It’s still January, which means it’s still #Vinicky121314 Recap Month! A few days ago I shared the details from part one of our wedding day (getting ready, first look and the ceremony), and now it’s time to get to share my point of view from the fun part – the reception.
The ceremony is the most important part, but obviously the reception is where it’s at. Let’s be honest, that’s the part that people actually look forward to when they get that purdy little wedding invitation in the mail (as long as there’s an open bar!).
And since ours was undoubtedly phenomenal, I’ve just GOT to recap every last detail with you, up to the after party when I did something that very few brides would do in their wedding dress (intrigued yet?). Here we go!
I’m just going to be blunt: our reception was the bomb.com! Maybe I’m just a little biased, but Jimmy and I had a freaking blast and it seemed like everyone else did, too. We held the reception at beautiful Savannah Station (which was originally constructed in 1902 as a stable for horses that hauled freight wagons for The Southern Express Company) and it looked absolutely stunning. Our colors were black and gold, which went perfectly with the venue, low lighting, and the pops of Christmas decor throughout.
While we were taking pictures after the ceremony, our guests enjoyed a cocktail hour and entertained themselves with a DIY photo booth.
The wedding party took a private trolley from the ceremony to the reception, which was the perfect opportunity for us to all catch our breaths, calm our nerves, and laugh uncontrollably yet again about the moonshine disaster.
Oh, and it allowed for Lawton to channel his inner-monkey.
Once we arrived, our guests were ushered into the ballroom and emptied the bar so we could all make our grand entrance. While waiting for the DJ to announce us, we grabbed these most epic pictures *ever.*
Soon after, our bridal party was introduced (I can’t wait to see the videos of their entry dances), and Jimmy and I were announced as Mr. and Mrs. Vinicky for the first time!
We went right into our first dance as husband and wife. Our parents and wedding party circled the dance floor, which wasn’t even planning but I thought was really awesome.
Our talented husband-and-wife friends, Sean and Sidney, sang a slowed-down, custom version of our song, Here (In Your Arms) originally by HelloGoodbye, for our first dance song. It was incredible (not our dancing, however. Just the song!).
Next, my daddy and I shared a dance to Daddy Dance With Me, and we both tried our best not to cry. (You couldn’t see it under my dress, but I was standing on his feet for most of the dance, just like I did when I was a little girl.) :)
He is such a special man. I can’t tell you what those three minutes and forty-seven seconds meant to me.
Then Jimmy and his mom shared a sweet dance to her favorite song, What a Wonderful World, and it completely melted my heart.
I had to snag a hug, too!
The dance floor opened up, as did the food stations, and it was time to get the night started. Our food was catered by Magnolia Grill Catering out of Richmond Hill, GA, and they did an absolutely beautiful job. (Though I knew they would – I used to work with the chef!) To tie in with my southern roots, we opted for a truly southern menu, buffet-style. During the cocktail hour, chicken-and-waffle bites, kielbasa in puffed pastry, tomato cucumber sandwiches, and Swedish meatballs (to throw in some of Jimmy’s Swedish heritage) were passed around. Our Southern Experience dinner menu included: Pulled Pork Sliders with House Made Pickles, Petite Southern Fried Chicken, Macaroni and Cheese, collard greens, a shrimp and grits bar, a mashed potato bar, fresh veggies, a fruit and cheese display, baked brie, their amazing homemade ranch (specially requested by yours truly), and more. YUM.
Mark and his staff were absolutely wonderful. The second we sat down, they were already making their way toward us with handfuls of plates with tastes of everything on them. Jimmy requested that they save him a mini chicken-and-waffle, which they did, and he was thrilled! We tried eating, but got side-tracked each time we tried to take a bite. Visiting with people stopping by for pictures and to say hi, and looking around at how beautiful everything looked seemed more important than eating. Neither of us had much of an appetite anyway – I think nerves, excitement and adrenaline had taken over! I DID eat the shrimp and grits, though. OMG.
Our DJ, Max, played some dinner music while we all enjoyed dinner, and people started making their way to the dance floor.
Next order of business: CAKE! Our cake was made by Cake Appeal, owned by two ladies from Jacksonville (one was my original personal trainer – how funny is that?!), and was made up of layers of key lime cake with Swiss buttercream frosting and blueberry cake (with fresh blueberries!) with cream cheese frosting. The entire cake table looked beautiful!
We were mostly nice to each other when it came to feeding cake.
