our wedding: the reception

September 14, 2011


While my favorite part of the wedding will always be the ceremony, I looved the reception! I did so many DIY crafts so to see it all come together was really wonderful. It was actually so hard to step back and not be involved with setting everything up, considering I was involved with every other step. Luckily I had my amazing friend Eden to help me out and everything looked even better than I could have imagined.
My goal was to have our wedding reflect us as a couple. We chose to have a small wedding with just our family and closest friends. Our guest count was under 100 and I loved that I was able to talk with everyone and also enjoy myself, and dance with Matthew. And, you know how I have a big sweet tooth? Well dessert was a very important part of the reception. We had a cookies and milk bar, a chocolate cake!, homemade caramels as favors, as well as huge lollipops for the kids. You’ll see more of the details and crafts tomorrow.
Matthew and I have taken photo booth pictures throughout dating {and still do every time we see one!} so we knew very early on that a photo booth was a must for the wedding. Magnolia Photo Booth made the night soo much fun for everyone! I loved seeing my little cousins get in there as well as my aunts and uncles. We ended the night with a sparkler send-off, which was so fun and romantic. The perfect ending to the perfect day!
Song Choices
First Dance: At Last Etta James
Father/Daughter: What a Wonderful World K.D. Lang and Tony Bennett
Cake Cutting: How Sweet It Is to Be Loved By You Marvin Gaye
Bouquet Toss: Wannabe Spice Girls


Tomorrow: the Details
  • What a beautiful and fun reception! I love that you guys did a Cookie and Milk bar! So much fun!

    I really wanted to have a sparkler send off but we had our reception on a Navy base so that wasn't allowed. However, we had glow sticks at our reception for our mini "rave" session and the guests just sorta did a glow stick exit for us without being prompted! It was awesome!

    Also, I love that you tossed your bouqet to "Wannabe" by the Spice Girls. That's the song I used! =D

  • I love that you reflected your wedding off of your own personal style and that it was a small, personal, wedding. Everything looks like it is right out of a picture book! I also loved your desserts, they sounded amazing!


  • This is absolutely stunning Mara! You can tell you thought of every single little detail, and it paid off!

  • i think cookies and milk bars are the greatest idea.

    love the black and white photos, too.

  • Oh my goodness, Mara, I gasped in delight when I saw these photos! Your reception is SO stunning & romantic, and it has such an endearing/ whimsical charm about it. Love, love it!! I absolutely adore the little cookie table -amazing! And your cake with the little pennants on it is just lovely as well! Beautiful all around my dear. xo veronika

  • BEAUTIFUL!! I love how adorable everything is! It totally suits you 🙂


  • What an amazing reception! I hope my wedding is half as good as yours when I get married (if I should say…)

  • What a beautiful setting. Looks like you had a fun night! We kept our guest list to about 75 & it was perfect. I also loved that we were able to sit & chat with our guests instead of having to quickly say hi & then move on.

    Isn't it fun reliving the day? :o)

  • this wedding is picture perfect…the ones you see in the magazines!




  • I love all your littlee details! Your cake is so cute with the bunting flags on the top 🙂

  • your wedding is picture perfect. your hair style is beautiful

  • I love how you have divided the wedding into sections. It gives us more insightful about the little details. You have excellent taste, I have loved everything about it. It looks like you put a lot of time into such a special day.

  • I love the fairy lights hanging everywhere! Such a sweet, romantic touch. And photo booths at weddings are so much fun!!

  • I love how intimate and sweet your reception was. Such a wonderful and beautiful day.

  • What a fantastic reception! Mara, it looks absolutely beautiful. I love all of the pretty lights and that cookies-and-milk bar is the cutest idea ever.
    xo Josie

  • I have been following your wedding posts all week… and I am a bit teary! It looks so beautiful and you both so incredibly happy.

    Your photos are amazing, it was worth the wait 😉

  • your reception is like my dream! can i pick your brain!?!?! that is once I get the ring… :]

  • Amazing! You had the perfect weather for a reception like this! Beautiful sunny day with a beautiful dress/ceremony/reception! I love it!

  • So gorgeous, Mara! The setting is gorgeous, the decor is perfect, and you two look so in love. I love it!

