Before I get started, all of these photos were taken by Lily Peterson unless otherwise noted.
You can follow her Instagram account at CapriciousEquestrian.
She is a wonderful, young lady, with an amazing eye for photography.
This is year two of "A Night Under the Stars", a fundraiser for my daughter's Interscholastic Equestrian Association Team. Because this is a fundraiser everything is done with little to no budget at all so everything you see in the photos belongs to a team members family, a lot of it is my own personal stash, and in addition a lot of borrowed white lights and other items.
The easel chalkboard in this shot belongs to a friend of mine. I brought the large metal buckets filled with dried hydrangeas. I use them in my dining room. It shouldn't have been leaning like that but it was a bit windy during the day. I also brought the cornstalks and mums from my front porch. The beauty of hosting a fundraiser at a farm is that we had access to lots and lots of hay bales and fence posts.
It was really important to me that we create conversation areas so people could sit and visit. That was done by building hay bale sofas with coffee tables to ground each setting and then we hung a chandelier over each coffee table. We used old antique doors that the farm owners had in storage as the tops for our coffee tables. Months in advance I put out a plea to all my local FB friends asking for builder grade chandy's that were just sitting in garages and basements. I received four for free. Thank you neighbor friends!!! I spray painted all four with hammered gold spray paint which was donated by friends of ours. Thank you! Bill our barn manager wired all of them so we could plug them in and they really provided all the light we needed in our little cove.
A builder grade chandelier spray painted and suspended from a large tree by rope can be really beautiful and add special ambiance that white lights, on there own, just can't provide.
We had white icicle lights strung from fence post to fence post to guide our guests way from the welcome table to the gathering area.
...and they worked wonderfully.
My daughters trainer put together this amazing display of fruit, cheese and veggies using borrowed items from team members families. We also had a taco bar and baked potato bar.
Desserts were brought by the riders families as well.
I borrowed this s'more bar setup from a friend of mine. She also let us use all of her pumpkins that she had displayed at her home. Grab some s'more fixins' and meet us at the bonfire. The fire was provided by a father of one of the riders and it was in the riding ring.
Here is yet another borrowed chalkboard to highlight a few of the silent auction items. We wrapped this one in rope lights.
We had so many wonderful items donated for the auction.
A friend of mine was willing to buy a bike basket to donate to the auction if I would make a liner for it. I did and it's featured in this photo. It's a different style and the pennants are longer then the typical pennants. I had to add homemade bias tape trim and little fabric covered buttons in order to work around the basket handle to keep the liner laying nicely against the basket.
Another shot of our silent auction tables.
Each year we do this fundraiser I learn something. We had all the trees wrapped in white lights and then the chandy's plugged into them. It caused a lot of the white light strands to blow a fuse. This is still a beautiful picture but I can see the strands that aren't lit up.
I'll share a few more photos from the evening.
A picnic basket brought by one of the parents fit the setting perfectly.
The best part of this fundraiser is there were no out of pocket decorating expenses. We hired a local folk band for a small fee and that was so worth every penny. I'm sorry I don't have any photos of them.
Another shot of the fruit & veggie display.
A lot of team work went into hosting this event. I want to thank everyone that helped out, that donated and that bought tickets and supported the IEA Team!
Thanks for stopping by.