Women’s Ministry Kick Off Dinner

If you read my 2017 Year in Review post yesterday, you may have seen me mention the Women’s Ministry Kick Off Dinner that my church held back in August. This is the first dinner I’ve ever attended, and I had no idea what to expect.

Our church Women’s Ministry has activities/bible studies from August – May of each year. As a church, we take a break from Wednesday night activities from mid-May until school resumes in August. Every year in August, our Women’s Ministry team hosts a kick off dinner to jump start the year. They bring in a speaker and ask ladies of the church to host tables. Hostesses are responsible for decorating the table according to a theme of their choice, inviting ladies to sit at their table, and performing official hostess duties the night of the dinner.

As I said, I had never attended a kick off dinner before, so I didn’t know what to expect. We were told we could decorate according to whatever theme we desired, and we could use china or paper plates – the choice was ours. We would need to provide a centerpiece, napkins, silverware, cups, and coffee cups. The dinner was being prepared and served by the men of the church, so we used the church’s plates as it made service easier. A lot of women did bring in plates for decorations, simply because a table setting looks better with a plate, but they removed the plates when it was time to eat.

I wanted to host but I was nervous – while I’m great at tablescapes, they usually have a childish theme, and I always use paper products. My friend Wendy is far more classier than I 😉 so I asked her to co-host with me. She comes with her own china. 🙂

(Wendy is laughing at this, y’all. We have our own friend humor.)

We brainstormed a good bit and initially thought we would do a Back to School theme, but as we made concrete plans we discovered it would take more effort and money than we really wanted to put forth. August was a busy month for me, and for Wendy as well, and we didn’t want to become best friends with our glue guns. We ultimately decided to go with a fall theme – simple, appropriate, and between the two of us we had everything we needed.

We used the church’s white tablecloth, and layered Wendy’s blanket scarf on top. For chargers, we alternated cooper chargers with wooden chargers, and used gray plates, cream napkins, and gold napkin rings.

For the centerpiece, I used assorted size mason jars and filled them with white flowers, wine flowers, and baby’s breath. (I actually have no idea what type of flowers the white and wine flowers are. They were on sale at Publix.) Kroger had greenery on clearance and I used the greenery to beef up the arrangement.

We filled in the centerpiece with candles and pumpkins Wendy found at the Dollar Spot.

For the gift, we gave each girl a fall hand towel (not pictured – it was on the seat). Wendy had spotted these wooden blocks with inspirational sayings at Cracker Barrel, and her husband said he could help us recreate them for cheaper. He cut the wood, Wendy painted the blocks, and we worked on the lettering together. They all have shortened bible verses or words from scripture. We used paint pens and Sharpies.

Here are a few of the other tables. I was blown away! The ladies at my church are so creative and y’all know I eat this sort of thing up. I did not get pictures of each table unfortunately. Some ladies decorated the afternoon of the dinner and it was too crowded to get pictures once everything started.

This table had a succulent theme. How gorgeous is the centerpiece and those wooden chargers? The gift was a succulent to take home.

I loved this sunflower themed table with pops of turquoise. This entire arrangement was so layered and textured! The wicker chargers, the gorgeous cups, the burlap, and the greenery. Just gorgeous.

This table had a sunny yellow bee theme. The flower arrangements tied in perfectly, and I loved the stainless chargers.

This was a Christmas theme with a tree and Christmas china! LOVE! My wheel immediately started turning for next year, because you know I’ve got Christmas decorations galore.

This beach table was so incredibly creative. That was actual sand on the table, which they had to carefully scoop back up when the dinner was over. The guests got to take home bubbles!

I really loved this fiesta theme, and the hostess used a trick I often use – scrapbook paper as a place mat! The gift was a cactus sugar cookie.

This picnic table was super creative. I believe the guests got to take the red stainless cups home, and the hostess actually glued a line of ants to the tablecloth! So cute!

This “Abide” themed table was decorated by my friend Julie. The centerpiece was mainly greenery with a few flowers, and the color palette was neutral with that pop of lime green. I was in love with Julie’s silverware… it was gold and beautiful!

I really wish I had been able to get pictures of each table! We had 20 tables, I believe, and each were beautiful and creative.

The highlight of the evening, besides spending time with friends new and old, was that I got to meet Karen Ehman! As I mentioned, I co-led a bible study this fall. The study was Karen Ehman’s Listen Love Repeat. Karen was our speaker, and I got to have my bible study signed and take a picture with her.

Also pictured is my co-leader, Linda, who is also my Mentor Mom this year for Lily Moms Table 7.

Does your church do anything similar? I would love to see pictures if so!

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