Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Backtracking: Our Wedding Reception

This is the continuation of two previous posts:

Our Wedding, Getting Ready and Our Wedding Ceremony.

Brendan and I were lucky to find a venue that had not only a gorgeous ceremony location, but a beautiful reception venue that had plenty of room for our 175 guests to eat, drink, and dance as well. Of course, after an outdoor July ceremony, air conditioning was important too! It was nice for our guests to not have to worry about transportation between locations.

Outside, to the left, we had a full open bar and several tables. This arrangement kept the bar inside from having a line, and also gave our guests a retreat from the music if they wanted a place to just talk and enjoy a drink. This is also where the cocktails and passed appetizers (Sweet Red Pepper Hummus Crostini and Cucumber Rounds with Chevre) were served after the ceremony. 

During cocktails, we had escort cards available in a vintage card catalog that Brendan's mom found for us. We printed our own table signs that had a number on one side and a book cover on the other side. We bought our own catalog cards and printed out each guest's name and the name and number of their table on it. All of the books meant something special to us, and we had a fun time deciding which guests to assign each book too.

Inside, we had our photo book guest book, photo pens, wedding candle, and card basket displayed on one table.

Another table displayed the cake. I was so blown away when I saw the cake for the first time. I had just sent several pictures showing different parts of how I imagined our cake looking. The baker and florist worked together to create it, and I couldn't have been happier with it.

At each place setting, guests had favors. Our guest, John, took this photo:

We did a set of four pencils tied in twine that each said "Stacy and Brendan, July 5, 2013, Write a Song About the Moon," a line from our first dance.

To kick off our reception, the wedding party lined up outside and the band introduced everyone, including the kiddos!

Brendan and I choose to do our first dance immediately. The band learned our song, "Song About the Moon" for the occasion, and they did an AMAZING job. One guest said at first she thought we had hired Paul Simon to be there! Brendan's request for our first dance was that he just wanted to enjoy the moment. We didn't choreograph anything, but just got lost in singing to each other, kissing, and holding each other. The band told us our song was twice as long as the average first dance song, but honestly, it went by in a flash for us. It was one of my favorite memories of the whole night. Maybe it finally started to hit me that we were really married.

After our dance, Brendan's grandfather led a prayer, the Irish Wedding Blessing, and gave us a blanket with the blessing, our names, and our wedding date. The blanket is on our bed now and brings us such happy memories!

At last, it was time for dinner! The menu included Margherita Pizza with Heirloom Tomatoes & Fresh Basil (not pictured) from the wood burning pizza oven, Roasted Chicken with Parsley, Capers, and Pickled Watermelon Rind, Fire Roasted Vegetables with Garden Herbs, Spinach and Berry Salad, Potato Wedges with Roasted Garlic Dijon, and Roasted Pepper Focaccia. Our venue is the nation's only certified organic event facility, so all of the food was organic and local. Good food was definitely a priority to us, and we really liked everything we got to taste (of course, we didn't have much time to eat!)  

During dinner, our fabulous Matron and Maid of Honor and Best Men toasted us. 

Matron of Honor, Annie (Brendan's sister/my sister in law!)
Justin, Bill, and Curt, the Best Men (Brendan's buds since 2nd grade).
Maid of honor, Corley, (my best friend since high school).
The girls had us tearing up and the guys had us laughing. The speeches were really sweet, and made me glad we had opted for videography, so I can hear them again!

Before I knew it, it was time for the parent dances. My Dad and I danced to "My Girl" by the Temptations. The song was a surprise for my Dad, who didn't know what I was going to pick. This seemed fitting though, since we listened to it all the time when I was growing up. I don't think I've ever seen my Dad have so much fun. 

Brendan and his mom danced to "Forever Young," the Rod Stewart version. His mom picked the song, and I thought it was the perfect choice for them. 

After parent dances, the dance floor was open, and the band had EVERYONE dancing. They played everything: Black Eyed Peas, Michael Jackson, Oldies, Country, Journey, Usher, the Cha-Cha Slide...no matter what they were doing, they always sounded great. They put on a great performance too. At one point, they were singing "Shout" and I looked over and they were lying on the floor during the "little bit softer now" part of the song. I was having so much fun, I didn't want to leave the dance floor for a second, and I pretty much didn't! 

