Wedding Recap Part 3! I’m breaking down the final parts of our wedding – the cocktail hour, the reception, and our after parties!! Yes, parties!
Oh my goodness! We are coming up on our one year wedding anniversary this month! Time freaking flies. In typical Kelly fashion, I realized I never shared the final parts of our wedding day on the blog. I shared part 1 a few months after we got married, part 2 a few months after that, and now here we are about a year into our marriage ha.
So what better time to share than now! We threw a damn good party too and everything about the reception, from the food, to the band, to the dance party, was pretty epic.
Since the day was so special and there were so many amazing parts to it, I’m did it in parts to make sure I can cover it all. This is honestly really a place for me to look back on and remember the day, but I know some of y’all might want to see it too.
And there are so many AMAZING pictures. Literally I wish I could share them all. Our photographer did an absolutely amazing job.
I will say, the only thing I regret is not asking our photographer to take some pictures of the food. There a few shots here and there, but I totally missed the ball on that. Bad food blogger haha. But she did capture the most important part, and what I told her to focus on, the people!!
So today I’m finishing it all up talking about the cocktail hour, reception, and after parties!
Cocktail hour is one of my favorite parts of weddings (besides the cake ha). You get to mingle with everyone, enjoy some drinks, and eat snacks! Since we did a first look, we got to enjoy most of our cocktail hour, which is exactly how I wanted it.
After that ceremony, we snagged a few more pictures with just Michael and I around South Congress and then we got to begin the party. Cocktail hour was held in the pre-function room and it was the perfect size for our wedding of 80 people.
Everyone started drinking and eating and mingling. After we finished up pictures, we did the same. I made sure to get some of the food too because it was so good. I asked Michael and he said he didn’t really eat any of it. So funny how we are so different like that.
Bacon wrapped dates stuffed with chorizo and a peperonata sauce – people raved about these so much and I actually recreated it for the blog. Check it out here!
Butternut squash soup shooter
Tuna poke crackers
Crispy parmesan tuiles
Cheese & charcuterie
Chips, salsa, and guacamole
Our reception was pretty typical of a regular reception. The only big exception is we did a last dance instead of a first dance, which I will get to in a second. The decor was absolutely amazing. I gave my florist a general idea of what I wanted – flowers and greens, boho vibe, and nothing too crazy – and she absolutely nailed it. We rented some of the decor from Loot Rentals.
She also made an amazing hanging greenery that was hung above the dance flour. She was up all night the night before hanging it and it was absolutely stunning. Instead of flowers for center pieces on tables, we did cacti. We got them from Home Depot, along with the clay pots, and just planted them ourselves.
My florist put some small flowers and greens in there and they looked great. I think they probably cost $20 or so each, which is so much cheaper than florals. And we also still have them at our house. It went great with the succulents for seating too.
The band welcomed us in and then we all sat and my dad did his welcome speech, which was so sweet. He bought up some funny times – like when he first met Michael when he was visiting JMU one weekend and we were all drunk and Michael was in the back of his car yelling out the window at people. And of course me growing up and the woman I have become.
You guys know my dad is like my favorite person and this was the second time I almost completely lost it. I don’t even know what was being said, but it was such a special moment for my dad and I. We then did our father daughter dance to “Forever Young” (the slow version) by Bob Dylan.
Michael and his mom danced to “My Wish” by Rascal Flats which was so sweet. We then went on to serve dinner and have the speeches from the my sister, the maid of honor, and Michael’s friend Taylor, the best man. They were both great – so different from each other, but both meaningful.
I did notice that it was taking way to long to get everything going, so I told my coordinator that I wanted the food to come out when people did speeches. In most weddings I’ve been to, the food is usually after the speeches. I wanted to get the ball rolling so we could start the band and get to dancing!
Finally we got to cut the cake. Personally, we didn’t really like the cake options from South Congress Hotel so we decided to outsource it from BIRD Bakery based out of San Antonio. We tried their gluten free cake a handful of years ago at Cassy’s wedding and I was blown away.
I am not strictly gluten free, but their cake is amazing and I promise a gluten lover wouldn’t be able to tell the different. We did the bottom layer gluten free vanilla cake with berry compote and citrus buttercream and the top layer gluten free spice cake with cream cheese frosting. The frosting was done in the naked look and it was decorated with berries.
We still have some in our freezer that we will enjoy when we get back from Australia (where we are celebrating our one year/delayed honeymoon!). And I told Michael if it’s not good, we should just go down there and get a small cake to celebrate. Like I said, I love wedding cake haha.
We also did passed paletas (popsicles). They were passed around while everyone was dancing. I absolutely love popsicles and thought it would be fun. Unfortunately I didn’t get to have any that night even though my sister snagged me a salted caramel (the best!!). I was too busy dancing haha. I did try them at the tasting and there were amazing, especially the salted caramel.
Another thing we didn’t do was walk around and say hi to everyone while people were eating. Since we threw a welcome party for everyone, talked to a lot of people at cocktail hour, and were having a party at our house the next day that pretty much everyone was coming to, I didn’t find it necessary. Like I said, I wanted to get the party started.
Dinner and Dessert:
Charred carrot salad – another one I loved and recreated fo the blog. Find the recipe here!
Main course – grilled hanger steak with peasant style potatoes and charmoula, king orka salmon with shaved fennel salad, or porcini mushroom risotto
Chocolate pot de creme – I’m not a huge chocolate fan, but this was AMAZING. Everyone was served one at their seat, which I liked that concept
Gluten free wedding cake from BIRD Bakery
Passed Paletas – salted caramel, strawberry sparkler, ginger lemonade
And then it was time to party!! One of the best decisions we made was getting a live band. If you have the chance, it is game changer at a wedding. We had The Royal Dukes and they were absolutely amazing and I can not recommend them enough.
