Our Wedding: Golden Hour + Reception


Our reception was a combination of a lot of sentimental pieces and a ton of great fun and music on the dance floor. As far as the decor of the space, we kept it pretty simple and let the bone of of the estate shine. The centerpieces from Celia were created in glass bowls and were filled with the whites and greens that were at the center of our palette, with touches of light blue in the delphinium. We also had small mercury glass votives and table numbers in handmade gold blocks that Derek put together.

There were several fire places, a few alcoves and a grand piano -- which was played during dinner with soft jazz and classical music, it was so soothing! We used the garland from the ceremony to adorn the mantles and the florals from the gift table for the alcoves. Glass candle sticks in varying sizes finished off the mantels for a classic and traditional feel which matched the venue itself. More mercury glass votives were on the piano.

We had our parents announced to get the reception started as we have so much to thank them for. First was Deb and Peter, Derek's parents and then my own.

It was so exciting to enter our very own wedding and be announced as husband and wife!

We went right into our first dance which was a big moment. We prepared for it for many weeks! We actually took dance lessons at Arthur Murray in Danvers, MA. Second to pre-martial counseling, it was the best thing we did to prepare for this day! Not only did we go into it feeling confident, we had an absolute blast at the lessons. Derek loved it even more than I did which was totally unexpected. I think it was that it allowed us a few hours a week to step away from planning, work and our phones to spend uninterrupted time with one another. It was a new experience to both of us and something we had to work at together in order to be successful. It was also quite comical, as you can imagine. It was a release and really brought us together when the planning and all would get a bit stressful. Highly recommend it, for anyone! We plan to sign up for more classes in the future just for fun.

This was another moment of the wedding where time seemed to stand still. We danced to "You Are In Love" by Taylor Swift. It's "our song". And not just because of the Taylor Swift factor, though that does make it all the more fitting, but because of the lyrics. And because when we listened to it for the first time together (long before we were even engaged) we both had misty eyes by the end of it. Then at the same time said to one another that this would be the song we'd dance to at our wedding. Sure enough, we did. It's crazy how each part of the song so accurately describes how our relationship was built. I wrote out the lyrics in the journal that I wrote for Derek with notes to document what each part meant to me/us so we can look back on all of this one day and remember. The part of the lyrics that really gets me is this:

"One night he wakes, strange look on his face
Pauses, then says, you're my best friend
And you knew what it was, he is in love"

This is precisely how Derek first told me he loved me and I well up every time I hear this part of this song. It just means so much!

Around and around we went, taking in every moment.

Julian and Morgan gave great speeches wishing us well and paying homage to our friendships that had brought us to this day.

A cheers all around was in order!

We were served dinner first which was great because it was the moment of our wedding day where it was just us. We sat at our sweetheart table in awe of where we were and what we were doing and the people that were surrounding us. It was a time for us to pause in the midst of it all and enjoy a piece of our wedding together. This was also another thing we were told we wouldn't have the chance to enjoy, so we were adamant about making it happen. We were going to eat our full meal and enjoy it -- and that we did.

Once we were full and while the rest of the guests were eating, we were able to slip away for some more photos as the sun was setting...

Not going to deny it, I was pumped to eat our cake. We were able to find a bakery that could make an entirely dairy free cake without missing out on delicious flavors. We went with dairy free chocolate with a raspberry filling and dairy free vanilla buttercream. How that's possible, I do not know, but it was delicious.

We had these custom wood peg portraits made for our cake topper which had to include Conway, of course! And were so accurate down to the lace on the back of my dress and Derek's glasses, so cute.

So sweet!

My Mom took care of the favors and I'm glad she did because my creativity was pretty tapped come July/August. She had the great idea to get small bottles of olive oil in a few different flavors from a local shop. It was perfect since it went along with our theme of classic yet organic and I loved it. I designed a sign and thank you tags to go along with them and she displayed them on the grand piano for guest to take as they headed out of the reception later that evening.

My Dad's speech was a big one. Much like the vows, I'd been anticipating hearing it. My Dad and I are very close and it was quite emotional, in a happy way, to hear him speak about his feelings about being my Dad and also about how proud he is of not only me but Derek and I. It was just such a solid tribute to the relationship him and I have as well as him welcoming Derek and his family into ours.

Lotsa tears.

And with his cheers, so began the dancing...

Which started with our father/daughter dance. A proud and very happy moment for us both. We danced to "The Girl You Think I Am" by Carrie Underwood. Just like the song Derek and I danced to had meaning through each and every verse, so did this one. We've also watched American Idol together religiously throughout its entire series, so Carrie as an artist is special to us in that way as well. The lyrics though, they pull my heart strings.

These verses in particular:

"I got my flaws and I've got regrets
And I know there's more on the road ahead
When I wonder if I'll ever measure up
Oh, I thank God for a father's love"


"All I want, more than anything
Is to make you proud of me
Cause you think I'm strong, and you think I'm fearless
Even when I'm, I'm at my weakest
You believe in me, yeah, you're my biggest fan
So I wanna be the girl you think I am"

Just so on point and personal to us and my way of saying, thank you.

Derek and his Mom danced to "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You" by James Taylor which was so fun and a lovely moment for them. It transitioned the vibe to head towards dancing the night away with the band.

Love that this moment was captured as we watched Derek and Deb dance.

From there, the celebration really kicked off and we all had a blast on the dance floor!!

Our band, Night Rhythm, was beyond words. They made the dancing part of the wedding unforgettable. Hands down.

Because we were heading right into our honeymoon from the wedding and also because there's no way my dress would fit in Derek's car, we decided to do an outfit change for our last dance. Well alright also because, this jumpsuit was begging to be worn for an occasion like this.

We danced to Thomas Rhett's "Die A Happy Man" to cap off the evening. Yet again, a song that means a lot to us and we refer to remember the simple things in life are what matters! It was nice to unwind and have a sort of closure or ending to the event this way.

We said our goodbyes to family and friends...

And out we went...!
Instead of renting a limo or town car, Derek was very excited to say the least at the idea to use his beloved MX-5 as our wedding car. We dressed it up with a "just married" decal and some garland. I'm so glad we did this since we now have one of the best memories of our life in this car!

The rest is history being written!!

In the end, it was the absolute best day of our life. There are no other words to describe it than that, whole heartedly.


I hope you've all enjoyed seeing our wedding photos!

You can see more of our wedding via these links:
Part 1: Getting Ready
Part 2: The Ceremony, Wedding Party and Family Portraits
Wedding Video

You can also see our honeymoon here:
Part 1: Inn at Castle Hill here
Part 2: Tulum, Mexico
Honeymoon Video


Sources mentioned:

Band: Night Rhythm
Flowers: Celia's Flower Studio
Cake: Cakes For Occasions
Catering: Vinwood Catering
Photography: Briana Moore
Olive Oil Favors: Newburyport Olive Oil
Just Married Decal: GraphicsMesh on Etsy
Cake Topper: Fox and Scout Designs on Etsy
Jumpsuit: Jill Jill Stuart, Mara Jumpsuite via BHLDN


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