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Our Wedding: The Reception

Better late than never, right?! Finally – here is our very last wedding-related recap! Sorry for the ridiculous delay – turns out getting married while in the midst of finishing grad school internships and writing your masters paper (and then leaving on your honeymoon, followed by Christmas) doesn’t leave a lot of time for wedding day recap writing. ;) And I wanted to make sure to take the time to do each of the recaps justice.

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If you’re just catching up, check out my previous wedding posts first to get oriented! Matt and I were married on October 13, 2012 at Rosemont Manor in Berryville, VA; all photos in this post and the others are courtesy of Ben Powell Photography unless otherwise noted.

After the ceremony, while the wedding party and Matt and I were off taking photos nearby, our guests were busy enjoying a cocktail hour at the main house.

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Before too long it was time for the main event: the reception! Everyone grabbed their seating assignment and headed into the nearby tent for dinner. For the table assignments, we (and by we I mean my mom, who taught herself calligraphy for the occasion… thank you mom!!) wrote everyone’s name on the outside of a tiny envelope, and then inside was a card with their table number written on it. This made it easy if we needed to switch people last minute – just take out the card and swap with someone else’s card!

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While everyone got settled in the tent, we got ready to be officially introduced with the wedding party!

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Here are Jenny (my matron of honor) and Chris and Drew (Matt’s brothers and co-best men) waiting to enter:

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Just before entering – I look pumped, Matt looks skeptical about this whole thing:

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And then they announced us! Aaaaand pronounced our last name totally wrong, so we proceeded to crack up. :)

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In we go!

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We arranged to have plated salads waiting at everyone’s tables when they sat down – the rest of the meal was buffet-style. Yum! Celebrations Catering did all our wedding food (we also had passed appetizers during the cocktail hour, plus some cracker/cheese/fruit plates) and they did a fantastic job.

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Photo via Gretchen 

For our table decorations, we choose a couple of different variations of a candle/water/flower theme. It made the room look magical! The flowers are actually suspended in gel – cool, huh? Our florist team, Flowers Unlimited, came up with these for us and I loved them. So romantic.

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I was glad to see our cake looking fab, too! We got our cake through Taylor Made, a vendor that was recommended by our venue. Carolyn Taylor (the owner) did a great job, and coordinated with the florists to have the fresh flowers cascading down the side. Gorgeous!

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Once we were seated, we started the speeches!

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All the speeches were wonderful – a great mix of funny and sentimental. We both felt very loved. :)

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After the speeches, it was dinner time! As I mentioned we had a big buffet. One of the benefits of being the bride and groom? We got to hit the buffet first! :) You guys already know all about the food at our wedding if you read our tasting post from last year, but it was delicious. The food at the wedding was one of my main priorities – I didn’t know what to do about decorations, but I was all over the food selections!

We had a London broil carving station:

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Photo via Gretchen

Roasted chicken (really juicy and awesome):

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A Spanish style tofu dish (vegan — and AMAZING) — with white beans, mushrooms, red pepper, lemon zest, oregano, smoked sweet paprika and sherry vinegar – I need to try to get this recipe!

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The delicious vegan quinoa salad with pecans and cranberries (click for recipe – posted by popular demand!):

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Some amazing roasted potatoes:

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And (sorry for the dim picture), roasted green beans, asparagus (unpictured), and sweet potatoes.

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We also had some hearty bread and rolls on the tables with butter. I made sure to fill up my plate to the brim and eat what I could because I didn’t want to miss out on our meal (and knew that once we started circulating the room to say hello to people we would have no more time to eat!).

After eating and making our way around the room to say hello to people as best we could, it was time to cut the cake!

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I think this was me whispering lovingly to Matt: “Don’t even THINK about smashing this cake in my face or I’ll never forgive you…”

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Thankfully he was nice and obliged my request. :)

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Fiiiiiine, I won’t smash the cake in your face, either.

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:)

As far as the cake, it was delicious! We had two different flavors – my favorite was the raspberry lemon, and we also had a Frangelico chocolate option.

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Photo via Gretchen

Before we knew it, dinner was over and everyone walked next door to the carriage house for dancing! I loved this place – it wasn’t big enough for our dinner, but with the hardwood floors it was perfect for dancing! It was decorated with white Christmas lighting and hanging Chinese lanterns – my favorite.

Everyone was invited over to see our first dance, which was to Frank Sinatra’s “The Way You Look Tonight.” We wanted something sweet but fun and upbeat, too!

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During dinner, I swapped out my veil for the feather/mesh hairpiece you see in the photo below.

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The father/daughter and mother/son dances followed. Matt’s younger brother, Drew, played guitar and sang for the mother/son dance! They danced to “Sweet Pea” by Amos Lee and my dad and I danced to “I Loved Her First” by Heartland.

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Then it was time to PARTY! We hired a band called “Another Level” for the wedding, and they were awesome. Highly recommended! They put on a great show and got everyone on the dance floor pretty much immediately.

