Yes. A detail. Whether you get married in a church, a hotel, or gutter, at the end of the day you’re still married. We got married at The Central Coast. It’s a beautiful space, no doubt, but I would never recommend it to anyone. Someday I’ll share the bad experiences.
The ceremony space.
We planned for an outdoor ceremony. I’m convinced that the only reason the weather was perfect was because I refused to worry about it. There was a solid back-up plan in place. I had more important things to worry about. Like napkin colors.
To save some money, we had our flowers serve double duty. After the ceremony, our wedding planner moved them from the aisles onto the tabletops. The larger arrangements that were at the front of the aisle were moved to either side of the stage.
In addition to what was moved from our ceremony site, we also had a couple other arrangements on the tables. Beautiful fall colors. I loved our flowers. The man we worked with was outstanding. They weren’t what I had pictured, they were better. You could tell he was a real professional. Humphrey Floral in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin comes with my highest recommendation.
The Reception Space.
Our reception space was so unique. The Central Coast is a supper club, dance club, and theatre. Our immediate family sat on the dance floor, majority of the guests were around in the various nooks and crannies, and the wedding party was on the stage and dance floor. When it was time for dancing, the tables were removed from the dance floor. If you weren’t dancing your fannie off, there was plenty of seating at the bar or surrounding tables.
Another fabulous vendor. The Sweet Spot in Whitewater was great to work with. Karen is so talented! If you question this at all, see the next section: Groom’s Cake. Wow. And we didn’t even have to try to save our top tier for our anniversary. She provides a fresh cake for you as a part of her services. No freezer-burnt cake for these newlyweds! I got our cake topper off of Etsy. I had a bird theme – though I was careful not to over-do it. I didn’t want to become known as the crazy bird lady!
Karen’s masterpiece. A groom’s cake is more of a southern tradition. If I wasn’t living in Tennessee while wedding planning, I probably would’ve never known about it! You can have one at the ceremony or the rehearsal. I opted to have it at the rehearsal, so we could enjoy dessert! I surprised Craig with the Packer helmet!! Are you all convinced he is a huge Packer fan yet!? If not, I’m certainly not doing my job!
This is my single piece of advice for my fellow brides. Make a seating chart. Yes, it’s stressful. Yes, it’s a headache. Your guests will forever thank you. Nothing worse than showing up to a reception without an assigned place to sit. Or having to worry if you can find a table with two spots left. A-nnoying. Just do it. I’ve seen some nifty boards, too. My mother-in-law made our escort cards, they matched the invites she made, too. Very talented, she is!
How many weddings have you been to where you’ve left with some chintzy favor that you will never use? We opted for something that could easily be used up! I ordered these bird seed favors off of Etsy. I was sweating bullets when they hadn’t showed up 2 days before the wedding and the seller wouldn’t return any communication. They did arrive and after writing a less than stellar review, the seller offered to give me half of my money back. I’ve also seen other couples that ask for donations to charities or most interestingly, blood donation. Yeah, the groom is afraid of donating blood, so on their registry was blood donation. He wanted others to do it since he couldn’t. Unique. But, pretty cool!
In some cases, people book officiant’s that they find in the Yellow Pages (or Google!). And that’s fine. Sometimes, you get married out-of-state, in another country, or your childhood priest is no longer around. I was lucky enough to have one of my best friends from high school marry us. It meant so much to have Jason stand up there and marry me. It ended up meaning more than I ever thought it could.
Jason’s brother-in-law, Grant, made the trek from Indiana to shoot our wedding. I had heard over and over that investing in a good photographer is essential. Grant did an amazing job. Amazing. It took a hot minute to get our photos back, but hey, we got married in the midst of wedding season. It was so worth the wait. He is incredibly talented. For any Indiana readers, I highly, highly recommend Grant Thompson Photography. He does more than just weddings!
Other fun stuff.
We had wedding mad libs for our guests to work on while we were having our photos done after the ceremony. We got some really silly answers. It was great entertainment after the reception wrapped up and we made our trek to The Grand Geneva for the night.
Whew. Long post. Thanks for hangin’ with me. I’m excited to get to the real exciting stuff tomorrow – the actual marriage! Wahoo!