Dallas Weddingbee Meetup – Thursday, May 31st at 6:15 PM

Howdy hive! I hope everyone’s wedding planning is going along splendidly.

This post is for any Dallas, Texas area bees! We have a Meetup planned for Thursday evening, May 31st, at Times Ten Cellars in Dallas.

Everyone is welcome (new to the boards, old to the boards, not yet married, already married)! Here are the details:

Thursday, May 31st

6:15 P.M.

Times Ten Cellars

6324 Prospect Avenue, Dallas

http://timestencellars.com/home_dallas.html

Here’s the thread with additional discussion.

I can’t wait to see some friendly faces and meet some new ones. I hope you will join us!

End of the (Tight) Rope

Dearest Hive,

I guess it is time to step off the tightrope, move down the ladder, and on to other circus activities.

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Personal Photo

The recaps are done, and I’ve shared just about every single solitary detail that I can muster about our wedding.

Weddingbee will always remain a huge part of my life. I’ll never be able to think about our wedding without thinking about Weddingbee. You all were a huge source of support and inspiration to me, and I’m so thankful I was able to be a part of this wonderful community at first as r.elliott on the waiting boards, then as Miss High Wire, and then finally, a Mrs.

If you’d like to take a trip across the tight rope of our wedding planning journey, I’ve set up our Wiki page for easy browsing.

I’ll still be around the hive on the boards and in the comments, and maybe I’ll pop in for a post now and again. I just know I can’t quit you!

This community has been the absolutely most supportive and friendly online community I’ve ever been around. I’m really proud of what we’ve all built here, and I hope it will always be a place of kind suggestions and thoughtful critique. Thank you for all that you contribute to this wonderful hive.

I hope you all have perfectly perfect, magical wedding days. If you need anything, I’m here. Like, you know, maybe a virtual 5-five? Here’s one to start with.

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Photo by Joy Neville Photography

When I’m not buzzing around here, I’ll be busy with daily updates over at my personal blog, Really Rachel E. There are all kinds of goodies on there to enjoy, if you need some new reading material. I talk about silly things like my zombie apocalypse plans, my yoga journey, and married life.

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Photo by Joy Neville Photography

Good-bye!

All my love,

Rachel

Highwire Vendor Reviews

Very Highly Recommended

Clark Gardens – Venue

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We had an absolutely magical wedding day at Clark Gardens. With Texas facing one of the worst droughts on record, I couldn’t believe how lush and stunning the gardens were for our wedding day. To make it extra perfect, the staff even replanted and ordered thousands of extra flowers for our specific area of the gardens. They also updated and replaced the chandeliers in our reception tent the day before the wedding.

When I needed an internet connection to post to Weddingbee the night before the wedding, the event coordinator picked me up and drove me to her office so I could use her computer. Talk about amazing customer service!

The staff at Clark Gardens went way above and beyond all of our expectations. It is a little far out from the metroplex, but absolutely worth the drive, 100%. I would recommend to anyone looking for a beautiful garden wedding.

Joy Neville Photography – Photography

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I was so pleased to work with Joy Neville of Joy Neville Photography. Her work was stunning, and we had a really great time having her as a part of our wedding team. She did a wonderful job bringing our retro engagement session to life, and was an irreplaceable asset on our wedding day.

She brought two additional assistants to help with the wedding day, and we were extremely satisfied with their professionalism and talent.

Her turn around time was extremely quick for our engagement session, and we got an early delivery of our wedding day photos as well. She was always available via e-mail or phone to go over details and answer questions. She also had an extremely soothing personality, which was vital during the hectic wedding day.

Escada Weddings – Day of Coordinator

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Shelley with Escada Weddings went above and beyond! She was always extremely prompt and responsive to any questions I had leading up to the wedding. We met a couple of times beforehand and she was always very professional and easy to work with. During the rehearsal she did a wonderful job giving direction and orchestrating where everyone needed to go. On the wedding day, she took all of our wedding "stuff" and put everything exactly where it needed to go. She kept everything on perfect schedule and was extremely flexible when we needed to change the timeline up at the last minute. She helped keep me totally stress free on my wedding day, which was exactly what I wanted. I have nothing but good things to say and would definitely recommend her to anyone needing a wedding planner! You are getting a steal of a deal when you hire her.

Blue Mesa – Catering

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I had a wonderful experience working with the catering manager, Brenda, as we planned our wedding. She met us at a Blue Mesa location and hosted a wonderful tasting for me, Mr. HW and my mother.

