FYI: This is my final wedding day recap for the main blog. From now on anything wedding related (I still have a few post-wedding posts I’m going to write) will only be found in the wedding tab.
The reception. Where do I even start?
Derek and I wrapped up with photos a few minutes earlier than expected. We were both pretty hungry and I was desperately wanting to see the gorgeous cake my uncle made (cake = priority, people!), so we entered the barn and tried to beeline it to the back. Big mistake. A crowd of friends and family immediately started forming around us, trying to congratulate us all at once. The DJ pulled me to the side and politely informed us we shouldn’t enter until the formal introductions or it would confuse people. but.. but.. we were hungry. A couple of friends went to make us a plate of appetizers while we were kicked back outside to wait for introductions. Darn.
Luckily we didn’t have to wait long. The DJ put a request out for the bridesmaids and groomsmen, so we could start the introductions early.
First the parents.
Then the bridesmaids and groomsmen were introduced to “Rock Party Anthem” by LMFAO.
Funny story, the song actually didn’t start until halfway through their introductions. I guess the DJ forgot to press start!
Derek and I were introduced to the FSU Fight Song – GO NOLES!
From the introductions we went straight to the first dance, “When You Got a Good Thing ” by Lady Annebellum.
When Derek and I first got engaged he told me this was the song he wanted to do our first dance too. He sang along while we danced, mostly whispering every lyric into my ear. I thought it was so touching, like a second set of vows.
After the first dance, everyone found their seats and Derek and I finally had a chance to nibble on the appetizer plates our friends had brought us.
I know it’s dark, but my friend snapped the photo above and it just makes me laugh. We were famished and couldn’t get that food down fast enough! Who are these brides who don’t during their reception? I would have keeled over if I didn’t get food in me.
The toasts came next and my sister was first with her maid-of-honor speech.
She used her “teacher voice” to calm the crowd and get everyone’s attention. “Quiet. Quiet. Hey! Don’t test me, I’m not afraid to send anyone to the principal’s office tonight.”
Kelly’s speech was beautiful and so touching. She referenced how my parents used to make us hold hands when we were younger to punish us when ever we fought. She said it was the worst punishment in the world because the last thing she wanted to be do at that time was hold her big sister’s hand. However, as we grew older, she realized their punishment really wasn’t a punishment and being away from her sister was even worse. Eventually we ended up at FSU together and she ran her first marathon because “if Meghann could run one, then so could I.” Years after my parents used to punish us by making us hold hands, we crossed the finish line at the Chicago Marathon together, holding hands. We then held hands at the finish line of our first HIM too. She finished the speech passing the torch, telling Derek it’s his turn to hold my hand.
She forwarded the entire speech to me after the wedding and I tear up every time I read it. I love my sister so much. She’s my rock and my best friend, I’m so thankful to have her in my life.
I love you, Roo.
Derek’s brother gave an equally touching speech, telling a story of when they were kids and Derek locked Tyler in a suitcase. It’s a story that gets told every time they’re together and it always makes me laugh.
He also spoke of family and love. Tyler lives in Maryland now, but he and Derek Facetime almost daily. They are as closer now than they were living together in their youth (Derek is 6 years older and shared a bedroom with Tyler until he graduated high school) and are each other’s best friends.
I’m so proud to call Tyler my brother. I love you, Ty.
The food! Oh, the food!
We opted to do buffet style for the main meal. Since Derek and I had done our tasting over 10 months ago, we had both almost completely forgotten what was on our menu. All we knew was that it was going to be good and we were both starving and ready to enjoy it
Yep, totally filled my plate to the max. And I ate it all. It was good!
- Baby Greens, Strawberries, Onion, Gorgonzola, Glazed Pecans, In Citrus Herb Dressing
- Pork Roast with Raspberry Chipotle
- Butternut Squash Ravioli with a Maple Cream Sauce or a Sage Butter Sauce
- Herb Roasted Yukon Gold, Red Bliss, And Sweet Potatoes
- Zucchini, Yellow Squash, and Red Onion
- Fresh Green Beans with Toasted Almond Butter
We had a lot of compliments on our food. If you’re looking for a caterer in Brevard County, I highly recommend A Chef’s Touch. She was our one splurge for the wedding (there were cheaper options, but I loved the extra services and higher quality food that A Chef’s Touch offered) and 100% worth it.
