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

Leave a Comment

Follow @carlyritt_ on Instagram

  • Bill, the Christmas elf, stayed up late last night putting the lights on the tree so that it was ready for ornaments in the morning 🎄❤️
  • Santa’s little helper thinks my fishy face could use some improvement, but she made up for the judgmental look by helping me fill some stockings. We ended the night with a dance party and waving goodnight to our tree (and hers) and all of her stuffed animals so I’d say she’s officially on the mend (knock on wood)!
  • This is probably going to be a rambling mess but this time of year is filled with a lot of emotions for me. And while nothing beats experiencing the holidays with a 14 month old, there’s still that hole in my heart missing my mom and brother. This room has taken two years to fill and so much has happened in that time that I wish they would have been here for. If you’re going through a new loss this holiday season (or any loss really), my heart is heavy for you. If you have a friend or family member coping with loss, I have two posts on my blog that may help even just a little - “How to Help a Grieving Friend” and “Coping with Loss During the Holiday Season”. There is a link to them in my bio. Every loss is different and I am by no means an expert, but writing has helped me along the way. (And while not the topic of this post, here are links to most of the pieces in this room because it’s really starting to feel like home, and I love it http://liketk.it/2HttZ #liketkit @liketoknow.it).
  • I couldn’t resist adding some Christmas magic to Ainsley’s room a little early. This is one of the trees my sister and I had in our room growing up around the holidays. Ainsley loves it just as much as we did! And thank you for checking in on our sweet girl. She finally seems back to herself just in time for the long holiday weekend ❤️
  • This brave little girl is HOME! One urgent care visit, one ambulance ride, five hours in the ER and an overnight stay at Children’s which included seven breathing treatments and three doses of steroids. She was a complete rockstar through the entire stay. She had the best guardian angels watching over her with a sign from Grandma Rosie thanks to an orange popsicle they brought Ainsley in the ER. It was my mom’s #1 request any time she was in the hospital. Thank you so much for all of your thoughtful messages and prayers. You continue to show our family so much love, and it means more than you know 🧡

Follow Me On Instagram