Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception

Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception

It’s here, it’s here! Our final wedding recap. If you missed Part 1 and 2, catch up.

It’s been so fun to share our intimate day with all of you, and today, we’re ending on a high note: the party!

Along with the reception, I’m sharing a few of the details that made the wedding special to us.

Thankfully, we still have our wedding video to wait for, so once that comes, you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be sharing it with you all.

Now, where were we. Ah, yes, so we got married (!!), drove away on a decorated golf cart, bustled my dress, and now, it was time for the cocktail hour.

Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception

To be honest, I remember very little of the cocktail hour, because Lu and I walked out onto the patio, everyone clapped, and we got pulled in so many different directions to say hi to all of our friends and family, that it felt like it was only 10 minutes.

However, I do remember how proud I felt to be Lu’s wife in that moment. We were walking around as husband and wife and nothing could stop us. I really felt on top of the world, and I know he did too.

Thankfully, we have some gorgeous photos from Nadya Furnari to jog our memory on the details.

The Cocktail Hour

First, we provided Solemates for the ladies. If you don’t know what Solemates are, they’re a lifesaver – they’re little rubber caps you affix to the bottom of your heels so that when you walk on the grass, your heels don’t sink in and a) ruin your shoes and b) make you look like that tipsy girl at the party, wobbling everywhere.

Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception

The girls loved them – and I wore them all night!

The million dollar question this whole time has been, “Are you going to serve something spiralized at your wedding?”

Well, now I can finally tell you: yes! We served zucchini noodles at our meat and cheese displays. They were a hit, the chef had to keep refilling them! Actually, at one point, I had to tell the wedding coordinator to snip the noodles, because they were so long.

Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception

I opted for a simple zucchini noodle with pesto sauce, since, pesto goes well with meat and cheeses. And, everything.

The food was amazing – I did manage to pop a mini cheeseburger into my mouth as I walked around, but other than that, there wasn’t much time for munching (luckily we had that tasting!)

Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception

To go along with the food and drink, we had custom cocktail napkins and drink stirrer flags (which my bridesmaids laboriously worked on with me over many bottles of wine!)

Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception

Speaking of drinks, our signature cocktail was the “Karen Special” which is a drink my mother makes all the time – it’s just Grey Goose vodka and freshly squeezed grapefruit juice. I must have had 15 of these at our wedding – but never took more than a sip or two of each glass (I couldn’t help it – all the talking and dancing!)

Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception

Actually, there’s a funny shot of me sipping my father’s Karen Special on the dance floor:

Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception

Other details of the cocktail hour included a “photo booth.” I struggled with what to do here, because I knew we were having The Slow Motion Photo Booth during the reception, but I still wanted people to have a chance to take photos in a “booth.” Call me crazy, I blame Pinterest.

This is where my story with the kind people from Love Furniture NJ begins. Lu and I met the family at a street “fair” in Jersey City in the early spring this year and bought a gorgeous chalkboard from them. After some talking, we realized they make custom furniture, repurpose old furniture and pretty much will do anything you’d like them to do with wood, furniture and fixings!

We ended up driving to their warehouse in NJ and told them exactly what we wanted for our guestbook, chalkboards and photo board. They exceeded our expectations, were so incredibly friendly and amenable – we hope to use them again in the future.

So here’s the photobooth they created for us, out of old microphone stands (and of course, a wood frame). Our florist adorned it with flowers:

Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception

Next to the photobooth, we included a box with props purchased from Etsy.

Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception

They also let us rent a large greenish dresser to hold our guestbook. On the top, we told guests to leave us a love note or a piece of marriage advice. I bought a photo album and taped little kraft paper envelopes to the pages and gave our guests pens, kraft paper notecards and little red heart stickers to seal their notes with love.

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This was a hit and we had such a blast reading the notes aloud, after our wedding.

Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception

Finally, Love Furniture NJ created a photo board for us, which we clipped on some photos from our individual childhoods for our guests to giggle over:

Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception

If you’re a New Jersey bride, contact Love Furniture NJ and tell them Ali from Inspiralized sent you – they’ll take care of you, I’m sure!

For entertainment (aside from drinks, music and of course, the celebration of love!) we also had Giant Jenga and customized cornhole! Now, I’m so happy to have these activities for future parties and for when we buy our first home together, because it will most definitely be having a giant yard.

Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception

For our cards table, I simply bought a wicker picnic basket off Amazon (this one) and a little cards sign from Etsy. We also had our florist adorn the table with flowers and we placed some funny photos of us and our friends around the basket.

Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception

We kept our escort card table simple – just a set of wooden shutters, found also, on Etsy.

Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception

The Reception

After the cocktail hour, it was on to the reception!

At this point, I was overjoyed and so excited to dance the night away with Lu and our friends and family. You can probably tell that excitement from my face as we entered the tent (to Calvin Harris’s Feel So Close), as The Cerdas:

Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception

Before I get into it, let me show you around:

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We used table numbers from Better Off Wed:

Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception

And also, we used them for our cake topper:

Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception

You’ll see in the back of this shot that there’s a “BAR” sign – I love these marquee signs, they’re going to be perfect for when we move into our new apartment next year (we’re looking to move into a bigger place when our lease is up in January) – we got them from this Etsy Seller, JunkArtGypsyz.

Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception

We also had a love one:

Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception

Our wedding gifts to our guests were little bottles of olive oil from Lu’s friend’s family who owns an olive orchard in Italy called Tre Olive. We use their oil at home, too! We created custom tags, using a stamp from Paper Sushi.

Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception

We had Mr & Mrs signs on the back of our chairs but someone put them on backwards (whoops):

Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception

Our first dance was to Van Morrison’s Crazy Love (and that’s what I walked down the aisle to.) It was perfect, romantic, loving, comforting, and happy. Some of my favorite photos of the day/night are from that dance.

Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception

Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception

Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception

My father and I were next and we danced to Bob Marley’s One Love – and sung the entire song together. Lots of twirls and laughs.

Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception

Here’s a cute one of Lu with his mother:

Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception

My father’s speech was honest and loving and my sister’s maid of honor speech was perfect. I was really proud of my baby sister for getting up there in front of everyone and saying such sweet words, while making everyone laugh!

Lu’s brother’s speech made us all tear up – and made everyone laugh when he closed his speech with, “Lu, you are truly Inspiralized.” I thought you all would appreciate that :)

Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception

Then, it was off to party.

As you know, we had The Slow Motion photo booth which was hilarious – if you haven’t seen the video I shared earlier this month:

Otherwise, here is my favorite (obviously):

The band was UNBELIEVABLE – seriously, if you’re looking for a wedding band, I 100% recommend Hank Lane’s Billy Stone band. No one ever left the dancefloor – which made for great photos:

Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception

Oh and we cut the cake (which was delicious and classic):

Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception

And Lu showed off his new bling:

Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception

Anddd we had a special performance. One of Lu’s groomsmen is Marc Forgione (who just so happens to be an Iron Chef – fancy that!) – and he used to play this impromptu song in college (they went to college together) called “the Happy song.” Well, Marc surprised us halfway through our night with a song he wrote for us. Needless to say, we felt so blessed and well, happy, to hear the song:

Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception

Finally, after all the dancing was over, everyone lined up for our sparkler exit. Initially, we weren’t going to do this, but in the end, I’m so happy we did – it was such a fun sendoff, because otherwise, our exit would have been anti-climactic.

Plus, it made for adorable photos.

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Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception      ALW-1490

That’s it! Our wedding recap is over. Now, I’m only left to #tbts. What an amazing day and night. I’ll never forget a moment of that day and can’t wait to live this life to its fullest.

Here’s our new family:

Our Wedding Recap, Part 3: The Cocktail Hour & Reception

Thanks for following along! Next stop: babies.

Haha, I kid, I kid.

