Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Our Wedding: The Reception

Ok, prepare yourself for another loooong post of pictures!

When I last left off, we were just getting to the reception site to join the end of the social hour. We tried to get there as soon as we could but were probably only there for 15-30 minutes before they started to seat guests for dinner I am guessing. Our photographers snapped some candids, but my favorite photo during the social hour - the photo with my nieces and nephews - is one of my favorites from the entire day! The funny thing is that my niece Evie (who I am holding) was on the brink of a meltdown. We were heading upstairs to dinner and my brother-in-law grabbed me and said that the niece and nephew photo had to happen NOW or it wasn't going to happen at all. You'd never know that Evie was about to have a meltdown in this photo! I seriously can't love this photo enough and it's one that I will for sure be framing! Getting 7 kids to all look at the camera and smile = ninja photographer skills! The photos in this post look a little blurry, I think because of the change in size when I drop them into this post (no idea how to fix that - my techie skills are so limited). They are crisp and clear on the wedding gallery and when printed, though!

After that photo we headed upstairs and my uncle introduced the wedding party to the song "Just Say Yes" by Snow Patrol.

We opted not to have a wedding dance but I still really wanted a first dance and a father/daughter dance so after we were introduced, we went to the dance floor and danced to "Here, There, Everywhere" by the Beatles.

Then it was time to be seated for dinner. We had a lot of speeches at our wedding so I put a lot of thought into the cadence of speeches so it wouldn't feel like people were stuck listening to speeches for a long period of time. I was a little bit paranoid that we had too many speeches but we've gotten several comments about how much people enjoyed the speeches so I think it all worked out. At the end of the day, the wedding is about the couple getting married so I tried to stay true to what I wanted without worrying about what people would think (this is easier said than done!!).

After the blessing and while the salads were being delivered, my dad kicked things off with his welcome speech. My dad doesn't write his speeches out, he just puts together a bullet point list of things and goes a bit 'off the cuff' but it always works out! My dad talked about how proud he is that all of his kids are motivated and independent. He talked about how wonderful marriage is because you get to spend the rest of your life with your best friend. He excitedly welcomed Phil into the family and said he can't wait to do lots of fishing together. And he surprised us all by singing a little bit of a 1950's song called "Beautiful Brown Eyes" (my mom and I both have dark brown eyes).

I love the look on my mom's face while my dad is speaking. There's so much love between them after nearly 48 years of marriage!

My dad then SURPRISED my mom and passed the mic to her. I thought this was maybe planned as I am the last wedding in the family but it turns out he gave my mom no heads up! My mom pulled it off amazingly, though, and had many of my friends in tears. She talked about how when I would come home for the weekend, either from college or as an adult, I would always want to look at the engagement section of the paper first so I could read all about who was getting married to who. She tearfully talked about how excited she was to be able to put my engagement announcement in the paper this spring.

I love the look on my sisters face during my mom's speech - I think she teared up a bit.

Next up, Phil's mom spoke. I know it is not traditional to have the mother of the groom speak, but she wanted to speak. She has a very special relationship with Phil, which has grown since she has become a widow. And this will be her only family wedding so we wanted to give her the opportunity to talk. She KILLED it. She had people laughing so hard, some were crying! She told stories about Phil's childhood, and especially about his irreverent sense of humor. My favorite was the story about how one of Phil's elementary school teachers made all the students get a stuffed animal to keep on their desk as their 'buddy'. Phil thought this was ridiculous but had to go along with it. His parents took him to a store and he picked out a stuffed mole, which they thought was odd. On the way home, Phil said he had picked out a name for his stuffed animal:  Mole Lester.  Ha!  Besides talking about his sense of humor and funny personality as a child, she talked about how great of a son he is as he comes out to her house every Sunday for most of the day and mows and does other things on her 'honey do' list.

That ended the first block of speeches. We took a break and let our guests enjoy their salads and dinner. A lot of people say they did not eat anything at their wedding but I was in the clean plate club. Weddings are so expensive and I don't do well when I get hungry so there was no way I was skipping dinner! Since we got served first, we were able to go around to lots of tables while others were being served/eating. I also snapped a group shot with my college friends...

and my blog friends!

