Laudacious Wedding Recaps:Details-Pt. 2

Ah, the reception. So, so many details at the reception. Long post a comin'. Are you ready for it? I must warn you that only a few of these shots are from our amazing photographer, Bryan Reid (as labeled below each picture). I had my wedding coordinator take a lot of these photos. With a tight timeline in between the ceremony and reception and some logistical issues with our venue, we couldn't do a room reveal. I really wanted some photos of all of the untouched details, so my coordinator took some for me with her point and shoot. Regardless, you'll get the idea.

Early in our engagement we had some loose ideas floating around in our heads about what we wanted the feel of our reception to be. An awesome party with a great meal and good friends was a given. I knew that I wanted guests to be wowed as soon as they walked into Twelve Oaks Mansion, and wanted to incorporate some fab decor and personal touches. When we booked our reception here, the building had just been finished. Over the course of a few months, they hung drapes, added some art and a few pieces of vintage furniture, but it was still a pretty raw space (with gorgeous views off the back porch I might add). Here are the pics. I took the day we went to see the venue for the first time:
So, we had the task of decorating a space that was a rather blank slate. I knew I had to add some character to transform the place so the tone would be set right away as guests walked in. I wanted it to feel cozy and romantic since it was fall, but did not want to do the typical red/orange/yellow pumpkintastic fall wedding. I wanted to use a basic color scheme of black, champagne/light gold and ivory. At some point in time, I decided to go with a loose Vintage European theme. We rented some vintage style globe street lamps to warm things up a bit. I wanted one of those in the main foyer just behind the escort cards so guests would see it right away.

To play up the vintage Euro theme, I named the tables after various places in France and Italy (two of the most romantic places in the world, in my opinion). The head table was Paris (of course), and others included Paris Opera House, Arc de Triomph, Notre Dame, and the Louvre. From Italy we had Tuscany, Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Verona, etc. So depending on which table you were seated, your escort card said "Monsieur & Madame Smith" if it was a French table name or "Signore & Signora Jones" for the Italian tables. Get it? Just a little swank to make things fun. I made some DIY escort cards on card stock that folded up into a little envelope- guest name on the outside, table name on the inside- and sealed them up with a custom wax seal of our monogram. Our coordinator laid these out on some strips of light champagne satin ribbon, and added some of our mini programs to enhance the look.

Photo by Bryan Reid

Opposite the escort table was our guest book table. We included an engagement photo as well as wedding photos from our parents and grandparents. The florist added some rose petals, candles and bud vases, and my mom made some more of those sweet damask letters. Guests signed little champagne cards that would later be put into our guest book (pictured in the back right corner).

Photo by Bryan Reid

Our guests were greeted by a strolling musician playing the accordion. The set list included some romantic instrumentals like "La Vie en Rose," "Fiore d'Abruzzo", "Flight of the Angels," and he was under strict orders to play NO POLKA! When they say that not everything will go as planned at a wedding, they were right. We booked a Grammy nominated musician to play at our reception, and somehow ended up with a random dude that probably plays in some local musical group. The switcheroo was made last minute by our wedding coordinator, and I wasn't aware of it until I saw the musician on our wedding video! Thankfully, he played the right stuff and the guests (and J and I) were none the wiser that day. Regardless, the cocktail hour in "The Library" consisted of signature martinis and some French/Italian tunes. We added a couple globe street lamps on the side of each action food station, to add to the theme. Several high top tables were decorated with lanterns and rose petals, and the florist added candles wherever she could.

The Library had three huge big screen TVs. I decided to put those to use as well, and made a DVD slideshow of images from France and Italy. Easy way to enhance the decor and put those to use.

Photo by Bryan Reid

On to the main ballroom! I really feel that linens can transform the look of a room, and luckily a dear family friend graciously gave us at a HUGE discount at L'Nique in Ohio. We had to transport them to Pittsburgh ourselves, but it was worth it! The head table was oval shaped and was draped with a black satin tablecloth, several beaded ivory and champagne table runners, and accented with champagne satin napkins. We chose black satin chair covers with champagne sashes as well.

