Monday, October 1, 2012

The Wedding: Our Reception PART ONE

If you are just now joining us or have missed an installment of our wedding series, you can catch up here. If you are all caught up and excited to get to the next installment, you're in the right place! 

All pictures in this post were taken by Braden Cruise Photography unless otherwise noted.

Because the reception was the biggest part of our wedding, I've decided to split it up into two parts! There is just so many details and excellent pictures to share! For ease of reading and to keep my sanity, I've organized this post into sections. We're going to start with one of my favorite sections: the grub!


If anyone knows anything about R.J. and I, they know we love food. That would explain why we received some much kitchen stuff at all of our showers! Boy, have we used it all too. Because our love for food is so well-known, we knew we had to offer up a delicious array of food at the reception.

Having a country fair theme made deciding on the food easy. Of course, we HAD to have our fair food favorites: popcorn, cotton candy, corn dogs and tater tots! 

How fun, right? We rented the popcorn machine, cotton candy machine and the kits (and 100 chairs for the ceremony) from Coweta Equipment Rental.  The corn dogs and tater tots were catered by H.J. Wings and Things in Summergrove which was fitting because R.J. has worked there since high school. 

As for the drinks, what fit better than old fashioned sodas in glass bottles? Especially in my father-in-law's antique Coca-Cola cooler!

The bottled drinks were definitely one of the items that we spent a small fortune on. My mother was dead set on having three drinks per guest. With right at 180 expected guests, that meant we had to have 540 drinks. While about 200 of these were waters, the other 340 were a random assortment of bottled sodas. We could have saved by purchasing plastic bottled drinks, but it wouldn't have been near as cute!


The antique cooler rested on the end of the drink table. Three galvanized buckets of my granny's were filled with ice and used to hold waters. Straws and bottle openers lay in front of the buckets for guests to grab and use at their leisure. At the end opposite of the antique cooler, an old Pepsi Cola wooden crate (which belongs to my dad) was used to help display the beverage choices. It is hard to see from the picture, but each of the flowers above are arranged in old cola bottles which my dad and father-in-law had collected over the years. 



Once again, our wedding was out-of-the-box in our selection of wedding cake and the groom's cake. However, it totally fit not only the fun theme of our wedding, but reflected our personalities as well. 

R.J. is not a big fan of cake - mostly not of the icing. However, he is a big fan of pies - especially apple pies. 

Also, while we were both in college in Atlanta, The Varsity became a usual date night stop for us because we could eat out on a college student budget. 

Instead of the traditional groom's cake, R.J. had groom's fried apple pies from The Varsity. He picked them up from the restaurant the day before the wedding. I ordered 100 pies, but when R.J. delivered them to me there were only 99 pies. I'll let you figure out where my one missing pie went...

The pies are arranged on crystal and milk glass pieces that also belong to my granny. [I know! She had all kinds of hidden treasures in her house that turned up at the reception!]

By now, you may have noticed some of the coordinating signs like the one above. These were all designed by me and were made to resemble our wedding invitations. Mom and I wanted to carry the carnival flag theme used on the invitations throughout the reception. The signs were one way of doing that. When I get to the decorations section, you'll see the flags pop up again. 

Next, comes the wedding cake. Or in our case, the wedding cupcakes! I am a huge fan of cupcakes - especially red velvet ones! My waistline is getting bigger and my tummy happier just thinking about how delicious these cupcakes were. 

Local baker, Christi Polk, better known as the Betty of Bakeshop Betty Cupcakes, crafted these scrumptious cupcakes. Sometimes, you'll find her on the downtown square on Market Day dressed like this:

She even delivered my cupcakes dressed like this! How stinkin' cute, right? Seriously though, many kudos to her also because I literally called her four times in one hour asking a range of crazy questions - like is it possible to cut a hole in the bottom of a cake?

You see that 8" cake round on the very top? It's real cake but it had a two inch hole dug out of the bottom of it. One challenge we faced was the cupcake stand (which we rented from Bakeshop Betty) had a piece on top that stuck up about 1.5 inches. Therefore, the cake had to be made to sit on top of the stand so it wouldn't fall. You should have seen the look of confusion and bewilderment on the baker's face at Publix when I was trying to explain I wanted the bottom of my cake dug out. But, it worked!

