My Wedding: The Details (Nathan Russell Photography)

 (Picture Heavy Post)

 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:)

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!?!
Pure genius.

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!


GFS said...

OMG! that was so beautiful! Thank you for sharing that with the world. i kinda got misty at the end of the pics... i love black love!

GFS said...

Beautiful. It was your day. From A to Z. And that's what it should be. Congratulations.

GFS said...

Your wedding looks like it was fun and perfect for you! So many weddings have gotten waaay out of hand, it is refreshing to see one that focused on on the right things! Mazel Tov!

GFS said...

OMG Reiko HOW BEAUTIFUL! I would have to say the cake and the painted portrait have to be my faves. You looked so amazing. Wishing you all the best girl.

Goodwill Hunting: Win the Pineapple Princess dress by Shabby Apple!
Best casual boots on a budget - $50 and under

GFS said...

Don't you just love when something comes together like you planned it? You and your husbands day was beautiful... and beautifully captured.


GFS said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE your wedding!! The pictures are GORGEOUS and you and your Husband love FABULOUS!! The venue was oh my goodness was prefect and the setup/decor/food looked great!!

I said this before and I will say it again; simple and personal weddings are the best weddings to me. I think people spend waaaaaay too much money on 1 day. Nothing against those that want to do that, go for the GOLD (if you can afford it), but like said some have gotten out of hand. It's more about the flash, glitz and glamor than the love the 2 people getting married want to share with everyone. Some weddings become BIG productions with hundreds of people, all for what? So people can talk about how FABULOUS your wedding was. I want people to talk about how much they could see/feel the love that me and my husband have. Being event planners/caterers (w/my sisters) getting people to understand less is more can be hard. However, once they start seeing everything come together they love it!! The day should be about the couple getting married, it should embodied both personalities and the love they share. That's what makes it beautiful, enjoyable and memorable!! Sorry that was sooooo long!! LOL!!

Carsedra of:



GFS said...

I totally agree! My wedding didn't cost a whole lot but I focused on what was important. No flowers but lots of candles. It is so easy to get "caught up." I wanted my photos to speak for us. I'm glad you enjoyed the pics! www.godsfavoriteshoes.com
11th Commandment: Thou Style Shall Never Be Sacrificed.

GFS said...

These photos are amazing! Makes me feel almost like I was there. I hope you saved a couple of those cupcakes for after the wedding...they look so delicious. Your wedding was so personal and sweet, exactly what a wedding should be. Thak you for sharing these photos with us!

(P.S Mutual Appreciation Club forever!!!)

GFS said...

All I can say is WOW...what a unique wedding!


GFS said...

Beautiful!! So beautiful!!

GFS said...

Congratulations. Thank you for sharing. So beautiful!!

GFS said...

The most unique flyest low key stunning wedding I have ever seen. You rock!!! loved the scrabble guest cards among all the other creatvitiy that blessed ur day.

GFS said...

Reiko your faces radiated your happiness. It was truly palpable in every picture. Your wedding was just like your blog-- sassy, personal and unpretentious! Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

GFS said...

Beautiful! The photog really captured the "love" in the room

GFS said...

I love your venue! It's like you invited people into your home and had a real intimate celebration. Such a unique idea.

GFS said...

Thank you so much for sharing! This is what I want: low-key and intimate. This was beautiful. I wish you both all the happiness in the world.

GFS said...

I'm in love!

GFS said...

What a beautiful day- I wish I was there!!! I absolutely loved the painting and your brother is hilarious for that.

GFS said...

Looks like an incredible wedding! The food looks delicious!


GFS said...

u look super amazing i love this post!!

GFS said...

Just found your blog. Congratulations! You looked GORGEOUS on your wedding day.

GFS said...

OEEEEEMGEEEEE!!! it is all so fab! and so beautiful! and so unique! and so fun!

and WTF IS WRONG WITH YOUR 20FT TALL BROTHER?!?!??! don't worry. i have a brother, and he ruins everything too. so does my oldest sister! argh.

i can't even believe your church lets you drink. you are so lucky. LOLOLOLOL!

and a meatloaf boat?! trust me -- i'd be diving into that. and those cakes! not sure about the vodka thing -- but this really should be about me, now should it?!

anywhoo, you know how to do a wedding right. for reals. i just love what you did!

GFS said...

+ I'm such a sap! this post almost made me cry! i love seeing love! especially black love! i love the STYLE involved from you and hubby to the artwork [amazing] and the venue [extra amazing]!

Congratulations on your union! so beautiful!


GFS said...

Beautiful...taking notes for my big day...someday...

GFS said...

I love the way you did wedding! So inspiring! You should totally submit this to Ebony or Essence , Jet or somebody. I love the love I see between you too!

GFS said...

loveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee everything about this!!!

GFS said...

I love love love everything about your special day. I've said it a few times and I just have to again, it takes special people to step outside of the traditional wedding box and do them! I love it and if I ever take the walk down, i'm so coming back here for inspiration. Wonderful photos that captured the pure down to earth vibe and just classy event.

GFS said...

Absolutely beautiful! I am so happy for you and it's refreshing to see that young black love still abounds regardless of what the relationship articles say :)

GFS said...

BEAUTIFUL!! The venue is awesome and your wedding look like a a true celebration!!


GFS said...

What a Beautiful wedding Congratulations to you both ;)

GFS said...

I know it is a little bit late but i just passed through your blog and saw the beautifuls pictures of your wedding. Love evrything, the surprise idea, the beautiful dress, but what can i expect from you when i can see in your blog how you choose very well most of the outfits you wear ; the shoes, the painting, the hair ( both of you) and the food; Girl you know how to entertain with class and simplicity of course; MAY GOD BLESS YOUR MARRIAGE.



GFS said...

Omg I just feel in love beautiful wedding!

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