(Which totally makes it sound like our reception is being held on a bus, even though it’s not. Though we did consider, early on, renting a double-decker bus and having the entire wedding there as we drove around Tallahassee and the surrounding areas. Wouldn’t that have been a trip! *ba dum ching*)
If we could give our guests an expectation list for the reception, I think it’d go something like this…
We’ll be putting together a seating chart and giving the yet-to-be-discussed favors a dual purpose as place cards. Slightly less for me to obsess about than escort cards and their many and varied display options.
Granted, we’re not doing a full bar, just beer, wine, and the signature cocktail (which will be transferred from the cocktail hour to the reception during the ceremony), but I just have never been comfortable with cash bars at weddings. I understand that it’s the usual for some areas and in some cultures, but I’d rather serve a limited selection and be able to cover it than expect our guests to pay for anything.
There will be music, but we’re not having a DJ or planning on having a raucous dance party. Most of it is timing: early afternoon does not seem to lend itself to shaking one’s groove thang (inhibitions seems to fall with the light levels, don’t they?) and we Road Trips just aren’t dance party types. To that end, the music choices during dinner and afterwards seem to be leaning in the slower, ballads, and big band direction.
Since we are having a plated dinner at our reception and the thought of free-for-all seating scares me, our guests are going to be given a spot to sit, and I’m happy to report the Sword table assignments have been completed! Of course, our guests are free to sit anywhere at said table, but for the purposes of allergies, and because let’s face it, people like to sit by the folks they know, everyone was assigned a specific table in advance.
And it was so easy that I’m scared it was too easy. If you’re looking for a quick way to design your table chart, here’s a break down of how my system worked and a rough estimate of how long everything took me.
First off, I have to give credit to Mrs. Mink’s post here because her ingenuity was what inspired me to do the same!
By putting some effort in ahead of time, Mom Sword and I were able to create the table assignments in a quick 20 minutes. We started with the tables that we were more certain of and went from there. Once Mr. Sword arrived home from Kansas City he reviewed our table assignments, made a few slight changes, and with that we were done!
We probably spent a total of 35 minutes making the seating chart and I firmly believe that it went so quickly because of the preparation I did ahead of time.
The only thing I had to buy were the little post-it notes to write the guest’s names on, the other stuff, scissors, paper, and a pen were all found in my house.
I wrote every single wedding guests’ name on their own post-it note. Color didn’t matter. This part probably took close to 45 minutes but I did it while watching TV, so it flew by. Once they were all finished I stuck each name to a piece of paper and set it aside.
I know, I know—I’m not clever. At least I try, right!? Today, we’re talking sweetheart tables. Before I talk about the table, though, let me talk more about the decision making process.
Like many bees before me, when I started thinking about all the things you must know before you get married, I thought it would be beneficial for us to read Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages. I know how I give love to others, but when it came down to my preference in receiving love, I wasn’t exactly sure how my results would come out. After reading the book and taking the assessment, both Mr. O and I scored the highest in quality time. Given how we enjoy spending our time, the results did make sense…which leads me to table talk.
Given that our preference is spending quality time together, we wanted to ensure that we had moments of our day built in that would give us that quality time—special moments for just the two of us to enjoy without any pressure. Since we’re having a fairly small wedding, we plan to skip the receiving line and visit with our guests after we finish eating. We also considered that if we had a more traditional head table, we would be talking to some of our favorite people, but not necessarily each other.
So, a sweetheart table it will be! Not to mention…I love the look of a sweetheart table in photos!
This is my standout favorite, I’ve even started looking around for similar letters!
Often times, when it’s time to leave to go somewhere with my nanny children, I like to say something stupid like, “Alright, let’s go kids and cats!” Or, I’ll say, “Do we have everyone? Kids? Cats?” As if I was caring for a zoo of children and tigers. (I’m odd.)
The funniest part about this is I don’t even like cats! They are so lame compared to dogs; I just never saw the appeal. Come on, is there anything cuter than my nephew-pup in his doggy life jacket?
After we made our grand entrance, we bee-lined to table seventeen and dropped off our bouquets before heading to the brunch line. Metro catering had some very respectful employees who honestly made me feel like I was the most important person in the world.
“Would you like a mimosa, Mrs. Funnel Cake?” Why yes, don’t mind if I do.
Then it sort of hit me, we were “the stars” of this wedding and the sensation that everyone in the room is there because of you is kind of mind-boggling.
Hi, hive! I have missed you dearly over the last two weeks. Since I last posted, we have spent a week in Mexico, moved to Chicago and I started my new job. And I thought wedding planning was exhausting!
Anyway, I have gotten a sneak peak at some of our professional photos via a slide-show that our awesome photographer got to me a few days after the wedding, but I am going to hold out on you until I have the whole slew of them to use for my official recaps (at least that is the plan as of now, we’ll see if my impatience kicks in and I start posting some of them earlier…). The good news is that, based on the snippets that I have seen, I am really, really happy with our pictures! So stick around, the recaps will be worth the wait!