We had four flavors of cupcakes which we each differentiated with different colored flags. The flags that went on the cupcakes were made of card stock and flat toothpicks. I punched out the flags with a triangle punch and hot glued them to the toothpicks. It seems easy enough, but it did get really tedious punching and gluing 200 of them. I hated those stupid things by the time I was done. But, I have to admit, it did look cute when it was all put together.

As for the cake topper, I made it. It was my favorite thing I made for our wedding so I'm going to show it off.

Initially, I did not want a cake topper at all. I thought they were tacky, especially the plastic ones where the bride has the runaway groom by the collar. Not cute. I considered a simple "W" initial at the top, but the only ones I could find were blinged out with cheap looking rhinestones. Not to mention, do you people know how ridiculously expensive those ugly cake toppers are?! It's ridiculous. 

I had pretty much given up on having a cake topper until I was poking around on Pinterest and found a picture of a couple holding a row of bunting that said "Mr. and Mrs." After some brainstorming, I came up with the cake topper you see above. The best part? It didn't cost me an extra penny. I used supplies left over from wedding crafts we had already completed. 

I spray painted two of the wooden dowels leftover from the ribbon wands. The spray paint was leftover from painting the nut cups. I used my triangle punch and card stock left from the cupcake flags. Using stamps and ink from my scrapbook supply stash, I stamped a letter on each flag. The red and white twine was left from my window frame display that you will see later. With some patience and hot glue, my cake topper was born!

We cut our cake round with a sterling silver cutting set given to us by my mom and dad at an engagement party last April. On the cake server, our names and wedding date are engraved. The plate in which we placed our cut piece of cake is a dessert plate from the china my granny gave me. The china is her pattern. When my sister and cousin get married, they will also get a set of granny's china. 


Once again, I have to pause and say a huge thank you to my mom and granny. For decoration, we had bunting which hung over the dance floor, the tables, the arbor outside and even the bathrooms. My mom and granny hand stitched ALL of it. We bought the fabric from Hobby Lobby and with the help of Tessa and my sister-in-law Amanda, cut out fifty million triangles. After that, my mom and granny stitched the fifty million fabric triangles on some cording one by one. 

We also used about 100 of the fabric triangles we cut to make flags to be waved when we escaped to the getaway car. In addition to the flags, we also had 100 ribbon wands to wave as well - all assembled by us. Out of a fluke, the flags and wands ended up being placed on the tables which added so nicely to the tables when it was all said and done. We simply forgot about having something to hold the flags and ribbon wands. The solution? Lay them on the tables! Regrettably, I don't have a good picture of them, but you can sort of see them on the closest table above. They're the pop of color on the white tableclothes. 

 I found two old windows in the barn at my parents house. I put a photo in each window pane and used leftover fabric from the bunting as a background. Both windows were missing a pane on their sides. I tied some red twine between the two windows and used little clothes pins from my scrapbook supply stash to hang pictures of R.J. and I from the six years we'd been dating. 

The table decorated by the window frames doubled as our gift table and our registration table. As you can see on one end we did have a memorial candle. 

Through our years together, we have lost many loved ones who we wanted to remember that day. We did so by having a memorial candle which (unfortunately) never got lit. However, the sentiment was still the same. 

Also, instead of a traditional head table, we had a sweetheart table situated in between two reserved tables for our bridal party and their significant others. 

We placed our sweetheart table directly in front of the dance floor. Three streamers, like those that lined the arbor outside, hung behind our sweetheart table. [Thank you Mrs. Gayle for patiently hanging those and the bunting up!]

That wraps up PART ONE of the reception! In PART TWO, I'll cover our favors, our dance party, wedding activities, our guest book, the getaway and a picture that makes me tear up every time I see it. STICK AROUND! It'll be hitting the blogosphere soon. I promise!

Much love to my readers!

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