In lieu of a traditional groom’s cake, Jimmy decided to have 150 of his favorite creations: doughnuts. (We tasted doughnuts from about six places before he found his favorite local shop to get them from – The Donut Shoppe in Rincon, GA.) The flavors he picked were blueberry, maple, red velvet, chocolate frosted, and pumpkin. (And they were totally worth every single calorie!)
Not sure why we decided to eat the doughnut Lady and the Tramp style, but …
Moments later, the band started to play and the dance floor quickly filled up. Having a band at our wedding was pretty much Jimmy’s only major request. My cousin had an amazing band at her new year’s eve wedding a few years ago, and it was the most fun we’d ever had at a wedding. We both love live music and we wanted our guests to have as much fun as we did at her wedding, so it was a no-brainer. The challenging part, however, was finding the right band. We didn’t want a string quartet or a typical, cheesy wedding band; we wanted a band that we would go see on a Saturday night out with friends. My co-worker suggested a band she used to hire for her sorority’s socials and we fell in love with their sound instantly. Shortly after, we hired Ocean Street, all the way from Nashville, to come play our Savannah wedding. And they killed it. Not only are the guys incredibly nice and talented, but they put on one hell of a show! No one wanted the night to end, and neither did we.
First band break = speech time! I personally love this part of wedding receptions. It’s so nice to hear loved ones speak from their heart about the bride and groom, and I know how special it is for the two newlyweds. It was wonderful getting to be on the opposite side of things (not having to make the speech this time!), and I must say, our people nailed it. My dad was so sweet and heartfelt (and a little lengthy, but I warned everyone about the beforehand!). He loves Jimmy and I know he’s so excited to have him as part of our family now, and it showed.
I had one Maid of Honor (my sister) and two Matrons of Honor (my two best friends from home), so they did things a little different. My two Maids of Honor, Whitney and Brittnee, tag-teamed it and came up with an adorable toast to the two of us. Love you girls! My little sister’s speech completely caught me off guard. First of all, she looked absolutely beautiful and seeing her on stage with that lighting completely took my breath away. Her unprepared speech came straight from the heart and instantly brought tears to my eyes. Love you, little sis!! And then there was the best man. My, oh my, how I wish I’d been prepared. He’s a naturally funny guy, so I expected some jokes. What I didn’t expect was for him to stalk my Facebook timeline from the past five years and pull embarrassing status updates that he would read to 250 people!!!! I couldn’t stop laughing and I’m still telling people about it. Trust me, it’s something you NEED to watch for yourself. Stay tuned for that …
Toasts came to an end, and it was the perfect time to put all the single ladies and gentlemen on the spot for the garter and bouquet toss. Garter toss first. I’ve always enjoyed watching this part at weddings, but I’ve never really thought about being the one sitting in that chair. It’s a completely different view! I always cheer for the groom to pull the garter off with his teeth but I never imagined how embarrassing it must be for the bride in the moment. Until I was in the hot seat. I sat in a char in the middle of the dance floor, Jimmy disappeared under my 40-pound dress, and came out with a White Sox (surprise!) garter in his teeth I’m pretty sure my cheeks turned bright red, but it was funny and I’m glad he was the groom that I always cheer for.
After hitting the chandelier on his first try, Jimmy gave it a second shot and slung that bad boy toward the guys. A few guys jumped for the catch, and the lucky fella that ended up with it was Matt, the boyfriend of my friend/co-worker Ashley (the one who suggested the band!).
Then it was my turn … and I was slightly terrified. Scared I’d hit the chandelier or whack someone in the face! (I have terrible hand-eye coordination and can’t throw worth a crap.) I was hoping Ashley (Matt’s girlfriend) would catch the bouquet, but my fear got the best of me and aiming wasn’t exactly my top priority. I about tinkled my pants when I saw these photos!
It was a close call, but Ashley missed and my friend Zach’s date, Kim, caught the bouquet. It was fun to watch, and I love seeing the terrified look on some of these girls’ faces!
Once all of the traditional wedding festivities were out of the way, the rest of the night was dedicated to that dance floor. The band played one great song after another, and nearly every single person was getting their groove on.
Pretty soon, Jimmy way playing the air keyboard …
… and barking.
I was doing some weird pointy-dancey thing …
… Mike was driving the school bus …
… and Brittnee was SnapChatting all of the madness.
Then the band start playing The Outfielder’s Josie and suddenly the crowd seemed to part, everyone formed a circle around the two of us, and we totally danced like no one was watching. I don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun in my life.
