Thursday, July 18

Our Wedding: The Reception

As someone who planned most of her wedding from online inspiration, I wanted to share a lot of fun details about our own special day.  When we were engaged, I was thrilled to find wedding posts, so if I'm lucky, hopefully I can give some soon-to-be-wed couples some ideas.  

Erik and I loved a lot of details about our wedding day.  We loved the rustic barn, the open view of the winery, and the beautiful scenery.  But most of all, we loved that we were having all of our events in one space.  Not only was the ceremony, cocktail and reception all held at the same location, but this was also where Erik and I stayed for the entire weekend, along with many of our friends and family. 

If you didn't catch the first half of this post, click here to read through our ceremony details.

Immediately following the ceremony, guests walked up the stairs and enjoyed an outdoor cocktail hour.

The card box was a great excuse for me to invest in a piece of vintage luggage.  I DIYed it into a card box by adding vintage doilies and creating a "cards" sign from glitter paper. 

Inside the reception space, name tags were hung in front of the windows and favorite family photos were displayed for all of the guests to enjoy.  This was a great project, and definitely worth taking the time to do.  Now that our wedding is long over, I have enjoyed decorating our home with these beautiful family memories!

I spent a lot of time agonizing over exactly how the reception room should look, and I couldn't have been happier with the outcome.  To save money on the flowers, I purchased silver mixing bowls from Ikea, which held the centerpieces.  The candle votives were found at Ikea and Pier 1 Imports, and were a mix of clear glass and mercury glass.  I got a little creative with some of the simple votives and glued on a little lace trim.  For our rentals, we kept a subtle vintage feel with simple beige and white linens and upgraded to bentwood chairs, which gave the entire room a classic touch.

Our favors were so beautiful, and a huge commitment that was taken on by my mother and sister.  They spent countless hours making homemade strawberry jam.  I picked out a pretty white fabric to go over their jars, and we tied custom labels to each one.  My only gripe with these is that I never got a chance to take one home!
Although I loved the top lace piece that I added to my dress for the ceremony, I also loved that it was easily removable.  For the reception, I removed the top, added a belt and some more dramatic earrings from Tejani.  A great piece of advice that I received about expensive bridal attire is to create your own belt!  Bridal belts will sell for hundreds of dollars, which is outrageous.  I found two small appliques for around $5 a piece, then took them to my bridal salon and paid the seamstress to sew them to a matching ribbon.  This way, the ribbon still matched my dress perfectly, but it saved me a lot of money.

Another great DIY idea (from Pinterest!) included our chair signs.  Although we sat with our backs against the wall and not many people saw them, they were incredibly easy to make.  My dad found the old wood and cut the pieces for me.  I simply painted them, glued on some moss I found at the craft store, and added string to hang them.

This was our amazing band, Jump City Jazz Orchestra.  For Erik and I, music was the most important part of the night.  Hiring this band was the best decision we could have made.  From the moment we began working with them, we knew we were in good hands.  They played all of the classic songs we were hoping for, and transitioned beautiful into the best party music.  Our first dance was to the song, "Summerwind" by Sinatra.


The next set of photos just don't do our dessert table justice.  This is simply the most incredible gift we could have been given.  My aunt, who has always been a great amateur baker, offered to make everything on this dessert table.  My sister and mother were able to offer their help, but she took this project and really ran with it.  Some of our desserts included red velvet and chocolate cakes, cheesecake, raspberry torte, coconut cake, carrot cake, biscotti, and endless amounts of cupcakes and cookies.  After the wedding, I found out that she took every one of these recipes for multiple trial runs before baking the real deal.  Every time I look at these photos, I am blown away by her talent and her generosity.  

The vintage cake toppers are two sets of salt and pepper shakers that I found on Etsy.

Looking back on these photos reminds me of every incredible moment of our special day.  While it all happened so fast and I often wish I could relive it, I'm always blown away by the happiness, love and commitment that I see in our pictures.  Not only did planning this wedding bring Erik and I closer together, it brought our families closer.  And to Erik and I, that was the biggest reason that planning a traditional wedding was important to us.  So thank you, loved ones, for your once-in-a-lifetime memories.

Photography: Michael Mancuso (most, but not all of these photographs were from Michael)
Jazz Quartet and Band: Jump City Jazz Orchestra
Catering: Brandywine Prime

If you actually made it to the end of this incredibly long and picture-heavy post, congrats... and I'm sorry!  I am taking on the responsibility of building our own wedding album, which I haven't yet started, so I am planning to use these posts to help me get that job done!


  1. Looks like a great time was had by all (:
    And kudos to your aunt, the desserts look delicious!

  2. thanks so much! it was fun to go through our photos and relive some special memories!