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.
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.
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.
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!)
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!)
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!)
Actually, there’s a funny shot of me sipping my father’s Karen Special on the dance floor:
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:
Next to the photobooth, we included a box with props purchased from Etsy.
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.
This was a hit and we had such a blast reading the notes aloud, after our wedding.
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:
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.
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.
We kept our escort card table simple – just a set of wooden shutters, found also, on Etsy.
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:
Before I get into it, let me show you around:
We used table numbers from Better Off Wed:
And also, we used them for our cake topper:
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.
We also had a love one:
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.
We had Mr & Mrs signs on the back of our chairs but someone put them on backwards (whoops):
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.
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.
Here’s a cute one of Lu with his mother:
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 🙂
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:
Oh and we cut the cake (which was delicious and classic):
And Lu showed off his new bling:
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:
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.
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:
Thanks for following along! Next stop: babies.
Haha, I kid, I kid.