Monday, November 30, 2009

Our Perfect Day: Reception, Part I

I hope that everyone had a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving!!!!!

Okay, I lied. This was supposed to be the last wedding post but I will have one more post before I finish my wedding recaps. So here goes nothing-

Tyler sitting in his "Ring-Bearer Mobile" with his Notre Dame hat on and juice cans tied onto the back of the car. My father-in-law and uncle wired LED lights so that the head lights and tail lights lit up! He was definitely a stud!

My sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew being announced.

Funny story- we had two 'Best Men' at our wedding, John and Joey. They decided right before they were announced that they wanted to do something crazy so they convinced my MOH, Paloma, and Bridesmaid, Debbie, to help them compete in a wheel barrel race. You heard me correctly, a wheel barrel race! As you can see, John has Paloma's bouquet in his mouth as he races across the dance floor to beat out Joey. I am pretty sure that John may have crashed into the head table in order to claim victory. Goofy boys!


The first picture is of me letting my husband know that I could be mean and shove the cake in his face since he had already fed me my slice of cake nicely. The second picture shows me being nice but what the picture doesn't show you is that I did get some icing on his nose before I 'nicely' fed him the slice of cake.

Here is my daddy giving his 'welcome' speech. Isn't he handsome in his tux (the same man who has it stated in his will that if anyone buries him in a tie they will be cut out of the will.....lol)?!? Just a little background on my daddy- he is a very 'to the point' kind of person. I figured that his speech would be all of 20 seconds long. He surprised me and gave a wonderful speech! And he ended the speech with- "have fun and party on!" Loved it!

The flower girl and ring bearer dancing. Aren't they precious?!?

Framer alert! I LOVE this picture. Do we agree?!? This was taken during our first dance to Bryan Adams- When You Love Someone and yes, it was the song from Braveheart.
Go
here to listen to the song.


Father-Daughter dance. We danced to Heartland- I Loved Her First. It was the perfect Father-Daughter dance! My mom bawled her eyes out when she read the lyrics to this song. I will definitely be framing this picture for my dad as a Christmas present this year!
You can go
here to listen to the song.


We had a minor incident after the Father-Daughter dance. My dad accidently stepped on the back of my dress and ripped out one of my bustles. Thankfully I had like 10,000 bustles so it wasn't too bad! As you can see, I had an entire entourage of people diving underneath to fix it! lol

Mother-Son dance. Hubs and his momma danced to Lee Ann Womack- I Hope You Dance. Such a beautiful song!
You can go here to listen to the song.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Our Perfect Day: The Details, Part IV

Day of Coordination
Vendor: Stephanie of Fete STL
Grade: A++

The first time I met Stephanie was when she was in full DOC mode! She was the DOC for one of my closest friend's weddings, Jessica of Tying the Knot. I was a bridesmaid in Jessica's wedding (much like she was a bridesmaid in my wedding). When I saw Stephanie in all of her DOC glorious-ness I knew instantly I had to book her for my wedding!

Soon after Jessica's wedding I contacted Stephanie and she agreed to handle the DOC for my wedding. From the very get go my mom argued with me and was constantly telling me that I did not need a DOC. I stood firmly in my belief that I did in fact need one and that a DOC would make my life a lot less stressful. My mom finally realized that she was not going to win the battle so she gave in but still insisted that I did not need a DOC.

BOY did my mom eat her words!!!! Stephanie was my LIFE SAVER!!!!! Seriously!!!! The night before my wedding there was a glitch with the programs (read here). Of course I lost it and started to tear up right before rehearsal. Stephanie immediately took control! She got my room key from me, told me not to worry that she would get it fixed, picked up the programs and met April. April fixed all of the programs and they were perfect! On top of fixing our programs Stephanie, Stephanie's friend, April and April's husband tied the ribbons onto all the programs. I was planning on going back to the room after rehearsal dinner to do that but Stephanie and April took care of everything.