She even met us at the venue before the wedding day to discuss the floor plan.
Everyone had rave reviews about the food. We thought it was absolutely delicious! At the end of the night, they sent all the leftovers home with us and the wedding party enjoyed a delicious midnight snack later on.

Blue Mesa also provided bartenders who poured delicious drinks all night. Brenda also helped me put together an order for glass rentals for the wedding day.

They also cut and served our cake at no additional cost. What amazing customer service!

Amazing food, very responsive and available contact person, and pleased guests. Couldn’t ask for more!

Hair by Jessica -  Hair Styling

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Jessica was a last minute addition to our wedding day vendor team, and she did a wonderful job. We met a few weeks prior for a trial run and loved her personality. She arrived to the venue on time and worked diligently to get everyone’s hair done in time. I was extremely pleased with the outcome and affordability of her service.

Recommended

Complete Music – DJ Services

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We loved having Rick at Complete Music DJ our wedding! He was very responsive and kept the dance floor rocking all night long. Would definitely recommend!

The Retreat at Clark Gardens – Accommodations

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The wedding party stayed at the Retreat at Clark Gardens (the guest house on the property), which provided an absolutely calm and serene place to gather during the wedding weekend. I felt relaxed and rejuvenated the whole time.

David’s Bridal – Bridal Gown, some of the bridal party dresses

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I had pleasant experiences during all of my appointments at David’s Bridal. All of the dresses were delivered on time, and the alterations were done for an affordable price in a timely manner. Many brides have different experiences depending on which location they went to, so I will share that I worked initially with the north Dallas location, before transferring up to the Frisco store because it was closer to my home.

Pneuma Center – Officiant

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We had a wonderful experience working with Dr. Lon and Sharon Roberts of Pneuma center. They were extremely supportive and easy to work with. We liked that they were experienced in inter-faith ceremonies, and they provided lots of possible readings and ceremony words that we could use to craft our own ceremony. They delivered on everything that was promised.

Shop Ketubah.com – Ketubah

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I was really pleased with how our Ketubah came out. All names were spelled correctly, and the shipment arrived seamlessly and on time. It is on display in our home and it makes me happy to look at every time I see it!

Overall, we were very happy with our vendors on our wedding day. They helped make it really wonderful!

Last Minute Projects

There were a few last minute projects that came together the week before the wedding that I wanted to share with you. I had sort of given up on any more DIY projects in the weeks leading up to the wedding, and then I got one final burst of inspiration in the last week.

First, I put together a simple ribbon bouquet from our shower gifts to use at our rehearsal.

My supplies: a bouquet holder, a Styrofoam center, and I used alteration pins to put all the ribbons into the bouquet.

And of course, a big box of ribbons.

I started by putting the big purple sheer ribbon on the bottom, and pulled it through so it stuck out of the end of the bouquet.

The rest of the ribbons found little homes all around the base of the bouquet, until I filled it up.

And then it was complete!

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Finishing up our rehearsal

Next, I made personalized hangers for each of the girls to hang their dress on for the wedding day.

Supplies: Wooden hangers, Sharpie paint pens, and some scratch paper to practice

(Animal fur optional)

I practiced my lettering for a bit before starting to work on the actual hangers.

And then I moved on to the actual hangers themselves.

Ta-da!

This last one doesn’t really qualify as a “project” per-say, but I spent a fair bit of time on it, so I wanted to share our gift wrapping for the thank you gifts to our bridal party.

I took a couple of trips to the stationery store to pick out special wrapping paper for each of the gifts. Each person got wrapping paper that I thought matched their style.

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All packed up and ready to go!

The gift wrap was kind of a splurge, but I hope it made the gifts feel a little more special to our bridal party.

Did you do any last minute projects leading up to the wedding?

Walk the Line: Ending Things Right

As the reception came to a close, I wanted to make sure the bridal party knew how to get back to the guest house in the dark, so I hopped onto a golf cart full of people and headed towards the house. I’m not sure if I had grand plans to return to the reception tent to say goodbye to people or what (I was slightly inebriated at the time), but I just carted out of there and never returned. So, for all the guests who I just left there without saying goodbye, my sincerest apologies!

We brought the two kegs we had supplied for the reception back to the house, and several people got to work attempting to float them before the evening was over. They were unsuccessful. I’d label most our 140 guests as pretty heavy drinkers (especially during a celebratory occasion) but with the margarita machine and full bar, we probably could have just ordered one keg instead of two.

Everyone tried their best, but the next day there were still two kegs with beer inside!

The evening ended in the best way possible, back at the relaxing guest house by the pool with our best friends and closest family. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end the day.

