Oh what a night. Never have I wished I could slow down time more than during our wedding reception. It was magical and turned out exactly as we’d envisioned– romantic. moody and elegant drawing inspiration from my favorite season: Autumn.
OUR RECEPTION PLACE SETTINGS // Gold Table Numbers | Custom Foil-Printed Menus via Minted | Custom Gold Name Cutouts | Dinnerware, Glassware, Utensils & Napkins rented via Borrowed Blu | Florals & Decor via Country Gardeners Florist
Following our wedding ceremony, everyone immediately proceeded to cocktail hour which took place on the back lawn of Lion Rock Farm’s main guest house. The view of the the rolling hills covered in fall foliage is the reason why we chose to host this portion of the night here. We specifically timed it so everyone would be able to see the sunset. It was spectacular!
The goal of our cocktail hour was to set the tone for the rest of the night and get our guests ready for lots of eating, drinking and dancing. Our caterer created the most insane harvest table covered in all types of cheeses, charcuterie and the necessary accompaniments. It was definitely the hit of cocktail hour for our guests! By the end it had been completely devoured.
We also served eight passed appetizers– grilled cheese + tomato soup shooters, mini lobster rolls, spicy tuna tartare on crispy rice– just to name a few! For drinks we had an open bar, plus two custom cocktails: apple cider margaritas using my exact recipe and a blackberry bourbon mule. SO delicious!
When it was time to proceed in for the reception, Nick and I stayed behind for a few minutes to collect our thoughts before our first dance. We were both a little nervous especially because it was the first time we’d be doing our routine with me wearing my big gown. Eeek!
Then it was game time! We walked into our reception tent to cheers as our band Silver Arrow Band introduced us as Mr. and Mrs., and started playing our first dance song, “Cheek to Cheek” by Lady Gaga & Tony Bennet. While our dance moves definitely weren’t as clean as we’d practiced, I think we did a pretty good job and even nailed our final lift!!! I’m excited for y’all to see it in our upcoming wedding film 🙂
A few notes on our reception decor… We really wanted our tent to feel inviting and cozy, so I had the idea of hanging Edison bulb-style lights and draping fabric from the ceiling and around the polls holding up the tent. Our lighting vendor handled all the lighting and our florist installed the draping using sheer charcoal fabric I’d purchased myself from a store in Manhattan’s Garment District. So so happy with how it all turned out.
As soon as we finished our first dance, everyone was called out on to the dance floor to join us for a few songs before we all sat down for a champagne toast and our plated first course: a kale caesar salad with pomegranate seeds, radishes and a parmesan crisp.
Next Nick and I did our dances with our parents. Mine with my Pop Pop and Nick with his Mom. It was really cute. Towards the end of their dance, both of his sisters and his Dad joined them to finish the song. Next the dancing continued! Our band then invited everyone back out for a couple more songs while our caterer cleared the first course and readied the tables for dinner.
We really loved the idea of a family style meal so all entrees and sides were served on platters. Our menu was incredible! We served branzino on a fennel citrus salad, roasted chicken with black truffles, charred broccolini with a parmesan cream sauce, roasted delicata squash and potato gnocchi with smoked mushrooms.
The food. Omg. My one regret from our wedding is that I didn’t eat enough. I was just so excited that I didn’t have much of an appetite. I should’ve asked in advance for a doggy bag to eat the next day because absolutely every bite was devoured.
Towards the end of dinner my Pop Pop and Nick’s dad took the floor for their speeches. Nick and I both cried happy tears!
As everyone hit the dance floor again, I sneaked off with my Maid of Honor Allie and my planner Stephanie to change into my second Riki Dalal gown. I didn’t originally plan to have two dresses, but when I realized how long I was going to have to wear one gown and all the dancing I’d be doing, I decided to look into a simpler second option.
When I mentioned my dilemma to the ladies Riki Dalal during one of my fittings, they recommended I try on the Laura gown. Right away I fell in love with the sparkle and lightweight sheath cut. I knew it would be the perfect dress for our reception!
When I went to change dresses, I also put my hair in a braid and added these crystal hair pins from BHLDN.
Over the course of the next few hours everyone danced their hearts away to swing and Motown hits thanks to the talented Silver Arrow Band. We had a nine-piece band with two vocalists and they were UNREAL. Throughout the night so many of our guests came up to us and said Silver Arrow was the best band they’d ever heard at a wedding. They made the energy of the room so upbeat and really inspired everyone to stay on the dance floor. There wasn’t a single dull moment the entire night!
The only breaks we took from dancing were for Maid of Honor and Best Man speeches and again for dessert. How gorgeous was our cake? We did one layer of chocolate salted caramel and one of vanilla. Another fail on my part was not getting a three layers so we could have leftovers. Similar to dinner, every single slice was gone with minutes of being served!
It was a bittersweet feeling when our band finally announced the last song of the night– Beyonce & Jay Z – Crazy in Love. I think we all could’ve kept dancing for hours! But Nick and I had one last surprise in store for the night…
FIREWORKS. We didn’t want to just end the night with any old goodbye– we really wanted to wow everyone so we had our lighting vendor set up some pyrotechnics at the exit door of the party barn. These are called cold spark boxes and you can typically rent them for a lighting company. Some DJs even include them in their packages. The sparks are cool to the touch and can even be used indoors!
As everyone exited the tent and out through the barn, they grabbed an apple cider donut to go (obviously you can’t have enough sweets) and lined up by the door to say goodbye. A few minutes later we walked out to more cheers feeling all the love in the world. BEST NIGHT EVER.
OUR WEDDING VENDORS
VENUE: Lion Rock Farm
PLANNING: SHG Event Planning
PHOTOGRAPHY: Sarah Joy Photography
VIDEOGRAPHY: Madison Grey Media
FLORALS & DECOR: Country Gardeners Florist
CATERING: Hunt & Harvest
CAKE: Blackberry River Baking Co.
RENTALS: Borrowed Blu (dinnerware/glassware)
RENTALS: Party Rentals (chairs, seat cushions, serving ware, heaters)
RENTALS: Events Unlimited (tent, dance floor, stage)
LIGHTING + PYROTECHNICS: Handyboys Entertainment
BAND: Silver Arrow Band (9 piece with 2 vocalists)
GLAM: Facetime Beauty Concierge
OFFICIANT: Joe Mustich
STATIONERY & SIGNAGE: Minted
Dress 1: Riki Dalal Juliet Gown & Veil
Dress 2: Riki Dalal Laura Gown
Crystal Drop Earrings via BHLDN
Badgley Mischka Heels via BHLDN
Crystal Hair Clip via BHLDN
Crystal Hair Pins via BHLDN
Rings: Stephanie Gottlieb Fine Jewelry
PERSONALIZED ITEMS & DECOR
Wedding Welcome Sign
Custom Floral Wedding Signs
Custom Cocktail Menu
Personalized Cocktail Napkins
Wood Cornhole Set + Custom Vinyl Decals
Personalized Wedding Card Box
Custom Seating Chart
Custom Foil-Printed Menus
Custom Gold Name Cutouts
Gold Table Numbers
Rustic Wood Crates
Wedding Favor Donut Bags