Reader Question: Hi Sara, I was just reading about how you bought sheets from the Good Will store and used them as tablecloths and I was wondering if you did anything special to them (other than washing, obviously) such as hemming or sewing before you used them in your wedding? I was also wondering if you had any photos of them in use that you could e-mail to me?
Yes, the old sheets as tablecloths idea...
It sounds disgusting, but it actually worked quite nicely.
Matt and I went to a couple of thrift stores and scoured the sheet section to find sheets that a) could pass for vintage tablecloths and b) weren't stained in disgusting ways.
We walked out with handfuls of tablecloths for only $33. All along, the goal was to hem them to fit the tables at Sunshine Mountain Lodge. Unfortunately, I hate sewing big things (it's hard to keep them straight). The tablecloths stayed on our "to-do" list for many months. It was still on the list when we were getting ready to leave. I stressed about it and then reminded myself: "I want our wedding to be about community, connection, commitment and fun--not tablecloths."
I handed all the sheets to Cathy and Cory--the innkeepers--since we had paid them to help us set up for the reception. And then I stopped worrying about it. I truly wanted to live in the moment and bask in the joy that a wedding should be.
During the reception, I realized that we apparently didn't have enough tablecloths because Cathy and Cory had to use some of theirs. I also realized that they made do we our unhemmed sheets by simply folding them under. Voila!
Those two realizations passed through my head in about a millisecond, and I was done caring or thinking about the aesthetics of our wedding.
One of the problems with looking at so much lovely wedding porn (which I do!) is that I start to think about creating a wedding for the voyeurs rather than the participants. When we look at the flat, beautiful images from other people's weddings (the centerpieces, the tablecloths, the bouquets, the rings, the shoes, etc.), we start to internalize the idea that the guests at our wedding will be scrutinizing these things at our own weddings. The truth is, if we invite our nearest and dearest to our weddings, most of them won't be voyeurs; they will be participants. And participants care a lot less about the beautiful details that a) can stress us out, b) can cost a lot of money, and c) detract us from the more meaningful aspects of planning a wedding.
Sorry I doth digress so much!
Long story short: Folding the extra fabric under worked perfectly well. I don't have time to scroll through all the photos from our wedding to find a picture, but I think I can easily upload one from a recent potluck at our house (we now use sheets as tablecloths all the time!). Sorry about that!
Enjoy your planning!