Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Reception Top 10: #10 The Goodbye

As you can see, I had a lot of “favorite” moments this night, and another highlight for me was the exit. We didn’t do the traditional exit with guests lined up. We knew our guests were ready to hit the town, so we just let them come up to say their goodbyes, but when we walked out the door, my very best friends, parents, and more family were out there to wish us a proper goodbye. I talked (and even cried… haha, Sara) with each of my girlfriends and hugged my family goodbye. I remember standing on the front-step of the house for quite some time before finally getting in the limo.
I was once in a best friend’s wedding and while standing in the “goodbye line” throwing rice, a fellow bridesmaid said, “I always hate this part of a wedding because you feel like you’re never going to see them again.” It’s so true, and I thought about this as I got in the limo. Lucky enough, I saw all my friends out after the wedding. Tres and I successfully stayed up until 4am on our wedding night. I never thought it was possible, but we partied on!

Reception Top 10: #9 The Music

Our grooves were handpicked by me, Tres, and our guests. On our invitations, we included a place in the RSVP section for song requests, and it turned out to be a hit. We made a list of our favorite songs, including many from our guests, and Southern Oaks made sure the DJ was on top of it, playing only the songs on our list. We also didn’t allow guests to request songs at the wedding (I love that Southern Oaks gave us this option). If it wasn’t on our list, it wasn’t getting played (only because you never know what alcohol-infused guests will request. It was a wedding, not a rave or house party :) We wanted to make sure all songs were appropriate.)

Our list was no doubt a winner. How could it not be, playing mostly 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s classics with a heavy emphasis on the “funk and soul” and “80’s” genres. It was CLASSIC and proven to be, as there wasn’t a second in the wedding reception when someone wasn’t on the floor dancing. I saw people who I don’t think I’ve seen dance a day in their life turn into complete “dance machines.”
The last song of the night couldn’t have been better. Honestly, my favorite part of the entire reception was when they finished the night off with “Shout.” Yes, a classic wedding dance song, but I think the entire guest list was out on the floor with me and Tres in the middle getting low and jumping high to “a little bit softer now… a little bit louder now.” And when the song wrapped up and the wedding party picked Tres up over their heads, flat back style, I was laughing until I almost fell out of my dress. But it wasn’t over; they soon picked me up over their heads and did the same. It was the perfect end to a wild, fun, classic, amazing party. Well, almost the end…

Our crowd wanted more, and began chanting “one more song… one more song.” And, Southern Oaks didn’t let them down… they delivered. The final song, Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” had everyone beginning their night rather than ending it (and I’m certain everyone left our wedding and went straight downtown to either a casino or Bourbon Street.)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Reception Top 10: #8 The Typicals

#8 The Typicals (first dances, cake cutting, tosses)

What kind of bride would I be if I didn't mention "the typicals"? It’s only tradition to include the first dance, father-daughter dance, mother-son dance, the cake cutting, and the bouquet and garter tosses. We all know the story of these is same-ole, same-ole, so I will just include pictures of these fun customs that we thoroughly enjoyed!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Reception Top 10: #7 The Speech

#7 - The Speech

At most weddings, the host of the party is supposed to give a speech. In my case, it was my parents so my pop, Cliff, spoke for him and my mom. His speech was beautiful and a big hit! I can’t even begin to express the words of love I feel for my parents. My mother has literally dedicated the last 27 years to me and my brother. She has put more heart into being a parent than I can ever imagine another person doing. Her parenting style made me and my brother into two people I know she (and we) are very proud of. And speaking of proud, she should be very proud of herself. If every parent’s goal in life was to be a successful parent, the world would be a better place, and I have to say, my mom is not only a success – she is a phenomenon. Her meeting and marrying Cliff was an absolute plus. She always said she would only remarry if “the man loved her kids as much as she does.” Well, I can wholeheartedly say, she meant what she said. He loves us dearly… As dearly as my wonderful mom does. We are lucky to have him. Here are some sweet pictures from the speech:

Reception Top 10: #6 The Phi Mu Song

#6 - The Phi Mu Song (and Chant)

I have to throw this in there because I adore my Phi Mu girls. At all Phi Mu weddings, it’s a tradition to sing “Picture a Girl,” holding hands in a circle with the bride in the middle. Lord knows in my college years none of the girls in my wedding actually ever thought they’d be in MY WEDDING, but I guess the day has to eventually come for everyone (even those who will against it… haha. Thank goodness I found Tres to change my mind).

Like I said, it’s a tradition to sing “Picture a Girl,” but it’s not necessarily a tradition to do the Phi Mu chat after. Well, we did it. We did it and loved it! For about five minutes I felt like I was back in college. Those girls holding hands around me on wedding day are what you don’t go to college to find, but what you come home with. They are the girls who have taught me what true friendship is really all about. They are the girls I will call or text 50 years from now when I hear or see something funny. They are my best friends and the loves of my life. They are “the girls!”

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Reception Top 10: #5 Our Guests

#5 - Our Guests

After about 15 minutes of fresh air and each other at our Private Dinner, we headed out to the wedding reception madness. Walking around visiting with all of our guests was a wonderful part of the night. As with all weddings, it was a priority to try and speak to everyone there, and for our wedding it was even more important because everyone had traveled so far for the big event.

I came to the conclusion that we have some of the most fun family and friends around. I’m sure everyone can say that about their 150 closest family and friends, and that’s what makes a wedding so special… you finally get to see that. It sure was refreshing and such a blessing to have them all in one room at the same time – all together. I remember thinking over and over that we may never see this again. We may never again have the opportunity to have 150 of the people who we love most and who love us most all together in the same room. I encourage all brides and grooms to think about this on their wedding day. When you think about it, it truly is one of the most special times in a person’s life.