traditional music pastor led everyone in singing some old “cowboy” favorites, ending with “Oklahoma” of course! Next we had a group trivia game with some questions related to Oklahoma. The program ends with our contemporary worship pastor leading some old hymn favorites on his guitar. It was a sweet time!
We were very happy with how everything turned out and everyone enjoyed the night and our guests had fun and felt special so it’s a win! (My husband and I are on a quick vacation this week with absolutely no cell service, so if you have any questions in the comments that I can help with, I’ll get back to them as soon as I get back!) I’m currently working with a cowboy themed party. This is for a friend of mine who has a sweet 4 year old son. For those of you who don’t know… I love western themed parties! There are lots of cute and fun things you can include with this theme! Right now I’m working on cupcake toppers and favors and I refuse to post pictures until it’s done, but I’ll show you some fun ideas I used for my Munchkins western themed party. Take a look…
We used these as table centrepieces. My mother-in-law already had several pairs of cowboy boots. It works perfectly if you put a small container inside the boot, but I can’t take credit for these arrangements. I have a very talented friend, Carol, who brought these beautiful leaves from her garden the morning of the party and put them together for me. What would I do without my amazing friends?!
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If you’re planning a Western party, the next time you’re at the grocery store and the bag boy says, “Paper or plastic,” say “Paper!” It’s easy to turn the paper bags into cowboy vests. I also added a paper sheriff tag to each child’s name
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