Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mmmm dessert buffet

After dinner we moved inside to the lower level of the Alton Mill to get our groove on. Unfortunately I only have a couple of photos, and they're really just of how people dressed me up with Dan's tie and someone else's hat. I think it worked for me though ;)

At 11pm we had our late night sweet and savory buffet. Really this was just an excuse for me to eat more cake. Unfortunately, I missed a couple of the cakes, but the few that I tried were the most delicious cake I've ever had in my life. Ezra got them from Frangipane in Toronto, and let me tell you, I'm going to come up with an excuse to visit them ASAP. A few snaps for your perusal. 
 Lobster cake topper by me on a strawberry shortcake slice of heaven.
 Lovebirds salt & pepper shakers topper (from Pier One Imports) on
a cheesecake I heard was delicious. So delicious it disappeared 
before I even saw it!!!
 The cake buffet: Chocolate cake, lemon meringue pie, strawberry
short cake in back. In front, some of my homemade caramel
and my famous cherry pretzel pie.
 Also for your snacking pleasure, chocolate chip cookies
(made by me the night before using my mom's recipe)
and some wedding cupcakes. Note the tie printed napkins. 
An amazing Value Village find: a vintage cake topper for $0.99. 
The bride used to have a full length veil but my cat ate it. Oops.

And now, the wedding cake. It wasn't something that was important to Dan and I. Neither of us felt it was necessary. We didn't even have an "official" cake cutting at the wedding. Heck, we didn't even cut the cake at the wedding! BUT I tried a sample of the Wedding Cake Shoppe's cake at a wedding show and I was hooked! It was moist, nicely flavoured, the icing was smooth. I loved it! We met with them and came up with a design for the mini two tier cake based on our elevator inspired invitations. I made little picks to go in each cupcake and cut all the outer wrappers with my Cricut. I think it looked pretty adorable!

 Cake topper made by yours truly.

We finally cut the cake Sunday or Monday night, I can't even remember when. It was chocolate cake with peanut butter icing and wow, was it ever tasty! Our cupcakes by the way were cappuccino icing on chocolate cake, raspberry on chocolate, and strawberry on vanilla. Mmmmm!!!!

We danced and ate the night away. It was SO much fun, our DJ was fabulous! In fact, when we closed down the music at 1am there were still about three dozen people left, no one wanted to leave! A friend sat down at the piano and started playing while everyone had a last slice of cake, a final cup of coffee, and the servers passed out cupcakes in little take out boxes. I was so sad to see it all finished, but we had such a fantastic night! I can't remember the last time I've smiled and danced so much. I've never felt so loved in my life. It was simply an amazing night. And I'M MARRIED!!!!!  

Next up: The Sunday brunch!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Reception

Well hello again! Let's pick up from the receiving line shall we? After we had hugged and kissed all our guests, they grabbed their escort cards out of the wheatgrass on the barnboard table Dan and his friend Luke built. It was gorgeous! The button on each escort card was covered in fabric that matched the jam (caramel) jar skirts on each table. Each table had its own fabric pattern that my sister and I picked out on a trip down to Buffalo where we discovered the amazingness that is JoAnn Fabrics.

Once our guests were settled in and the wedding party had been announced we had our first dance to Joshua Radin's Today


And from there, we sat down at our sweetheart table for our first meal together as husband and wife. I'm so happy we decided not to do a head table. We chose our wedding venue based on having our favourite chef/caterer Ezra Title with us. It's nearly impossible to find a venue who will allow you to bring in your own caterer as we discovered, but it was worth all the hard work. Ezra's meals are such special and important nights to Dan and I, we wanted to make sure our wedding meal was equally as private and special as when we have him in our home. Our guests loved that we had our own table and I appreciated being able to eat without 150 people staring at us! 


I'll step back a moment and show you the whole tent. My wonderful husband and a literal team of helpers worked for two solid days to set up and decorate the tent. It was a huge schmozzle to say the least, but it got done and it was gorgeous. Some of the little details that were supposed to happen had to be missed but only myself and Dan knew about them and overall, I think it still turned out beautifully. 