I felt so bad because Stephanie missed out on a fabulous dinner!!!! After dinner my mom pulled me aside and told me that A.) she loved Stephanie and B.) she was wrong about the DOC. Of course I was thrilled that everything was fixed but it was also nice to be able to say, "told ya so!" Granted, I didn't say that to my mom but I sure thought it! :-)

I was thrilled that my photographer managed to capture some pictures of Stephanie in action! Enjoy!
Stephanie is on the far right. This was when Rich opened his wedding gift from me! Stephanie delivered the gifts and made sure that the photographer and videographer were where they needed to be. Side note- love the expression on the GM's faces! Ha!

Stephanie helped me get into my dress.

And directed people when it came time to walk down the aisle.


She made sure that we stayed hidden until all of our guests were outside of the grand exit. Stephanie is at the top of the steps in the doorway of the left door.

She held my veil so that we could try to get a picture of my veil blowing in the wind when we took off in the carriage. Unfortunately the wind was blowing the opposite direction so that didn't really work according to plan.

Carried my train and veil for additional pictures.

Kept track of time for the line up and directed the bridal party with their entrances for the reception.

Hopefully she also had a good time while being in DOC mode! Judging from this picture I think she did! :-)

And she made sure that Hubs and I were where we needed to be when we needed to be there, ie- garter toss, bouquet toss, etc.

These pictures are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to everything Stephanie did to ensure that my wedding day was perfect! I seriously cannot say enough wonderful things about Stephanie. She is AH-MAZINGLY organized and in control. I can honestly say I did not stress about anything the day of my wedding thanks to Stephanie. I knew that everything would be taken care of and would be sheer perfection.

Review:
  • Stephanie's rates were extremely reasonable. She was very affordable but her work ethic definitely went way above and beyond her rates.
  • She is incredibly organized. I think I spent most of the wedding planning process running around like a chicken with my head cut off but Stephanie stayed on top of everything and had all my emails and notes with her. She contacted all of my vendors and made sure they knew what was going on and what time to be at the venue.
  • The events coordinator at the SRC told me that my wedding was the smoothest flowing wedding she has ever seen and I attribute that to Stephanie. She was all over the time-line and made sure that we stuck to it. She came into town Friday night and talked to the catering company while they set up as well as the events coordinator of the SRC. Stephanie made sure that all the candles, vases/apothecary jars, escort cards, and table numbers were in their proper places. The events planner at the SRC also said that Stephanie was amazing to work with and on top of everything.
  • She went above and beyond what I expected a DOC to do by taking care of the program snafu. My parents and Hub's parents still talk about how big of a life saver Stephanie was at our wedding!
  • She was great at returning calls/emails and keeping the lines of communication open.
If you are a Midwest bride I highly, highly recommend hiring Stephanie for your DOC needs or planning needs. She is faboosh, I promise!

Stephanie- Thank you soooooo much for all your hard work! My wedding day was perfect and I did not have one single stress that day thanks to you!!!!!

All professional pictures are by Angela Talley Photography. Please give due credit when posting any pictures. Thanks!

Up next: The Reception and Closing Details of Our Amazing Day!

Previously Posted:
The Details, Part III

The Details, Part II
The Details, Part I
The Grand Exit
The Ceremony
Pre-Ceremony
Location 2- St. Elmo's Steakhouse
Location 1- The Canal
First Site, Part II
First Site, Part I
Gifts
Getting Dressed and a Special Visitor
The Dress and Accessories
The Hair and Makeup
Rise and Shine!
Post Rehearsal Dinner
Rehearsal Dinner
Rehearsal


Our Perfect Day: The Details, Part III


The Food and Room Set-Up

Vendor: Thomas Caterers of Distinction
Grade: A+

When it came to the caterer we did not have a choice. Our location specified which caterer we had to use. At first I was a little nervous about this, I will not lie. But after our first meeting with Dee from Thomas Caterers my fear immediately diminished. The nice part about having to utilize a specific caterer was that we didn't have to research one and since they were exclusive to our location they knew what did and did not work inside of our venue.

I was even more impressed after our tasting. The food was delicious! During our meetings I decided that I wanted to do a 'Snack Table' and a 'Candy/Dessert Table.' We took care of all the candy and snacks while Thomas Caterers took care of all the desserts.

Thomas Caterers handled the food, table linens, chair covers, flatware, place settings, appetizer service, bar service, etc. Looking back on everything, the caterer had a lot of responsibility when it came to the reception.