All photos personal

And with that, our wedding day came to a close. The following day we slowly roused, cleaned up the house, and packed everything into cars. The weekend was surreal, and at first I had a hard time recalling any of the memories while we rejuvenated in Jamaica. I think my body and mind just needed a break from it all for a week. Once we returned from our trip, the memories came floating back and I’m happy to have them to cherish forever.

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I’ve got a few more posts up my sleeves to share with ya’ll that we haven’t had a chance to chat about yet, so stay tuned for those.

Need to catch up on the High Wire Wedding?

Walk the Line: Photo Booth Fun

We had a photo booth set up in the tent for guests to enjoy. We supplied some of our own props, and our awesome photographer team brought some as well.

Walk the Line: Party Rockers in the House Tonight :  wedding dallas pictures pro pics recap Wed20110924 1608 Thumb wed20110924_1608

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My great aunt and our photographer, Joy

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Usher Matt, Bridesmaid Sara, and Groomsmen Russ

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Bridesmaid Rivae showing off her tanning malfunction and her disgruntled boyfriend, Billy.

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Our flower girl/diva Ava

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Even our officiant joined in the photo booth fun.

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My groom and I

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My fabulous bridesmaids enjoyed themselves at the photo booth!

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I’m glad everyone got into it.

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My silly dad and I

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Bridesmaid Sara and Groomsman Russ

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My awesome co-workers

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Mr. HW’s long-time high school friends

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My awesome in-laws

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Groomsman Jerrad and Bridesmaid Lisa

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Thank you, good-night!

The party was supposed to wind down at this point. We needed to clean up and the bridal party needed to get back to the guest house for the night…

All photos by Joy Neville Photography

Need to catch up on the High Wire Wedding?

Walk the Line: Party Rockers in the House Tonight

With the majority of the reception “to-do’s” behind us, it was time to get the party started!

wed20110924_1597wed20110924_1558 There was LOTS of two steppin’.

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And a little bit of line dancing.

wed20110924_1822 Mr. HW and I made sure to spend a little time at each table visiting with our guests and thanking them for coming.

wed20110924_1570Guests were definitely feeling the love.  I just adore the picture below! She caught the bouquet…so maybe there will be wedding bells for these two soon!

wed20110924_1786More love!

wed20110924_1788Cousin love:wed20110924_1791wed20110924_1599 Mother-son love:wed20110924_1645Love for only one night ;):

wed20110924_1912 Bride and groom love:

wed20110924_1665 Mr. HW was adamant about including the traditional Jewish Hora dance!

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Our photographers knew how to get people to smile! They partied on the dance floor all night long.

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wed20110924_1875wed20110924_1876Isn’t she stunning?!

After a few songs, it was time to throw the bouquet and the garter!

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Mr. HW liked the surprise Dallas Cowboys garter I got for him! Let’s not bring up the Cowboys season this year. Phew. Rough.

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After the garter toss there was lots more dancing and merriment.

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By this point in the evening, my FIL was over the tuxedo thing. In fact, he was over it about 5 minutes after the ceremony ended. :)

wed20110924_1895 Occasionally, guests needed a smoke break.

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As time went on, things started to get a little silly.

This a picture of me, my parents, and my MIL’s leg. I have no idea why we felt the need to expose this part of ourselves all at the same time.

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He’s drinking a glass of whiskey. A GLASS.

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Uncle D may or may not have taken a nap in the grass shortly after this.

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wed20110924_1944 Yes, this is my BIL doing a keg stand.

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Our ring bearer spent the whole night on the dance floor showing off his mastery of dance.

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When people needed a break from the dance floor, we had a little photo booth action going on in the corner…

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All photos by Joy Neville Photography

Need to catch up on the High Wire Wedding?

Walk the Line: Traditional Reception Activities that Got in the Way of Partying

Our guests began helping themselves to drinks and finding a seat for the reception.

wed20110924_1525We decided not to do assigned seating. Instead, we put signs on just a couple of tables to reserve seats for the bridal party and some VIP family members (like my grandmother). If you are considering foregoing assigned seating, you can rest easy! We had absolutely no issues. There were more than enough seats for everyone, which helped avoid problems. Assigned seats are not really common in our circles, so most everyone knew how to make it work.

wed20110924_1492 Guests definitely enjoyed our margaritas!

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wed20110924_1510 Once we finished our post-ceremony pictures, we lined up for our entrance!

Mr. HW and I were really ready to party. We just wanted to let loose, dance, and celebrate! We wound up changing the timeline and doing all of our “required” reception stuff (first dance, parent dances, cake cutting) immediately once the reception started so we could just get it over with. I’m glad that we participated in those traditions, but we were just ready to get through them as quickly as possible.

