Wedding: The Reception

Finally, the reception. First, our guests had cocktails and hors devours in the Reading Room, which was filled with leather club chairs and a giant fireplace–and the ceiling looked like it was straight out of Versailles! Alex was so enamored of the aesthetic that he now wants our apartment to look like a dimly lit social club.

Then we headed upstairs for dinner. We wanted to create a relaxed vibe (and keep the budget reasonable), so we served a Mediterranean buffet–including lamb kabobs, grilled vegetables, cheesy pasta with vodka sauce, and caprese salad–and we didn’t do assigned seating. Miraculously, people all ended up sitting with their good friends, and the tables worked out perfectly. (Whew!) Alex and I fall into the small category of People Who Don’t Like Cake, so we served homemade cookies for dessert, made by my mom and the fabulous Perl Girl Baking Co. (P.S. Can you spot the two fascinators in the photo above? So cute!)

During dinner, our friends and siblings gave toasts. Alex’s friend Brad talked about their early days in New York (where they shared a miniature apartment with a stalker across the hall), Alex’s sister Lesley wrote a beautiful poem, my sister Lucy spoke about love and imagination, and Alex’s brother Scott gave a funny toast full of California slang (including the line, “Dude, you totally scored.”) But the big twist of the evening came when my little brother Nick gave his entire toast in a pitch-perfect New Zealand accent. No joke! The crowd was on fire!

Next up was a slideshow by our beloved friend Jason. He put together baby photos, family snapshots…and embarrassing pictures of us in junior high. He had stalked our friends and relatives all summer to get anecdotes about our lives (e.g., Alex’s imaginary friend, Steve), and he wrote a cheeky speech to go along with the photos. It was hilarious, touching and wonderful.

After dinner, we moved into the next room for dancing. Our good friend Maz was our DJ, and we played the Velvet Underground’s “I’ll Be Your Mirror” for our first dance. (Runners up were “I Don’t Wanna” by Patsy Cline and “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” by Elvis.) We had taken a fox trot class over the summer, but suddenly got nervous, and just danced like 7th graders. Luckily, the audience didn’t seem to mind.

And then everyone danced the night away. The star of the show was our redheaded flower girl, Grace, who had so many cool moves! (Click on the photo to enlarge, if you’d like; she’s ridiculously cute.)

Next up: The favors and the brunch, and that’s it! Thank you so much for indulging me :) xoxo

(Photos by Max Wanger)

  1. t’s true. All our lives, we’ve been taught not to talk about money. But asking for a raise is different. Your salary isn’t a gift your boss is giving you. It’s money you’ve earned because you’re valuable to your company.

  2. An exclamation point for such a special event. The celebration looks like a success, and may the newlyweds enjoy the same success in their new life together!

  3. I absolutely ADORE these photos…the color and the lighting is just perfect and adds such warmth to the wedding which looked just lovely! You can definitely see the joy in both of you!! Thanks for sharing!

  4. now that you’re expecting and it feels like i’ts “all about baby”, i think it would be fun to revisit all these photos. the love and excitement here is palpable!

  5. Anonymous says...

    “hors-d’oeuvres” madame! “hors-d’oeuvres”!! :)

  6. Can I just say that this looks like the perfect wedding?! Thanks for sharing. A wedding is not in my near future, but I hope to use your ideas someday. On a sappy note this makes me hopeful for my perfect man and happily ever after.

  7. Oh, perfection! Such a gorgeous couple… and a beautiful event.

  8. you had great music at your wedding! sounds like everything was awesome

  9. So many lovely photos! I’m loving it!

  10. Love all the photos and stories from you wedding. Thank so much for sharing them with us. And I LOVE that your brother did his speech with a New Zealsnd accent. That’s one of the greatest wedding reception stories ever.

  11. What a great wedding! Congratulations!

    PS: the flower girl reminded me of little miss sunshine.

  12. this looks and sounds like an amazing event! I’m so happy for you!

    PS: great song!!

  13. What an amazing wedding! You are so beautiful!~

  14. “Thank you so much for indulging me”… hahaha! =D Indulging you?! I think we have been waiting to see these for what feels like forever. THANK YOU for indulging US!

    Looks like you had the most memorable amazing day. So happy for you!

  15. fantastic!

    i really love the fact that each part of the reception was taken place in a different room

  16. Anonymous says...

    Joanna – I’m writing from Singapore (somewhere in Asia). I’ve been reading your blog for the longest time and of course, this includes reading about all your wedding dilemmas, choices, preferences.
    I’m so glad that everything fits so beautifully at the end of the day (or rather, the beginning of your journey). Almost choked with tears looking at the photos Max took. You make me want to bring him to Singapore for my upcoming wedding! :)
    Congratulations and I wish you both all the best. Keep writing!

