Wedding Wednesday: Cocktail Hour and Reception Details

Outdoor Wedding Guest Book TableHappy #WeddingWednesday! Before sharing more about the reception and the surprises of the night, I wanted to take some time to talk more about the details from our cocktail hour and reception and a few additional vendors.

Right after the ceremony, we had cocktail hour in the tent directly behind our ceremony site. We set up a table under the tent for people to sign the guestbook, trying to make it as easily accessible as possible and not clogging up an area of the venue. We framed photos from our parents’ and grandparents’ wedding days to surround the guest book. A family friend shared the template she used for her daughter’s guest book, and my sister made our entire book (thank you both, again!).

Outdoor Wedding Guest Book

Grilled Cheese Bites We stuck with feel-good, delicious (in my humble opinion) passed hors d’oeuvres. How could we not have grilled cheese bites at a Wisconsin wedding? We also had bacon-wrapped water chestnuts and bruschetta.

We used chargers from Canopies at each place setting. Chargers were a funny topic during the planning process. I still remember a night when we were at a family friend’s house, and a few of the families were planning a wedding. Chargers came up, and none of the men in the room knew what they were. When they found out that no food would actually be placed on them but they would still cost money, they seemed a bit perplexed, understandably so. Nonetheless, we used them for no other reason than they’re really pretty. We originally talked about just having them at the head table, but opted to include them at each table.

Wedding Reception FlowersEasy Wedding Table NumbersIn all honesty, by the time we got to our table numbers, I just wanted something that allowed people to easily find their table. I know plenty of brides find really cute blocks or frame their numbers, but these were one thing I wanted to cross off the list. We kept them pretty simple, and our florist provided the stands so that it was one last thing we needed to find (and one less cost!).

Wedding Cake with FlowersAh, the cake. This was very important for me, not so much for Bill. He’s not much of a sweets guy, and I eat chocolate after just about every meal. My mom and I took it upon ourselves to find the best cake in town, and this was not a task we took lightly. My parents got married in Milwaukee, and they had a cake from Harders Bakery. For their anniversary, my dad would always get five slices of the same cake and buttercream frosting combo and bring it home for the family. I always thought this would be the cake at my wedding (is it weird that I thought more about this than my future dress?), but sadly, Harders closed before I even met Bill.

When it came time to find a cake, I (I mean we) wanted a delicious buttercream frosting. I wanted it to look good but taste even better. There was one vendor that we sampled at an event that I loved  but could not justify the price tag so we kept searching. We had two pretty okay experiences elsewhere but were really looking forward to taste testing at Simmas Bakery. I had heard great things about Simmas, and they did not disappoint. The cake was so good, and after seeing their other work, I completely trusted them with the design. Our wedding coordinator at Shully’s added the flowers once it arrived at the venue.

Wedding Cake with FlowersRandom aside as I’m looking at these photos and seeing the linens – holy crap we didn’t realize how expensive linens were! We originally had them quote linens for each table and were kind of floored (this was a theme when we were planning). We quickly opted to use the white sequins for the cake table and head table and use what the venue provided for the rest of the tables.

Wedding Place CardsAs I mentioned in this post, my bridesmaid made all of our paper products (thank you again, Lexi!). We used part of the watercolor logo Ink Jelly created for us throughout the day, and I loved the pop of color and cohesive look with our other paper products like the menu seen above.

Wedding Place CardsHere’s another angle of the place cards and the frame that our florist put together for us. She placed the ribbon and all of the place cards so we didn’t need to worry about it (another win!).

If you made it all the way to the end, thanks for reading! I always end up writing about more than I originally planned but have so much fun putting these posts together. Next week, we’ll get to at least one of the surprises of the night!

Photos by June & Jae Photography

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  • Sending a virtual cheers to any other parents that had a 5:30 a.m. wake up call this morning ☕️ Not going to lie though, we’ve gotten so much done before 9:30 a.m. including a quiet walk around our neighborhood.
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  • I feel like a bit of a broken record these days but healing takes time and healing a broken heart while trying to keep it together for your family is hard. My mom was my best friend, and while I like to think I knew how good I had it while she was alive, there are just so many more things I’d want to thank her for, especially with my new lens as a mom to Ainsley. I can’t imagine going through chemo and still trying to take care of her grown kids the way she did. I can’t imagine getting the call that no parent ever wants to receive finding out your son passed away, and then going on to keep fighting cancer for another year and a half. All while still making me breakfast on the weekend and running errands for me during the week, helping me plan our wedding (literally don’t know what I would’ve done without her and my sister), taking every phone call from me as I was navigating new jobs, visiting house after house as Bill and I tried to find our first home and so, so much more that will never fit into an Instagram caption. I see so much of my mom’s determination and stubbornness in Ainsley, and I can’t wait to see more of her as she continues to grow up. I am forever grateful to be her mom — it’s the best ‘title’ I’ll ever have. And while, I’m grateful to have had my mom for as long as I did, it still feels way too short. Today was filled with lots of giggles and snuggles but also lots of tears as I celebrate my first Mother’s Day with Ainsley and my second without my mom. I’m trying to be better about letting myself have the bad days and giving myself more grace. So I’m calling it a night and watching Bad Moms while eating ice cream in bed. Sending lots of love if you’re having a hard day and a virtual cheers with my pint of ice cream ❤️

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