Here was the set up-
Cocktail hour: Guests were sent up to the 3rd floor balcony of the Scottish Rite Cathedral for cocktail hour. The balcony overlooked the ballroom so guests were able to sneak a peak of what was in store. When the guests first walked through the doors of the balcony white-gloved servers had trays of wine that they were passing around to hit the initial rush (Dee's genius suggestion). White-gloved servers also passed around four different types of hoers-devourers (you can see the different types here). Guests who did not want wine could go to the back two corners of the balcony where bars were set up for additional beverage service. The escort card table was set up on the balcony so guests could find their cards while enjoying appetizers and drinks. After cocktail hour the guests were directed downstairs to the ball room for the start of the reception.

Now on to the pictures:

The salad-
Strawberry Fields Salad
It was YUMMY!!!! I did manage to eat all of my salad.
This was the only food picture but it was a darn good one! You can read about the rest of the food line-up here.

This was the view the guests had from cocktail hour. The wood-work inside the SRC was phenomenal!

Another view from up top.

Here is what the guests saw right before they entered the ballroom.

Table set up with low floral arrangement.

You can see the balcony that circles around the entire ballroom. Our guests had full range of the balcony during cocktail hour. Oh how I love that chandelier!

Another view of the ballroom. Side note- when it came to chairs and chair covers I chose to use the cushion covers because the dark wood chairs just matched perfectly with the wood-work through-out the ballroom.

Snack Table and Dessert Table:
Vendor: Thomas Caterers of Distinction, T.J. Maxx Homegoods Store, and Moi
Grade: A+

All the apothecary jars and vases came from T.J. Maxx Homegoods Store (I love that store). We were able to get all the glassware for the tables at a very good price. Plus, I knew that after the wedding I would decorate our house with several of the jars/vases (which I have).

Snack Table:
My wonderful MIL had the banner made. It said, "Help yourself to something salty."
From left to right: Mixed Nuts,
Gold Fish, Pretzel Crisps (which are addicting and you must try if you haven't), Chex Mix, and Regular Pretzels

Dessert Table:

Warning- If you are hungry it is highly recommended that you skip this section. Pictures may cause mouths to water and stomachs to growl.

Chocolate covered Cheesecake Lollipops (obviously you didn't heed the warning.....lol)

Chocolate Mousse Ganache in a Chocolate Bowl

M&M's in white and champagne

The other banner that my MIL had made said, "Help yourself to something sweet." This picture shows everything that was on our dessert table. The table looked beautiful! Stephanie and the caterer's put the jars in the middles and then had the ganache bowls, lollipops and fortune cookies on both sides for balance.

Back row from left to right: Hershey Kisses, Mints, Champagne M&M's, White M&M's,
Chocolate Mousse Ganache in a Chocolate Bowl, Chocolate covered Cheesecake Lollipops
Front Row from left to right: Chocolate covered Stawberries and Fortune Cookies (there were five different personalized messages in our fortune cookies that Hub's and I came up with)

I am still bitter that I did not get a chocolate covered strawberry but I will eventually get over it! Ha!


Review:
Thomas Caterers of Distinction did an amazing job! All of our guests loved the food and said the dessert bar was fabulous. The service we received was absolutely incredible. For example- there was a table that was short one place-setting and a chair. Before the guests could even say anything the caterer had everything fixed! I was able to eat a little bit of my meal but unfortunately wasn't able to eat as much as I would have liked before guests started talking to us. The caterer took our plates away and when we finally were able to sit back down they brought us two fresh, hot plates of food. The caterer also let us know that she had already packaged up two meals that would be sent back to the hotel for us. Talk about service!

I cannot say enough great things about this vendor! Our reception was executed with perfection thanks to the caterer, Stephanie, and the venue coordinator.

All professional pictures are by Angela Talley Photography. Please give due credit when posting any pictures. Thanks!

Up next: The Details, Part IV (this should be the last of the details/vendor reviews)

Previously Posted:
The Details, Part II
The Details, Part I
The Grand Exit
The Ceremony
Pre-Ceremony
Location 2- St. Elmo's Steakhouse
Location 1- The Canal
First Site, Part II
First Site, Part I
Gifts
Getting Dressed and a Special Visitor
The Dress and Accessories
The Hair and Makeup
Rise and Shine!
Post Rehearsal Dinner
Rehearsal Dinner
Rehearsal

Friday, November 20, 2009

It's a sad, sad day......