  • so gorgeous! i love the fairy lights all around and that you left to sparklers 🙂

  • Love everything about this. So intimate and personal. All of your personal touches were lovely!

  • absolutely beautiful, mara! just so lovely 🙂

  • I love this! Everything looks just perfect, including you and Matthew! You're the luckiest girl!!

    Lidi @ Eclectic Flair

  • You did such a great job – looks like a wonderful reception!

  • what a lovely reception. you both look so happy 🙂

  • so beautiful!

    where did you order your sparklers? We are thinking of ordering the 20" ones – is that what you would suggest? thanks!!

  • i love the cookie table. you're reception is adorable.

    love, little.

  • lovely reception M!

    i love the sweets table
    i am definitely having one
    of those at my wedding 🙂

    i am a fan of cookies and milk

    you look so happy in every single
    picture .. I LOVE IT!

    follow me love <3

  • so stunning!! words really cant describe! you can really tell how personal you have made this to the two of you. 🙂 xx

  • LOOOVE it mara. and your friend with the white dress and black straps? love her dress.

    love that your photos don't look overly edited- and the grainy-ness to em? love that too.

    love the cookie station! love the poms in the tree! love the lights in the air!

    trying real hard to use love as many times as i can in this comment.

  • Nav

    photos are perfect!!! the last photo is fun but my personal fav is where one of bridesmaid? is giving speech and you are getting so emotional!

    xo Nav

  • Oh my goodness, the whole thing just looks like a dream! All of your posts have been absolutely beautiful! What a special day – so personalized, and so pretty!

  • i love this. i definitely want an outdoor wedding!


  • What a beautiful wedding! I knew you'd be the most wonderful bride. I'm so glad you got exactly what you wanted. XO, Rae


  • everything looks great! i love that your wedding was less than 100 guests..so intimate!

  • How stunning and so beautiful! 🙂 You chose the perfect photos to share with us; it feels as if we were there all along.

  • your venue is gorgeous! I love all the flowers and the garden feel of it, very warm and inviting! And we are having a dessert table at our wedding as well as a photo booth..I bet those will be the 2 hits of the night 🙂

    Libby on the Label

  • gorgeous, mara! from what i know about you through the blogosphere, this reception reflects you perfectly! i love the small GWS-esque touches. Have you submitted your wedding? You should!

  • My gosh Mara, it's so so perfect! You had an amazing day.

  • LOVE the pictures!!!!! so fun!!! xoxo

  • Love everything about your reception!!!
    Love the venue, the colors, how many people were there, everything.
    And LOVED your dessert bar! Yes, I would be one of the guests that would've sneaked a few extra treats!

  • Really nice outdoor reception! Love the setting and of coz…. the dessert bar!



  • this is so incredibly beautiful! I love every detail! I hope you post some of your DIY stuff!

    xo Julia

  • so pretty
    so many details
    I love it

  • I guess I already looked at these stunning pictures like 10 times 😀
    sooo pretty.

    I do want an diy wedding with my own ideas and influence, but weddings in Germany, that's were I live, are so different than weddings in the united staates. But I love having one like you did 🙂

    I must have been a memory for ever, did you save the top of your cake?


  • I can't get over how beautiful all these pictures are. They are so dreamy. You look so great! =) Can't wait to see the rest of the wedding details! Thanks for sharing your special day with us!

    Also what is the name of your venue?

  • Just so you know I am stealing everything if/when i get married!


  • Such a beautiful and intimate wedding. DIY projects just seem to make those special occasions that much more special! Congrats! 🙂

  • Your reception is so cute! And it sounds absolutely perfect. 🙂

  • How fabulous!

    Love the bunting on the cake – so cute!!

    x Jasmine

  • holy cow. such a beautiful wedding. SO inspired – but I'm only 20 and single. hahaha

    and one thing that totally caught my eye (from the photobooth picture), "gentlemen, comb your hair and your mustache" ROFL!!


  • I like your idea of keeping your guest count at a minimum. That way, you would have the chance to talk to everyone and not just merely meet and greet. A wedding is an intimate event, and it should be shared with those who are close and important to both of you.

    Monica Bremer

Read previous post:
our wedding: the ceremony