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!


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.





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

wed20110924_1534 wed20110924_1535 wed20110924_1536

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!)







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


All photos by Joy Neville Photography

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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



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


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.


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.



Frozen margaritas


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.


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.


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?

Weddingbee Meetup in Dallas! Tuesday, December 27th, 6:30 PM

Howdy Dallas Bees! We have a Meetup planned for Tuesday evening 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:

Tuesday, December 27

6:30 p.m.

Times Ten Cellars

6324 Prospect Avenue, Dallas


Please RSVP by commenting on this post or on this thread.

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

Walk the Line: Our Wedding Ceremony

After we finished our bridal party photos and cooled off inside for a few minutes, it was time to head over to the ceremony site. Luckily, we were staying on a guest house on the venue property all weekend, so we only had a short drive over from the house to the Rose Pavilion. In nicer weather, we would have just walked, but since it was so warm, we decided to take air conditioned vehicles.

wed20110924_1315Our day-of coordinator, Shelley, had done a wonderful job making sure all of the decorations were placed perfectly.

wed20110924_1314wed20110924_1310This plate was a gift from one of the hostesses at my bridal shower. I absolutely love it.


wed20110924_1311Our DIY programs were ready for the taking by our guests. I think they enjoyed them!


wed20110924_1312Our Jewish wedding canopy was ready. The posts came from trees on Mr. HW’s parent’s land and the cloth that was draped over the top belonged to my great-great-grandmother.

wed20110924_1316Yet again, I was totally over-the-moon happy with the floral arrangements.

wed20110924_1319wed20110924_1321The guests were getting seated.

wed20110924_1363And the bridal party spent a little time in the conference room on the property near our ceremony site. Again, it was so hot outside, we needed the A/C to keep our make-up from melting off! I’m so glad our guests had those program fans to keep them cool.

wed20110924_1345 wed20110924_1342 We headed back outside once the time started getting closer.


wed20110924_1357wed20110924_1353wed20110924_1354wed20110924_1356Then we began to get in our places for the ceremony!


My dad walked my mom down the aisle at the beginning of the processional.

wed20110924_1364wed20110924_1365 wed20110924_1366 Mr. HW and our officiant

wed20110924_1369We had each groomsmen escort a bridesmaid both down the aisle and back up at the end.

wed20110924_1371Our junior bridesmaid was nursing a broken ankle!

wed20110924_1376Our ring bearer did a perfect job of escorting our wonderful flower girls down the aisle. The little girls were so precious!

Once the rest of the bridal party had gone down the aisle, I had to wait for my dad to trek back to pick me up so we could walk together. I was completely alone for about a minute or two, soaking everything in. It was totally surreal.

wed20110924_1358And then it was time to head down the aisle with my dad!

wed20110924_1373wed20110924_1384wed20110924_1382wed20110924_1381wed20110924_1385wed20110924_1380 wed20110924_1386I’m so glad my dad was there to walk with me. I was feeling extra emotional, so I gave him an unplanned hug before he went to join my mom at their seats.

wed20110924_1389And then we had our very brief ceremony! Mr. HW and I were not interested in having anything long or drawn out for our ceremony. We wanted it to be meaningful, but quick and to-the-point. And it was! I think the whole ceremony was about 5 minutes long.

wed20110924_1390I’m really thankful for that, because due to the random extreme heat wave that day, my poor groom was sweating profusely in his restrictive tuxedo. That explains why his facial expressions during most of our ceremony looked like this:

wed20110924_1395He was a good sport. But, poor guy!

Before we knew it, it was time to exchange rings.

wed20110924_1396 And Mr. HW did the Jewish tradition of stepping on the glass.


Zombie bride:

wed20110924_1407wed20110924_1410 We’re married!

wed20110924_1416And then we flew down the aisle.

wed20110924_1418wed20110924_1420wed20110924_1421wed20110924_1422Immediately after the ceremony, we enjoyed a little photo shoot in all of our newly married bliss. But first, Mr. HW lost the jacket.

wed20110924_1424wed20110924_1423wed20110924_1429wed20110924_1430wed20110924_1433 We joined our bridal party again and made sure to take care of some legal business:

wed20110924_1459wed20110924_1458 Signing the marriage license

At this time, we had hoped to have our extended families join us for a few formal photos. Due to some kind of miscommunication, they weren’t notified and were already enjoying themselves at the reception before we had returned from our little couple’s photo shoot. So we snapped a few more with our bridal party and parents.

wed20110924_1452wed20110924_1453wed20110924_1443wed20110924_1451Once my dress was bustled up, I was ready to party. Mr. HW was equally as antsy. He was ready to celebrate!