The other good news is that in all of the madness that was the last month or so before the big day, there are some bridal events and wedding projects that I did not have a chance to share with you guys before we said I do. So, this will be the first of what I like to call my “pre-caps.” The beautiful thing about me taking so long to write about this project is that I can share with you what the final product looked like at the wedding! And to satisfy those of you whose impatience runs as rampant as mine, I will start by showing you just that:
Our escort card pennants! Now, let me tell you about how these came to be. Like many of my projects, it started with an obscene amount of time picking out fabric in Jo-Ann. We played around with a lot of different options until finally coming to the realization that, in order to achieve the look we wanted, we needed to choose a lot of different patterns! So we gave up our scouring for three or four patterns that worked together and instead grabbed any small vintage-y print that we liked. We ended up with these nine selections:
Way back when we had our engagement party, we received an absolutely beautiful gift from Mr. Coyote’s parents:
The problem is…Mr. Coyote and I kinda—sorta already have our own set. You see, Mr. Coyote and I are really dorky and super into that whole medieval/fantasy thing, so every year we try to make it to our local Renaissance Faire. We love browsing the shops, and every year Mr. Coyote tells me that THIS is the year he will come home with sword. (Whatevs dude.) Anyways, a few years ago we stumbled upon the most beautiful flutes we had ever seen:
A long time ago, I asked Mami Boa if I could use her wedding glasses if they were still around. She answered in the affirmative, super excited that we will be including a memento for her wedding into our big day. I finally saw the glasses this weekend and I’m totally in love.
Straight out of the box where they have been stored for almost 25 years
With a little TLC, some cleaning and a little shine on the silver part, they will look as good as new. We had a little scare with one of them when the cup came apart form the stem, but it wasn’t anything a little glue couldn’t handle.
After our family pictures were over, it was time to head to the conservatory where the guests were beginning a “cocktail hour” of sorts. Mr. Funnel Cake and I piled all my gown’s ruffles into the car and were on our way, obviously in good spirits.
Mama Funnel Cake looked the happiest I’ve ever seen her driving her Ford!
When preparing for my recent wedding-planning trip to New Orleans, organizing our wedding dessert was one of my top priorities. I have a serious sweet tooth—our dinner guests always have high expectations for the confections I turn out, and I wanted to uphold the standard at our wedding, even though I would be outsourcing the baking. So I made appointments with several different bakeries, and starting thinking about how I wanted our cake(s) to look.
From the start, I knew what I was looking for when it came to cake-spiration. Mr. Archer hates fondant, and I’m no big fan either, so we were definitely wanting our cake to be frosted with light, fluffy buttercream. While we want our cake to look pretty, what we really care about is that it must be absolutely SCRUMPTIOUS… no dry, tasteless cakes need apply! We want to keep it simple, so we’d prefer to skip the elaborate detailing and have it decorated with fresh flowers that coordinate with our decor.
Fortunately for us, these simpler cakes have become a bit trendy lately, so finding images that matched my imagination was easier than I had anticipated.
“Looking for cute and affordable favors? Put the treat of your choice in adorable boxes from Weddingbee Favors!”
Other Bees (like Hawk, recently) have gone into detail on bathroom baskets and there are plenty of tutorials on out of town bags, so I decided to combine these “last minute details” into a single post.
Despite collecting materials for weeks beforehand, both these details were truly pulled together in the final days before the wedding. I kept reminding myself that they were “nice to haves” not “need to haves”, which kept it pretty light.
First up…bathroom baskets.
|Male version on the left, female version on the right|
I have been a frequent user of bathroom baskets and often check out the “stash” when I arrive at weddings. From band-aids to bobby pins, tic tacs to (ahem) tampons, these goodies have definitely saved me in a pinch. I felt like I needed to pay it forward…
In between the courses at Bouchon, and after we said goodbye to our professional photographer, our family members honored us with some speeches. To be honest, the speeches were not something that Mr. Mole and I thought a lot about during the planning process. We didn’t ask our coordinator at Bouchon about their timing until four days before our wedding—and I totally forgot to ask my father about his speech until the rehearsal dinner! Clearly, though, our family members put a lot of thought and care into their speeches to us. Their words made us smile, laugh, and cry—and sometimes all three at once.
I really cherish these photographs of our family at Bouchon. After all, one of the best parts of a wedding is being able to celebrate with the people who love and support you and your relationship. (So, huge thanks to A, who came through yet again with these photos.)
My father was up first. Now, my father is an excellent speaker. In September, he brought down the house at my sister’s wedding; unsurprisingly, he did the same at mine.
Getting married and having our reception in the same location has allowed us to avoid talking about wedding transportation during much of our planning. We’ve had a few short conversations about the logistics of getting things and people to Pippin Hill, the vineyard where we’ll be getting married, but haven’t really talked about making our getaway at the end of the night.
As the day gets closer, there’s more day dreaming about how all these plans will turn out and we’ve done some talking about how we’ll leave the vineyard when the party is over. I’ve always been a fan of antique limousines and imagined myself riding in a classic Rolls Royce. I’m not sure a fifteen minute, one way trip would be worth a limo company’s time.
Another option is to rent a classic sports car.
Hive, I owe you an apology—and it’s not just for my awful photography skills, though I should grovel about that as well. After whining on about the endless venue indecision, I’m a little ashamed that my venue reveal was such a letdown…just one sorry little picture.
I was doing my best though, since we booked without actually visiting and touring. Though it was really stressful, I just tried to trust my instincts. And at the next possible opportunity, I scheduled another New Orleans trip, with visiting the venue as #1 on the weekend’s priority list. I’m so excited to get to really show y’all our venue!
But first, I need to explain that we’re having a traditional New Orleans-style cocktail reception. Though we are serving a full meal as well as hor d’oeuvres, we will not be having assigned seating, or everything in one room, or really, several things that are typically expected at a fancy evening wedding reception—for two reasons. First, this is how lots of receptions are done at home—of the six or so NOLA weddings we’ve attended, not one has had place cards. But more importantly—that’s just the style and vibe of reception that Mr. Archer and I are wanting for ourselves. We want delicious food and elegant decor, but really just an awesome, dancy, cocktail party with everyone we love…at the beautiful Columns Hotel.
I made sure our photographers had some time to sneak over to our reception venue to capture a few photos before guests were able to see the set-up. While not important to everyone, our cocktail hour and reception were in the same room. I wanted a few photos where no one had yet touched any of the decor. Crazy? Maybe, but what can you do.