That didn't stop my recently married best friend from charting a course in my direction to give me the Pre-Wedding Night Chat. "Are you nervous?" She asked me. "Don't lie to me, just tell me how you are doing." As a culture of virgins, this talk runs rampant throughout the celebration.
I don't remember much about the hour of appetizers. I know we didn't spend all of it together, but we sure did laugh a lot. Although appetizer hours aren't practical for every budget we ended up having to expand our appetizer menu to meet our catering minimum because of the number of declines we had to our invitations.
This joke was even funny enough for my 5 chins to come out and celebrate with me!
I spent most of the time wandering around without my new husband (except that time when we snuck into the hallway to practice our first dance, which may have caused any guests watching us to raise an eyebrow at, since it may have looked like we snuck away for a little time alone).
Most of my time was spent begging people to visit the photo booth. After I got the pictures back I realized not many people listened to me.
It's so fun to sort through the wedding photos and get an idea of what others experienced while I was wandering around being a bride. Nothing makes all of the time and work put into the planning more worth it than seeing the laughter and smiles of friends and family throughout the day.
Apparently two of my cousins decided to stay in the atrium after the ring ceremony to use button covered aisle as their own personal runway.
Work it darling!
See those smiles I was talking about? So worth it.
I love this close up shot of the aisle runner, I didn't even notice the pretty pattern on the day of. And you know I love my buttons!
It wasn't until the appetizer hour was about halfway over that I encountered my first tray of delicious food. Everyone else grabbed their food off of silver trays, but Donna, my hotel coordinator, had them arrange a beautiful tray specifically for the bride and groom.
From left to right: Miniature baked brie with fruit compote, Poached lobster with avocado mousse on cucumber rounds, Rare beef crostini with caramelized onions, Grilled prawn skewers with coconut dipping sauce.
There was something special about many of the dishes they served that night. Two days before the wedding my dad brought in several boxes of organic potatoes, shallots, cippolinis, and onions. Those onions you see in the shot below are my dad's! The chef customized the catering menu for our event and included the produce we provided in most of the dishes served throughout the night.
Gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, hypoglycemic MOH Shay Shay grabbed an apple to tide her over until dinner since she couldn't have any of the appetizers.
Ordering custom Gocco napkins from South Main Design with our wedding quote on them was a fun touch that didn't break the bank. I was very happy to receive a stack of these after the wedding, since it meant that the staff treated them well and realized the extras shouldn't just be tossed in the trash.
I didn't give a single thought to the cocktail table decor. Or a single penny. The tea lights provided by Hotel 1000 worked just fine.
I didn't know the term until I became entrenched in the world of wedding planning blogs, but apparently ours can be labeled a "dry wedding." We even had the audacity to serve nothing but water during appetizer hour. The horror I know.
Our guests put away the garbage they were planning to throw at us in protest of the bland choice of beverage when they saw our pretty citrus stand. We know how to to a dry appetizer hour right, with lemons, limes, and orange wedges.
Guest photos show that one flavor of citrus round or another made it in almost every glass.
To the right of the citrus rounds sat the guestbook and card box area. We saved the prettiest suitcases for displaying inside so we didn't scuff them up on the streets of Seattle.
We had worked through our family to spread the word to our guests that we would be flying back to Dallas after the wedding and that transporting lots of gifts would be next to impossible. Next to the suitcases was a sign asking:
"Please place your gift cards full of well wishes in this suitcase to have them delivered to the bride and groom"I thought it was cheeky to have things placed in a suitcase to have them delivered! Obviously I'm not afraid to get a kick out of my own ideas.
We did a postcard guestbook, and we've giggled over more than few responses found on the cards delivered to our mailbox each week. I bought the sassy little suitcase for holding the postcards at an antique store in Seattle, and taped a card inside the lid instructing guests to fill out the postcards and leave them inside to have them delivered to us at a later date.
On the front of the postcard I used an image from the time I visited Poland with That Mother in May of last year. The back encouraged guests to leave their name, and asked a few questions designed to think about the past, present, and future.
We're seriously considering some of the names suggested (except the one where they took both our first names and turned them around backwards, LOL, so the girl would be named Annej, a play on the difficulty my family/friends have in pronouncing Polish words), we were reminded of so many memories we had forgotten, and we love getting feedback on what others enjoyed most.
Each week my wonderful Grandma slides five of these cards into an envelope and sends them down to us. It's delightful to have the chance to relive our wedding a little bit each week. We still don't have the cards from Groomsmen N, seen smirking below, or what I imagine will be the wickedly witty card from Groomsmen C captured here in deep thought.
My crowning achievement in terms of DIY creativity for the wedding decor elements was the seating card display. I love it because I came up with it completely on my own, one of the few times I didn't use a photo, blog post, or magazine clipping as inspiration for a concept used at the wedding. The suitcase used to hold the cards was my grandmother's in high school.
I can take credit for the suitcase and what sits inside, but credit must be given to my DOC, aunt, and mother for designing the crazy chic moss and ribbon decor surrounding it.
Sitting inside that family heirloom suitcase guests found simple cards with their name and table assignment nestled in a bed of rice and buttons. I love that it used the buttons, that it was simple, and that it was something I came up with all on my own.
The suitcase would have looked ridiculous all by itself on a 6 foot table so my mom and my aunt (I know my fabulous mom had a heavy hand in this design) sprinkled the table with buttons, moss, and old books we had collected over the months. I saw several guests picking the books up and reading them during the appetizer hour, which made me laugh. Who doesn't decor that doubles as entertainment?
Somehow Kelli Nicole managed to enjoy herself and eat a few appetizers in between catching shots of all the details she knew I would want to write about later (it was fun having a half guest/ half photographer for the day!)
When I saw this shot on Our One Heart, I knew I had to have one of my own. Of course I am biased but I like mine better than the original inspiration.
This ring shot looks like Seattle to me. Woodsy, funky, natural, unique. I loved the city before, but it holds an extra special place in my heart now.
Don't worry, Kelli Nicole won't be taking breaks from photo shooting to eat appetizers at your
wedding. Unless you ask her like I did. :)
That Wedding: Bridesmaid Party!
That Wedding: Whole Foods (Rehearsal-ish) Luncheon
That Wedding: Harbor Sailing
That Wedding: Putting My Face On
That Wedding: The Gift Exchange
That Wedding: Dressing That Bride
That Wedding: Bridal Details
That Wedding: The First Look
That Wedding: Into The Woods
That Wedding: Woodsy Family Portraits
That Wedding: To Wed! To Wed!
That Wedding: Showered With Love, Coins, and Hugs
That Wedding: Group Shots With a Little Spice
That Wedding: Those Groomsmen
That Wedding: The Whole Party
That Wedding: Me and My Maids (+Manmaid)
That Wedding: Ring Ceremony Prep
That Wedding: The Ring Ceremony