On the eve of our wedding day, we celebrated with all of our guests by treating them to a quintessential Hawaiian experience—an authentic Polynesian luau at Old Lahaina Luau!Read More
When deciding what we wanted from our Nashville reception, we knew that we didn’t want a formal sit-down dinner. Not only did the space not allow for seating for all our guests, we wanted everyone to entertained the entire night. When you’re stuck at a table you find yourself only conversations with those around you. We wanted guests to mix and mingle with everyone all night. Of course you’ll always find comfort and gravitate to those you know, but a more mobile reception options gives you the opportunity to run into others, meet new people and not be confined to one area.
Having never been to a post-destination wedding reception or party we weren't sure what would be expected of us as hosts, but we knew that a good time—ney a GREAT TIME—would definitely fit the bill!
Traditional receptions have guests enjoy cocktail hour, find their seats, watch the first dance, eat dinner, listen to speeches and toasts, then head to the dance floor. That’s all well and good, but it seemed to formal for our reception.
After research on research about reception styles we stumbled across ideas like “east coast,” “strolling,” “cocktail,” and “progressive” receptions. Now we’re talking! In these styles guests are invited to enjoy the receptions in their own way. Throughout the night different food stations are opened so guests can grab food at their own leisure, hit the bar whenever, and get down on the always-open dance floor.
Obviously since we hosted an intimate wedding not everyone was invited and we didn’t want our reception guests—people we love dearly—to feel like they weren’t important to us so a big focus of the reception was our guests!
We had our wonderful videographers (Dallas Wilson Wedding Films) put together a short video of our wedding day, mostly beautiful shots of LeBraun and I together, which we looped on monitors around the room. This way guests may feel like they were apart of the ceremony which typically would have been moments before. A little something to get them in the wedding celebration spirit, ya no!
Since a cocktail hour wasn’t necessary as we weren’t taking wedding party portraits or moving locations, we decided to start the evening with a 30 minute cocktail style reception before our entry so guests could grab a drink (or two), enjoy some appetizers, and mingle a bit to loosen up.
Then we did the traditional wedding party introduction followed by our entrance and first dance. We wanted to keep some of the traditional reception elements so guests felt like it really was a true wedding reception. We did father-daughter/mother-son dances, bouquet/garter tosses, and a speech or two!
We honestly had the best time! And since we had a tough time finding timelines for unconventional style receptions we wanted to share our Nashville progressive, strolling reception timeline in the hope that others will find it helpful in planning their big days no matter how traditional or unconventional they may be. Your wedding day is all about y’all so do whatever works for you!
11am: Deliver and set up decor pieces at the venue
2pm: Bride’s Hair and Makeup
S+L Note: At this point we were already behind as some signage got damaged on the way to the venue in the morning so I had to re-calligraph a couple which took more time than we hoped.
4pm: Check in to hotel
S+L Note: LeBraun and I were staying at the hotel where our venue was the night of the event so we brought our overnight bag as well as all the things we needed for the reception in a few hours.
4:15pm: Review venue // Set up looping video on monitors
4:45pm: Photographers photo details (dress, invitations, shoes, etc) and venue before guest arrive
Quick Tip #1: If you want photos of the invitations, remember to bring a copy with you.
4:50pm - 5:15pm: Finish getting dressed in our room // Family and wedding party arrived dressed and ready for photographs
5:20pm - 5:50pm: Couple, family, and wedding party portraits at the venue
5:50pm: Couple and wedding party chill in hotel room during cocktail half-hour while guests arrive at the venue
6pm: Eat food delivered to room, brush teeth and final prepping // Doors open for guest arrival // Passed appetizers are served // Bar opens // Background iPod music is played
6:25pm: Couple and wedding party escorted to venue
6:30pm: Grand Entrance // Band emcees wedding party introductions followed by the new Mrs. & Mrs. entrance
6:35pm: First dance // Father-Daughter dance // Mother-Son dance
6:40pm: Passed appetizers end // Small plates & salad stations open
6:45pm: Welcome speech by bride’s father
6:50-7:15pm: Band plays lively background music
8:10pm: Small plates & salad stations close
Post-Event Note: A timeline of the evening was on entry signage, but we wish we would have asked the band to make announcements throughout the night in regards to food changing over, reminders about the photo booth, guestbook, etc.
7:45pm-9:15pm: Band plays first dance set
Quick Tip #2: Appoint someone to help “move” you to and from conversations. I wanted to stay and chat with everyone, but because of I didn’t have anyone helping me there were some people I never got around to see.
8:20pm: Main stations open
Post-Event Note: We should have asked someone to bring us food throughout the evening because the only food LeBraun or I ended up eating was what had been brought to our room before the reception started. Everything smelled so good, but I was doing my hostess duties. In hindsight, as the bride I should have taken advantage of asking people for help.
