Wedding Week // The Reception
Day 3 of wedding week is upon us, and today I'm sharing details from our reception! David and I love to eat, so one of the most important elements of the wedding celebration for us was the food we served our guests. This fueled our decision to host the reception at Big Sur Bakery + Restaurant, a welcoming little ranch house-turned-restaurant nestled against the woods along Highway 1. The Bakery also has special meaning to us, as our first experience dining there was a celebratory brunch just after David had proposed. The restaurant's gorgeous garden patio was the perfect stage for a dreamy bohemian dinner party, with its weathered wood gates, towering cacti, rustic farm tables and glowing market lights overhead.
We kicked off the reception with a cocktail hour - that turned into two - as guests trickled into the restaurant from the beach. The Bakery served an assortment of Chef-selected appetizers (fried oysters, OMG) while wine, beer and bubbly flowed at the bar. Eventually we made our way to the patio for dinner, where we feasted on what will forever be my most memorable meal. My mom and dad took down the house with their toasts - I even spotted a tear on one of our photographers. It was easily my favorite part of the evening. David and I had our first dance to "I Love You" by Eli Young Band, a country group that hails from my hometown in Texas. We DJ'd the reception ourselves via iPad playlists, and when we realized it was closing time after only an hour of dancing, I was able to easily fast-forward and get in a quick Nae Nae.
By now you've probably noticed that our wedding was on the small side (43 attendees to be exact). The main reason for this was our choice of reception venue, but having an intimate wedding is quite possibly the best decision we made. David and I had attended plenty of 200+ person weddings where we barely had a chance to speak to the bride and groom. When it came time to plan our own wedding, we both knew that we wanted a more manageable guest list that would allow us to spend time with everyone who attended. Having been living abroad in Japan for 6 months prior to the wedding, it was so special for us to have that quality time with our close friends and family.
Although we planned most of the wedding ourselves, before moving overseas David and I made the smart decision to bring on planners who could help us source decor and eventually run the show on our wedding day. When our planners - Katie and Christine of Katie Rebecca Events - suggested that we invest in decor that we'd be able to incorporate into our home, I knew we'd made the right choice. As I type this, an incredible tie-dye macrame from our cake table display is hanging over my desk! Katie and Christine created an assortment of dream catchers and woven wall hangings - my favorite of which served as our escort card display - along with dip-dyed napkins for our place settings. David and I purchased a collection of cozy Mexican blankets from Gunn & Swain to cover the farm table benches, which we later gifted to our parents (after hoarding a couple for ourselves). The rest of our decor budget we put towards beautiful florals from Big Sur Flowers, who created vibrant centerpieces in antiqued brass containers and lush garlands for the restaurant's fence and fireplace mantel.
As a bride it was very difficult for me to ignore the wedding blogs telling me that I needed this or that at my wedding. There's a lot of things that the wedding industry would lead you to believe that you need: elaborate cakes, party favors, photo booths - and the list goes on. If you have the money to spend and you want those things, then go for it. If not, know that you won't miss them. David and I only really cared that our cakes tasted delicious - rather than look expensive. We both knew that more often than not party favors are left behind by guests and discarded. And while I love a good photo booth, you can get the same pictures from an $80 Instax camera. At the end of the day, it won't be those things that you remember - it will be the epic speeches made at dinner and dancing to all your favorite songs afterward. I can recall less about what my reception looked like and more about what it felt like. And my only regret is that I couldn't feel it just a little longer.
Bride's Dress: A La Robe via LOHO Bride | Hair & Makeup: Kelly Jones | Bride's shoes: Frye | Bride's Kimono: Girl On a Vine | Jewelry: bride's head piece by Gypsy Junkies; bride's hand piece by Litter; bride's squash blossom cuff by St. Eve Jewelry; groom's wedding band by Catbird; bride's wedding band by Jennie Kwon via No.3; bride's custom engagement ring by Shreve & Co. | Groom's Suit: custom by Pacific Fashions | Groom's Tie: Burberry | Groom's shoes: Oliver Sweeney via Nordstrom | Reception Location: Big Sur Bakery + Restaurant | Wedding Cakes: Whole Foods | Day-of Coordination/Design Assistance: Katie Rebecca Events | Flowers: Big Sur Flowers | Paper Goods: Lost and Sound | Audio Equipment: AV Solutions | Guest Transportation: Barefoot Adam | All photographs by Evynn LeValley
**Up next: A Guide To Big Sur**
P.S. Shania Twain's "Any Man of Mine" was the jam that got the most guests out on the dance floor!