After the speeches, we ate. We had a buffet, hive, and although the food was fabulous, we don’t have any pictures of it. One of my biggest pieces of advice to other brides: know your guests. I work for a catering company that is known for its high quality, “trendy” food…and had we opted to serve this type of food at our wedding, it would have been lost on our guests (Mr. Palm Tree and me included, if we’re being honest). We aren’t foodies and something like a served three-course dinner would have been completely pointless and time-wasting for us—yet an open, full bar was an absolute must. Obviously, this isn’t the case for everybody, but that’s why I stress the importance of knowing your guests.
Our menu was what Mr. Palm Tree and I refer to as typical Western Pennsylvania event fare: seasoned baked chicken, penne pasta in marinara sauce, Italian sausage with peppers and onions, roast beef with au jus, green beans with almonds, rice pilaf, tossed salad, and freshly baked rolls. Seriously, you guys, I think I’ve eaten some version of this at almost every graduation party, wedding, family function, etc.—but it never stops being so damn delicious. Almost everyone in the wedding party commented that they wished they would have gone back through the buffet line because it was so good.
Mr. Palm Tree and I inhaled our food because I was so insistent on visiting all of our guests. I had this vision that we could totally get to everyone while they were eating their dinner, since we ate ours so quickly. I’m just going to say it now: I wish we hadn’t done this. Not so much the inhaling, but placing such a high importance on visiting every table. We barely made it through one half of the room before our DJ came up to us, saying we had to get the rest of the evening started. I remember semi-battling with him, saying we had to finish the tables, and him saying that we needed to cut the cake and do all of the other things, otherwise we’d never have time for dancing—which is what I said to him was the most important part of the evening.
After we cut our cake and had our first dance, we immediately flew to the other side of the room and tried to visit people. Again, I just wish we hadn’t done this. I swear, we spent at least an hour, maybe longer, on this. If I could change one thing, I would have visited some of the family tables, and maybe some of the older guests, and let everyone else come to us on the dance floor. I would have strategically planned: “OK, we have to hit tables 1, 3, 6, and 7 before we do anything else.” I would have made an effort to seek people out when on the dance floor, but not making a point to go to every single table. It took so long, and even after we got the “traditions” out of the way, our DJ was still trying to chase us down and say that people were requesting songs for us and that our dance floor needed us. I hate that I didn’t listen to him, I hate that I was so stubborn and caught up in everything. I’m not saying that it ruined our wedding or even put a damper on the evening, because it didn’t by any means. I didn’t even think about any of this until long after the wedding, when I was reflecting bit-by-bit. It was still an amazing night and it was still everything I could have imagined—maybe even more than I could have imagined—but if I could change anything, that would be it.
Now that that’s been said, moving on: I didn’t really discuss what traditions we would be upholding at our wedding because I didn’t give much thought to any of them. To be honest, I could have done without the ones we did keep, but I didn’t care enough to absolutely eliminate them, if that makes sense. I knew that I did want them to be knocked out in succession, though—no starting and stopping for this bride. Once the dance floor was open, I wanted it to stay open for the entire evening.
Our cake came as part of our package at The Fez. It was created by Brenda McGee, of Wedding Cakes by Brenda, and it was so pretty. True confessions: I didn’t really give a hoot about our wedding cake. I totally gave this one to Mr. Palm Tree. He picked the design as well as the flavors. The bottom two tiers were French vanilla. The bottom tier had strawberry filling and the second tier had Bavarian cream filling. Our top tier was almond with a mix of the strawberry and Bavarian cream filling. (I totally just had to verify all of this with Mr. Palm Tree, because I couldn’t remember anything other than the almond—when I check out, I check out hard.)
*all photos courtesy of Limelight-Images
We chose “Marry You” by Bruno Mars as our cake-cutting song. We went back and forth so many times trying to choose between his version or the Glee version, which is the version with which we originally fell in love. We ended up going with Bruno Mars’s version and I don’t even remember the reasoning why—maybe because we were tired of debating the two.
What I remember about our cake cutting: me having no idea how to actually cut the cake. I remember feeling so lost and confused. Thank God for Jimmy, our photographer, who essentially walked us through the process. #BrideAndGroomFail
Right after the above picture, we both ended up moving our hands and smearing the cake over each other’s noses. Mr. Palm Tree got serious with it and some ended up in my hair.
After we cleaned up (and got a quick refill from the bar), we made our way to the dance floor for our first dance.