(The chairs are over at the ceremony in this photo)

This tree was a total show stopper for me. The Alton Mill built a huge firepit in the middle of the event space after we booked with them, and while we loved the look of it, we weren't really sure what in the world we were going to do with it to make it "wedding pretty". Enter our friend Luke again. He somehow found this corkscrew hazel bush while traipsing out in the woods one day and dragged it home for us. The thing was literally about 18' long and we had to cut it down to size (about 10'). I purchased stems of orchids and some different types of moss from a wholesale florist shop (one of the perks of being an interior designer is access to cool stores not open to the public!). Two of my very good friends spent hours decorating the tree wiring on the orchids, placing the moss and votives around the base to make it perfect for me. It was breathtaking. I couldn't stop staring at it. Seriously, whatever it was I had in my head that it would look like, they totally surpassed. And as beautiful as it was in the daylight, at night with all the votives lit and the uplighting.... oh gosh.... it was like a fairytale. Simply stunning. It was the perfect backdrop for our sweetheart table.

The whole look of the wedding I called rustic elegance and were inspired by our silver teapot centrepieces sitting on barnboard at each table.

At each place setting, each guest got a little jar of homemade caramel, a packet of Forget-Me-Not seeds from the Alzheimer's Society of Toronto, a menu and their place card. I cut the menus and the little birds on the place cards using my Cricut and then punched the corners using a cut and emboss corner punch.


And then we feasted! Unfortunately as of yet, I only have two photos of the meal because it was so tasty everyone was too busy eating to take photos! Trust me when I say it was a m a z i n g. Simply the best food I've ever had at a wedding if I do say so myself! 

During dinner it started raining pretty heavily and the heaters we rented weren't really very effective, so we moved inside early to start dancing. We'll pick up next at the late night buffet!

Monday, September 27, 2010

The cocktail hour (and we're home from our honeymoon!)

Hi all! We're back from paradise! I'm dying to tell you all about it, but I don't want to jump the gun here. Let's get back to where we left off shall we? 

Once that whole "getting married" thing was done with, we had a cocktail hour with a jazz trio. I'd love to say that it was amazing and the music was wonderful, but I have no idea. This is likely the biggest regret of the day for me. Dan was so excited about the jazz trio, but because we had fallen behind in the photo area earlier, we had to use the cocktail hour to make up for it. We did the photos pretty quickly, but every time you try to move along, someone stops you to congratulate you, you speak for a few minutes, etc and before you know it, it's time for the receiving line! I insisted on going downstairs for just a few minutes to say hi and thank you to our musicians, check out what was left of the cheese buffet, and have a precious few moments with my stepson before getting ushered back upstairs to keep the evening moving. 

 A lovely surprise sign from the Alton Mill!
The bread for the cheese buffet on a lovely cut wood platter.

Cheese buffet. There were also passed apps, but I haven't seen any 
photos of them since I assume people were inhaling them rather than
taking photos of them. I don't blame them, they were delicious!

My husband loves cheese. He is also lactose intolerant. My solution.

 Showing my stepson into my secret room! He didn't fall for it.

The cocktail reception area outside in the Waterfall Courtyard.

The guests making their way down over the waterfall. 

The musicians Dan and I unfortunately missed. 

I'm thrilled I finally got downstairs to say hi!

One of my favourite pictures of the day: Taking a few minutes with my 
stepson to tell him what a great job he did as ringbearer. 

Then we were on our way to the receiving line. Here's tip #2 of today. Be clear to the people involved in the receiving line to keep things short and simple. This is not the time for 10 minute conversations (*ahem* parents). Since our parents were in a chatty mood, I think we had the world's longest receiving line. I felt bad for our guests. Dan and I started waving people through since it was taking so long and jeez, we were all hungry! Thankfully our guests were good humoured and thought the whole thing was quite funny and we got people through and seated even if they didn't say hi to the parents and just came straight to us. 

 "Hey! Parents! Stop yakking and keep the line moving! My feet are 
killing me and we have to feed these people! Love you!"

A VIP skips the line to say goodnight.

Next up, moving into the tent for the reception!