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The whole reception went by in a COMPLETE blur. I loved that everywhere we went there was someone to say hello to or catch up with! There’s nothing like having so many of your best friends and loved ones all in one place. It was truly an amazing evening.

Here I am with my high school girls:

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With my blogger buddies:

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With my college BFFs (disregard our hands – random inside joke!):

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And with my UNC grad school beauties!

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Photo via Elle 

Outside the carriage house where the dance party was going on, we also had a photo booth (through a local company called Plan Bee Artz & Photo Booth) set up. It was fun to see who ended up in the photo booth together – Matt and I loved seeing who became random friends for the evening!

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Once guests used the photo booth, they were able to make us a scrapbook page right there using one of their photos (they got some to keep, too), and various fun scrapbooking stickers and decorations the company had available. The scrapbook came out so amazing – the pictures and messages range from sweet to hilarious! I love that we always have that to keep – great memories.

About an hour before the reception was over I had a costume change! A few months before the wedding, my mom and I were at the mall looking for wedding shoes when we walked by Nicole Miller. In the window, we saw a dress that literally looked like a mini version of my wedding dress!

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Just for fun, we went in so I could try it on… and it was so perfect that we decided I should change into it at the end of the night for dancing/the after party. :) So we got it, and I did! It was actually so similar to my real dress that numerous people asked me if I’d literally just cut off the bottom of my dress outside or something, ha!

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Now that the wedding is over, I just dropped off this dress to get it dyed so I can wear it again! I’m thinking black, but with a different colored slip underneath just for fun. I’ll be sure to share a picture when I get it back! It’ll be fun to wear it again and remember all the excitement of the big day. :)

Anyway! Also near the end of the night, Matt played a song with the band! When we were planning the wedding, Matt said: “As long as I get to play with the band during the reception, I’m cool with everything else.” Luckily, Another Level (our band) was totally on board with his request!

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It was so awesome – he literally brought the house. He played/sang “Johnny B Goode” by Chuck Berry with them – great party song!

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I couldn’t believe how quickly the festivities were over! The whole day seriously went by in a COMPLETE blur. We were supposed to have a sparkler send off but our venue totally forgot (fail… but whatever, roll with it!), so instead Matt and I led the charge to one of the cottages on the property where our friends were staying for an after party! One of my friends from college owns his own brewery and he brought a bunch of awesome beer for everyone to enjoy. It was a big hit and the after party was a great end to a fantastic day. We offered a late night 1:30 a.m. shuttle option for anyone not staying on the property who wanted to join in on the after party fun. (Our reception ended at midnight)!

Our wedding was almost exactly 3 months ago (tomorrow!) and when I think about all of this now it almost seems like it was a dream. I wish we could do it all over again but I’m so lucky that it all happened in the first place. It will be really nice to have these recaps to look back on as the memories continue to get hazier as years pass! Thank you for reading and sharing in our wedding journey with us. :)

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Here’s to many more years of love and laughter,

to always holding hands,

to never taking one another for granted,

to focusing on the big things even among all those little things,

to never forgetting how we felt that day when we first laid eyes on one other as I walked down the aisle,

to remembering that our vows, what we said and swore to each other, weren’t just for show,

and, most of all, to holding on to the happiness and joy of that weekend when life inevitably isn’t quite as perfect as we hoped.

Here’s to us. :)

Comments

  1. 1

    Yup, I teared up, too. Congrats again and I’m so glad I could be a part of your big day! xo

  2. 2

    My dad and I danced to the “Way Your Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra at my wedding! It was actually supposed to be another song but there was a mix up and we made the most of it. Such a fun song.

    It really looks like you guys were having the time of your life! I love that you found a “mini-dress” to change into. Have I commented a million times that you looked amazing? Because you did! Congrats again – and thanks for sharing your wedding with us.

  3. 3

    Yay!!! Glad you finally did the post! You definitely captured some of the energy and fun of the real event- what a blast! :) xoxo!

  4. 4

    wow what a good recap!! I LOVE the little bustle on your dress, and how cool that you found a cocktail dress so similar! The food looks amazing…sounds like such a great time!

  5. 5

    Beautiful memories, I’m sure you understand the true meaning of marriage, which has nothing to do with the ceremony, party or friends, marriage is the union of two people to walk together through life, love, sharing, support and forgive, because in this life … nothing is perfect .. one God. I wish you all the happiness in the world! :)

  6. 6

    beautiful reception! congratulations!!

  7. 7

    Oh, Anne, your cake was absolutely gorgeous. Beautiful reception. You have a Grace Kelly face. That’s a compliment.

    P.S. As I am typing my new 8 week old granddaughter is cooing and smiling at me. OMG, I’m in love. lol

  8. 8

    So beautiful! Congratulations. I got married on October 6th and the whole day went by just as fast for me. :-)

  9. 9

    Great recap! Amazing photography! If I ever get married I’ll be paying for your photographer to come to Ireland! Cake and dress are both divine…and I HAVE to try recreate that tofu dish!! Can’t wait to see how the dress turns out!

