After the receiving line, and before the photographs, Joe and I went upstairs in the house and had a drink of champagne together alone. It was a great suggestion I read somewhere on the web, and HIGHLY suggest it to all other couples getting married.
Afterward, we got everyone together to take pictures. I didn't
want the pictures to take longer than 45 minutes total, since our reception
was only about 4 hours long. HA! I was definitely smoking something
when I thought THAT one up, because to take pictures of the bride
and groom with his family, then her family, then just the parents, then
the whole bridal party, then just the two of them, then just her, it's
going to take longer than 45 minutes. Just rounding people up takes
|Goofing around doing imitations of Dr. Evil from "Austin Powers"
TIP: Figure out all the picture arrangements you would like to have, and everyone who is going to be in them, and in which order they will be taken BEFORE the wedding. Tell your photographer ahead of time. It wouldn't hurt to have someone else know this as well (the coordinator, a friend) who can round people up while the photographer is doing his/her job - taking the pictures. Otherwise, you, the bride, are the one yelling for people to get in the group - not a pretty sight, and something you just shouldn't have to deal with then.
|After we got lots of group pictures, then a couple pictures of Joe and me, my photographer wanted pictures of just me. We were in a garden area away from the main festivities, and I was becoming thirsty and hungry. Here comes Laurie with a plate of food! Then my cousin, Shawna, and my god-sister, Monica, came to hang out with me during this photo session and we had a great time!
|Finally I was finished! Chow time! Joe and I decided on a cocktail reception versus sit-down so people would be walking and sitting all the time, but about now almost every seat was taken. I vowed I was going to eat, so I got myself a plate, saw a couple of friends of mine, and plunked myself down on the grass in the middle garden. One by one, more people joined me, and my photographer took a picture of it. "Maid Marion and her court" he called it.
Joe and I opened the dance floor, and the rest of the day was dancing,
talking, sneaking away again with Joe (just for a few minutes!), then more
dancing. The only snafu was the mix-up of drink orders. We
opted for an open bar, beer and wine only. One of my guests asked
me about the Italian beer we had. Huh? It didn't look familiar,
but I had ordered specific micro brewed beers, so maybe I just forgot.
I asked the bartender for one of the beers I KNEW I ordered and she said
they didn't have it. "Oh, did we run out?" I asked. "No, we
never had it". Say WHAT?? Hey, I didn't let it bother my day.
I knew I would just iron it out later, it's too late now. And you
know what? It did NOT ruin my wedding day. Imagine that?
TIP: Drink lots of water! No matter what time of year you have your ceremony, you will be so busy, and probably tired, that you will become dehydrated, thus losing more energy and become a wilting bride. Have some champagne and drinks if you want, but do not forget the water.
Finally it was time to wrap it up. Joe and I had taken swing dance lessons which we totally loved and wanted to incorporate into our last dance. We chose "What the World Needs Now" from the Austin Powers soundtrack (again) and at the fast part danced like crazy people! Then we said good bye to people and gathered up our gifts.
TIP: If possible, choose a relative or close friend to make sure you get a chance to spend time with everyone at the wedding by giving them something like a list of names, or having them ask you "Who have you not talked with?". At an assigned seating wedding it's easier to see everyone by making your round of tables. At a wedding like ours where people were everywhere all the time, it's easy to miss someone. People are always coming up to you to take you somewhere, or ask you questions, and if there are people you've invited who don't feel comfortable coming to you (they may think you are busy) you need to make sure you can go to them.
All in all, it was a great wedding! For many months afterwards, my mother told me people kept commenting to her on how unusual and beautiful it was. Joe and I put a lot of thought into all the details, and we put a lot of effort into having it a relaxing, fun wedding, for the guests and for us, and it paid off.