Towards the end of dinner service, our wedding party gave their speeches. We had 2 best men and 2 matrons of honor and told them they did not all have to speak, but they all opted to.

Best man Luke (college friend) went first. I think he was talking about Phil's sense of frugality or extreme honesty in this photo.

Then best man Dave (friends since elementary school) went next. I'm not quite sure what he was saying in this photo but I love the body language of Phil and Dave! He told stories about their teenage and college years and the one in this photo must have been a good one!

Next up, my sisters spoke. My older sister Emily went first. She kept it short and sweet and talked about how happy she is for Phil and me.

Then my younger sister Abby spoke and I was told that she had a lot of guests crying happy tears. She talked about how she knows how I am going to be as a mom since I did a bit (err a lot) of mothering to her when she was growing up. She said wanted to find a quote from a book to include in her toast since our wedding was book-themed so she started to look back through my blog posts to see if I had shared anything. She couldn't find anything but by looking back through my posts, she did discover how much the tone of my posts and outlook on life changed when Phil came into my life.

After the wedding party speeches, Phil and I both spoke. Again, I know it is not traditional for the bride to speak, but I wanted to make sure we thanked our guests as they had all taken time away from their families since it was a kid-free wedding and likely took time away from work since it was a 4pm Friday wedding. I also wanted to thank those who had traveled as we had guests from 16 different states and 1 Canadian province.

Lastly, I thanked Phil and said he was worth the wait. And since it was a book-themed wedding, I decided to share the following poem which summed up my sentiment about marrying him so perfectly:

I cannot promise you a life of sunshine;
I cannot promise you riches, wealth or gold;
I cannot promise you an easy pathway
That leads away from change or growing old.

But I can promise all my heart’s devotion;
A smile to chase away your tears of sorrow.
A love that’s true and ever growing;
A hand to hold in yours through each tomorrow.
~ Mark Twain

 Then it was Phil's turn to close out the speeches. Part of Phil's job is to write the humor section of his company's monthly finance publication (rumor has it that most clients read it first before getting into the charts/graphs and serious financial commentary). Since he 'gets paid to be funny' (as he often says), I knew his speech would be funny.

 You can tell how funny it is by my brother-in-law's body language in this photo!

His speech was hilarious, but it was also very sweet and sentimental. At the end, he talked about how, as a couple, we are going to face tragedies both big and small. But he said we are going to face them together - Phil and Lisa.

After the speeches, we did the father/daughter dance to the song "The Way You Look Tonight" by Frank Sinatra. 

You can faintly see my darn tan lines in this photo. They aren't too noticeable, though.

Phil and his mom joined us on the dance floor about a minute into the song.

After that song, we asked our guests to stick around for "Cocktails, Conversations and Confections." I was worried that without a dance, most guests would leave after dinner but luckily most people stayed around until 9-10 pm. Many of our guests commented on how they liked that we did not have a dance as it allowed for more socialization. This is the first wedding I've been to that didn't have a dance, and I'm so happy that we made this choice. The reason we opted to not have a dance is that we knew that if we had a dance, one or both of us would need to be on the dance floor and as a result, it would give us less time to interact with our guests.  Since we had many guests that had traveled so far, I didn't want our interaction to be limited to the 1-2 minutes we spent at each table in between courses. Life many decisions in life, this is a "you do you." I know that for many people, the wedding dance is their favorite part of the night, but for us, it was the right decision to not have a dance (it also cut down on cost as we didn't have to hire a DJ!).

At the start of the "Cocktails, Conversations and Confections" part of the evening, I snapped some photos with my family.

I love my sisters so much!

Phil and I with my siblings and their spouses
 And then it was time for some dessert photos. As I mentioned before, we had a dessert table instead of cake since GF cake is pretty awful. I'll share photos of our (amazing) dessert table in the detail post. I think it's safe to say our guests weren't sad that they couldn't have cake!

For our dessert photos, we each had a macaron (salted caramel for her, pistachio for him).

And we also had some salted caramel budino (which was also so so good)!

I definitely went back to the dessert table several times that night for more treats!

