The Wedding Journey: It’s the Big Day ~ Reception Details

wedding journey inspiration


Almost two years ago to the day, this Wedding Journey (my daughter & now son-in-laws’ wedding) is at its finale.

Here is a look back to see many of the details that were in the “planning works” for months take shape, and come alive at their Wedding Reception.


~ It’s the smallest of details that can take your wedding from ordinary to extraordinary ~


It’s six o’clock in the evening, and that means it’s time for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres for our wedding guests at the Drake Hotel…

Note:  All photos in this post, except for three taken by my nephew, were photographed at the  wedding by, David Turner and his assistant.

wedding at Drake Hotel

Bird Cage For Gift Card Envelopes

I found this great metal bird cage at one of my occasional stops to Home Goods.  I found the shape of it to be very pretty including the sweet bird at the top.  I also thought the size was perfect (not too small/not too big) for wedding gift card envelopes.  The fact the door opened was a plus too, since many envelopes are too large to fit through the slots.  The bird cage was actually a different color, but we spray painted it silver for the wedding.

I gave our florist (Karen from The Flower Studio) the bird cage several weeks before the wedding, so she could attach this beautiful floral arrangement she made to it.

beautiful bird cage for gift cards for wedding

The bird cage was placed at the first side table upon entering the French Room along with the guest sign-in book, votive candles, and framed photos of the wedding couple ~ as a couple and as kids ~ & photos of parents/grandparents’ weddings.

As you can see, the leftover “Love Blooms” from their wedding ceremony were placed on this table also. A separate table with other photos on it was used for wedding gifts from guests.

pretty gift card bird cage - wedding decor

Place Card Table

We wanted the Place Card Table to be the “piece de resistance” – really make an impact upon entering the room.  This table was placed “front & center”.

beautiful place ccard table ideas

Gorgeous manzanita branches with hanging crystals, floating orchids, and votives …

beautiful place card tables

stunning place card table at event

place card table with floral branches ideas

Name Place Cards & Lots of Votives on the Table…

Here’s a close-up of the name place cards ~ I love how they turned out

The bulk of the Drake-supplied votives were used on this table {mentioned in this previous post}.

We also rented a special tablecloth sheer overlay {from Windy City Linen}  for this table and the couple’s Sweetheart Table.

elegant place card ideas

beautiful wedding place cards

beautiful place cards for events

Restroom Flowers

We wanted guests to continue enjoying beautiful flowers while using the restrooms.  Florist Karen arranged simple but elegant florals for both restrooms.  (Sorry I only have black & white photos of these)

Women’s Restroom

special wedding day details

A bowl of wrapped peppermint candies was put in each restroom also, and of course, a couple of votives.

Men’s Restroom

unique details to make a wedding special

Flowers on the Doors

Using the same idea of a “Bridal Veil Decoration” that my girlfriend had made for one of my daughter’s showers {click here for shower details} , we had Karen make a similar one to hang on the doors leading into the Gold Coast Room where dinner took place.

The Drake staff reversed the hangers and these florals once the doors were opened for dinner & dancing.

wedding flower ideas


As I mentioned before, beautiful flowers for my daughter’s wedding was very important to me.

Our vision for the wedding reception flowers can be summed up simply by these words:  elegant, monochromatic (white!!), and crystals/sparkle.

 We also wanted the dinner table centerpieces to be 3 different height levels, and, of course, that none of the centerpieces obscured guests from conversing across the tables.  (I’m sure most florists automatically consider that last point.)  Budget, of course, played a role as well.

Karen did an outstanding job transforming our vision into reality.  About 4-6 weeks before the wedding date, she made samples of each centerpiece for us to see.   (She did this for the wedding party bouquets too.)  We tweaked a couple of things on the sample florals, and then we were good to go.

Take a look at some of the magnificent florals at the reception.

Note:  These photos were taken as the Drake staff was still setting up tables before dinner, so some votives had not been lit yet.

Sweet Table/Late Night Bites Tables Flowers

wedding journey blog details

Sadly, that’s the best photos taken of each of these florals

Sweetheart Table Flowers

This floral did have some pink in it to coordinate with the bridal bouquet.

wedding reception flowers ideas

beautiful wedding flowers

wedding reception flowers - sweetheart table ideas

Dinner Table Centerpieces

The tallest centerpiece (my favorite!)…

beautiful wedding flowers for receptions

gorgeous wedding flowers

The mid-sized centerpiece…

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any great close-up photos of this centerpiece

 beautiful wedding table centerpieces ideas

The lowest centerpiece – it may have been the shortest of the three centerpieces, but it was still very beautiful… love the mirrored pedestal

gorgeous wedding flowers for receptions ideas

pretty wedding flowers -reception

“Take Home Some Love”

I really hated the idea of all these gorgeous flowers going to waste after the evening, so I came up with a way for guests to take flowers home with them to enjoy the following week.

I purchased about 25 plastic tall vases at Dollar Tree.  Those vases were put on a small table in the Gold Coast Room with a sign I had made telling guests to “Take Home Some Love” (continuing with the “Love Blooms” theme) and to please take home as many flowers as they wished (pick them out of the vases).

I asked, though, no flowers be removed from the centerpieces till after midnight.  I also told several friends & relatives before the wedding day, and asked them to pass the word on to others.

In addition, I made Karen aware of what I was going to do.  About 12:30 a.m. (wedding day) when The Flower Studio came back to collect their vases, crystals, etc., they transferred the lowest centerpieces from their shop’s pretty vase to a take home plastic bowl.  Those centerpieces were then used as table centerpieces at brunch the next morning, and then went home with people afterwards.


The wedding cake (designed and made by Amy Beck), included as part of our wedding package, was simple but very pretty, and yummy.

wedding cake Amy Beck


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.

Drake Hotel Champagne Parade


The menu inserted into a pocket-fold napkin for each guest…

wedding reception special ideas - menus

You can see the Wedding Cake and Wedding Dress Cookie Favors for each guest (made by my “Betty Crocker friends”:)

wedding reception - special details


gorgeous wedding reception

beautiful Drake Hotel wedding

beautiful Drake Hotel wedding


Here’ s a peek at some of the delicious food we ate at the wedding…

~ Appetizer ~

Smoked Salmon with Dill Cream Cheese

Drake Hotel wedding

~ Palette Cleanser ~

Raspberry Champagne Sorbet

Drake Hotel wedding

~ A Main Entrée Option ~

Filet Mignon with a Horseradish Crust & Cabernet Reduction

Truffled Mashed Potatoes

Roasted Asparagus

Drake Hotel wedding

~ Sweet Table ~

  Assorted Tea Cookies

Sliced Fruit & Berries with Raspberry and Chocolate Sauces

Notice the monogrammed cocktail napkins…

Drake Hotel wedding

~ Late Night Bites ~

Burger Sliders


Fruit Cups

Drake Hotel wedding

~ Late, Late Night (Early Morn?) Bites ~

Charcuterie Boards

For our late night partiers (the bride, her parents, and new husband included), we had the Drake bring in a couple of charcuterie boards to the After-Party Room.   This late night snack was favorably received and gobbled up quickly.


 And yes, my daughter really was still twirling in her wedding gown at 2:00 A.M.


It was an absolutely wonderful wedding day & also the entire “Wedding Journey” experience from beginning to end.

I loved every moment of it!

… & they lived happily ever after.

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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