Heart of Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce Banquet

On January 15th, I received a call from the Heart of Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce. They asked if I was available to decorate tables for their annual banquet on January 25th at the Grand Canadian Theater in Purcell. I was very excited and honored to get this opportunity so, of course, I said, “YES!” It was a whirlwind 10 days to get everything together in time, but it was a lot of fun!

I met with Mandy and Gayla from the chamber to talk about what they were wanting. Their theme was “The Road Not Taken” based on the Robert Frost poem which the first line says, “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood”. They wanted the décor for the event to be styled like “a yellow wood”. They gave me a lot of creative freedom to come up with the design. The first thing that came to mind was to use forsythia, lots of greenery, and natural wood pieces. We decided to meet at the venue to look over everything and go over the set up for the event. The Grand Canadian is an absolutely beautiful venue. There is hard wood floors, exposed brick, large wooden beams and columns, a beautiful grand staircase that goes up to a balcony, and elegant crystal chandeliers. They have a great selection of linens to choose from and beautiful farmhouse style tables and chairs. The owner, Gisela, was so easy to work with and accommodating. She even let me use some of their large wood rounds for my table centerpieces!

After the venue walkthrough, it was time to get to work getting everything together and making the centerpieces. I decided to make arrangements in large mason jars filled with small river rocks and moss. The arrangements were made up of white hydrangea, greenery, and vines. I needed some natural wood elements for the design, so my husband and I went to my aunt and uncle’s lake house and cut branches to turn into different sizes of candle holders. Then, I took long forsythia branches and made large rings out of them to go around the wood rounds. There were two different kinds of tables- round tables and long rectangle tables. On each of the round tables we put a wood round in the center with a forsythia ring around it, a mason jar arrangement and three flat glass candle holders on the wood round, and four wooden candle holders set on the table around the forsythia. On the long rectangle tables we laid forsythia and mossy fern branches lengthwise down the middle of the table and put a wood round in the center with a forsythia ring around it. We put a mason jar arrangement and three flat glass candle holders on the wood round and four wooden candle holders and four glass “rolly polly” candle holders on the table in the forsythia and mossy fern branches. Lastly, we added forsythia branches to the rails of the grand staircase to continue the “yellow wood” theme.

The banquet was lots of fun! Business owners from all over the area were there and even Tom Cole, an Oklahoma congressman, came! We started the evening with a silent auction and everyone walking around greeting each other. Then, we were served a delicious dinner from Althea’s Vault (a local café and bakery in Washington, OK). Once everyone was served they started the program. Each year, the community nominates local volunteers for different awards and the winners are honored at this banquet. After all of the awards were handed out, they began the auction. There were so many different items auctioned off- cakes and pies, a grill, a fishing trip, Thunder basketball tickets, etc. Everyone had a great time! I can’t wait until next year’s banquet!

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