The guest tables had some light gold/champagne damask linens with the same chairs. Here you can see one of our Italian table names, and one of three centerpieces used. This centerpiece complemented the bridesmaid bouquets and were made of roses and pepperberry. The vase was tied with a black satin ribbon.
In this shot (which is a little fuzzy-sorry!) you can see the menu cards tucked into black napkins. On the bread plates you can see the favor. I made some DIY CD covers (with our monogram of course) and included a CD with a mix of songs from our big day, as well as some French/Italian themed music. I still listen to it all the time!

Here is a fuzzy close up of the DIY menu cards (simple ivory cardstock matted on a champagne background) tucked into the napkin. Depending on your table name, you either got a "Bon Appetit!" or a "Mangia!" at the top. Fun!

Other centerpieces were lanterns with candles and rose petals (similar to the high tops) and vases filled with curly willow. My grandmother had three gorgeous curly willow trees in her yard and my florist let us use the branches from those. I loved having something from my grandma incorporated into our wedding day. Here is the before:

And here is the after:

Our florist sprayed the branches light gold, and strung Swarovski crystals, orchids and rose petals into the branches. She added some hydrangea at the base to make it a little more lush. Because we were able to supply the bulk of the materials here, we saved a lot on our centerpieces.

One other detail I haven't included in the other recap posts was the DIY card box. You'll see the three tiered damask/fleur de lis beauty in the middle of this table here. I bought some handmade paper from Romantic Ribbons, and covered some old hat boxes with it. We cut a slit in the top, trimmed it with some ribbon, wooden letters that read "Cards" and voila!
A close up that I took at home.
And now for the piece de resistance, the popcorn bar! I LOVE me some popcorn, and decided about a day after getting engaged that we would have a popcorn bar at our wedding. My family has vacationed at Bethany Beach, Delaware since I was three. Every year we make it a point to get a big ole' tub of Buntings Popcorn Station popcorn on the boardwalk. Buntings has since moved out of Bethany into Rehoboth Beach just miles up the road, so they were still my go-to source for gourmet popcorn. Because we are longtime customers, the owner very graciously sent us samples of every single flavor they had- over 30 flavors. On a road trip to Chicago, we had a taste test and decided on some very yummy flavors- my favorites being Brandy's Double Cheddar, Vanilla and good old fashioned Caramel. My mom also handmade batches of some other flavors- Key Lime, Rocky Road, Hot and Spicy, Sour Cream and Chives. DEE-LISH!

We put all that popcorn into various sized glass apothecary type jars and I made some quick DIY labels for each flavor. Guests got to fill up a bag (or five!) and took some of my favorite snack home as a bonus favor. We accented the bar itself with some linens, monogrammed tin tie bags tucked into a black and white damask box, a photo of J and I at Bethany Beach (with a note on why we chose to have Buntings as our popcorn of choice) and some Goccoed napkins. What wedding is complete without something from the Gocco after all?

And that, my dear readers, is a Laudacious Wedding! We've come to the end of the recaps (just 13 months after the grand event), and I hope you've enjoyed! I documented many of the DIY projects that I did over the course of our engagement, and would be glad to share the details with you all if there are any requests. Otherwise, I will work on finding my niche with this wee blog experiment and will post about other things Laudacious in the future. I leave you with this, a moment between J and I at the end of the night.

Laudacious Wedding Recaps:Details- Pt. 1

While planning our wedding, I spent a lot of time obsessing over the little details. I put a lot of thought into oodles of wedding minutia, and wanted to incorporate some personal touches wherever I could while sticking to our budget. Some details were meant to make the day a little more "us" while others were there for our guests to enjoy.

To start with, I wanted to share some of the details that our guests probably didn't notice, but made me happy nonetheless.

