Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I do: The Wedding Weekend - Part 3 (The Reception)

When we got to the barn, everyone was enjoying Cocktail Hour in the courtyard. We served Red Oak (groom's request), wine, and hot apple cider as well as hors d' oeuvres including ham biscuits with pimento cheese, fresh fruit, cheese, and roasted nuts. My friend Vince from the band Army of Me, provided acoustic entertainment for the guests.

Priscilla asked me if I wanted to see the barn before everyone else. When she let me inside, it took my breath away. Everything was exactly the way I had pictured it would be. The long "family style" tables ran the length of the yarn and were set with mismatched china, crystal, linen, and silver. There were lanterns, candles, and centerpieces of sheaths of wheat. It was absolutely perfect.

Priscilla hand-wrote the seating chart on this chalkboard! The wreaths hanging from the door are made out of naturally preserved eucalyptus and salal leaves.

The cake table was between the two tables, with the dance floor in the very back. By the front, our guestbook table was set up with our photo guestbook (with photos from our engagement shoot) as well as vintage postcards of the fifty USA for guests to write their well wishes. Caddy-corner to that was a vintage dresser (compliments of Priscilla) with framed wedding photos of our parents and grandparents, as well as photos of our late dogs. On the opposite side of the barn doors was the favor table, which had buckets of caramel and fresh apples.

I took on the project of hand-making caramel apples with David, Emily, and his Grandmama. His dad and brother-in-law, Seth, also helped the next day.

The guests found their names on the handwritten chalkboard seating chart outside, and found their seats. Then the barn doors opened and the bridal party made its entrance to the Rocky theme song. When David and I were announced, we made our way straight to the dance floor and right into our first dance, which was choreographed to Lucky by Jason Mraz and Colbie Callait. We had been learning/practicing our dance at Fred Astaire for a month prior to the wedding...and wanted it to be a surprise, so we didn't tell anyone--not even our parents. I am really happy with how it turned out. It was definitely nerve-racking to be dancing in front of 120 guests, and for the first time in heels and a big dress, but we did really well and did our intro, special turns, dips, and end. The cool thing is, David and I will be able to take the moves we learned and use them the rest of our lives at other weddings and social events. 

After the dance, my dad gave the welcome speech to the guests and David's dad said the prayer, and then we ate. The menu included: roasted butternut squash soup with crème fraîche; roasted herb-crusted pork loin, carved to order; chicken marsala; green beans with roasted red peppers and almonds; mashed garlic red potatoes; and cornbread.

Priscilla was so sweet and prepared two plates for David and I, and also poured us two goblets of one of our favorite wines (from my hometown), Mountain White, by Linganore Winecellars. After eating, it was time to cut the cake. The cake table was so beautiful with our cascading flower wedding cake and the yummy cupcakes (Lemon Lavender, Maple Bacon, Pumpkin Spice, S'Mores) surrounding it. Priscilla had set things up with our cake knife and servertoasting flutes, and toss bouquet (miniature version of my bouquet).

Next, we heard speeches from one of Matrons of Honor, Emily, my brother, and Michael, the Best Man. Then it was time for the father-daughter dance. My dad and I danced to Somewhere Over the Rainbow by by Israel Kamakawiwoʻole and David and his mom danced to What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong. The rest of the night was spent dancing, mingling, laughing, and talking to our wonderful guests who came from all across the country (including CA, WA, OH, KY, TX, MD, DC, VA, GA, IL, NY). Toward the end of the night, we did the bouquet and garter toss. David's brother, Cameron, and his fiance, caught both. Then Vince played Love Song for us. Our last dance was to A Beautiful Mess by Jason Mraz.

For the exit, the guests and bridal party lined up outside the barn doors, where the path was lined with flickering luminaries, and glowing balloons. The DJ was kind enough to play two exit songs for us: With A Little Help From My Friends by Joe Cocker (for the bride) and Walking On Sunshine by Ghoti Hook (for the groom).

It was the perfect ending to the perfect day and night. :) I can't express how much it meant that so many friends and family took the time to come celebrate our marriage with us. We are truly blessed!


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