We gave them a list of songs and artists we liked and they built a playlist on that. They also build a playlist for when they were taking a break and were kind enough to play a few songs I requested in the moment.
Fun fact – the marching band at JMU (where Michael and I went to college) is called The Royal Dukes. It was meant to be haha!
They really got everyone dancing and feel good as you can tell by the pictures. We danced our faces off. Amazing job by Amber for capturing these moments. And I’m so glad she did because she printed them out and sent them in people’s thank you notes.
I really don’t know what is happening in most of these, but they are too good not to share!
After a few hours of dancing and drinking, it was time for our last dance. Michael and I choose to do it to “I will Follow You into the Dark” by Death Cab for Cutie. We actually were going to do it as our first dance, but if you know the song, it’s a little morbid. We played it for my parents a few months before the wedding and they were like wtf haha.
I shared on Instagram and some of y’all suggested we do a last dance to it instead, which I had never heard of, but was genius! Everyone left the room and it got to just be Michael and I taking in the moment. This song has a lot of meaning and history for us and we figured it would be the perfect song to end the night. I think I teared up a little again, but I am also blaming it on the numerous tequila drinks I had.
Then we did our final send off with some sparklers and that was it!
Random fact – it was really hard to find sparklers last minute. If you couldn’t tell from the planning of the wedding, I wait till the last minute to do everything. Luckily we found some on amazon and they were delivered to the hotel the afternoon of the wedding.
The After Parties
South Congress Hotel
After our reception was over and we did our send off through the line of sparklers by our friends and family, we invited people to head to the bar in South Congress Hotel for a little after party. We planned this at the absolute last minute – I think my mom was doing it all while we were getting ready that day ha.
But I am so glad we did. I mean who doesn’t like some snacks after a night full of drinking and dancing. The bar served up some French fries, chicken wings, and soft pretzels for everyone to enjoy.
To be honest, this part of the night was kind of hazy. I remember being there and talking to a few people, but that’s about it. Let’s just say I had quite a few tequila sodas during the reception.
We next day was our first day of being a married couple so that called for room service haha!
Since Michael and I are both from the east coast and a majority of our guests were flying into Austin, we figured it would be fun to throw something at our house the next day and for everyone to see our house. It was actually the one year anniversary of our closing day, so it’s kind of funny how that worked out.
When planning the whole day out, we thought it would be a great idea. In retrospect, we we absolutely exhausted and having 60+ people at our house for hours and hours the next day might not have been the best idea ha. Either way, it was super fun to show people our house and just have some down time with friends and family after the wedding.
We had most of it catered by Fresca’s (the best decision) and then had a couple other things provided from some of my favorite brands. Siete was kind enough to give some chips and queso and NadaMoo! provided us some ice cream! We also had a bunch of snacks like veggies, dips, crackers, and what no and also smoked a pork butt.
And we had so much leftover wedding cake (since we brought it in ourselves), we served that as well. Not everyone got to try the cake the night before, and since it was amazing, I’m glad they did then.
I think everyone cleared out by 8-9pm and then we crashed. Three days of partying really does a number on you 😜 And the next day we headed to Cabo for a few days for a mini-moon to relax!
These are the only pictures I have of the day ha.
Overall, it was an amazing 3 day event and I couldn’t have dreamed for a better celebration.
To be honest, before I got married, people would tell me that it’s the best day ever and I would roll my eyes inside my head. I was never one to dream of my wedding day/what it would look like. Especially when the planning was seriously the worst for me. It’s definitely not my personality to care about all those little things.
So how could one day really be that amazing? Well it freaking was. There was so much love, happiness, excitement, and fun. The day was absolutely perfect and we had the time of our lives.
Finally, and most importantly, I want to say thank you for the amazing people that helped this day be the best day ever.
To my parents who helped us so much with everything and literally gave me my dream wedding, even though I had no idea what that was. Michelle who was there every step of the way making sure this day was perfect for me, even when I was total bitch. To Michael’s family for all the help and being so supportive of us going through the planning process.
To our photographer, Amber, you literally captured us perfectly and working with you was so easy.
Our florist, Jenna. I don’t even know where to start. I literally gave you a few pictures and you put together the most epic florals and decor I could have ever imagined. And you helped with a million other things too! I can’t thank you enough (and your mom!). You are truly amazing.
To The Royal Dukes who was by far one of the best decisions we made. Y’all rocked the house and I could not recommend you enough.
To Kristy who helped everything come together and made the day go by so seamlessly.
Nina for doing my hair and makeup and making feel and look beautiful.
South Congress Hotel for the most amazing venue and food.
And, of course, to all our friends and family who celebrated with us!! Y’all mean the world to us and we so appreciate you celebrating our love with us.
Wedding Recap Part 1: Planning, Welcome Party, & Getting Ready
Wedding Recap Part 2: The First Look & Ceremony
Photographer: Amber Vickery
Wedding Venue: South Congress Hotel
Day of Coordinator: Joyful Details
Flowers: Flowers by Jena Paige
Wedding Dress: Tara Keely from Serendipity Bridal
Hair and Makeup: Nina Fitzgerald
Wedding Band: The Royal Dukes
Wedding Cake: BIRD Bakery
Decor Rentals: Loot Rentals
Leave a Rating & Comment