I had a custom dress tag made and sewn into my gown for a little pop of "something blue." I once read that it is a nice touch to have something showing the date of your wedding in a photo somewhere, and I thought this was a quick and inexpensive way to do it.

Some other accessories that I personalized where my garters. I bought an heirloom garter from GarterLady on Etsy, and had a custom toss garter made (also from Etsy here) to surprise my groom. One thing we'll never agree on is our taste in NFL teams, but I decided to marry the two rivals just for the occasion. (Go Steelers!)
I had a hard time settling on shoes to wear, because my taste is more expensive than my wallet could justify. I really wanted a hot pair of Jimmy Choos, Manolos, Louboutins (you get the idea) but with all of the other expenses I had, I decided it wasn't a necessary expense for one day. I found a cute, simple pair of Kate Spade pumps (Gwen, I believe?) for a steep discount and added some bling in the form of vintage shoe clips (also an eBay find!). A little close up of the heirloom garter, as well as my shoes.
These shoes were very comfy and my feet didn't hurt for a minute the entire day! Aaaand they're dyeable! If I ever want to dye them black to wear more often, I can! I wanted a little more of the something blue, so I added some blue rhinestones to my shoes in our first initials. And now for the bracelet. The coveted Haute Bride bracelet. This baby made me so happy. So many guests complimented me on this, and it really sparkled in church under the lights and stained glass. I bought it from another bride that wore this on her big day, and think it was worth every penny. My sister begged me not to sell it afterwards, because she wants it to be her "something borrowed" someday. I couldn't bear to part with it anyway.

Next a close up of our bouquets to remind you what they look like. Mine was a huge lush, white bouquet filled with ranunculus, lisianthus, eskimo roses, hydrangea, and freesia. The bridesmaid carried black magic, black beauty and american beauty roses with some red orchids and little accents of pepperberry. I saw a bouquet in Martha Stewart weddings book that was handed down to me by one of my bridesmaids, and knew I wanted the ladies to carry something very similar.
I surprised each bridesmaid with their first initial on the wrap. Skipping ahead to the ceremony...

We got married at a church in the parish where I went to grade school. It has very high ceilings and a 150 foot aisle. On our budget, we couldn't do much with the decor here because you really need a lot of decor to make an impact in a space this big. For the church doors, which you would see just before I walked down the aisle, I went with simple white carnation wreaths adorned with a light champagne ribbon (also some Martha inspiration).

My mother actually made these for me out of faux carnations. We bought up the entire supply at various Michael's stores and now I have these to hang in my home someday. I think they turned out great, and we were able to save some money by going faux! My mom also strung up some wooden letters, stenciled a damask pattern on them, and voila! Instant door decorations for the church's exterior doors.This next detail, our aisle runner was a labor of love. I really wanted a personalized aisle runner if nothing else to decorate the church. The custom versions I found online were droolworthy, but the price was too steep for a 150 foot aisle runner that would essentially end up in the trash after being trampled on all day. I found a runner online and decided to hand paint it myself. I think it turned out quite nicely if I can toot my own horn for a minute. (Coincidentally, I have had some requests to make these for other brides. If you want one, or know of a bride that does, you can check out my link here).

See that monogram? I had a graphic designer make it for us, and am so glad that I did. I got a lot of mileage out of it! If you were a guest at our wedding, you saw it on everything. I put it on programs, favors, napkins, popcorn bags, on the dance floor, water bottles to go in our guest bags, etc. I liked having this monogram as a common thread to weave throughout the decor.

Here are the mini program booklets that I made with the monogram on the cover. They're quarter page sized, and were also a labor of love. Sad to say that I don't have any pro pics of the inside, but I added little "tears of joy" packets on the inside cover. They were a hit!

Last but not least, our DIY unity candle. Some vellum, a little fun in Microsoft Word, an inkjet printer, black ribbon, and a Xyron machine resulted in this:

This was one of my first DIY projects with the Xyron- I became obsessed soon thereafter. Just ask my bridesmaids that helped me assemble the oodles of paper goodies used at the wedding.