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Comments

  1. Every single detail was beautiful – looks like you had the most amazing day! Congrats, again!!
  2. Just beautiful! Have you done your album yet? That really made me emotional when we did ours - all the photos I loved looked even better when carefully arranged by our photographer in a big show-stopping album. It gets me every time! Looking forward to the video! I really love your colours and the gold signs. Make sure you save little mementos to dot around your home to make you smile now that life has gone back to normal. Congratulations again!
  3. So beautiful* Thank you for sharing all of this with us*
  4. J'espère que tu vas te marier juste une seule fois sinon ça va devenir une chronique for the perfect wedding.... bon marketing déguisé sous the american dream..... c'est payant des mariages!!!!
  5. What a lovely wedding! A very special reception for a beautiful couple. All your planning came together, very personal, very special.Wishing you both lots of happiness, health and loveSusan
  6. Michelle Barratt :
    I absolutely love the attention to detail of your day. So much thought for your guests too. Just adorable! So many happy memories to look back on in the years to come. I may have to look for a slow motion booth for our next wedding anniversary, this looks like a lot of fun. All the best as you embark on the best journey of all....marriage. May you always be as happy as you are now and may your love continue to grow and deepen over the years you spend together. thank you for sharing your special day with us.
  7. Dear Ali, My little 8 year old Ali (spelled the same way!) and I have enjoyed looking at your wedding pictures! Thanks for sharing and thanks for your inspiring recipes. :) Blessings to you- Betsy and Ali Smith in Colorado
  8. Thank you so very much for sharing your special and memorable day. I truly loved all the personal touches you added to your wedding. Congratulations once again to you both.
  9. Congratulations on your wedding! I loved sharing the memories from way out in Montana. The one word that comes to mind is "FUN!" Everyone was having a blast, and I could feel the love and joy from 2500 miles away! So different from my 1st stodgy affair. My 2nd was much better with a lot of laughter. I just know you guys will have a wonderful marriage.
  10. Seeing all the love, detail and happiness had me smiling and feeling the love. Thank you for sharing. May God bless you and keep you and may you always feel this thankful all of your lives.
  11. Omg this entire wedding!! I am in LOVE!!! And your slow motion photo booth! So fun!!Her Heartland Soul http://herheartlandsoul.com
  12. absolutely beautiful! The details were amazing! You thought of everything! Congratulations!!!!
  13. Details are just flawless! I am getting married on October 10th and have been looking into cocktail stirrers, did you order those or make them yourself?? If you DIY how did you do it - I'd be interested to know if your willing to share! Thanks - love your blog and all the best in your married life together! -Courtney
    • I made them myself! I downloaded a template online and just customized it! If you google "drink stirrer flag templates" you'll find a bunch of options! Hope that helps - and thanks !
  14. Aww....loved seeing all these photos! Your reception and after party were so elegant. Thanks for letting us see and congrats again!
  15. Jill Patterson :
    Congratulations on a beautiful wedding! You came up with so many ideas to make the day special, personal, and memorable. And you may be kidding with "Next step: babies" but I bet the parents are waiting with baited breath for that event!
  16. ughhhhh the wedding fever is REAL. i want oneeeeeee. talk to my boyfriend for me?
  17. Congratulations Ali! beautiful wedding! aside from a love of healthy cooking/eating, we also have something funny in common - our husbands both played football for Watchung Hills, I could spot that terrible brown and yellow uniform anywhere! enjoy married life!
  18. Loved the wedding recaps! Looked like the perfect day =) Where did you get the giant Jenga from? Need that for our yard!
  19. Hi Ali! I love your photo booth idea - did you have a photographer nearby to take photos or did your guests use their own cell phones?Thanks!
  20. Congratulations, Ali & Lu!! What a lovely wedding! I love your attention to every detail and it's obvious the evening was enjoyed by all. I'm dying to know, what was on the menu?
  21. I am completely smitten over all of the gorgeous wedding details! I am a fan of your blog from Northern NJ and a future bride who was finally able to catch up on your wedding posts! Thank you so much for sharing the intimate moments and details of your special day. I hope you don't mind I will be borrowing some of your ideas - I have been so inspired!! Please feel free to shoot me an email if you are selling any of these items!! :) Congratulations!!!
  22. Hi Ali! I love all of your recipes (esp the zucchini noodles with mango, coconut and avocado) and really enjoyed the wedding recap. Can you share where your bridesmaids found their lovely purple dresses? I am searching for my best friends wedding and am having trouble finding something in the right colors (I did find your sisters and its one of my top choices- gorgeous :)!) Thanks
  23. I will right away clutch your rss feed
  24. tebrikler

Trackbacks

  1. […] it’s our wedding anniversary! June 20th was our wedding (you can see recaps part 1, 2, and 3), so now when I think of the summer, I think of the best day of my life (so far, of […]
  2. […] I feel grateful everyday to have Lu in my life, and I smile widely every time I look at our photos from our wedding (if you never saw them, I recapped in three parts – one, two, and three.) […]

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