    Love, Ivy

  17. i love your laugh!! it looks so beautiful!

  18. everything looks so wonderful. I love the lighting, the feeling, everything. and I love that you didn’t do assigned seating…

  19. Not doing assigned seating = bliss. And people may not enjoy the buffet idea, but I’m a fan! I call seconds ;) Congratulations, BTW. Love these wedding photos.

  20. Crikey Joanna, what can I say, your wedding looks like a real corker, the pictures are amazing, everyone is having such a choice time, over here we would say your brother sounds a bit of a dag (good saying), Congratulations from Kiwi land on your wonderful day :)

    I better rattle my dags. Cheerio


  21. Congratulations Joanna! You looked beautiful and your photos are stunning.x

  22. These pictures are beautiful. They seem to capture a real feeling of fun and happiness at your wedding. I love that picture of you and your brother, especially after reading that he was doing a NZ accent! What a clever and funny thing to do – It instantly takes the pressure off him and has everyone laughing.

  23. v says...

    It all sounds so amazing and beautiful! The photos are so wonderful!! Congratulations!!! Xo

  24. is your flower girl doing the charleston!? adorable girl & beautiful photos. i want to get married right this second.

  25. sarah, it was hilarious that he did his toast in a different accent — so random and absurdist and he did it all as if nothing out of the ordinary was going on; alex said it was andy kaufman-esque. i guess he chose new zealand because for some reason, he can pull it off. he doesn’t watch flight of the concords, maybe he has some new zealand friends? i don’t know, haha–it was just so funny :)

  26. Joanna your wedding looks like it was amazing!! Every little piece. I gotta say, I am intrigued about Nick’s NZ accent. Has he been here or did he get tips from FOTC?

  27. I don’t usually cry at weddings, but reading through the blog posts of yours, I am tearing up. So, so beautiful, Joanna. A million billion congrats, and many happy years to come!

  28. Ohhh… you and Alex looked so happy in those beautiful pictures, so happy for you too and wish you all the best in your marriage life :)

  29. oh I have loved all these photos from your wedding! They are all so beautiful, and you can tell how happy you and Alex are :)
    Congratulations and all the best!!

  30. Ann says...

    your pictures are SO gorgeous! what a beautiful beautiful wedding, wow! I’ve been following your blog for a good while now, and I am just so happy for you, even though we’re not actual friends. Alex looks so very handsome, and that picture of him standing in front of your dad just cracks me up hahah he’s so adorable there, so funny.
    Congratulations again, and i wish you all the best with your lives as husband and wife! =)
    GAH! Just looking at these pics just make me want to get married now!

  31. what a ridiculously gorgeous wedding!! congrats again!

  32. i remember being the flower girl at my uncle’s wedding. i was seven years old, and danced more than anyone!

  33. hi joanna,

    having VU’s i’ll be your mirror as first dance is one of the best first dance song ideas EVARRR. congrats!

  34. I love seeing all these photos and hearing you tell the story of your day. and I totally adore that photo of you and alex watching the slideshow, your arms around each other. too cute!!

  35. You must be two very special people for your friends to have done so many very cool things…smiles.

  36. miss.c says...

    Hi Jo I absolutely love your wedding details! I just wana say that your personalities come through in everything and yet are not overdone as to detract from the importance of the event. Also Im a kiwi from NZ and find it amusing that you enjoy our accent. I wish you both the best for the future :)

  37. Just gorgeous!! All of it. Thanks for sharing.

  38. I’ll say it again – my favorite thing about these pictures is the joy on everyone’s face! You, Alex, your parents, your guests – you can just feel the love!

  39. Oh Joanna, it’s like a fairy-tale! You look absolutely radiant.

  40. Okay, now you’re just making me jealous ;D

  41. I just stumbled on your blog today and must say what a GORGEOUS wedding! I am excited reading everything about your special day as I am getting married this Saturday. I hope to have a wonderful experience to write about. Looks like you had the time of your life.

  42. Joanna, you are such a joy! Your wedding is so personal and fitting. I’m sure you could have gone a million different ways, but you seem to have kept everything relatively basic, yet so meaningful. I’m inspired!

  43. wow. your wedding really was great and fun and perfect and spectacular. thanks for the details

  44. It sounds like you had a wonderful time! The pictures are so beautiful – and you look so happy!

  45. Pure delight. I love the honeyed quality to the air that the photographer has created here.

  46. oh…this is absolutely wonderful. So happy, so stylish and so full of emotion.
    Congratulations and all the best for the two of you.

  47. These are fabulous wedding shots! Everything looks gorgeous.

  48. it looks like such a dashing time. everything sounds perfect!

  49. Chelsea says...

    Did you end up dancing? I remember you mentioning on Glamour that you were nervous for that part (me too!)