Hope you like what you saw! One last post of reception details to come and the recaps will be done!

Related Posts:


Glam - Part 2

Dress Me Up!

Pre-ceremony pics

Moments before the ceremony

Saying "I Do"

Reception- Part 1

Reception-Part 2

The Toss

Dancin' the night away

Really Cleveland?

An inch and a half of snow is all you can give me for the Christmas season? Surely, ye jest. We live about 15 houses from the Lake Erie snow machine, but on the west side of town. Normally, we get dumped on. This is last winter outside our screen door.

I am having a hard time getting in to the Christmas spirit this year, and I think it is because of the weather. I love to see the lights twinkling in the snow. Christmas movies aren't the same unless I am curled up under a blanket knowing there is snow on the ground outside. I know I shouldn't be complaining when lots of people up and down the east coast are stranded from the weather this past weekend, but can't there be a happy medium? I'm dreaming of a white Christmas!

I've been bitten.

Image link here.

It's rather serious, I'm afraid. You see, I started reading this book last weekend and it's official. I've been bitten by the Twilight bug. I'm obsessed. My sister lent me "Twilight" and "New Moon" over Thanksgiving weekend, and once I picked up the first book this past Friday in the waiting room at a doctor's office it was all over. Ironic that I should start reading a vampire book while getting my bloodwork done. Ha! I am already counting down the hours until I can go home to read more. Don't you love when a good book grabs you like that?

Anyway, my sister will now take full credit for my crush on Edward Cullen. She was the one that got me to read the Harry Potter series back in the day, so she knows my taste in wizards and vampires I guess.

I plan on buying the DVD because I know I'll love it and will want to watch it again. I haven't yet seen the movies, but am already picturing Edward as Robert Pattinson (who I thought would always be Cedric Diggory to me). Hopefully I can catch up in time to see New Moon while it's still in theaters.

Anyone else a fan of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series?

Cause ya gotta have Faith!

When I was a kid, I really liked listening to music. I didn't have too many of my own records or even tapes as I got a little older, so I would get my fix at my grandma's house. My aunt who lives with my grandma had an awesome collection of 80's/90's music- Michael Jackson, Bon Jovi, George Michael, etc. I vividly recall being in my aunt's room, putting some tapes into the boombox, and singing and dancing my heart out to "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go." Happy times.

My husband's best friend, the best man from our wedding is a HUGE George Michael fan. Seriously. Member of the GM Fan club and everything. He called to tell us about a special one time George Michael: Live in London theater event that was playing across the country last night. The show last night was footage from the last stop on GM's 25 Live tour in London. We got to see it on the big screen at a tiny little theater just minutes from our house that was recently restored. Here is the trailer.

All I have to say is, George has still got it! It was a great show in the theater, and reminded me of how great he was in person. J and I went with best man and his wife to see George in Philly when his 25 Live tour came to the states. It was off the hook- seriously one of the top 5 concerts I have been to in my life. George Michael has some very loyal fans and the crowd was great. There were moments when it felt like a gay dance club in that arena and I loved every minute it! Everyone danced their asses off and it was such a happy crowd with tons of energy! He did lots of old favorites and some newer stuff too. "Faith," "Father Figure," "Amazing," etc. I was on such a concert high for days after that show, and it all came back to me last night. Even though it wasn't an actual live concert, people danced in their seats, sang at the top of their lungs, clapped, etc. It was so much fun! I realized after we got home that the last two movies I saw were concert-type movies- GM's "Live in London" and Michael Jackson's "This is It." I felt the urge to sing and dance during "This is It" but held myself back- last night we made up for it. Good times. I heart you George. The DVD release of this show comes out Tuesday and is GM's first live footage to ever be released on video. I highly recommend you check it out if you're even a little bit of a fan- so much fun!

Cause you gotta have faith-a, faith-a, FAITH-A! Baby!...

What about you? Any music from childhood that still really gets you going?