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.

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