Wedding Week: Reception Decor

I had a definite vision for our wedding reception venue.  We got married upstairs at the lovely 701 Whaley and then guests took the elevator and stairs to the 1st floor for the reception. 

Care to take a peek?

Upon entering the room, guests took their escort card from this board.  I used simple corkboards that I covered with our signature wedding fabric using spray adhesive.  I had a co-worker to cut the shapes out of grey heavyweight paper and I did the calligraphy of the names and table numbers on each.

Also on the same table was the photobook we used in lieu of a guestbook.  I had a certificate to print this for free at our Wolf Camera store.  I used the disc of engagement pictures we received from our photographer, Ashley Brokop.

Wedding pictures of our parents and grandparents were on a table joined with my wedding portrait.

Our white leather lounge area.  You'll recognize the pillows - they are the ones Mom and I covered and, as you know, the ones on our bed!

Four long rectangular tables and mahogany Chiavari chairs

I purchased this chandelier (it now hangs in our dining room!) and we had it hung above the cake table.  You'll see more of this set-up in tomorrow's post with reception pictures.

Tall centerpieces of white hydrangea alternated with babys breath

There were also mason jars on each table filled with flowers or white votives that twinkled in the dark

The head table had a little more bling!

Remember Mom and I making those table runners?

A napkin, placecard, and menu card was at each table - see this post for details about how I made the menu cards. 

The table numbers were also covered in this post.

The black and white checkered dance floor was surrounded by round, high tables that could hold drinks while people were dancing.  The bar was to the right and there was a photo booth (such a hit!) in the back right corner.

Do you spy our table runner fabric on these tables too?

Topping those tables, arrangements in tea tins and candles in charcoal glass votive holders.

Atop the bar was this arrangement of hydrangeas.

And grey and white striped straws ordered from Modern Lola

Our custom koozies were in baskets atop the bar

And the dinner, OH THE DINNER.  Pulled pork barbeque, baked mac & cheese, sauteed haricots verts.  We also had cornbread muffins and butter.

Right after we cut the cake, a line of waiters came out of the door with trays holding these yellow and white cupcakes.  The yellow had lemon icing and the white had cream cheese icing.

And here is our gorgeous cake, surrounded by macarons!

Now ... would you believe me when I told you I bought this cake for $10.99 the Thursday before our wedding from our local Harris Teeter grocery store?!  I took it down from Charlotte to Columbia in a cooler and our wedding planner kept it in her fridge until Saturday.  True story.

It was never a big priority for me to have a large, fancy, "traditional" wedding cake.  My priorities were in the photography, the reception decor, and not gonna lie -- the wedding dress. 

This cake was delicious and it had a raspberry filling ... to die for.  And the best part is, for our one year anniversary, rather than pulling some freezer-burn cake topper out of the freezer, I can just go down the road and pick up an exact replica of our cake since they always carry this style in the bakery.  I don't regret for a single moment not doing a gigantic wedding cake.

Where did you save money on your wedding?  What did you decide to prioritize?


  1. Impressive, April!

    Question - how long was your engagement?! You do so much of it yourself (and with the help of others), and I'm curious about the length of time you had to get it all done.

    P.S. I love what you did with your wedding cake. As long as it tastes good, who cares if it's big or small? ;)

  2. I'm loving all of it!!!! I was the same with our cake. My photographer's (who was a friend) SIL made our cake and wouldn't let us pay her for it! It was simple, 4 tier and exactly what I wanted!

  3. Your caligraphy rocked! Everything was so beautiful and cordinated...i love that!

  4. Love it! Love that you got to reuse that fabric too! The hydrangeas were gorgeous too!
    I'm not going to lie. I saved a lot of ways.
    * My dress was a sample of the rack. It was not my priority to have some huge, expensive gown. I wanted something simple. Even, though we didn't even look at prices when shopping.
    * I didn't do custom linens or chairs. Sort of regret this but it was going to super expensive. Like $5 or $6K more.
    * We opted for a DJ instead of band.

    Excited about tonight! See you soon!

  5. Beautiful reception space and love the gray & yellow!!

    We had to pick a couple areas to cut back on so the first we chose was invitations- they were still very pretty...but very simple. Most people take the invitation and just throw it away so we chose not to spend as much on them. That allowed us to spend more on some of the more important parts! We definitely splurged BIGTIME on our videographer! =)

  6. All the details are incredible! And I love the color scheme...what a stunning wedding you had!

  7. We both had yellow weddings, but used the color in completely different ways. Love everything Miss Martha!

  8. i love your reception! really gorgeous and yellow and gray are a perfect color combination

  9. Oh my gosh! You have impeccable taste! We got married in Ireland with a small group of family and friends, so I decided not to sweat the small stuff. But seeing your pics makes me want to go back and plan it all over again.

  10. I am still swooning over your table runners and koozies. LOOOVE all of your details.

  11. Hi! I found your blog from Dee's! What an amazing wedding - I especially love your black + white dance floor!

  12. Love your venue! Such a blank canvas, and you really were able to put your own spin on it and personalize everything! The long tables looked so nice! Love all of the details too -- the straws, flowers, linens, etc.! Looked beautiful! I can't believe your cake was THAT cheap, but looked SO beautiful! We're not big cake people either so I love that! :)

    We saved money on our cake (grocery store), transportation (used a free shuttle from the hotel and our own car when leaving), and DIY'ing a lot of our decor. I also won a lot of giveaways so that helped a TON! We splurged on an open bar, band, videography.

  13. Such a swanky venue! My favorite touches are the wedding photos of family, the chandelier, and the mason jars! I am also now leaning towards a Southern meal like that at my someday wedding!

  14. You have such elegant taste. I love everything. I was disappointed with how our cake turned out; I should have done it your way!

  15. Nice setup with really a classy look......... Some time ago I was looking for such a venues too, which will be in my budget and the one that is appreciated by all. During my search i found this venues
    and get fully satisfied and i am very much moved by thier settings and helping environment

  16. Wow - that cake idea is really smart. Maybe I will consider that as I am currently trying to negotiate/compromise on expenses. Teeter really does do well with cakes!

  17. Just browsing through your blog and stumbled across this post. I love your blog even more now because we served the same meal at our reception!


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