They brought out our S’mores Bar after dinner.
Can you see the little pails they’re carrying in the background of the photo? The pails were used to carry the individual graham crackers, chocolate bars, and marshmallows to the fire pit.
I kept meaning to make a s’more, but never made it out to the fire pit. Apparently it was a hit among the kids!
Once everyone’s bellies were full of good food, it was time for the traditional “Brother Jack” toast.
You can read more about the Brother Jack tradition on THIS post, but the basic idea is that the father of the bride toasts the newlyweds with a bottle of Jack Daniels. He tosses the cap during the toast and proudly proclaims “we won’t be needing that.” The bottle is then passed around the reception for anyone who wants to take a shot.
It’s my family’s way of welcoming the new in-laws into the family.
I think the best part was when I caught one of my friends waving at me like a little school boy from across the room mouthing “Can I go, too?! Can I go, too?!” Yes! Everyone was welcomed!
Heck, even Grandma got in on the action!
Don’t mess with Grandma.
Our DJ played “Eye of the Tiger” during the toast. I thought that was a nice touch.
Empty in less than 10 minutes. I think that’s a new record.
The father/daughter dance followed.
Per my dad’s request, we danced to “Don’t Blink” by Kenny Chesney.
I love my Daddy. I’ll always be his little girl.
The mother/son dance followed.
Derek surprised his mom with her favorite song: “Have I told You Lately” by Rod Stewart.
And the dance floor was officially open!
My dad turned 50 the day after our wedding. About a month before the wedding my uncle called and asked if it was okay if we had some fun with him at the reception. I said absolutely!! I was hoping to do a little something for my dad’s birthday so having someone else plan it was even better in my book.
Just as the dance floor was heating up, my uncle came on the speaker and said there was a birthday boy in the house. While he was explaining how to sing our family’s version of “Happy Birthday” (which is an off-key round of jibberish that usually results in everyone screaming to see who can “sing” the loudest), another uncle placed a “Happy 50th” black banner on my dad and handed him a cake. As we started singing, one-by-one various friends and family members started trying my dad with black pieces of fabric.
It was the perfect birthday surprise.
Happy 50th birthday, Dad!
The black pieces of fabric were everyone’s accessory of choice for the rest of the night.
It was a shame we had to cut into my uncle’s beautiful cake, but I knew my grandmother’s red velvet cake recipe was underneath that piece of art and nothin’ was stoppin’ me from my grandmother’s red velvet cake!
This was my “don’t you dare get red cake on my white dress” look.
He played nice. 🙂
mmmm… good cake
What’s that, babe? You want me to smash the cake on your face?
Tastes good, right?
Don’t worry. He got me back.
What you can’t see in the photos is that he’s rubbing my face with the icing that’s on his face. I give him credit for thinking fast on his feet with that one.
mmm… seriously good cake.
Alright, where are all my single ladies at? Time for the bouquet toss.
I took this job very seriously.
Um, or not.
My Aunt Liz caught it!
Derek’s turn to retrieve the garter.
I couldn’t help by laugh, he was trying to bend my body in a way that my dress was not permitting.
Our friend Chuck caught the garter.
They were both great sports. 🙂
We wrapped up all the wedding “traditions” pieces by 8:00 and spent the rest of the night dancing. Our DJ was incredible, I didn’t leave the dance floor all night! He had a knack for reading the guests and knowing exactly what songs to play to keep everyone moving. I’ve never had so much fun dancing at a wedding!
We ended the night in a big circle singing “I’ve Got Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks. It was the exact same way we used to end a night of dancing in Tallahassee back in college and it was the perfect way to end the reception.
Unfortunately the photographer left before our big sparkler send-off, so we don’t have any photos of it. The sparkler send off was a ton of fun, but a little anticlimactic since we still had to go back inside the barn to collect our things – oops! We ended up sticking around a tad longer to say good bye to our friends and family. I didn’t want the night to end, but my feet were tired and I was ready to spend some alone time with the new hubby.
The entire wedding day was more fun than I could have ever dreamed or hoped for. It was a day full of love, fun, and beautiful memories that I will treasure for a lifetime. Even better, I got to marry my best friend. I now have a husband that I love more and more with each passing day. The wedding was just the beginning – we’re just getting started here!
Photo credits: Andrea Hubbell Photography