Wedding Week – Confessions of a Reception
Sorry guys. I treated you like a Salem hunted witch and left you hanging. But now I am back to share a couple more posts for Wedding Week. Today is reception day! So pull up your knickers and cinch those garters – it’s time to party!
Our reception was held at a local jazz club called Cafe 267. Initially it sounded too good to be true – we had everything that we wanted in the contract but in the end the usual wedding debacles happened. The air conditioner broke, our balloon drop wouldn’t actually drop and we lost the topper for the groom’s cake. Also, I wouldn’t recommend anyone actually using that facility. Ever. The staff failed to deliver good service on our big day…which is definitely a disappointing affair but in the grand scheme of things, it didn’t come close to spoiling my overall wedding experience. I got to have an amazing ceremony and I happened to marry my favorite man on the planet. Plus, the food was really delicious. So all in all…pretty durn good time
Now back to October 6th 2007.
October 6th, 2007 was the day that the University of Georgia (where I attended – GO DAWGS!) played football against their rival, University of Tennessee (Jeremy’s loser school of choice). And we realized afterward that our reception colors were red & orange – also the colors for our respective colleges. Let me assure you…we I did not plan for our wedding to become football-mania. Not really my style. But somehow the theme stuck – hence the ‘touchdown’ shots of our wedding party that immediately followed the ceremony. (GO DAWGS!)
Thirty minutes of photos later – we packed up our stuff and headed to the reception site. On the commute, I slipped off the extra long beaded veil and pinned in a big fake white flower. This little wardrobe change actually saved me so much time and stress – I no longer had to worry about someone stepping on the end of the delicate veil or pulling my ginormous head backward anytime I got a relative’s congratulatory hug. And since I only borrowed the veil and needed to return it - the white flower is a classic little momento of our big day.
And like our love – it will never die.
When it came to visiting and working in the dances – we decided that each ‘partner’ dance would be held during the time that the appetizers were being served. That way people didn’t actually have to watch us do the Saved By The Bell dances – ya know…with the boring swaying dance steps. Although Jeremy & my first dance was interupted with a little “Rocky Top” and “Who Let the Dogs Out”. Football is a disease. And it’s communicable.
We also enjoyed our ‘parent’ dances - Jeremy was able to dance with both his mom and stepmom – to two different songs. And I enjoyed my daddy/daughter dance which was interupted by my mother. She likes to cut in. Which is actually quite fitting – since she has danced with us in the living room at 99% of family gatherings since we were old enough to breathe. And she is Italian. So no party is complete without lots of food and Mom showing us how to shake a leg.
We also had a balloon drop during our 1st dance – which actually didn’t drop until we started the group dancing. I think our bridal party enjoyed the fact that this little festive event happened for more to enjoy. Because let’s face it, balloons are fun no matter what age you are. Especially when it makes pooting noises. Oh the joy!
The cakes were made at Publix (a local grocery store) and were super-duper affordable. I think that it wasn’t all that important to us what the cakes looked like…I knew that we wanted something fun & simple. With buttercream icing. Because I would probably gag on fondont. And nobody wants to see me yack up premasticated wedding cake. It would ruin the celebration spirit. And my makeup.
Like I said – our cakes weren’t that important to me…although I did want our bridal cake topper to be accurate. I get hung up on weird details sometimes. I wanted a little bride & groom that were antique, in black & white, and with no bouquet. Do you realize how difficult that is to find?!? Well. Not really. Ebay is an amazing thing. And now this little trinket lives in our bathroom…where marriage is really solidified. (no pun intended).
The ribbon on our cake was also used in another reception decor place…our centerpieces. Prior to the big day, I wrapped 300+ pillar candles with red & orange hued ribbon for each of the tables and secured them with yellow headed pins. Each group of candles sat on a mirror and was surrounded by a dried fall wreath wrapped in orange silk (which I scored for less than $1 a yard at a local fabric discount store).
These table arrangements actually were a nod to our ceremony (which featured a bazillion candles) and to our invitations which featured a wreath silhouettte. We still get plenty of use out of them now – since we hang the wreaths on our windows for exterior fall decorations and we have used the candles at numerous church events and for various holidays.
Our favors were also done on the cheap – using extra gold ribbon, a little scrapbook paper and little white boxes which contained a votive candle for people to take home. We called them “prayer candles” and asked that the guests shoutout a little request to a higher power for our marraige when they use the little light at home. We figured that at less than 50 cents a piece – these little momentos could be used at their kitchen table or their next power-outtage. I was secretly decorating these people’s houses even then! (oh – and for all you candle-scoffers…we also had a candy/cookie/brownie buffet for guests to take treats home. I told you. My mother is Italian.)
You might be wondering if we had a guest book. Yes, we did. But we also had this signature-frame at the reception for folks to sign and write a short message of well-wishes & congratulations.
And now we get to read the messages everyday – since the exact same frame (fresh with a coat of white paint) hangs in our living room. I often will sit in that corner and glance up at the sweet notes from our guests and smile from ear to ear. Then I return to watching Glee. Because you can’t help but watch for that crazy cheerleading coach to make inappropriate remarks as you take notes and laugh maniacally.
Soon after dinner & dancing and right before we made our exit from the reception, Jeremy slipped his hands up my dress (WHOA) and grabbed my garter….and just now, it all of a sudden made sense why this tradition exists. Naughty
And me? Well since I didn’t have a bouquet to toss (remember how I carried my grandmother’s family bible?)…I decided to do a Irish tradition (my Dad is Scotch-Irish). It was called a veil dance. The bride is blindfolded while the eligible young ladies walk around her. When the music stops, the bride picks a girl in the circle and ‘veils’ her as the next bride-to-be. It was actually really nice for the girls – since none of them had to tackle or dive or jump. Although that would have gone well with the football theme, huh?
So that is the end of the reception events. And I still have those little reminders of our wedding day around our house. Do you have anything that you used during your nuptials that still can be incorporated in your home decor? Maybe it was your invites or a photo of your wedding venue? Or perhaps you were like me and put special meaning on silly things – like the wedding topper or your hair flower? Whatever the wedding day souvenier, I would love to hear all about it. And for those of you who had football/college themed weddings…well, friends, we are bonded for life. Because nothing says romance like hearing the DJ announce the score of the game at fifteen minute intervals