Today is the last day of wedding photos, and I’m sharing all about our reception. We wanted our reception to be warm, welcoming, and feel like you were at
home enjoying a shared table with the ones you love. And it was exactly
that. Our pictures are simply magical. Alice captured the excitement, energy (there were kids everywhere!), joy, and love that were all oh so so wonderful.
Watch out, because the rest of this post is quite wordy (I’m providing details for everything at the reception)! It was a dream to plan our wedding, and hope it inspires you to DIY your next celebration!
For the reception, we did everything ourselves (we being my patient family and friends, our helpful wedding party, and mostly my cousin Jessica – she is basically wonder woman). My mom and aunt did all the cooking. We hired a team of kitchen staff to work the reception itself, but let me repeat: my mom and aunt did all of the food preparation and cooking. They cannot be thanked enough. We served a very simple, hearty meal of beef stew, braised cabbage, green beans, salad (with all the yummy toppings you can imagine), and four types of rolls. Our wedding cake was a table of the yummiest (all homemade by friends and family) variety of cakes you will ever see.
Our chairs and silver chafing dishes came from Party Rental Ltd. Everything else we rented (linens, china, flatware, glasses, tables) came from Super Stuff Party Rentals. If you live in Northern NJ, I highly recommend Super Stuff; they will bend over backwards for you!
The plan for decor was to keep it simple and woodsy. I bought nearly 600′ of fresh green roping (and didn’t come close to using it all) for spreading around the barn. We hung the greens over the tables from the wooden beams and in front of the 30′ bar. We hung mini globe lights over the dance floor, which made it oh so charming.
The tables were 8′ rectangles, placed end-to-end; I wanted the tables to feel informal and for everyone to have a sense of togetherness. For the tabletop, I rented ivory cloths and camel napkins. My brother and I (ok, mostly my brother, but I provided the necessary moral support AND I marked all the wood at the approximate place he needed to cut) built the wooden planter boxes used as centerpieces. We used pine, and my dear friend Krissy helped me stain them all that beautiful dark brown.
A few weeks before the wedding, my cousin Jessica and I experimented with the centerpiece arrangement until we were confident it could be made primarily of greens, etc. picked from my mom’s 6 acres and along the side of the road. I spent a total of $40 (on red mums, which you can’t see in the photos) on flowers for the entire wedding plus approximately $150 on supplies for the boxes. Our table numbers (you can see the back of one in the second to last photo) were simply hand numbered on watercolor paper and placed in a slice of wood (so perfectly made by my grandfather – thanks Pop-pop). I have accumulated a massive collection of brass and silver candlesticks over the years, so we spread them out around the room, on the guest tables, food tables and bar. My favorite picture of the entire reception might be the second to last one; a candle burning low is the sign of an evening well spent.
The escort cards were made from thick watercolor paper, cut into small rectangles. Rather than writing individual names, we grouped families together. Joe’s loving aunt painstakingly attached perfect pieces of ceder to every card. It was exactly how I envisioned. Our favors were homemade roasted almonds (all made by my sister Christina) in little brown boxes (purchased from Nashville Wraps) tied up with twine. I included the recipe curled up inside the box. I made little tags using the “JR” stamp designed by Laura at Red Table Stationery, and a sprig of ceder.
My childhood friends Chris and Matt were our friendly bartenders. I can’t thank them enough for helping for so late into the evening (and for actually wearing bow ties).
I think that’s it! Let me know if you have any questions about wedding details; I love talking weddings! Thanks for all your sweet comments on my first two wedding posts (no. 1 and no. 2). Have a blessed weekend, and see you Monday!
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