Wedding Wednesday | Reception Recap

After all the months and months of planning you finally get to your wedding day only to spend the entire morning on edge while getting ready, praying the day goes as planned.  Then you spend an hour (if you're Catholic) in the spotlight on the most emotional day of your life in front of every single person you love and care for.  STRESSFUL!  So to say I felt a weight lift off my shoulders once I got to our wedding reception is an understatement!

wedding reception

Check out my posts about getting ready and our ceremony.  After all that it was time for portraits (see a full post of those here) which were slightly less stressful but still stressful enough because what Bride doesn't want perfect wedding photos?  Not to mention when we were taking photos at the church I thought we were a half hour behind schedule!  We weren't luckily, but somehow my, let's call it 'Bride brain' thought our ceremony had lasted an hour and a half!  Maybe after kneeling so long my blood wasn't flowing properly or something.  So I did get all of the pictures I wanted for the most part at the church but I was trying to hurry it along because the pictures I reeeeeeeally wanted to have plenty of were at our reception venue.

Once we left the church and got to the reception venue we wrangled our wedding party and started with the photos.  All of our guests were at cocktail hour, which was on the 2nd story patio over looking the golf course so everyone got to watch our photo shoot, which I think people enjoyed.  We did all the group shots with the bridal party first so that they could all head up to cocktail hour and enjoy themselves a little!

My favorite part of the portrait session was taking pics with my hubby.  Wedding photos always turn out amazing because everyone is just so happy!  To capture that kind of raw emotion is so cool.  My first sigh of relief was when our photographer showed me one of the pics off her camera.  It was stunning!  The lighting was so beautiful and it just made me so happy to see that it was working out.

After we finished up we met the bridal party by the front doors while the DJ got all the guests inside to the dinning room.  Once everyone was in and my dress was bustled, our entry song started to play. "Marry You" by Bruno Mars.  I was so nervous about entering, as each couple in our bridal party got introduced we got closer to our moment.  It was our turn and I did the thing I said I never would - held up my bouquet like the woo-girl I really am (please tell me you've seen How I Met Your Mother...)  I have never been a fan of this move yet here is photo evidence of me... we all have our moments I guess!

wedding reception entry

Once we entered the room we went straight to the dance floor and into our first dance, "I'll Be" by Edwin McCain, our song for many years now.

bride and groom first dance

bride and groom first dance

From there my dad stepped in for our father-daughter dance, "Butterfly Kisses".  This wasn't a random pick from the classic father-daughter song list.  When I was 5 years old I took ballet classes and for our final recital we danced to this song and for a part of it all the girls' dads came out on stage and danced with us.  Everyone talks about this recital to this day and says there wasn't a dry eye in the audience.  The second time dancing to the song was no different :) Love you daddy!

father daughter dance

About half way through the song Brian and his mom joined for their mother-son dance.  We decided to do it like this so that our guests didn't have to sit through 3 different slow songs (if you've been to weddings you know this part can be boring, unless the bride and groom are super cool and do choreographed flash mobs - we aren't that cool).

parents dance

After all that slow dancin' (and balling my eyes out) was done, we FINALLY got to SIT!  It felt so amazing after kneeling and then standing and then dancing for so long.  I don't know if it was my body finally relaxing because I got to sit down or if my emotions were finally stable but I felt a literal wave of calm come over me.  I felt happier than I ever have before and was just ready to have FUN at that point!  It was the best feeling and stayed with me through the night!

glowing bride

It was time for toasts and speeches.  My dad was up first, unfair he said to do right after making him dance to such an emotional song!  He gave a short and sweet toast (very him) that was just perfect.  I can't thank both my parents enough for our wedding day.  We owe it all to them for making our dream day a reality!
father of the bride toast

Next was my father in-law, who also gave a very nice toast.  Being that our wedding day was our 7 year anniversary, I've considered my in-laws my family for many years!

father of the groom toast

Then it was the Best Man's turn.  He started with some humor (always a win!) and told a story from his and Brian's childhood (they've been friends since 1st grade!).  He's become one of my best friends over the years too and he made such an amazing speech at our wedding that Brian and I loved and will always remember!  Even our guests kept telling us what a great speech he gave - way to go Kevin!

best man speech

Last, but never least, was my Maid of Honor, my best friend, my sister from another mister.  I knew I would cry when she gave her speech and I was right!  We've been through so many things together, just the thought of her standing next to me on my wedding day gets me choked up.  I loved your speech Amanda and thank you for always being there for me through every life milestone!

maid of honor speech

Gosh writing all this is making me tear up!  I want to go back to this day!!  After all that it was time for dinner (thank God we gave our guests appetizers during cocktail hour!).  Everyone will tell you you won't eat at your own wedding - well for us it wasn't true!  Luckily since I can get seriously hangry... If you have a good venue they will serve you and your groom super quick so you can chow down on a few bites before you start circling the room to say hello to one and all, like royalty ;)

gold sequin sweetheart table

I don't have any food pictures but we had salad and rolls, then I had steak & shrimp and B had salmon & chicken, both with asparagus and roasted potatoes - yum!  Another thing you'll hear is that you won't get to talk to everyone at your wedding.  Also not true!  As long as you pace yourselves and don't let any one table monopolize you, you can do it!  And we had over 100 people so its not like our wedding was super small or something.  For me, to not say hello to a wedding guest is so rude.  People spend a lot of money to come to a wedding, the least you can do is thank them face to face and give 'em a big ole hug! 

gold and white wedding reception

Read about our table "letters" here.

wedding diy table numbers

Right as we were finishing up at our last table, the DJ called us over to cut the cake!  We aren't the type for smashing cake on each other so it was pretty uneventful :D

party flavors custom cakes

I'm giving him the "don't ruin my uber-happiness by smashing cake in my face you will regret it if you do" face and he's giving me the "don't worry I am remembering the many lectures already given about not smashing cake in your face" face.

cake cutting

After the cake we said a few words to our guests and then shared a very special video (still thinking about how I want to share it with you guys).  The video was a hit but it did make the "Things that went wrong at my Wedding" list.

bride and groom moment

That was pretty much the last scheduled event so it was just time to par-tay after that!  We danced the entire night!  It was so much fun!  Our DJ did play a few tricks on us.  He made Brian dance to the "I'm too sexy" song, and all the ladies came up and danced with him.  It was cute and my hubby was a great sport!  Couldn't have done better myself.

group dance at wedding

Then all the girls were told to circle around me and "Firework" by Katy Perry was played.  Love all my ladies!  Another stand out moment in all the dancing was the final song - I requested it be "Shake it off" by Taylor Swift (obvi) because that song is kind of my anthem and I wished it never would have ended!  I definitely was dancing like no one was watching!  Well as much as my wedding dress would allow that is, slightly restricted was probably for the best...

group dance at wedding

After that final song, all the guests exited and went out to get set for the sparkler exit (tips here if you're having one!) and Brian and I stayed in for a final, private dance.  An idea our DJ gave us.

special moment

bride and groom

We danced to "All of Me" by John Legend.  Holy cow that's such a romantic song!

last dance

 Then it was time for our grand exit!  We had fun walking through the sparkler tunnel all three times ;)
sparkler exit

sparkler exit

And if you've made it to the end you deserve some sort of award!  But all you get is a thank you from me :P  I hope you enjoyed reading about this!  I can't believe that day was almost 8 months ago!  I still remember it so well but I know I won't forever which is why I write all the details here.  If you ever have a wedding Wednesday request, just leave me a comment!  I'd love to hear what you'd love to hear :)

Don't forget to Sparkle!
XO ~ Katie

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