  50. These pictures are amazing. Everything looks so elegant. Congrats!!

  51. This comment has been removed by the author.

  52. These fabulous photos really take you there. Wonderful.

  53. thanks for sharing! the photos are awesome. I’m living for the fascinators. :)

  54. Oh Jo – perfect, perfect, perfect. Your wedding seemed so “effortlessly” fabulous (but we all know how much hard work you put in to create that perfect atmosphere!)

    I’m so happy for you both; what a lovely beginning :-)

  55. Dear goodness! Joanna your wedding (and you as bride) exude perfection! Thanks for sharing the lovely day and Max’s stunning photographs with us!

  56. Gorgeous, just gorgeous! You are so blessed and you truly deserve it, as does Alex. I feel like I know you personally…lol.

    Congratulations…and they lived happily ever after :-)

  57. Anonymous says...

    I usually follow you on smitten but i’m here to look at your beautiful pictures. seriously, i can just feel the love from these pictures. it looks like you had a simple and elegant ceremony. I can only hope that one day i can find a man to share such a beautiful experience like yours.

  58. Looks like it was a wonderful night! I’m really enjoying these!

  59. Joanna, I’m in love with your wedding! Such a cool and elegant aesthetic. I love that you danced like 7th graders too. Your wedding just seems like what a wedding should be: a celebration with your dearest family and friends.

  60. i felt compelled (again) to tell you how much i (among several others, i’m certain) am enjoying your recap! i’m sad it’s almost over! and i love the bit about dancing like 7th graders.

  61. looks like fairy tales.. looks like the stories in the movies.. sooo lovely and cute..

  62. I love the relaxed vibe at your wedding! My sister almost did the embarrassing pics thing but was afraid I’d kill her… I wish she had! It’d have been hilarious hehe :)

  63. Your first dance picture is gorgeous and totally made me sigh! Congratulations!

  64. haha, emily, and the craziest part was that their stalker was an old DUDE! he would always try to hang out with them, and he would call at 2 in the morning and hang up. it sounded so creepy!!!!

  65. i cant get over how amazingly beautiful your wedding was! plus, i think you and alex are ADORABLE!!!!

  66. I’m so sad these beautiful recaps are almost done! They’ve been brightening my day so much during a tough dreary week.

    I’m so glad you and Alex found each other. And I’m so happy to be sharing in the love. I bet your guests went home absolutely floating :)

  67. This my first comment on how beautiful ya’lls wedding was! Amazing! I have to say it was completely gorgeous from the invatations to the cutesy flower girl! at my cousins wedding my 2 year old busted out his dance moves and he too was the life of the party, children never cease to amaze me with their innocence.

    Hope your having a fantab day!

  68. wow the photographer took some amazing pictures. they captured every moment!i love the pic of you and your hubby dancing! it looks like you guys had a fabulous time and so much fun! congrats

  69. so much fun…my favorite parts:

    1. the fact that alex had a stalker (and an imaginary friend)
    2. your brother’s new zealand accent and
    3. that you danced like 7th graders since you were nervous.

  70. for indulging you? thank YOU so much for indulging US! these photos and all the details are just wonderful. i love your velvet underground song. i’ll be sad when all these posts are over :)

  71. Anonymous says...

    Hi Jo,
    I found your blog through a Spanish blogger, and your wedding was just amazing. You look great, and above all, HAPPY, and the decor, the details… just perfect.
    Congratulations, I’ll be reading your blog from now on.
    And as we say in Spain ¡Qué vivan los novios!” (Kind of “Long life to the just married!”)

  72. Anonymous says...

    a new zealand accent, LOL, your brother sounds insane… in a good way.

  73. These pictures are fabulous Joanna, congratulations! It is so clear in looking at the pictures that your wedding was filled with love – what more can a bride ask for? You & Simon both looked stunning and SO happy! Best of luck to you both and thanks so much for sharing your beautiful day with all of us!

  74. it looks so fun and wonderful! the most important thing about a wedding is the feeling from the guests… my parents always talk about how genuinely happy everyone was at their wedding because they were perfect for each other, and you can tell your guests feel the same way. everyone looks ecstatic for you and alex! beautiful beautiful wedding!

  75. LOVE. Really, it’s love. Just posted your 1st reading over on my blog. I keep wanting to burst into tears thinking about it. My husband was pretty moved when I read it to him last night, as well.

  76. Congratulations!!!
    You were so gorgeous!!
    Everything looks so perfect and sweet… :)

  77. So cosy and classic looking. I love the light, too.

  78. Congratulations!!!
    You were so gorgeous!!
    Everithing looks so perfect and sweet… :)

  79. awe, yay. It all looks amazing, Joanna! The wedding, reception, all the photos …just perfect! You look beautiful …I hope you both are just beyond excited!