Wedding Part Two

Thursday, October 15, 2020



As promised, here is the second and final part of our wedding photos! You may have read in my last post about how we had to change our reception venue in the final month leading up to our day. While the process was stressful at times, Andrew and I are both still in awe that we were able to pull off a celebration that felt just as fun, elegant, and "us" as the original event we planned. 

And with that, here they are!
 
Ceremony is over - let the party begin!
We really did have the best wedding party.
These lace hand fans saved our lives.
Another note of praise for our venue's convenience - this is the hotel lobby where we got ready and most of our guests stayed. The entrance to the restaurant is directly to the right of where we are standing in this photo - you didn't even have to leave the lobby to get to the reception.
Of the many, many things we had to change about our wedding, I was set on our escort wall not being one of them. I love painting and any chance to get creative, so when determining if we wanted to give favors, I knew this what we wanted to do.
We used white euroflap A-7 envelopes and printed both the guests names and table numbers on the back. Inside each envelope there was a watercolor portrait and a handwritten note from Andrew and I. Once the guest list was finalized, the envelopes were organized alphabetically and put on these champagne silk ribbons to hang on the wall. After guests checked in at our sanitation station, they made their way to the wall to find their seat!
I created four separate portraits and had them printed through Artifact Uprising. I painted the NC Capitol Building, Sacred Heart Church, the ECU Cupola, and my chapter's sorority house. Guests received the portrait option most applicable to our relationship with them and from what we've heard, the handwritten accompaniments were a hit! 
We also created our guest book with Artifact Uprising. This is now one of my most prized possessions - it has all of the photos from our 7+ years of dating plus all of the exciting events from our year and a half of engagement such as my bridal shower and our move to DC. We're making our wedding album in this same size and hope to create a family album each year.
In the entryway to the restaurant, we had a sanitation station. Our planner ensured that each guest had their temperature taken and participated in a COVID questionnaire before entering the space. Once they were cleared, our table had individual hand sanitizer, "something blue" face masks, and the option to select a wristband that corresponded with each guests' desire for social interactions. Black bands indicated strict social distancing, white bands were neutral (talking but no touching), and gold bands were "good to go".  
Our lounge furniture from CE Rental helped us fill space left between spaces for health and safety precautions. This also allowed guests that wanted a more relaxed celebration with space to do so. We had games baskets in this area filled with monogrammed playing cards, Left Right Center, and a few puzzles made of our engagement photos!
Our wedding party napkins were white linen hemstitch that we had monogrammed with champagne thread by Madras & Khaki's in Emerald Isle. All place settings had CE Rental's rattan chargers with white dinner plates and our custom menus. Guests outside the wedding party had champagne satin napkins that coordinated with the other specialty linens we selected for our cake and cocktail tables. All napkins were tied with the same emerald chiffon ribbon that was used for our ceremony programs and styling details. 
This aerial shot (photo above) was taken from the restaurant's upstairs wine room (photo below) - where our wedding party was seated for our family-style meal. Guests were seated at every other booth for precautions and the larger tables were limited to no more than 10 - usually all within the same family or party.
I was originally nervous that breaking up our guests amongst the separate dining spaces would hinder our celebration, but I think it made our reception feel much more intimate while also protecting the safety of our guests.
We had one server-attended appetizer station (left) and each table received their own personal charcuterie plates (right). We chose to do this so that guests could celebrate from their tables if they wanted a little more space from the group.
After being introduced as husband and wife, we gave a brief welcome to our guests before kicking off the main event: dinner!
One of our groomsmen, Alex Wyatt, gave the blessing before the family-style meal.
We brought in a grand piano from Ruggero Piano and hired pianist Steve Shoaf to play during our dinner hour. This helped transition our evening from the upbeat cocktail hour to a more relaxed dinner celebration before our DJ picked things up again for late night.
As dinner wrapped up, our best man, Jeremy Donabedian, and Maid of Honor, Hannah Beamer, gave their toasts. We love them both so much!
We repurposed our ceremony flowers to create a focal point within the restaurant. Our DJ booth and piano flanked either side of our cake - we placed our ceremony columns from outside of the church to frame the cake itself. Our altar arrangements anchored this setup.
Yes, the cake matched my dress. Yes, it was intentional. This design was something I had my heart set on early throughout our planning and not only did it exceed my vision board dreams, but it tasted divine. We went with a chocolate and vanilla marble cake with vanilla buttercream filling and fondant icing. Our custom cake knife and server came from Charleston Engravers - outfitted with our monogram from Shuler Studio on the server and our wedding date on the knife!
And then the massive cake was promptly wheeled away so it could be cut and so we could have our first dance. A lot of couples choose to do their first dance when they are being introduced at the beginning of the evening, but I have always preferred to do it as the "kickoff" to open dancing - even if our "open dancing" wasn't as traditional.
We danced to The Drifters - This Magic Moment. It was a top contender for me from the beginning and I may have used its presence in The Sandlot as a way to win it over with Andrew. After all, Wendy Peffercorn and Squints end up having a long, happy marriage with nine kids.
My dad and I danced to You Are The Sunshine of My Life by Stevie Wonder.
Andrew and his mother danced to You'll Be In My Heart by Phil Collins. 
We lined Mia Francesca's outdoor terrace with boxwood walls for privacy. Being in the heart of North Hills makes the location truly so, so convenient. But we really value privacy and wanted to ensure our guests had this as well. On the terrace we had a bar and cigar station. The furniture piece was a rental from Themeworks. Andrew picked up a few boxes of cigars from the Angus Barn the day before the wedding and we brought a few humidors from home. 
My Conley gals!
In lieu of a bouquet or garter toss - both from COVID precautions and because I find the whole tradition atrocious - we chose to use this time to grab some group photos. I'm so, so glad we did this!
My sweet Alpha Xi Deltas!
Andrew's high school friends from Cardinal Gibbons.
Phi Gamma Delta
UNC Law - only two in this group (hey Matt!) don't have a law degree and we are arguably the most sane (not that we want to argue that point with this crowd)!
And last but certainly not least (and a lot of overlap with the other groups), our ECU Pirates!
For late night, I changed into a mini dress with organza sleeves by Amanda Uprichard paired with earrings I had made from our wedding monogram and J. Crew satin pumps (well, before changing into my "I Do" loafers by Jack Rogers).
We danced, had cigars and late night pizza, and got to hang out with our favorite people. 
It really was the best night.

VENDORS
*post-ceremony through reception*
Venue // Mia Francesca
Rentals // (boxwood walls, lounge furniture, silver platters) Themeworks
Rentals // (chargers, plates, linens) CE Rental
Piano // Ruggero Piano
Monogram // Shuler Studio
Stadium Cups, Matchbooks, Cocktail Napkins // For Your Party
Monogrammed Playing Cards // Zazzle
Monogrammed Linen Napkins // Madras & Khaki's
Photo Puzzles // Snapfish
Guest Book & Watercolor Prints // Artifact Uprising
Cake Knife & Server // Charleston Engravers
Cigars // Angus Barn
Second Look Dress // Amanda Uprichard (Revolve)
Second Look Earrings // Cora's Den

Comments