Admittedly, as certain as I was that I loved all of the details for our ceremony and cocktail hour, I was still a bit nervous when it came to seeing how our reception design was going to come together. Thankfully, it all came together perfectly, and looking back almost six months later I still love every decision that we made! As I began to plan the details, I really wanted to showcase our theme and colors (rustic, southern romance and blush, champagne and gold) through the details of our reception. Our venue provided beautiful rustic details throughout the venue, from wooden seating to the barn doors leading into the reception room, so we chose to let those details shine on their own. Our southern details were mostly represented through all of the meaningful and thoughtful details that we included. We wrapped ribbons around each napkin as a nod towards the ribbon I wore in my hair the day that Jody and I first met, our cake cutter was a family heirloom that my grandparents used at their wedding reception, as did my parents and aunts and uncle at theirs, and our speciality cocktail was named “The Honeybee”, which was whiskey and lemonade, a drink Jody and I drank in college as well as a nod to our Alma Mater, whose mascot is a yellow jacket. As for the romance factor, our centerpieces consisted of three pillars of floating candles, plus an arrangement of tea light candles scattered across the tables and on every window sill. Once the sunset that night, the room was glowing from the lights of the candles. My mom even made lace table runners for every table, which had a hint of shimmer to them. Those, with the candles, provided a warm glow that only added to the ambiance of the room.
In this post, you will also see our guest seating chart. I feel that place cards are a little old-fashion, but seating charts are helpful, especially as a guest. Jody and I have been to several weddings where there was not seating chart, and it was confusing to know where we were suppose to sit and what was reserved for family. I made our seating chart from an old, large picture frame with the backing removed, and I couldn’t be more excited about how it turned out. I wish I could display it in our home, if that wouldn’t be weird. We never ended up getting a picture of it, but since we had a buffet, I also made a sign listing the menu items, so guests could see what their options were before reaching the table. This saved on paper menus, but also provided a list of what each dish was for the guests. A big thought on our hearts throughout the planning process was the members of our family that were not able to share our big day with us. We created a memory table, which displayed pictures and names of those who were not longer with us, to acknowledge that while our day was full of laughter and love, we still held those people near to our hearts.
As for some other fun facts: My mom and I also DIY’ed our invitation suite and our favors. I had spent months looking for the perfect invitation that captured the simple but elegant look I desired but also fit into our price range. After meeting with several designers, and endless scrolling through Etsy, I found the perfect little wreath, which was a downloadable design, to head the invitation and be adorned with our initials. From there, my mom and I designed several option with various fonts and paper types until we decided on our favorite. Since we ended up downloading them and printing them ourselves, we ended up saving a ton of money, which allowed me to have the complete invitation suite I desired (invitation, response postcard (so easy!), wedding day timeline and a details card), as well as having all of our day of paper products coordinate with one another. I also wanted our favors to be little jars of jam, which just oozed southern to me as well as a symbolic gesture as Jody and I love to go to brunch. After finding the perfect sized jars and an easy enough recipe, we spent a day the week of the wedding mixing and pour these jams into their own little jar. PSA for all of you who also have this idea, this is a MESSY project. We ran into to a little issue in the process of sealing the jars — when we flipped the jars upside down to seal them, for some reason some of the jams got stuck like that so they only looked half-full! Bless my mom though, who woke up the morning of the wedding to make another batch so we didn’t give our guests these half-filled, pathetic, upside down jars (She really is the best, isn’t she?!). We still laugh about how awful that first set looked!