Hello everyone. I had been hoping to write more earlier, but I haven't gotten a chance. I wanted to share about our reception as well.
Overall, I was extremely happy with our reception. There were a few "bumps in the road," but overall it was beautiful. Our reception hall was Wicker Park and we had a few problems with them. Again, anyone in the NW Indiana area who is looking for recommendations about vendors I have a lot of information. WIcker Park was overall pretty good, but they were short staffed and therefore there were a few small problems--this included no coffee on the tables, the hors d'ouvres (sp?) were not passed around in a timely manner, the tables were not cleared quickly. My husband is relatively upset about these things. They did keep the bar open an extra half hour, but we're still in negotiations with them to get some of our money back.
The thing that really upset me about them was that while my husband was talking to them the woman said, "We got lots of compliments on how beautiful it was" and that really upset me, because I was there for over 8 hours one day (with my sister, my mother-in-law, my mother and two family friends) setting up the hall. This meant taking down a lot of their decorations and putting up our own. Therefore, anyone that was complimenting how it looked--was complimenting ME, not them.
Anyways, that's my one complaint...everything else went off without a hitch. The hall absolutely did look beautiful. We got a great deal on chair covers made of white linen with red silk bows. They even tied the red silk bows on the 3 high chairs we had for the evening. It was stunning. They even put a silk red ribbon down the center of each table. This drew attention to the centerpieces, which were roses, pine needles and red berries. I placed four votive candles on the centerpiece mirror around the flower centerpiece and I was really happy with how they turned out.
For table numbers we used some of the photographs my friend (and business partner) Jennie had taken of us. I mounted them on some paper and used sparkly lettering to put the table numbers on them. They really looked great and they were very personalized. i.e. we put funnier/fun ones on tables with friends and serious ones on the tables with family.
Other details that I thought turned out really well were
1. Pinecones--I ordered pinecones through a website and I made my own place cards. I placed these in the pinecones and those were our place cards. They turned out gorgeous and were a great addition to the Christmas theme.
2. Christmas tree--there was a Christmas tree in the lobby of the reception hall. I stripped the tree of it's lights (colored lights) and it's ornaments (colors like bright pink, purple). I then put white lights on the tree and dry-mounted photographs to card stock and made ornaments out of these. I used photographs from his childhood, my childhood and from our past eight years together. People really enjoyed looking at them and it was a great way to get people involved in our lives--we included pictures of all the people who were really important to us--family, friends, etc. It looked absolutely fantastic.
3. Cookie table. We didn't want to do a sweets table, but we did want people to have other options for dessert. So, because of the season we did a Christmas cookie table. We had probably 22 different kinds of Christmas cookies and we put them out with name cards (showing what each cookie was) and people absolutely loved it. It was my grandpa's favorite part of the event!
4. Favors--we got personalized mugs (Saying "Becky & Randy 12.27.08 Forever and Even Longer" on them with a red snowflake) with hot cocoa and chocolate covered almonds in them. People loved these as well. I have gotten 3 comments about how "These are the only favors I have ever used again" which is great to hear because that's what I was going for.
Our entrance was also fabulous (our deejay was AMAZING and SO SO HELPFUL THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE NIGHT--The Music Boyz and Eric Jaeger are amazing--if you're in the NW Indiana area please check them out).
Parents entered to: "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"
BM and GM entered to: "Rocking around the Christmas Tree"
We entered (after a few fights) to: "All I want for Christmas is You" by Mariah Carey. It was fabulous.
We cut the cake immediately to "When I'm 64" by the Beatles
The food was good, even though we didn't get to eat too much of it--but that's okay, we enjoyed it anyways.
My sister and Randy's best friend/best man gave wonderful toasts--both funny and serious, but not too serious.
Our first dances were wonderful ("Have and Always Will" Dave Barnes for Randy and I, "In my Arms" by Mark Wills for my dad and I, "Simple Man" by Shinedown for Randy and his mom)...
Then, we just danced the night away. I didn't leave the dance floor the entire night. Everyone told me that at YOUR wedding you don't have any fun and this was absolutely not true--I had THE MOST FUN EVER! I danced and laughed with all of my friends and family all night.
My photographer was absolutely amazing and worth every penny. He did exactly what I wanted him to do--he took boring posed pictures for 2 hours, and then ONLY took candids for the rest of the evening. I don't even remember seeing him a lot during the reception. It was perfect to not have to worry about smiling/posing during the reception.
Anyways...it was beautiful and wonderful. I couldn't have asked for a more beautiful and magical wedding and I am so happy with how it turned out. Thank you all for all the ideas throughout the last several months and if anyone has questions for me please let me know. Happy planning! :)