  10. 11

    Gorgeous reception, and your photos are amazing! It looks like you guys are totally in love and had an awesome time – that’s definitely the recipe for a great wedding/marriage! Congratulations!

  11. 12

    What a beautiful toast (or poem?) at the end of your post! It made me tear up. You guys make a beautiful couple, Anne! Here’s to a lifetime of happiness and health! Cheers!

  12. 13

    What a beautiful reception! Thank you Anne for allowing us a peek into your and Matt’s amazing, wonderful day.

  13. 14

    No fair. All the photos are making me sad I wasn’t there to celebrate with you :(

    BUT they are also making me so, so happy for you and for Matt. What a gorgeous and delicious evening!!! I hope you always remember the magic of the evening fondly.

    PS — my shoulders are killing me.

    • 15

      I’m still so sad that you weren’t able to make it!

      And omg I’m insanely sore from yoga today, too. Eek! We must make that a weekly thing.

  14. 16

    Ah, loved this! Everything looks so beautiful and the food looks great! My husband actually played guitar/sang a song at our reception, too!

  15. 17
    T.G.I.F!!! (the goal is fitness) says:

    Wow! Can’t believe it was three months ago -felt like it was yesterday.
    Amazing recap! You made me laugh….and sigh.
    Gorgeous reception, great food….and an incredibly fun night! Truly unforgettable.
    (and feet still hurt from dancing 5 hours! Lol!) :-)

    Thank you for the sharing the best day of your life with us….
    Wishing you a life time of great memories together!
    Xoxo

  16. 19

    You have the most gorgeous pictures! I especially love the one of you two on the balcony–beautiful!

  17. 20
    Healthy Eater says:

    Beautiful!

  18. 21

    Anne…all of your photos have been amazingly gorgeous! I feel like I was there :) It’s been fun sharing in your wedding/honeymoon. What an awesome memory!

  19. 22

    Yessss!!! Kittyyyyy!!! Best wedding ever!!

  20. 23

    You look beautiful and it looks like you guys all had so much fun! Love the dress change, super cute and fun idea! Thanks for sharing:)

  21. 24

    Aw, brought tears to my eyes! Thank you for sharing with us. :) Here’s to ya’ll!

  22. 25

    So beautiful, Anne!! Such wonderful recap!! Again, congratulations!!

  23. 26

    I wish you all the best for your future together. Thank’s again for having us with you on your big day. It was magical and I am thankful that we could share this big event with you.
    Here is to an amazing couple that is truely made for each other.
    Lots of love from Stuttgart!

  24. 28

    Your wedding recaps really are gorgeous! Looks like a beautiful wedding and you were stunning.

  25. 29

    What a gorgeous wedding! My husband and I got married the same exact day in Wilmington, NC! Congrats!

  26. 31

    This is such a great recap Anne! I know I said this before, but you looked absolutely stunning. I love your party dress.

    I’m really glad you posted it because it gave me some good ideas. :)

  27. 32

    What a fantastic day! Thanks for sharing them with all of us.

  28. 33

    You’re absolutely right. Better late than never! You can’t forget about the reception! I’ve been married for 5 years, going on 6 in March, and I wish I had kept a diary of some sort to remember the day. Seriously, the day flew by with a blink of an eye, and while I remember the big picture, I don’t recall the little (but significant) details. Tim and I danced to “Feels Like Home.” We took dance lessons and had it choreographed and everything. I think our guests found it humorous bc they laughed at one point…I don’t blame them…I thought that part was quite cheesy. Looks like you had a wonderful, unforgettable night surrounded by loved ones. Cheers to you and Matt!!

  29. 34

    Just beautiful Anne! You incorporated a lot of the same ideas I had and wished that I had the chance to use at my own wedding but didnt, so glad to see my ideas brought to light in your wedding pics, very nice!! You were stunning.

  30. 35

    So in love with the photos & recaps! Ben did an AMAZING job, which is probably easier when the subjects are sooo good lookin’ ;)

    Couldn’t be happier that we got to join in the celebration & can’t wait to see you guys again soon! xo

  31. 37

    Oh wow, sweetheart, it looks like you had the PERFECT day. I’m not usually a fan of lace clothing, but your dress is absolutely stunning (both are, actually!). Love the photos xx

  32. 38

    Anne,
    I just started reading your blog, when my aunt sent it to me and told me I would enjoy it because I am also a runner/ triathlete and love to eat healthy! I see another thing we have in common is that we got married on the same day last year ( Congrats, even thought its mostly been one year!) and that we looked at Rosemont and wanted to get married there! Crazy! I also see you are running Richmond Marathon this November as well. Maybe I’ll see you out on the course! Happy training!

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