What happens when a photographer plans your reunion // Madison Indiana Elks Lodge // Trimble County High School

What happens when a photographer plans your high school reunion? Well, the event looks more like a decorated wedding reception than a bar AND a photobooth is a requirement. I asked my second shooter Cassie to man the camera for the night so my classmates and I could get silly and capture our memories without me reaching for the camera. I was the president of our tiny class so I knew I wanted this reunion on a budget — but I didn’t want it to feel like a backyard ho-down. (In reality, we could’ve had a ho-down and people probably still would’ve been happy.) So I set out to find a nice, affordable venue with a cash bar option.

Venue: Madison Elks Lodge :: Madison, Indiana
Offerings: Cash bar, screened & heated porch for smokers, simple food catering options, off-street parking, friendly staff, rental discount with membership, day-before decorating, built-in audio speakers (we had an iPod shuffle mix for the night)

Here’s a breakdown of the decorations:

All of the photos from display were from my personal collection so I didn’t have to worry about borrowing or returning any (I’ve always been the one taking photos!) — so it was nice to have them on hand for decorating. I wrote down that there were seven tables for decorating and then the 10 for seating… but when I arrived it was SEVENTEEN for decorating (oh noes). It was at that point I was happy I threw in a bunch of my random photo props too in my car. I knew I wanted a country feel (we all did grow up on farms) with a vintage feel. I didn’t go with flowers or other decorations with our school colors. We all knew our colors, no need to splash them all over. I only used them in the photobooth.

Wooden centerpieces :: made by sweet Jim out of wood from our property. No open flames allowed at the venue, so I had to use LED candles.
Vases :: Purchased at a flea market for .50 each. Wrapped in twine (farm store) and held with hot glue
Crates :: Free from the dumpster behind my work
Mini Clothes pins :: $1.47 for 25 from Michaels (these break super easy, btw)
Flowers wrapped around vases & centerpieces :: from my newborn headband collection
Dessert Table :: from my prop collection
2003 sign :: ‘borrowed’ after my husband’s 10 year reunion the weekend before.
Photobooth :: Seamless gray paper, backdrop stand, clamps (all on hand) helium balloons in school colors
Props :: Photobooth props and free printables on sticks (on hand & borrowed from a friend)
Desserts :: VP alumni baked, decorated and brought
Flowers :: Kroger floral department, assorted bouquets $18
White Lights :: On hand from my friend’s Christmas decorations

I decorated all of the round tables with flowers and the candle centerpieces and designated them for seating. I then surrounded two of the outer walls with long tables filled with decorations such as old photos from high school, yearbooks from our four years and the dessert table.

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It’s really quite amazing how classic baby’s breath flowers look when they are displayed in a collection or even as a muted accent. I loved them in the twine jars and the clear ones too.
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Here’s how the dessert table turned out. I really didn’t go into it with a design in mind, but I knew I wanted different heights. I thought the camera was a perfect little vintage accent.
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Sadly, we did have one member of our graduating class pass away. I wanted to make sure I started a tradition for our reunions that would allow us to remember our classmates who has passed, so I had a special candle with Jackie’s picture on display.
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Here’s a behind the scenes look at our photobooth too. We scooted the balloons way in for the photos and had an entire table of props too!
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Here’s my favorite photobooth memories from the night where I jumped in!
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And lastly, we couldn’t forget to take a minute for a group photo of all of us who were able to come out and reunite. We graduated with approximately 86, so I thought this turnout was great! Here’s to the next 10 years!
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