It was about this time in the night when everyone had danced off their dinner and consumed several drinks, which made it the perfect time for our late-night Chicago dog bar. This was another idea Jimmy had, and I loved it. Why not incorporate something from his home AND his favorite food?! Our caterers tracked down authentic Chicago dog ingredients, made Jimmy a special sign and everything. As soon as they announced that the hot dog bar was open, I made Jimmy his first Chicago dog as his wife …
… proceeded to feed it to him …
… annndddd fed his groomsmen. Don’t ask, because I don’t have an answer for you. I guess in that moment it just felt right!
Before the photographer left, she remembered one more picture that I’d requested: the giant chandelier.
Thank you for remembering this one, Katelyn! It is my absolute favorite picture of the day.
The band wrapped up and the DJ started back, and back to the dance floor we all went. (And then it was time to be done but no one was ready, so we extended the venue, bar and DJ another hour-and-a-half. Oops!) Jimmy and his guys did the “Bacon” dance to Shout (like, they all laid on the ground and started “sizzling” like bacon…?), the bridal party got on stage and broke it down (ha ha, right) to Baby Got Back, and we all continued dancing and singing the night away.
It was finally time to be done at Savannah Station, but not everyone wanted to be done for the night, so the DJ announced that our after party was at Savannah Smiles! We all grabbed a seat on the shuttle and in taxis, and headed a few blocks toward River Street.
Bed time? Who needs it. A different dress to change into? What’s the fun in that? My friend Gina said she had a blast going out in her wedding dress, so I decided to go for it, too, and am so happy I did. I had SO MUCH FUN!
We first headed to Savannah Smiles to meet up with everyone from the reception. I was finally able to spend some time talking to friends and family that I didn’t get to really talk to at the reception, and I think I actually finished my first cocktail.
(FYI the one in the middle is my personal trainer who kicked my butt for six months before the wedding. Hence the flexing.) :)
When we were ready to a change of scenery, we headed to Saddle Bags for some country music and line dancing. Oh, and a little bull riding.
Yep, I rode a mechanical bull in my wedding dress. And let me be the first to say that it is HARD to get up on that thing when you’re 5’3 in a 40-pound wedding dress!!!! Thanks to Brittnee, who made me get on in the first place, I finally got up after about three minutes of sliding off.
The bar was closing and the lights were on, but no one was letting me leave that place until I successfully rode the bull. Here’s proof if you want a good laugh.
It was pretty fun, I can’t lie.
But wait, there’s more! Jimmy and I were still on a wedding high and didn’t want the night to come to an end, so we headed to my mom and step dad’s suite at the hotel with a few who were still hanging on. We sat around and recapped the night, told embarrassing stories of one another, drank peach moonshine (not the one that broke on the ground during the wedding ceremony), and ate a delicious, ginormous pizza from Sweet Melissa’s. (And my step dad so graciously helped me with my train on the walk there so it wouldn’t drag on the ground.)
Around 4:30 a.m., we all finally decided to call it a night and headed to bed.
By the end of the night, I was going off four hours of sleep, my hair was a tangled mess, my makeup was smeared, my belt was coming loose and hanging low, my feet were blistered and the bottoms were dirty and black, my bustle had broken and I was throwing my train over my shoulder, I was bruised and scraped from trying to get on the bull, and I found a wrist band, bar napkin and cigarette butt under my dress … and I wouldn’t change a thing.
It was 500% the most amazing 24 hours of my life, and I would do it all over again exactly the same ten times if I could. I got to marry my best friend and the love of my life, celebrate with a kick-ass party, and do it with almost ALL of our friends and family from across the country. I am beyond blessed and couldn’t ask for anything more.
A HUGE thank you to all of you who made the trip to Savannah to celebrate with us. I wish we could have spent more one-on-one time with each of you, but it truly means the world to us both that you were there. For those who couldn’t make it, we missed you and you were there in spirit. Thank you to all of the fabulous people who helped set up and tear down (Meghan, Stephanie, Heidi, Valeria, Aunt Pam, Mom, Lora, Jessica, Melissa … I know I’m leaving people out. You know who you are!) Thank you to all of our amazing vendors/partners for being the best of the best. You’re all perfect and Jimmy and I love you to pieces!
12-13-14. Best. Night. EVER.
Want more pictures? Click HERE to see all of the amazing pictures our fabulous photographer, Finnegan Photography, took of our wedding day.
(Note: All other photos were captured by friends and family. Thank you all for the beautiful pictures!)
Coming up next in my wedding recap series:
- Our Wedding Weekend
- Our Griswold Honeymoon
- Wedding Day Bloopers
- Tips for Brides-to-Be