We stayed at our reception until about 10:30, I think. There were only a few guests left at this point and it seemed like they would be leaving soon so we felt like it was an OK time to leave. We were both definitely exhausted by the time we left! 

If you made it this far - CONGRATULATIONS!!!  This was a super long post but I want to preserve these memories so I can read them in the future when my memories of the night aren't quite as sharp!

I have one more post for you with the decoration details so you can see how we incorporate our book theme into the decor!


Charbelle said...

I teared up all over again!!!! Your reception was SO AMAZING!!!! Michael and I loved all the speeches!!!! Everything was perfect!!!! I'm so glad that you were able to get the picture of you and your nephews and nieces, that shot is absolutely priceless!!!! You did a great job of going with the flow and making it around to everyone and making sure everyone felt so special!!! We won't talk about how many desserts I tried... they were all DELICIOUS!!!

Marlys said...

Ditto on Charbelle's post! I love these wedding posts!
I need to order some prints so I can get some pictures on my walls!

missris said...

Oh my goodness this made me tear up at my desk this morning! Everything is so beautiful--the thought you two put into this wedding is just so touching and meaningful. Also, on a lighter note, I love your sisters' dresses. Navy blue is so universally flattering!

Amber said...

I might be in the minority of wedding guests but I personally LOVE wedding speeches - the more speeches the better in my opinion! They are one of the best parts about a wedding and I love hearing people talk about and tell stories about the couple. All of the speeches at your wedding were amazing! My favourites were your moms, Phil's moms, Abby's and of course Phil's - which was the perfect speech to finish it off with because it was so so funny!! Your reception was wonderful and so fun, it's been amazing to relive such a fun day through these posts!!

katielookingforward said...

Love everything about this! My parents had a brunch wedding, so no dance for them either. It always takes some getting used to, but i think it is a great option!

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

This was a wonderful post! Your wedding sounds like it was absolutely perfect, and so you. The speeches are my favourite part of wedding receptions! I love them! I always get teary eyed, even if I don't know the couple very well. I also love hearing funny stories about the couple :-)

I'm looking forward to hearing about the book theme!!!!

Another Day said...

Hooray! I've been following your blog for a while but haven't commented before. I wanted to tell you a) I love your blog (just the right combo of reports on day to day life and book reading!) and b) I'm so happy for you getting married! Phil sounds like a perfect match for you. I also got married in my mid-thirties (two years ago) and I have to say that married life is really wonderful! Best wishes to both of you and keep up the good blogging!

Stephany said...

Oh gosh, I'm reading this blog post in public and trying to hold back from full-on sobbing (happy sobs!) This just made me so damn happy. I just can't get over what a beautiful bride you were!! Your dress is so gorgeous.

I hate dancing, so it's my least favorite part of any wedding (plus, being single, it means a lot of dancing alone and... that never makes a girl feel good!). The speeches are probably my favorite part! I love that you had so many speeches, just speaks to the impact you and Phil have on other peoples' lives.

Also, your nephews are so tall! Goodness gracious, they have grown up FAST.

Jeanie said...

I loved your superlong post and I read every word and looked at every photo carefully. Love the speeches -- that all got a chance to speak! They sound delightful! And the dance thing is a neat idea -- you got to dance a little with the two men who mattered but the rest not have to worry it. It looks gorgeous, every bit. I love how you called the desserts and the Twain poem. Oh Lisa, better than anything. So personal and so you. I love it!

Lauren @ Sassy Molassy said...

Aw, it sounds like such a fun night! And I love hearing about all the speeches. It sounds like everyone did really well. I love the photos of yours and your brother-in-law's reaction to Phil's speech. We had a dance and DJ because I love to dance, but at the end of the night, I also felt like I could have used a few more hours to hang out with everyone. It's a hard balance and a busy day no matter what.

San said...

Thanks so much for sharing all the details... I love that so many people gave speeches and had so many heartfelt things to say. And I loved to hear about the little anecdotes... I think mole Lester is my favorite :)

I wish I had written down everything from our reception way back when (I only have a few clear memories, one is where we were given "bread and salt" as a symbol for a happy marriage and J took a bit bite of the salted bread and nearly choked ;)
Oh, and our reception went til 7 a.m. in the morning... we partied German style LOL).