The Wedding Journey – Little Details Can Make a Big Difference: Along the Way to the Big Day Part 3: The Wedding Reception

wedding journey inspirationThis Wedding Journey is almost to its finale!

Before I finally share photos from my daughter’s Wedding Day, here is a glimpse into some of the planning and details that made my daughter and her then-Groom-to-Be’s Wedding Reception extra special for us, and hopefully for some of our guests too.

With the exception of the Wedding Reception Music (mentioned below), I admit the Wedding Reception Details were the type you could find at many other weddings.  However, I do think our reception details were not only very pretty, but also added a personalized touch to the reception.


The Drake actually offered standard cocktail napkins as part of our wedding package.  In spite of this, we just couldn’t pass up specially ordered napkins that were printed up with a gorgeous blue monogram with the wedding couple’s initials.  We used the napkins for both the bar and to use with the passed appetizers.

special wedding details


Yummy Sugar Cookies

About 6 months or so before the wedding day, I called upon (& enlisted:-) two other talented friends – this time friends with exceptional baking skills.  They baked “wedding-themed” delicious sugar cookies that were used as a wedding favor for each guest.

We picked out 2 cookie cutters:  a wedding dress and a wedding cake.  My “Betty Crocker” friends (going by the given names of Kathy) baked about 275 cookies, and then beautifully frosted and decorated each of them.

The cookies were individually bagged, and tied with a “Happily Ever After” ribbon.

I found the bags at Hobby Lobby and the ribbon at Michaels.

wedding cookies/favors

The Kathys even incorporated the aqua blue wedding color into the wedding dress cookie.

special wedding details

I had small stickers printed up with “Cookies by The Two Kathys” and affixed them to the back of the cookies highlighting my friends’ baking.

special wedding details

Table Numbers

Both my daughter and I spent a lot of time and energy researching/looking at various table number ideas.  We wanted something stylish, easily visible to our guests, and that fit with the overall look we were going after.  My daughter even attempted a DIY version of “silver glittered (wooden) numbers”.  Ultimately, we decided on  “Tented Table Numbers”.  We picked out a beautiful font, and had them printed up showing table numbers on both sides of the tent.  The Table Numbers were simple but elegant.

elegant and visible Table Numbers for wedding

Dinner Menu

We included a dinner menu at each place setting at the reception.

special wedding ideas reception


I love candles!

The Drake provided 3 small votives for each dinner table.  That was not enough for me, plus I knew the burning capacity of each of the votives was 2-3 hours at best.  I envisioned lots of candlelight in the room, and I wanted the candles to still be burning far into the hours of the after-dinner dancing.

Instead, I purchased boxes of filled votive candles from Pottery Barn and had the Drake put 5 votives on each dinner table.  Pottery Barn’s votives are not cheap, but they burn for many hours.  I purchased the votives over a number of months taking advantage of sales when PB had them.

Also, I had the Drake take all the votives I was allotted from them, and put those on the tables and throughout the French Room (where the cocktail hour was held).

making a wedding special


I looooved the Name Place Cards we had.

~ Loved the monogram of the wedding couple’s initials we put at the top of each card ~

~ Loved the font we picked out ~

~ Love the tiny crystal we affixed into the center of their monogram ~

Table numbers were printed on the back side of the tent

unique and beautiful place cards


Wedding Party Introductions

We wanted the Wedding Party Introductions to be interesting and fun.  Instead of the same song being played for all wedding party introductions, we coordinated with the band to have a specially selected (by each couple) song played during each couple’s introductions (not the entire song).  We also encouraged the couples to use props for their intros.

Here is an “abbreviated rendition” of the Wedding Party Introductions

Father of the Groom (& His Girlfriend):

They didn’t care what song was used for them.  So we chose the “James Bond Theme Song” by Shirley Bassey for their intro.

Parents of the Bride:

I love Tina Turner and especially her song, “Simply the Best” so I ‘simply’ chose that one.

First Couple:

Both this bridesmaid and groomsman lived in NYC, so they chose the song, “New York, New York” by Liza Minnelli.  They wore top hats and threw them out into the crowd at the end of their song.

Second Couple:

Both of them had graduated from the University of Wisconsin.  Their song was “Jump Around” by House of Pain. In case you didn’t know, “Jump Around” is a tradition at U of W.  The song is played at football games after the third quarter, and the entire stadium dances/jumps around to the music including the players (many opponent teams participate too when playing in Madison).

During their intro song, the groomsman wore a large red Wisconsin football bead necklace, and the bridesmaid waved a full scale Wisconsin flag.

Third Couple:

This couple chose “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus and waved American flags.

Fourth Couple:

This couple’s song was “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea.  They wore sunglasses and the bridesmaid hiked (shorted) up her long dress for their intro.

Maid of Honor/Best Man:

This couple’s intro song was “Entourage Theme Song (Superhero)” by Jane’s Addiction.  The groom, the best man, and some of the other groomsmen all went to college together and watched a lot of the Entourage cable TV show.  This couple also donned sunglasses.

Junior Bridesmaids:

Even though these girls were shorter in stature than the rest of the wedding party, they certainly were not in happiness.  They performed a very cute coordinated dance routine to the song, “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, and of course were an instant hit.

Bride and Groom:

The newly married couple chose a favorite country song, “Cruise” by Florida Georgia Line.

Champagne Parade Song

The Drake Hotel has a famous Champagne Parade tradition.  All the wait staff (1 for each guest table) line up and “parade out with bottles of champagne” for the champagne toast.  We had the band play “Tequila” by The Champs during the parade.

Cake Cutting Song

We chose “Be Our Guest” (Disney’s Beauty and the Beast) for the cake cutting song.


Next up in The Wedding Journey – it’s finally The Big Day!

A Wedding Journey blog

Photo source: bing images


A Wedding Journey is dedicated to my lovely daughter.  It was so much fun to be able to share this incredible time in your life,  I hope you always choose to dance.
And forever twirl in your dress!


About inspirationaldetails

Passionate about: Entertaining Tablescapes Decorating, and a love of Books!! I find inspiration in the details of life...
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