Welcome back to the next episode of our wedding recap! Since we had a fairly large number of guests at the wedding, we knew right off the bat that a sit-down dinner reception for all of them would cost a small fortune. We wanted a way to be able to see all of the wonderful people who came and give them some delicious food, but also get to spend special time with close friends and family. So we decided to have one large lunch reception for all guests immediately after the ceremony, and then a more intimate dinner for family and the bridal party later in the evening. After taking our bridal party pictures, we made our way to Petit Auberge for the lunch reception where everyone was waiting for us.
That’s sparkling cider up there, not champagne! We decided to keep the lunch reception alcohol free. It was a good decision too, I can’t imagine how I would have felt at the end of the day if we’d starting drinking that early.
Those are the favors that Jason and I handmade, and the beautiful flowers were arranged by my Maid of Honor and her wonderful mom Mary! If you’re reading this, HI MARY! We love you. Our wedding day would not have gone nearly as smooth if it weren’t for you.
And there’s the cake that I decorated! I did pretty well, right? It was worth staying up all night before my wedding to get it done. I was that cake’s proud mama.
Once we arrived safely our friend Angela, mom of my bridesmaid Samara, was our wonderful emcee who announced all of our entrances.
We ate a delicious meal (actually, all my guests did–I didn’t eat anything! too busy talking to everyone) and had fun catching up with everyone there! I didn’t get to see every face at the ceremony, so this was when I really got the chance to see everyone. My heart was warmed to see people like old teachers, high school (even elementary school!) friends, and family we hadn’t seen in years. I’m still SO appreciative to every smiling face I saw that day. If you’re reading this and were a guest at the wedding, THANK YOU! You made the day amazing.
After awesome speeches from the Maid of Honor and Best Man, we did a champagne toast and cut the cake! I’ll let you in on the behind the scenes secret: this is not a real cake and so we are not “cutting” into anything in the pictures. Using dummy cakes is popular so our photographer knew just how to handle the shot to make it look real. We “cut” the dummy cake, then we were handed real pieces of the sheet cake to feed each other.
The slice that I had was my mom’s mocha chip cake, and it was AMAZING. I was starving since I hadn’t had a chance to eat my lunch, and so it was pretty much the best tasting bite of anything I’ve ever had in my life.
After the reception was over we all headed back to our hotels (we stayed in a hotel close to the venues for convenience). I had a brewski or two with my friends and organized all the generous gifts we had received. Everything was still so surreal at that point, I couldn’t believe I was wearing a wedding dress and was actually the BRIDE.
Before we knew it the sun set and it was time to head out to the evening party at Anthony’s Fine Dining! It’s a beautiful old Southern mansion tucked away in Buckhead that was transformed into a restaurant. Sadly they are no longer in business, but they did an AMAZING job with our evening reception. They gave the bridal party a private champagne toast as soon as we walked in. There had also been champagne in the limo ride there, so by this time we were having some fun.
The second reception was all about drinks and dancing! We got to spend more time with our family one-on-one and just really enjoy the night. We had an awesome DJ who announced us and played great music through the whole time. But before we hit the dance floor we listened to a beautiful speech from Jason’s dad! It involved hobbits and love…he totally gets us.
Jason and I danced our first dance to Etta James’ At Last. It’s a classic and beautiful song that we felt really embodied the spirit of our relationship. That, and the Obamas danced to it at the inauguration.
After the first dance I changed into my reception dress. Since the festivities were going all day long, I opted for a second dress that would keep me more comfortable since my ceremony dress weighed as much as a small child. I loved my reception dress just as much as my ceremony one!
My dad and I danced to I Loved Her First by Heartland and Jason and his mom danced to My Wish by Rascal Flatts. Precious moments.
We boogied. We chowed down on chicken wellington. We did the Cuban shuffle. We ate more dessert. Fun was had by all.
It was certainly a night to remember. It was such a blast to relax and dance the night away with our friends and family! I’ll never forget one moment when the DJ called out for a line dance and everyone was one the dance floor. I looked back during one of the turns in the dance and saw my best friends, parents, uncles, aunts, and cousins alike all getting their groove on with the biggest smiles on their faces. That was hands-down one of the best moments of my life. I will never forget it.
You didn’t think I was done, did you?? Oh no. There’s still the honeymoon to show you! Come back tomorrow to see the rest of the best week of my life.
Thanks for reading!
To read more about our wedding…
Part One: Planning for the Big Day (engagement story and wedding planning)
Part Two: You Only Get One (morning of the ceremony)
Part Three: Jumping the Broom (wedding ceremony)