Brendan's grandmother and our ring bearer, Sawyer (Brendan's cousin)
Dancing with my sorority sis, Tara. 
Dancing with my prom date and our groomsmen, Cole! 
We took a brief pause to cut the cake. The cake was also organic and was Italian Cream with Cream Cheese Icing. It was so beautiful and also tasted amazing. One guest told my Dad it was the best wedding cake they'd ever had! We choose to serve mini key lime pies and mini cheesecakes instead of Groom's cake. 

This first picture makes me laugh so hard. The bottom layer of the cake was impossible to cut. We looked at our wedding planner and said in horror, "it's frozen!" She informed us it was a fake layer. Our expressions here are priceless. 

We used the cake cutter that Brendan's parents used at their wedding, engraved with their names and wedding date. We used a cake server engraved with our names and wedding date. The champagne flutes are Waterford and were a gift from Brendan's mom. The band played "How Sweet it is to be Loved by You" while we cut our cake.

After cake, it was back to the dance floor. 
My Dad congratulating us. 
Dancing with my brother and our groomsmen, Graham. 
One of our flower girls, Clara, was celebrating her 8th birthday on our wedding day, so we had the band sing "Happy Birthday," and we brought her out a slice of cake with an 8 candle on it. 

Our band played the song "Crazy Girl" and my mom and I had an impromptu dance that was seriously the only time I cried at the wedding. My mom and I went through so much together in the past year planning the wedding, and I owe her so much. She has always been my source of strength and wisdom. I couldn't stop saying thank you! 

Our guests started a conga line to "hot, hot, hot," so Brendan and I just went with it! 

Dancing with Brendan's Dad: 

It was amazing to be surrounded by our friends and family all night on the dance floor. 

The band took a break while we did the tosses, but left music playing for us. We choose "All the Single Ladies" for the bouquet toss (obviously!) and my florist made me a smaller tossing bouquet. 

My sorority sis Cher caught the bouquet! 

For the garter toss, we choose the song "Sugar, Sugar" by the Archies. 

Anthony, the boyfriend of Brendan's cousin, Katie, caught the garter!

The band played "Sweet Caroline" and dedicated it to Dina. Dina is our sorority sister that died in a car accident on July 5th eight years ago...we performed a dance in her memory to the song "Sweet Caroline" at Greek Night the next year and won first place. This was the first time we had all danced to the song together in YEARS. It was also the first time we were together on July 5th, and I think somewhere Dina was smiling seeing that we made a happy memory on that day in her honor.

Our other guests that did not know Dina were dancing along too. It was definitely still a happy moment, but an emotional one for the eight of us that knew and loved her.

Friends singing "you've been so good to me!" during "Shout!"

Goofing off

My mom dances with Brendan's dad (front) and my dad dances with Brendan's mom (back), so sweet! Our parents get along really well, which makes us so happy.

We danced together most of the night, but still danced a ton with friends and family too.

We picked "Moon River" for our last song. It was a perfectly romantic way to end the evening.

In honor of our fourth of July weekend wedding, we did a sparkler exit. While we were in the house, we could hear our friends outside shouting "Stacy! Brendan! Stacy! Brendan!" it was very funny. Our friends really did make us feel very special on our wedding day. 

We had a 1967 Oldsmobile Delmonte Convertible waiting for us outside. We hopped in for our joyride in downtown Austin. 

Waving goodbye to family and friends. This was kind of a fake goodbye, because we were going to see them in an hour at the After party!

We were married, and had enjoyed the most wonderful reception! It was nice to have an hour or so to just take it all in...at this point, it was already midnight, but I really didn't feel tired at all. We just had so much adrenaline from the day! It was lucky we still had energy, because we still had another party to go to! 

All photos by Amy Kate Photography (unless otherwise stated). 


  1. Totally awesome. I like the glass house and cake the most. We can say that your was a royal wedding.

  2. Wow, your reception looks like it was really fun! I love the stage setting for the live band. It looks like they're having a live concert! That was a really nifty idea. Congrats on your wedding!

  3. Needless to say how great your wedding day was! All smiles for everyone as they share with you a milestone in your life. I like the idea of a live band - country style, suitable for all ages.

    -Thomas Barrett @ BeeAndThistleInn


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