RIP UGA VII (aka Loran's Best)


This may be somewhat of a confusing post because I am not a Georgia Bulldog fan (not that I don't like them or anything, I just do not really follow them more than other college teams) nor did I go to college at Georgia but I am a bully owner and have a special place in my heart for all bullies! Bulldogs are a big part of my life and my husband's life. Reasons:

1. I attended Butler University which also has a Bulldog as their mascot, Blue II. Butler is where Hubs and I first met. Meet Blue II:
Blue II with Hink (Hink is the costume mascot)

Isn't he adorable?!?
Source

2. Hubs and I own two bullies- Buerly and Rooney. Meet Buerly and Rooney:
These two boys are the apple of their momma's eye! No matter how rotten they are or how much trouble they get into I will always love them (and probably laugh at them once I get over being mad).

3. One of the first times I really talked to Hubs was when my roomie and I broke into her brothers room at the fraternity to steal back our mini fridge sophomore year of college. It was the end of summer so some of the boys were moving back in at the time. After we managed to successfully break in we decided to roam the hallways to see who was there. A couple rooms down we saw Hubs and his mom unpacking boxes. In the center of the room was a playpen which obviously made us do a double take and had us scratching our heads in curiosity. My roomie and I decided to go into the room to find out what was in the playpen. Inside we discovered an adorable English Bulldog puppy named Zeus. Zeus only spent a short time at the fraternity before he moved back home with Hubs' parents which is where he currently resides. Zeus and obvsiously our school's mascot started my love of bullies. Meet Zeus, Buerly and Rooney's step-brother:
Zeus and Buerly (Buerly was sooooo little). Zeus is the biggest ham you will ever meet! If you are sitting on his couch past 9pm he will growl at you to tell you that it is WAY past his bed time and time for you to leave.

As you can see, bullies are a major part of my life. My heart broke when I saw that UGA VII had passed away. Not only was UGA VII a mascot but he was also someone's pet and companion. You can be sure that I gave each of my bullies an extra hug last night because they are part of our family much like UGA VII was part of Georgia's family.

So from one Bulldog to another- I am sorry for your loss! I am sure his presence will be missed on the sidelines. :'-(

I will be back with my final recaps next week. Stay tuned!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Our Perfect Day: The Details, Part II

Okay my blog-land friends! Sorry for my sudden MIA stint but I have been home on the couch sick! But never fear.....I am feeling much better which means I am back to blogging! I will now continue with part deux of the recaps! Hope you enjoy!

The Cake(s)

Vendor: Classic Cakes of Carmel
Grade: A+

I LOVED my cake and the outcome of the groom's cake. Back in my planning days I wanted the groom's cake to be of our two bulldogs- Buerly and Rooney (see here, here, here, and here for the complete story). They are our children and since they couldn't be at our wedding we wanted to include them in someway.

Hubs wanted our wedding cake to be Fun-Fetti but I put my foot down and said no. Instead I asked them to make his groom's cake out of Fun-Fetti which they had no problem doing!

I couldn't have been happier with how my cake looked and tasted! Granted, the only piece of cake I ate was when we cut the cake. But I was told by many people that the cake was incredible! We had three different flavors- chocolate fudge, raspberry cream cheese, and the traditional white. Mmmmmm.......makes me hungry for some cake as we speak!

Below is the picture of Buerly and Rooney that I gave to the people at Classic Cakes to use as an example for the 2-dimensional groom's cake (but on Rooney I told them to make him with his tongue sticking out since that is usually how he looks.....Ha!)
Awe! My sweet babies!

And the outcome:
LOVED IT!!!! They did an AH-MAZING job of re-creating our bullies! I couldn't believe how realistic they looked!!!! We receievd soooooo many compliments on the cake! But alas, nobody could bear cutting into our bullies so the cake is completely intact in my mom's freezer. Hubs and I plan on breaking the cake out the next time we have a big party at our house so that everyone can enjoy it, including our bullies. We plan on giving a small little slice to our bullies too! Don't worry, there is no chocolate in the cake!

