Friday, May 10, 2013

The Reception

At the end of the day, at its core and heart, all we wanted was as many of the people we love most in the world in a beautiful setting sitting down to share a meal together.  I wanted long tables so everyone could sit together and to keep it simple.  Excellent food and excellent company.  We only had 46 people at our wedding which meant that each one of them had an incredible significance to us and the effect was incredibly personal and meaningful.  Our lives would not be complete and we would not be who we are without each person in that room.  And so our wedding would not have been complete or what it was without each one.

After the ceremony, I got rid of the veil and put on a cozy cardigan.  There was a half hour of cocktails before guests headed into the dinner space.  Joe and I greeted each guest as they entered the reception and I directed each person to the correct table myself.  After weeks of poring over the seating chart to make sure each guest was surrounded by someone new and someone familiar and that people were grouped together based on interests and things to talk about, I had every seat memorized.  We put so much thought into making sure everyone would feel taken care of and welcomed and appreciated.  It was so clear to us that it was as much about our people as it was about us and we wanted everyone to feel it.  Total lovefest.
I found these miniature silver photo frames in different shapes and we chose a few family photos and photos of us through the years to have copied into black & white and shrunk down.  Then our wonderful florist incorporated them into the tablescape.  The one above is of little Joe.  Who's such a cutie?  
In lieu of traditional favors, and in the spirit of letting each guest know how much they meant to us, Joe and I had custom Mr. & Mrs. stationary made with our new last name and wrote each guest a personal note from each of us.  The envelopes doubled as placecards.  We also wrote a note to each other and then read them for the first time when we sat down at our reception.  I almost cried the next day when I thought we'd left them behind, but then when we got home I found them in the interior pocket of Joe's suit jacket.  Thank goodness!
We didn't want to do a sweetheart table because we wanted to sit with and enjoy our people, so we opted for extra wide tables so that two people could sit on each end.  We left two empty seats at the end of each table and had the first course at one table and then moved to the other so we could spend time with everyone.
I'll admit it took me a few minutes to settle in.  Once everyone was seated, I was in "this better be f'ing perfect" mode and I kept looking around thinking "that candle needs to be lit," "that end of the table needs drinks," "the music should be louder" and so forth.  But by the time my dad stood to do his welcome and say the blessing, I was able to exhale and let it all go.  
Do you see little Lily in our cake topper?  Love it.  
True story:  We mixed up tradition a bit and opted to do our first dance later in the evening.  When we were ready, I looked around and noticed my dad was missing from the room.  I figured he'd gone to the bathroom or the bar so I waited.  And waited.  And waited.  Finally I asked where he'd gone and was told that someone had spotted Richard Gere having dinner in another part of the Inn (he's a co-owner) and that my dad had gone to find him and convince him to come make a toast.  I was mor-tee-fied.  I pulled my brother, Mark, aside and through gritted teeth "GO GET DAD NOW AND TELL HIM TO LEAVE RICHARD GERE ALONE BECAUSE I AM NOT GOING TO WAIT TO DANCE WITH MY NEW HUSBAND WHILE MY FATHER IS STALKING RICHARD GERE AND IF RICHARD GERE IS DRAGGED FROM HIS DINNER AND IS MADE TO COME IN HERE I WILL DIE."  Dads.  Am I right?  

It was truly a perfect, magical day.  I wish I could do it over and over again.  We're so blessed to have so much love in our lives and we got to celebrate all of it, not just the love between the two of us.  So, so good.  Thanks for letting me re-live it this week. 
Photographs by the talented and lovely Karen Hill.
Flowers by The Flower Shop - who by the way could not be more kind and fantastic.
Cardigan from Anthropologie.
Guest book poster from Etsy.
Cake topper from Etsy.