Thursday, September 19, 2013

#CM2013 {reception details}

  Today I wanted to share our reception details. I worked for months on the details. It might not look like it, but these small details really were time-consuming but were so worth it. Our wedding was extremely personal to who we are, and we wanted our guests to feel right at home.
Our venue, Panorama Farms, provided the perfect space for what we envisioned: intimate, rustic, comfortable, gorgeous views. This barn just makes me swoon each time I see it. The old ladder, the big lofty rafters and the old wood...It's all part of the charm. It was definitely hard at first to convince my mom that we could totally transform this space into something beautiful, but I think she realized that I had a vision and it could work. Needless to say, it totally worked!



 I knew we needed to dress up the barn a bit, so I hung the banner we used in our engagement pictures by the door to welcome our guests. I found the easel on the street, and painted the trim white and the middle with chalkboard paint. Easy and cheap!

  These lights were a labor of love. I connected with the bride getting married the next weekend at our venue, and we decided to go in together on the lights. We didn't really know how many to get, so we just bought as many as we could. We found them at Big Lots, and I think we bought them all between Charlotte and Charlottesville! We spent about 2 hours the day before our wedding hanging them all. Luckily for me, she and her dad (a family friend) came to help, as well as Connor's and my families! 
I think our hard work paid off because...I mean LOOK!

Old Photos

I always love seeing other people's photos from growing up, so I thought it would be a fun detail to incorporate into our reception. I ended up making one project, and then was surprised with another.
I found those old frames on the street in our neighborhood and debated about where to put them. I originally thought I'd put them outside the barn, or maybe up at the ceremony site. I ended up hanging them between the levels under the barn. I spray-painted the clothespins gold (duh), used twine I had on hand, and printed the pictures on card stock.  
 My mother surprised us with blowing up these photos for our rehearsal dinner, and I thought they were a hoot! Connor looked so dapper, and I looked crazy totally normal in my wedding dress at 4 years old. She ended up bringing these to the wedding, and everyone loved it!


The tables were another thing I agonized over until my trip to India. I had this vision of using the burlap runners from my friend Kristen's wedding (that her MIL made, and they so graciously gave to me!). On my trip, we went into the fabric and trim market and my eyes fell up on this gorgeous teal ribbon with gold detail. And it came in many colors! I thought the teal with the hot pink would work really well together, so I brought back as many rolls of the trim as I could. Luckily my MIL is an excellent seamstress, so she attached the trim to each burlap runner. What is also so lucky (call it fate?), the day after I came back from India we had a meeting with my caterer. I had to pick out the linens, plates, etc. from the rental place and they had the exact shades of pink and teal that coordinated so perfectly with my trim! I knew I made the right decision, that the bright pops of color not only were exactly what our barn needed, but also were a perfect reflection of our personality (I'm loud and a very colorful person, in case we haven't met!)
I literally started crying when we got to the barn that day before the ceremony. I got out of our van, and my event coordinator took me aside and opened the doors. I gasped when I realized that it came together exactly how I imagined it to be!
We used these cute letters on that I painted for our engagement pictures (but never ended up using) on our chairs for the reception. We didn't have assigned seating, and had plenty of seats for everyone in the barn and under the tent, but it was nice to had a spot for us if we wanted to sit. Which we did when the caterer brought us over a plate of everything and made us sit. Thank you to A. Pimento for taking great care of us!


Our flowers were also something I had a really hard time deciding on. Luckily, Jenn at Sugar Magnolia's took my vision and created centerpieces beyond what I imagined. I love how soft and romantic the flowers were, without feeling too "bridal". I think I told her I didn't want anything to look or feel bridal, which is such a weird thing to say. But I just wanted her to use what she could find if she walked out into her garden. And she delivered above and beyond!
FYI, I collected different size jars for months, knowing I would use them for centerpieces. By the time we figured out what Jenn needed, we realized we had been collecting the wrong size! Whoops. So we just ordered 2 cases of jars on Amazon and had them shipped to her. It saved us a lot of money (because they charge a rental fee per jar) and we have a thousand jars leftover.
Isn't this just stunning? This was at the back food table
I loved how wild and crazy the branches were. So natural and lovely


 Now you know Connor and I had a lot of fun with the menu. We also went back and forth a lot with what we wanted to serve. We knew that Shrimp & Grits was a necessity, so our first station were those plus spicy local greens and fried green tomatoes & okra. YUM.

I made the signs the week before the wedding, using the CM logo and the barn my friend created for us. I used a font from Kimberly Geswein for the signs. I think it was a nice touch, since I always want to know what is served!

We also served beef with hassleback potatoes and asparagus with a Gribiche sauce
And Greek-marinated grilled chicken with olives and citrus and a fresh pea salad. Everything was well-seasoned and delicious!
A really nice touch that our caterer put together was to have bread and a crudite platter with butter & oil at each table. I loved that detail!


 It was refreshing to have one detail that we both decided on in the very we didn't have to worry about ever again. We decided to break tradition and not have a wedding cake. I mean, I don't like wedding cake at all so why pay to have something there that I wouldn't enjoy? Being a huge fan of anything-but-cake, we narrowed it down to having a Carpe Donut food truck come. It was the greatest thing ever. Our guests LOVED it and still rave about the donuts today.

