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:
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).
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.
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.
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!
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?