Close up of the wedding cake. That is buttermilk icing you see.....no fondant! YUM!

Originally we had purchased a "C" monogram to go on top of the cake but the cake people forgot to put it on top. To be quite honest, I am glad they forgot. I loved the simplicity and elegance of the cake!

Review:
Classic Cakes of Carmel was great to work with! They did a fabulous job of creating my vision at a very reasonable cost. They didn't even look at me like I was crazy when I told them about my idea for the groom's cake. They looked at the pictures and assured me that they could do it. I am not going to lie.....I was nervous! But when I walked into the reception and looked at that cake I was in awe!

When it came to searching for the perfect bakery I felt like you had to forfeit one aspect or another, ie- taste, appearance, cost. One bakery had beautiful cakes but the cake was dry and expensive, another bakery had cakes that tasted amazing but lacked on appearance. With Classic Cakes I felt like you received the entire package! They were wonderful to work with and I will highly recommend them to everyone!

Flowers
Vendor: McNamara Florists (David Strohmeyer)
Grade: A+

Flowers were very important to me! As contradicting as this sounds I wanted something that said 'WOW!' without breaking the bank (don't we all?). My family has used McNamara Florists for a VERY long time, since before I was born. McNamara has always done amazing work and has been wonderful to work with so I knew instantly which floral company we were going to use. The problem was- I didn't know which specific florist I wanted to use.

Thankfully one of my co-workers had just gotten married and highly recommended David Strohmeyer from McNamara. Let me just say this- David is a creative floral genius!!!! I seriously handed the reigns over to David and did not worry about the flowers one bit! I specified a few things like my bouquet, the groom's bout, and that I wanted highs and lows at the reception but the remainder of the details was left to David. He called me back a few weeks later and told me what he had envisioned and it sounded like a fairy tale to me!
The Bridesmaid bouquest along with their shoes. Each bouquet had the Bridesmaid's initial pinned to the hand-tied stems. The antique roses were a taupe color while the hydrangeas maintained a green/champagne color. I had told David that I wanted to incorporate green's into the mix to add some color/pop. Picture taken by one of my bridesmaids

My Hub's bout, a green lady slipper orchid. The stems were supposed to be wrapped in black floral tape but oh well! No biggie because they still looked GREAT!

My bouquet- green lady slipper orchids, mini calla lilies, hydrangeas and ivy. Can I just say that I loved my bouquet and was devestated that it died before I got home from the honeymoon?!? :-( As of right now I plan on contacting David to see if he could recreate my bouquet with silk flowers.

My toss bouquet

Here is a close up of one of the low centerpieces at the reception. David selected some gorgeous flowers to use in the centerpieces!

The low centerpieces

The tall centerpieces

All of the tall centerpieces had cymbidium orchids within the trumpet vases to add an extra touch of elegance.
And here is what the talls and lows all together!

Review:
David did a wonderful job working with my budget. He understood and agreed with why I did not want to spend an arm and a leg on something that would die. He made my "wow" factor happen within my budget.

I seriously cannot say enough good things about David and McNamara Florists. They made my wedding a dream come true when it came to the flowers! I was speechless when I first saw the ball room. David and his team were ah-mazing to work with! David made me feel like I was his only client and that my wedding was the event of the year (it was, wasn't it?!? J/K!!!!). He did his homework and stayed in constant communication with me! He greeted each of my numerous emails with cheer and excitement even after my 1,000th email with a picture attached as inspiration asking him what he thought about it. He is very passionate about what he does and saying that he is absolutely amazing at what he does is an understatement. Indy brides- contact David and McNamara immediately.....seriously!!!!

All professional pictures are by Angela Talley Photography. Please give due credit when posting any pictures. Thanks!

Up next: The Details/Vendor Reviews, Part III

Previously Posted:
The Details, Part I
The Grand Exit
The Ceremony
Pre-Ceremony
Location 2- St. Elmo's Steakhouse
Location 1- The Canal
First Site, Part II
First Site, Part I
Gifts
Getting Dressed and a Special Visitor
The Dress and Accessories
The Hair and Makeup
Rise and Shine!
Post Rehearsal Dinner
Rehearsal Dinner
Rehearsal