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By Real Brides-to-Be
A Premarital Valentine's Day
By: | Posted: 09/10/2012
As important as the ceremony was (you know: the vows, the rings, the I Dos, and that whole "I now pronounce you man and wife" part), the main emphasis of my planning definitely went into the reception. I wanted our guests to have a night they wouldn't forget, complete with lots of dancing, plenty of details, and delicious food.
As I mentioned in a previous post, we decided to use Apres to construct a tent on the premises of our country club. The plan was for guests to enjoy cocktails and appetizers in the club, head outside into the tent for dinner and dancing, and once the band was finished, head back into the club for an afterparty, complete with late-night snacks, fireworks, and a DJ. The tent was definitely my wild card (well that and the weather). When you're constructing a space from scratch, it's hard to envision precisely what it will look like, so I wanted to be sure that it was on the right track, but I also wanted to be surprised when I saw it on the day-of. The Minneapolis-based crew traveled to Green Bay on Sunday and began constructing the tent nearly a week before the big day. I stopped by on both Wednesday and Thursday, just to make sure everything was at least moving in the direction I envisioned, but after Thursday, I, like our guests, hoped to be wowed by the final product (so I let the two people I trusted most take over the execution: my mom and the planner).
When we pulled up to the club on the wedding day, everything looked perfect to me. The walkway to the tent was lined with lanterns and tall candle pillars, and the doors to the club were adorned with rose balls, while the entryway to the tent was lit with a chandelier and an arrangement that gave our guests an idea of what to expect within. (Think tall candelabras with circle balls of roses, lots of candlelight, rich silver linens, and my favorite touch: luggage tags with calligraphy by Rosann Konieczny at each place.)
The Hubby and I bypassed the cocktail hour to head right out to the golf course for more pictures. We asked our extended families to meet on the first tee for group pictures (I highly suggest doing group pictures at the reception as opposed to the church), and once those were complete, just The Hubby, our photographer, our videographer, and I went out onto the course for pictures of the two of us. Because he and I both love to golf, we thought it would be fun to grab a couple pictures with golf shoes, clubs, and even one picture with us both attempting to tee off.
Another nice element about grabbing these few minutes together on the course was that we were able to have some solitude before the madness of the reception began. It's so overwhelming to know that there are so many people who are all there to celebrate you; you want to talk to all of them and thank them all for being there, but trying to make time to connect with every guest, have fun with your friends, yet still spend time with your new spouse is no easy feat, so finding a balance is important. The Hubby and I were also able to grab our cake mid-reception and sneak away so just the two of us could enjoy it together, and that really was one of my favorite parts of the night. (It was also nice to kick my feet up after prancing around in heels all night for a few minutes!)
Carly is manager, Social Media and Audience Engagement at MSP-C. See her engagement story.
Vanessa is creative director and co-founder at Bow & Arrow Magazine. See her engagement story.
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