Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Ultimate Wedding Week: The Reception

It's day 5 of the Ultimate Wedding Week series and today is all about the reception!  What better way to celebrate a great union than a fabulous party, right?  We were fortunate enough to have our wedding and reception at the same location (which I would highly recommend) so our guests headed over to the cocktail hour while the bridal party finished up the photos.  The only downside of this was that I do not have any pictures of the cocktail hour... oh well.  But when we finished our photos, we had drinks and hors d'ouevres waiting for us in a separate room so we could snack for a minute (as well as freshen up) before making our grand entrance:

I can't remember what music we walked in to, but I did love how all of the groomsmen sported their aviators, which were part of the grooms' gifts.

Next up?  The first dance and father-daughter dance.  The first picture of Josh and me might be my favorite from the whole day.  We danced to "Everything" by Michael Buble and my dad and I danced to "You Make Lovin' Fun" by Fleetwood Mac, which was "our song" when I was little.  I called it the "Miracle Song."  I picked upbeat songs for both so that I wouldn't spend the whole time crying... and it worked!

Yes, my dad can break it down.  He is probably the best dancer in our family and we all love taking a spin on the floor with him.  Good times.

After that we all sat down and ate dinner.  For those of you who have been told that the bride and groom never get to eat at their own wedding, I have news for you... it's your day, so enjoy it!  You bought dinner for 120 (or however many) of your closest friends, so I think that entitles you to a bite to eat, too.  Our event manager hooked us up and made sure that we had our own server, which was fantastic.  She waited on only us, played a bit of interference while we grabbed a bite, and even found some more pigs-in-a-blanket in the kitchen since Josh missed them during cocktail hour.  Yes, my husband is classy like that.  He was also the only one who got "hot bacon dressing" on his salad.  We opted to have both beef and chicken on every plate so that we would not have to track who ordered what, and the food was incredible.  I don't have a picture of the plate, but we also had purple potatoes, which I did not know existed until our tasting.  I'm not a big potato fan, but made an exception since they were special.  After dinner we had a series of toasts from Josh's best man Merritt, my matron of honor (and sister) Angie, Josh's dad, and my dad.  We laughed more than we cried, but my dad definitely had me tearing up at one point.

And then... well... things got a little crazy.  You see, I was "that bride" that forced my bridal party to learn a choreographed routine.  Yep... it was a medley of all different songs to kick off the party.  We all walked out there as if we were going to do a slow dance and then the music changed and we were off to the races.  The funniest part, however, is that I totally blanked on everything, so the video footage is quite embarrassing!  We ended with a conga line, picking up people as we went along to get them out on the dance floor whether they liked it or not:

Somewhere in the midst of it all, we did find some time to mingle with our guests and take some great photos.  Our photographer did an amazing job of following us around and making sure he got pictures of everyone!  His picture of us, my sisters, and their husbands is still my favorite picture of all six of us that we've ever taken.

And of course there was cake!  We agreed ahead of time to be kind to one another when feeding the cake, and surprisingly we both stuck to it!  As a funny side note (and a recommendation) we opted to not freeze our cake top.  The hotel was kind enough to box it up for us, which is what we wanted, and the two of us took it with us to our room.  Late night dessert?  Yes, please!  

And last but not least, we did the traditional garter and bouquet toss.  My nephew, Kevin, caught the garter, so needless to say, we did not do anything embarrassing to the couple that ended up with those items.  I always feel so bad for those people when they have to dance or take a picture!

The evening ended much too quickly and we made our rounds to say goodnight to everyone and thank them for being there.  We stayed the first night in a suite at the hotel, so thankfully we only had a short walk and then a golf cart was waiting to whisk us away.

I really would not change much at all about our reception... it was so much fun?  But if I did have any advice for future brides it would be to make sure the room is dark and cool for dancing.  We had to ask to have the air turned up and the lights turned down to get that floor hopping!  Also, be aware of where your DJ will set up the speakers.  We had our parents and grandparents at what we thought would be the best table (location-wise) and they were blasted out with loud music all night.  Whoops!  Of course they didn't mind, but they probably couldn't hear the next day either.  Lastly, don't be afraid of "group dances" such as the Cuban Shuffle, Cha Cha slide, etc.  I had originally requested that our DJ not play any of them since they can be kind of cheesy.  Someone eventually requested one and it slipped through the cracks.  Then, miraculously, everyone was out on the floor.  Who knew?  Oh, and make sure that "Rocky Top" is on your must-play list, too.  Okay, so maybe that's not for everyone, but fun alma mater songs and stuff like that is great to incorporate.  

What a great night... stay tuned for Friday when I will highlight the details of the day- everything from flowers, to the dress, to the programs, etc.  And make sure you link up you wedding post today with Natasha over at Hello! Happiness.  That impressive gal still managed to do this after having a baby girl on St. Patty's Day!

And finally, don't forget about our weekly "Reflections" link up tomorrow. Brittany picked the topic and it's James chapter 1.  Can't wait to read your thoughts!


  1. your reception looks like SUCH a blast :) love the photo of you and your dad breaking it down... so special!! thanks for sharing all these gorgeous photos. and i know that i have said it before, but i ADORE your dress. just stunning!

  2. Thanks, Jill! I'm loving this series and seeing everyone's photos, too!