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wed20110924_1533After the bridal party was announced, we immediately had our first dance to George Strait’s Carried Away

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It was wonderful to dance our first dance as husband and wife, but I’ve got to be honest, hive, it was kind of awkward. We didn’t prepare any kind of dance “moves” and so we just swayed there all by ourselves. It was hard to get in the moment and enjoy it. I’m glad we did it, but we were ready to move on.

After our mildly awkward first dance, I danced with my daddy to Paul Simon’s Father and Daughter.

wed20110924_1538 wed20110924_1539 Mr. High Wire took a spin with his mom to the Beatles’ In My Life.

wed20110924_1542 wed20110924_1543 After the dances were over, we immediately moved on to the cake cutting. (Again, we were extremely anxious to get the party started!)

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Alright, now it is time to party! Phew, thank goodness.

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All photos by Joy Neville Photography

Need to catch up on the High Wire Wedding?

Real Bee Budgets: The High Wire’s Texas Garden Wedding

I thought I would squeeze in a budget post now that we have made our way through a good chunk of my recaps (tear!).

There were four groups that contributed to paying for our wedding. Mr. HW and I, my parents, my grandmother, and Mr. HW’s parents. Originally, I had assumed that each of those four parties would contribute about 1/4 of the total cost. However, my HW’s parents wound up contributing the most, hands down.

When we first started planning, I guessed that our wedding would cost somewhere around $15,000. I was wrong. I’ve had a hard time deciding whether or not to share this post because I’m a little embarrassed, but hopefully some others can relate to the lack of sticking to a budget.

So here’s the breakdown:

Date: September 24, 2011
City, State: Weatherford, Texas
# of Guests: 140

Wedding Day Costs

Ceremony Site Fees: $4,950 + $1,000 refundable security deposit (not included in final total)

Included: Ceremony at Rose Pavillion, reception at West Tent, tables, chairs, white linens, set-up, tear-down of those things (we were responsible for set-up/tear-down of everything else), alcohol service fee, venue coordinator on-site, 5 hour event time

Reception Site Fees: Ceremony/Reception were at the same venue, and included in figure above

Food/Drink: $3,774.36

Included: Dinner buffet, bartenders, serving staff, glassware, cutting/serving of wedding cake, tips

Alcohol: $650

Bridal Gown and Alterations: $324 for the gown, $290 alterations (hem, bustle, taken in, added straps)

Bridal Accessories: $15 veil (not worn), $100 shoes, $60 sash, $70 jewelry

Groom’s Attire: FREE! Deal offered with four groomsmen’s rentals

Stationery/Postage: $672.07 + $80 thank you gift for graphic designer

Included: Save-the-Dates, invitation suite, programs, stationery, thank you cards, logo, unlimited communication and drafts with graphic designer, printing costs, additional craft supplies (ex. golf pencils, wooden sticks), and postage


Photography: $2,850

Included an engagement session, wedding day coverage, photo booth, printing rights, travel fee, and three photographers (one owned the company, one was her assistant for the day, and one ran the photo booth)

Ceremony Music: $728.75

Included in DJ contract: 5 hours, ceremony microphones, speakers, music library, reception set-up, lighting, music, and MC services

Flowers: $1,167.00

Included: Bridal bouquet, groom boutonniere, toss bouquet, 2 junior bridesmaid bouquets, 4 bridesmaid bouquets, 4 groomsmen boutonnieres, 2 mother’s corsages, 2 father boutonnieres, 3 grandmother pin-on’s, 3 grandfather boutonnieres, a minister boutonniere, 2 usher boutonnieres, 2 flower girl baskets with rose petals, 1 ring bearer boutonniere, 2 floral pieces for the Huppah, 20 table centerpieces with 2 sizes of mason jars with flowers

I spy a little bee in the photo above!

Rentals: $140 for delivery and set-up of linens

Cakes: $770.00 for wedding cake and groom’s cake, cake stands, and delivery

Favors: Candy bar, free. It was provided by the venue.

Included candy, jars, scoops, and to-go containers

Officiant: $450

Included: Rehearsal attendance, officiate at ceremony, mailed marriage certificate to city

Wedding Coordinator: $750

Included: Personal consultations leading up to the wedding, prepared wedding day time-line and checklist, confirmed all vendor services and set-up time of arrivals, unlimited e-mails and phone calls, rehearsal coordination, wedding day coordination

 

Hair: $160 for hair trial, wedding day styling on-site, travel fee

Make-up: $100 on make-up at M.A.C. (I did my own make-up on wedding day.)

