(Picture Heavy Post)
All Photos by Nathan Russell Photography
When the guests arrived, they were immediately instructed by Eskay Entertainment (event planner gurus) to relax and enjoy the cocktails and music.
I really was going for the cocktail effect with the whole wedding. Mingling. Drinks. Music. Fun.
That was the goal.
Shanda Ferguson's artwork was the first thing everyone saw once they entered the building.
I can't tell you how much I cherish that portrait of us.
(It now sits in our living room)
We didn't do much to the venue itself. That was one of my requirements when looking for the perfect place. I wanted the venue to already be what I wanted.
I didn't want to go the reception hall with glittered marbles as center pieces.
I enlisted the help of my venue stylist/friend to add the small touches like the pillows and candles/candle holders.
We scouted pillows everywhere from Ross to Dillard's but most of the pillows came from my home.
(I'm somewhat obsessed with decorative pillows)
The guests enjoyed fruit/cheese and drinks for cocktail hour.
(The hubby made 10 gallons of our signature drink the night before...Sweet Tea Vodka)
Our AWESOME caterer Candie of Candie's Catering provided the five waves of food.
Everything from chicken skewers to bit sized meatloaf boats.
A family friend created our miniature cupcakes/cupcake shotglasses/wedding cake.
If you know anything about me then you know I'm a wedding cake aficianado.
I do NOT play around with my cake!
I was dead set against buying those corny guest books.
We decided to utilize our favorite past time of playing SLAM: Scrabble Cards as our guest book.
I typed a simple instruction sheet of what to do and framed the instructions.
It was fun going through the cards the next day to see the messages everyone wrote.
The guests received personalized bookmarks provided by blogger, Olive Paperie Custom Design and Stationery.
(Our entrance song: The Truth by India Arie')
The guests were instructed to arrive at 7pm to mingle/hang out.
We arrived at about 7:45pm and walked in the venue together.
We walked straight to the middle of the room where our pastor met us to conduct the surprise ceremony.
Prior to us entering, our immediate families were lined up. They thought they were lining up to take pictures.
(Remember, this was a surprise wedding, they thought we went to the courthouse to get married)
Then we got married:)
(Our exit song: Better Man by Musiq Soulchild)
We took quick family photos outdoors with our immediate family.
That's when the first wave of food came for the guests.
I did NOT want them waiting for us to eat.
We took a quick picture next to Shanda's masterpiece!
(P.S. We never posed for the portrait, I just described to her what we were wearing and she hit the nail on the head!)
Isn't it perfect!?!
Then the party began.
If you're new to my blog then you might not know that I'm the stylist for R&B performing artist Lee-Lonn.
(Scroll to the bottom of the blog page to view his video)
So, I forced him to perform "Maybe."
Everyone LOVED him!
Can you guess which "shuffle" dance they are doing?
So....my 20ft tall brother decided to PLANK at my wedding!
He makes me so sick! LOL!
Juanette, my road dog for real...dancing with my "new" 11 year old daughter.
I'm pretty sure we were dancing to a Prince song.
(His choice, not mine.)
All in all, it was exactly what I wanted.
The next post will be my take on the process and lessons learned during the whole experience. (sigh)
Thank you Nathan Russell Photography for EVERYTHING!