The price of unlimited donuts + coffee per person was extremely reasonable, and the donut "cake" they put together was a perfect addition. We had a "cake table" where we had champagne glasses (bridal shower gift from bridesmaid Karah), a sign I made (to make sure anyone with food allergies knew what was in them) and the most adorable cake forks with our wedding date and the words "i do" & "me too" stamped on them (day-of gift from Karah)

I'm pretty sure we didn't trust each other not to smash the donut...but we somehow managed not to!
 And we did the awkward champagne toast and of course Jodi captured it perfectly!

Bar area

We ordered koozies through Custom Ink, and they were great to work with. I know a lot of people who had used them in the past, and we even worked with them when I was in college for our sorority. They sent back a few different options for how to print the images, and I really liked how they turned out!

The little table was another neighborhood trash day find. I loved the little wire baskets! We use it in our kitchen now to hold all of my beautiful accessories for our Kitchen Aid!

I made more signs for the bar, so our guests knew what libations were available
I also made a sign for our signature drinks: Bianca {tequila, grapefruit & club soda} & Bubba {Whiskey Sour}. The names are what we call our cars. Because duh.
 Another fun project I worked on was making colorful drink stirrers. I used lollipop sticks and washi tape to make them. I think they turned out pretty well! In case you would like to purchase some, I have more pink and teal ones, or I can make them in any color and size you want! Just visit my Etsy store, Dogwood Design Shop!

And another DIY project we worked on was turning our RSVP's into something we could always use. We had a little advice box on the back of the RSVP card, and people wrote some really great things in there! Connor came up with the idea to turn them into coasters: back them with cork and pour epoxy on them to set and harden so it's waterproof (the same stuff used in bar tops). They turned out pretty well! Well, about half of them did, but still...having about 40 ones that turned out perfectly was awesome!
We had them placed around the cocktail tables, and people loved reading all of the different things people wrote to us!

Our welcome table

  I knew we wanted a table under the tent where guests could sign our guestbook and drop off cards/gifts. As did a lot of brides before me, I found great old pictures of our family members at their wedding
{L-R} Connor's oldest sis, my sis, Connor's middle sis, my Dad's parent's

I used an old picnic basket of my parent's as the card box. I just painted the inside lid with chalkboard paint and we rigged it with string to keep it open

A big surprise to me that day was a gift from one of my wonderful co-workers. She had a friend paint one of our engagement photos! Of course, Bowser is front and center. It was the coolest, most unique gift we received!!
I was just a littttttle excited about it

{Our Guestbook Alternative}

This was a really fun project that I worked on the week I was home before the wedding. One of my bridesmaid's, Karah, came over one afternoon and helped me do these. I have always wanted State art on our walls, so I thought it would be fun to paint the 3 states that we love so dearly on canvases, and have guests sign around their favorite. I printed & cut out the state shape, and Karah traced it on the canvas. We then filled in with gold paint and let dry. After it was set, I free-handed a little red heart over the city we loved in each state. I think it was a really cool guestbook alternative, and I love looking at them in our dining room! 
You can see that I made a sign:
"We've left a lil bit of our hearts in SC, NC, and VA....Sign your name around your favorite state!"

Cornhole boards

These were a true labor of love. Connor, Kristen, and I all worked on these together over the course of probably 6 months. Connor primed the boards ages ago, and then painted them white for me. I picked out a coral and turquoise acrylic paint from Michael's that I used for other crafts, and took the paint into Home Depot where they did paint matching to give me a sample pot of each.

As far as the design, I wanted to incorporate the design from our invitations somehow, so I just ended up free-hand sketching them {as you can tell} and painted them in, with Kristen's help. I'm really bad at drawing, and have pretty bad handwriting, so I have no idea why I decided to free-hand anything! Oh well...they're obviously wonky when they're side-by-side but they never will be, and they didn't look that bad...right??
We also had the UVA set that I painted last year. I used a stencil for the letters and an outline for the face of the old school Cavalier {GO HOOS}
 I think the boys enjoyed playing a few rounds before the ceremony while we were getting ready!

 And this made my heart melt....our nephew, the ring bearer, had so much fun playing on these during the cocktail hour!

I hope you enjoyed reading about all of the little details that made our wedding feel personal and fun!


post signature


Elizabeth Payne said...

New follower, so glad I found your blog- my friend is getting married this spring & I will have to show her all your stunning wedding details!

megan said...

omg I love so many of the details! That was so sweet of your co-worker to paint that photo!! The string lighting looks amazing. Turning the advice into coasters = genius. I wish we went the alternative route regarding the cake. I rarely eat cake at receptions, too.

Mindy said...

Omg all of these ideas are amazing!! You are so creative and artistic! You should be a wedding planner or something!! :)

Leslie said...

What lovely details! Everything you did looks like it really added to the day and worked well with the space. I love how your corn hole set turned out!

Dee Stephens said...

Very pretty! Impressive! The lights are my fav!