Wedding Party Gifts: $750

Included: Monogrammed pocket knives for groomsmen, fathers, and ring bearer, monogrammed robes for bridesmaids, matching dolls for flower girls, sweater for junior bridesmaid, hardcover book for junior bridesmaid, individual personalized small gifts for each bridesmaid, mothers, my aunt, and my grandmother


Accomodations: $1,600, $350 deposit. I have included $300 of the $350 deposit in grand total because we caused some damage to the pool.

Included: 3 night’s stay at The Retreat at Clark Gardens for bride, groom, bridal party, Mr. HW’s parents, and two cousins, set-up and tear down of rehearsal dinner table and chairs


Transportation: Free. We used family members’ and Clark Gardens golf cart to move between guest house and venue.

Huppah: Free to us. It was handmade by FFIL. There were small amount of supplies purchased by in-laws (flower pots, concrete, shellac, fake moss). I’m not sure of the cost on those.


Ketubbah: $285 Ketubah, $66 for matting, $130 framing after the wedding

Miscellaneous: $180 in personal services (hair color, nails, waxing the week of the wedding), $500 decorative elements collected during engagement, $71 marriage license

WEDDING DAY TOTAL: $21,983.18

TOTAL COST PER PERSON: $157.02

All Inclusive Costs
Wedding Bands: $1,450

All photos above by Joy Neville Photography

Food and drink for everyone staying at guest house all weekend: $400

Rehearsal Dinner: $200

Honeymoon: ~$3,000 (Gift from Mr. HW’s parents) One week all-inclusive trip to Couples Negril in Negril, Jamaica.

Personal Photo

ALL INCLUSIVE TOTAL: $5050

GRAND TOTAL: $27,033.18

Oh, only almost double when our original “budget” was. This was only possible because we had multiple people contributing and an extremely generous pair of in-laws that must love me a whole lot. Our wedding day was absolutely perfect to me (and Mr. HW was happy too!). My in-laws went way above and beyond, especially considering that the groom’s family traditionally isn’t responsible for paying for the wedding.

Did your wedding cost surprise you? Or were you adamant about sticking to a specific budget?

Walk the Line: Sights at the Reception

Detail posts are always my most favorite part of recaps, and I hope you enjoy the little details at our wedding.

Immediately after the ceremony, Mr. High Wire and I enjoyed a little private photo shoot in the gardens. At the same time, the guests were directed over to our reception tent to enjoy a cold drink.

   wed20110924_1042I found these wonderful chalkboard signs for a really cheap price at a local flea market. Trying to do these DIY would have cost more.

wed20110924_1525Our reception tent served as a welcome respite from the heat of the day, but once the sun went down, the tent was the perfect temperature all night.

wed20110924_1469The chandeliers in the tent used to be large brass light fixtures that I didn’t care for. Luckily, the chandeliers were updated and replaced the day before our wedding. I like these much better!

wed20110924_1470The guys worked tirelessly to hang these paper lanterns all over the tent. I loved how they came out! Here’s another good lantern/chandelier shot from a little later in the evening.

wed20110924_1825wed20110924_1465My sweet mother-in-law prepared a few extra beverages for everyone to enjoy in these adorable pitchers.

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I found a few vintage signs at that same flea market and had them placed around the tent where they belonged.

And we made sure there were was lots of choices in terms of alcoholic beverages.

Beer

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Frozen margaritas

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And bar tenders to mix drinks on the open bar all night long.

wed20110924_1928There was also lots of yummy food!

wed20110924_1494The frame that held our menu was another flea market find. I think I paid $1 for it.

wed20110924_1496Blue Mesa’s food was outstanding! They even packed us up all the leftovers and sent it home with us after the wedding.

wed20110924_1493Throughout the planning process, I picked up little odds and ends for the kids table as well as the rest of the reception tables.

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wed20110924_1492wed20110924_1495I found these adorable bee salt and pepper shakers and knew they had to make an appearance at the wedding: Weddingbee shout out!

It was so nice to see all the knick knacks that I had collected on display at the wedding. Each table was a little different.

For our desserts, we had wedding cake, a groom’s cake, and the venue supplied a candy buffet.

wed20110924_1545wed20110924_1473wed20110924_1544wed20110924_1553wed20110924_1472wed20110924_1477The candy buffet also served as our favors for the evening. There were small boxes that guests could load up their candy in to take home.

wed20110924_1475I also collected wedding photos of family members that we put on display at the entrance to the reception tent.

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This is one of my most favorite pictures of the whole night. It was so amazing to have all of my loved ones under one tent!

All photos by Joy Neville Photography.

Need to catch up on the High Wire Wedding?

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