October 2, 2012

The Wedding: Our Reception PART TWO

Welcome to the fourth installment of our wedding series! If you are just now joining us, you can catch up here. If you are dying of anticipation and you're about to cry out of excitement for the fourth installment, get a hold of yourself! It's here! Now, get to reading.


Outside under the arbor, we had several fair-related games and activities for guests to take part in like the can toss the guys are playing with above. The only item we purchases for the can toss was the king sized sheet that was wrapped around a piece of plywood. Even then, it was a $4 sheet from Goodwill. The other items belonged to family and were borrowed.

We also had a ring toss which the groomsmen are all modeling here:

I'm sure you are wondering why Clay, the best man, has no pants. While taking pictures, Clay discovered a hole in his pants by his pocket. While this picture was being made, my mother was mending his pants and he was wearing his basketball shorts instead. Lesson to be learned here: have the foresight like my brilliant mother to bring a needle and thread on the big day to avoid wedding attire disasters. [She also used it again to alter the straps on my sister's dress to make it fit better.]

Anyway, back to the ring toss! My father-in-law crafted together the ring toss with some wood he had laying around. After he built the frame, he painted it red and my mother-in-law added the words. So stinkin' cute, right?! And to give R.J. his due credit, he provided the green bottles. He had to drink a lot of Yuengling.

We also knew we were going to have a lot of kids at the wedding. We wanted our reception to be family friendly and fun for everyone which meant we had to find a way to entertain the kiddos. My mother-in-law put together activity packets for each child which contained a pack of crayon and a wedding-themed activity book which she found online for free! The kids had their own activity table set up outside with the packets and huge bubble wands to play with. Here are some picture of our flower girl/junior bridesmaid, Aaliyah, playing with a bubble wand.


You can also see the bunting and streamers we used to decorate the arbor in the picture above as well.

As I showed you in a previous post, we also had a photo booth outside that guests could jump in. Of course, R.J. and I had to jump in to it too!


We decided to do a candy bar for favors. I kept seeing them on Pinterest and just fell in love with them. Plus, I thought a candy bar would fit the theme nicely. It was a really big hit with our guests too! There wasn't hardly anything left.

My mom found the blue fabric on clearance at JoAnn's. Her and my granny both worked together on the yellow and white eyelet bunting that was pinned to the table. Once again, the milk glass and crystal on the table holding the candies was all found in granny's house. I'm seriously in love the milk glass. The sucker arrangement on the top is sitting on a stool we picked up off of the curb one day while making a trip to the Hobby Lobby for wedding related goodies. Granny had some sheer fabric we used to  drape over it. The two Pixie Stix arrangements are simply sitting on top of three books wrapped in freezer paper with the sheer fabric over it.

The pom poms floating over the candy bar were made by yours truly. I talked about them in this blog post here. Each pom pom only cost $1.89 to make and they make such an impact! Seriously though, they are super easy to make.

I bought the robin's egg blue candy bags on the left side of the table at Michael's for $1 for a pack of 12. Then, I stamped them all with a bunting stamp! The red foam in which the suckers are stuck in is floral styrofoam that we painted red.

You may have noticed there is no chocolate on our candy bar. Neither R.J. nor I like chocolate! I know! We're not human.

Dance Party

Normally, I'd have some secret, special story to tell you about our first dance, but I don't. After the down pour that occurred outside, the DJ's computer with our original first dance song ["Me and You" by Kenny Chesney] was fried. It wasn't until halfway through our first dance song, R.J. and I realized the song that was playing DEFINITELY wasn't the song we picked out. But, it worked and we danced along anyway. 

At the suggestion of the day-of coordinator, we had our family and bridal party line the dance floor in front of the DJ booth. It was an excellent idea because it hid the ugliness of the booth and provided the perfect backdrop for this picture!

After the first dance, we jumped into the dances with the parents. Most of my father/daughter dance pictures are of me making horrified faces from my dad having a totally AWKWARD conversation with me. [Trust me, you don't wanna know!] However, I did find one I liked. 

Aren't we cute? I will share with you part of our conversation which has stuck in my mind. As we danced, my dad told me that this was only the second biggest day of my life, I just didn't know it yet. The first biggest day will come when I have a little angel come into my life like he did. Way to make me try to cry dad!

Next up it was the mother/son dance. I really loved the pictures from it because you can see the love and emotion in all their faces. While most of us only have one mommy, R.J. is lucky enough to have two. Of course, he had to dance with both. 

If those pictures don't make you a little dewy eyed, then I don't know what will. We had one last special dance in honor of two very important people in our life. The Saturday before R.J. and I were married, my granny (the one with the house full of treasures and who did my bouquets) and pap celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. 

To honor this major milestone, R.J. and I presented a framed painting of their home in Tennessee on behalf of our family. I could not be more honored to share an anniversary month with these two. R.J. and I look up to them both as role models in our marriage. 

After we presented the picture, we had an anniversary dance. 

The anniversary dance requests all married couples come to the dance floor. As the song plays, the DJ asks couples married less than 5 years to be seat, then 10 years and so on until the longest married couple is left on the dance floor. Low and behold, guess what couple it was?

This next one wasn't planned, I swear. I'm being serious too! It seemed like when my bridal party all simultaneously jumped on the dance floor when "The Wobble" came on, we had planned it perfectly.

Picture by Dennis Elkins

This was probably one of my favorite moments from the reception without a doubt. 


Instead of a traditional guestbook, we had guests sign quilt squares. I am embroidering the signatures now with red thread. After the signatures are embroidered, the squares will be pieced together with other scraps of fabric from our big day like the bunting and my wedding dress to make a memory quilt. 

For myself, this keepsake means more than a book filled with signatures. When we purchase a home, my plan is to have the quilt properly displayed. 

Of course, at the rate I am going now, it'll be our five year anniversary before I'm done with it!


Before we knew it, it was time to jump in the getaway car and venture off on our honeymoon. Our getaway car was Model A owned by a friend of R.J.'s who was gracious enough to let us use it. How perfect, right?

Our guests lined the path to the car waving the flags and ribbon wands that had previously decorated the tables inside. 

Of course, R.J. and I had one more trick up our sleeve as we left!

I love the look on everyone's face in the picture above. You can tell they weren't expecting that last kiss!

 With a wave and a smile, we drove off to our happily ever after!

Before I bid you all adieu on this post, I have one last picture to share. It is my absolutely favorite out of all those I've shared with you. This is a picture of my hand, my mother's hand and my grandmothers' hands with our wedding bands. I cannot even begin to describe how sentimental this picture is to me. My granny (maternal grandmother) has been married for 50 years. My grandma (paternal grandmother) was married to my paw paw for more than 50 years before his passing. My mom has been happily married to my dad for almost 30 years. I am so blessed to have such excellent examples and to have been raised by such strong women. I can't help but to get a little emotion every I see this picture. 

Before I start bawling, I will conclude our journey through the ins and outs of our reception. My next post will divulge secrets and stories about the bridal attire worn by myself, R.J. and our bridal party. That said, be sure to stick around and check back soon!

Love always,
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