All photos by Joy Neville Photography.

Need to catch up on the High Wire Wedding?

Walk the Line: Bridal Party Photos

After our first look, the bridal party joined us for some photos!

wed20110924_1203wed20110924_1192wed20110924_1196wed20110924_1174wed20110924_1204wed20110924_1190wed20110924_1207wed20110924_1176wed20110924_1180My poor bridesmaid Rivae had a little trouble with a spray tan the night before the wedding, so we fist pumped to make light of it.

wed20110924_1189wed20110924_1191wed20110924_1197 wed20110924_1201wed20110924_1202wed20110924_1265Our flowers for the day had arrived! I was blown away at how good the flowers looked. They were way above and beyond my wildest dreams. I was so happy with them!

wed20110924_1260wed20110924_1283 MOH Marcee kindly helped me place the little Bee charms for the occasion.

wed20110924_1268 Can you spot the bee?

wed20110924_1235 wed20110924_1229wed20110924_1233 wed20110924_1230 They smelled great too ;)

wed20110924_1262wed20110924_1269wed20110924_1271Flower Girl Callie sported another flower from the day.


wed20110924_1208wed20110924_1212wed20110924_1215wed20110924_1221wed20110924_1270 wed20110924_1276wed20110924_1277Every single guy in our bridal party (except one) are current or former football players and avid fans of college and professional football teams. It was only natural that the subsequent photos happened.

wed20110924_1222wed20110924_1254wed20110924_1223 wed20110924_1255 wed20110924_1258wed20110924_1291 wed20110924_1290 We finished our photos with lots of time to spare before the ceremony. It was 97 degrees that day, so we decided to take refuge inside the house until it was time to head over to the ceremony site.

wed20110924_1299 wed20110924_1300wed20110924_1301wed20110924_1297wed20110924_1305wed20110924_1309

wed20110924_1306wed20110924_1307 It was finally time to get married!

All photos by Joy Neville Photography.

Need to catch up on the High Wire Wedding?

Walk the Line: Our First Look

The dress was on and it was time to go meet Mr. HW for our first look of the day! We found a really interesting little pathway around the side of the house and decided to meet there. I came down the steps from the east wing of the house.

IMG_3897 Personal Photo

And Mr. HW started down from the west wing.

wed20110924_1124 It was so incredibly exciting!

wed20110924_1109No, those are not my real eyelashes – tips on how to apply falsies here!

wed20110924_1112wed20110924_1127IMG_3900 Personal Photo


wed20110924_1128Time to turn around, groom!

wed20110924_1130IMG_3902 Personal Photo

wed20110924_1131wed20110924_1132And then I cried in his arms.

wed20110924_1134 wed20110924_1135 I also admired his snazzy tuxedo.

wed20110924_1136We kissed a lot.

wed20110924_1138And looked longingly into each other’s eyes. Haha, doesn’t get more lovey-dovey than this, huh?

wed20110924_1139Oh, right. There are still photographers snapping away! About 15-20 members of our family were standing by watching as well. None of that really bothered me. I’d love to be able to watch a First Look happen with another couple, so I can totally get on-board with having a little audience there.

wed20110924_1140wed20110924_1141wed20110924_1143wed20110924_1144wed20110924_1145I was SO happy to be with him again after spending the day apart. So much of the day felt so surreal, and seeing him really helped ground me and give me peace.

The area next to the guest house looked like an enchanted forest, so we hopped into the shrub to take some more pictures there.

wed20110924_1150wed20110924_1153wed20110924_1148 wed20110924_1149wed20110924_1154wed20110924_1160wed20110924_1165 If you are considering a first look, I have nothing but positive things to say about it. It allowed us to have a semi-private few minutes together to connect during the day. Since we were able to take all of our couples/bridal party pictures before the ceremony, it freed up time after the ceremony to enjoy the reception for a longer period of time. I am SO happy we decided to do a First Look.

How did your first look go? Was it private or did people watch?

All photos by Joy Neville Photography unless otherwise noted.

Need to catch up on the High Wire Wedding?

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