9:15pm - 9:30pm: Band break // Requested iPod dance songs played
Post-Event Note: It would have been nice to add a time for taking photos in the photo booth to the timeline so we we didn’t miss it. By the time I made it back inside (which was 10:30pm), the photo booth had already been packed up. LeBraun and I never got a fun photo strip from our own reception. :(
9:30pm: Bouquet & garter tosses // Guestbook switched to favor table
9:35pm - 11:30pm: Band plays second dance set
9:50pm: Main stations close
10pm: Dessert stations open
11:25pm: Last dance is played
11:30pm: Dessert stations close // Guests filter out as reception ends // Band packs up
12pm: Intimate After Party // Late-night snacks are served // LeBraun connect Spotify playlist and put on Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince on the monitors
1:30pm: After party ends // Bar closes // Tear down and clean up begins
Every couple wants their wedding to be unique. The wedding should be a reflection of you as a couple. It is your big day after all. We’re hoping sharing some personal touches we added to our ceremony and reception will help others find some creative ways to make their days stand out from the rest.Read More
Make your guests feel welcome as soon as they arrive with a welcome bag filled with local goodies and personal touches. Welcome bags are a great way to say “Thank you for making the trip, we are so excited you are here, and want you to relax and enjoy yourself!” Plus they are really fun to put together. :)Read More
Hot Summer days call for a chilled, creamy childhood favorite! I love how simple ice cream cookie sandwiches are to make. You do have to have some patience to allow the ice cream to set back once it’s sandwiched in the cookies, but the cookies are simple as you just adjust a simple boxed cake mix. Less time baking and more time munching!Read More
Designed with entertainment in mind, Las Vegas always has somewhere fun to go, somewhere great to eat, something amazing to see, and something for everyone. Let me help you navigate it!Read More
I love the simplicity of this salad. It tastes professional but is incredibly easy to prepare, and I love a recipe that requires very little effort.
The dressing is creamy, light and tangy which the perfect juxtaposition to the sweet dried cranberries, salty seeds and crunchy greens. It’s a wonderful combinations of flavors and textures. If you want something with a little of everything, this Gluten-Free Shredded Brussels Sprout & Spinach Salad is it!
Growing up chicken salad was my go-to sandwich so I’ve captured all my favorite elements with a vegan twist—Chickpea Salad!
Chickpea Salad is a great base for a picnic basket as it’s hearty yet light. Creamy, crunchy and full of comforting flavors.Read More
So here’s the easiest Easter snack. Sweet and salty. Crunchy and creamy. A little something for everyone at your Easter gathering. Have a Hoppy (I mean Happy) Easter!Read More
If you’re reading this you may be considering or have chosen Nashville for this once-in-a-lifetime experience, and you won’t regret it. Nashville has become one of the hottest bachelorette party locations in the U.S. The city’s bursting with delicious food, amazing music 24/7/365, Southern charm, friendly people and laid-back, fun-loving atmosphere. Plus tons of Instagrammable locations to capture the weekend’s memories. The party doesn’t stop in Music City!
As locals we took our tried-and-true activity, food & drink, and shopping recommendations and created this detailed guide to help you plan the perfect destination Nashville bachelorette party experience for your bride’s last bash in Nash! Boots optional.
Luckily you’ve chosen to spend that last hurrah weekend in Nashville. The party doesn’t stop in Music City USA. With live music is rockin’ 24/7/365, the city’s foodie scene in full swing, Southern hospitality, and laid-back vibe—Nashville’s one of the nation’s hottest party destinations.
Whether you’ve previously been to the city or not, we’ve pulled together 10 Nashville experiences that will help create an epic bachelor party for the groom!Read More
Crowd-pleasing game day snack-atizers with gluten-free, dairy-free + vegan adjustments optional. Come for the game but stay for the snacks.Read More
Discovering the best vegan cheese is really a trial and error, personal preference kind of experience. Whenever I see a new brand or flavor at the grocery, I’ll try it out. But in order to save you time, I’ve rounded up a few of my favorites to share with you today!Read More
Each cookie is soft, but crunchy. Sweet enough to satisfy that sweet tooth and yet light enough to not feel like you blow your New Year’s Fitness Resolutions, and perfect to be enjoyed with an afternoon cuppa on a chilly day like today!Read More
For this holiday classic it’s all about the layers. A layer of crunchy crackers coated in a caramel-y sauce, topped with chocolate…but wait there’s more…then finished off with a topping of choice, in our versions, peppermint candy canes!Read More
Now peppermint and chocolate have always been a winning combination, but the addition of crunchy, salty pretzels kicks each bite up a notch! A simple, quick sweet treat that everyone will love. Mmm!Read More
Anyway, movies aren’t complete without some popcorn and this recipe takes a standard bag of microwave popcorn and turns it into a slightly salted, creamy peanut butter dream. The texture and flavor combination is riiiight on! crunchy, chewy, creamy, salty, sweet…each bite has got us verbally uttering YUM. :)Read More
The countdown is officially on. We’ve made it to the final stretch. Christmas is five days away which means we are in full-on Christmas mode here—snacking on candy canes, hot chocolate and gingerbread everything!Read More
A great latke should have a crispy, golden outside and soft, savory center. Mmm! This version is classic, simple, and humble. No fancy ingredients here, just wholesome ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.Read More
In need of a last minute Thanksgiving dessert? Make it now and enjoy later! :)Read More