For our reception, my main priorities were good music, good food, and plenty of booze. I also planned to eat my dinner (and it was SO good), and told guests I could be found on the dance floor if they wanted to see me. While we did our photos, our guests mingled at our cocktail hour and played at our DIY polaroid photobooth. I also DIY’d our table numbers, petal cones, programs (and the cd’s in the programs), and my maid of honor designed our invitation suite and monogram, made the menus, drink stirs, cupcake flags, and every sign you see in the photos (for the flip flops, the cake flavors, the bathroom baskets, the cards). I’m going to do a post later in the week showing all of the DIY projects and paper goods because they were all such a labor of love.
Our first dance was another highlight for me. We danced to Jason Mraz’s “Lucky” and sang it to each other as we danced – the words were pretty perfect for our day. We did the toasts during dinner, and my maid of honor proceeded to total up the cost of meeting and being friends with me (we met in law school, so that is one expensive friendship) and she brought the house down. Our favorite bakery Vanilla Bake Shop did our cupcake tower and we fed each other our favorite flavored cupcake baby as our ‘cut the cake.’
Since my dad passed away years before my wedding, I did a brother/sister dance in place of the father/daughter dance. But my dad did make an appearance – in our slideshow. I know, wedding slideshows are cheesy. But because there were people who couldn’t be at the wedding, like my dad, and because Jonathan and I had been dating off and on since we were 16, we really wanted to do one. I mean, prom photos made an appearance! Our DJ put a big screen up where the ceremony had been and put the slideshow on a loop with no sound and when people needed to cool off from dancing they could sit under the stars and watch the slideshow. And the photo of the slideshow above is a photo of me and my dad 🙂
After the mother/son and brother/sister dance we kicked the party off with the Black Eyed Peas “I’ve Got a Feelin” (I promise it brand new at the time!) and really got everyone dancing. Our DJ was awesome (holla, Danny Farrell of NYC DJ’s!) and played exactly what we had asked for (we’re an old school hip hop kind of couple) and we didn’t stop dancing all night. That’s why my hubs and I forgot to do a polaroid of just ourselves, we were too busy breaking it down. We even had a mothereffingdanceoff.We had some things go wrong leading up to the day. My mom and stepfather were pedestrian victims of a hit-and-run drunk driver one week before my wedding. My stepfather’s neck was broken and my mom was also injured, although she was able to travel to be at the wedding. We skyped the ceremony so my stepfather could watch from afar. (And yes, they did catch the guy, he spent a year in jail, had 5 other DUI’s, no insurance, and they still haven’t seen a penny from their extensive damages. I WISH I could call him out right here and have someone return the favor for me, but I digress…)
There were also some major wildfires during that time, one in Rancho Palos Verdes, VERY close to my venue, two days before the wedding. Luckily, it shifted and was put out and there was no trace of it on the wedding day. But these two things go to show any bride that things WILL go wrong, and you just have to remember what the day is all about and just roll with it and smile.
All in all, the day was the most fun I have ever had in my life. To marry your best friend in a beautiful setting in front of all of your loved ones and then have a fantastic party…I wish I could do it every year!
I had no planner or stylist – I wanted to do it all myself. That is not for every bride or even most brides, but it was right for me. I used lots of things from my personal collection (mason jars, vintage bottles, antique keys, white pitchers and milk glass) and collected more as well. I used lots of etsy vendors. But I did have a lot of help from my maid of honor and my mom. And I have to give props to all of my amazing vendors:
Photography: Jennifer Roper Photography / Venue: La Venta Inn / Day-Of Coordination: Roxy Kinstettler / DJ: Danny Farrell of NYC DJ’s / Cake (cupcakes): Vanilla Bake Shop / Catering: New York Food Company / Florals: Greenwich Floral Design (containers and keys were from my personal collection or found at flea markets by me and my mom) / Invitations and Paper Goods: Kate Derhake of Tilde Designs (maid of honor), printed by Studio on Fire / Calligraphy: Barbara Kua / Bridal Gown: Melissa Sweet / Hair and Makeup: Flawless Faces, Inc. / Bridesmaids: Lela Rose, Bella Bridesmaid in Chicago / Groom’s Suit: Brooks Brothers / Earrings for bride and maids: Erin Gallagher / Hairpiece: clarkanddiversey / Bride’s shoes and clutch: J.Crew / Rings: CF Reuschlein Jewelers / Officiant: Bob Jabro / Cookies: Isabella’s Cookie Company / Parasols & Paper Lanterns: Luna Bazaar / Shuttles: Tourcoach
You can find more from our wedding here.