Wedding Recap: The Details

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For a few years, I worked as a Wedding & Events Manager so I ended up picking up a few ideas along the way. Through the many weddings I worked on, I quietly collected a few ideas for when my own big day came along. But from the moment that Eric and I knew that marriage was in our future, I knew that Michigan State would have to play a big role in our wedding day. We met and fell in love on the beautiful campus of our alma mater, so we knew we wanted to have a little MSU element to the big day. We picked green and white as our colors, and carried that theme throughout the day.

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Another element we tied in was the monogram J that was featured on our programs, menus and hotel welcome bags. I downloaded the monogram on WeddingPaperDivas.com and added it to all of our paper items.

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Whenever I attend weddings, I love it when the menu for the dinner is placed on the table. As a food lover, it is always fun to read about the meal ahead. For our meal, we served:

Tuscan salad with mixed greens, tomato, green pepper, cucumber, garbanzo beans, &  hard boiled egg, drizzled with vinaigrette and served with warm rolls and sweet butter

Parmesan crusted halibut with Dijon mustard, crusted with parmesan, herbs and crispy fried onions, paired with a Prime Filet Mignon topped with a mushroom sauce, served with whipped potatoes and roasted vegetables

For our escort cards, we had a small white box for each guest with their name, table number, and the corresponding MSU landmark that we had designated for each table. The boxes were filled with Reese’s peanut butter cups and tied with a green ribbon

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On our tables, we had centerpieces of white hydrangeas and green mums, and had a gold framed picture of an MSU landmark.

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I also found these cute “Bride” and “Groom” print outs on Wedding Paper Divas, and I thought they added a cute touch to Eric and my chairs

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And our final touch were the welcome bags that we had for each of our guests that stayed overnight at the hotel. In the bags, we included a green Jones soda, some homemade green & white chocolate covered pretzels, green & white mints, and Bettermade potato chips, which are a Detroit Classic. My mom even created the personalized labels which had our names and wedding date.

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And with that, my “wedding recaps” have come to an end. I hope you enjoyed reading them as much as I enjoyed sharing them!

Wedding Recap: The Reception

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After the ceremony, we had a few hours before our reception was set to begin. We used this time to take a bunch of fun pictures all around Downtown Detroit with our bridal party. Eric says this was one of his favorite parts of the day because it was so relaxed, and we just got to hang out with our best friends.

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After our picture extravaganza, we made our way to the Colony Club. We only looked at a few venues when we were wedding planning, but I could not have been happier with what we chose. The Colony Club has such an elegant, vintage feel to it and it made for an absolutely beautiful reception. We arrived as our cocktail hour was ending, so our Banquet Manager led us up to the two private “Bride” and “Groom” suites to enjoy some hors d’ouerves and champagne before we joined our guests. As I mentioned before, this was one of my favorite parts of the night. It was so nice to just spend a little extra time with my four best friends before all of the excitement of the reception began.

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Before we knew it, it was time to be announced as “Mr. and Mrs. Jones.” We had our band play Thunderstruck by ACDC as an homage to Michigan State Football, as this song is blasted through Spartan Stadium at the start of each game. Eric and I then cut our delicious cake. We had four different flavors scattered throughout the tiers: white cake with strawberry mouse, yellow cake with chocolate mousse, chocolate cake with white chocolate mousse, and my favorite: chocolate cake with peanut butter mousse

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Sadly, this was the only bite of cake I had all night! Having good food was Eric and my number one decision when picking a wedding venue, but oddly enough, the food was the last thing I thought about all day. We ate as much of our dinner as we could, but we were far too excited to really sit down and eat our whole meal. But from what I can remember, our duo plate of filet and parmesan crusted halibut was delicious!

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Eric’s brother, Mike gave a great Best Man speech, and LT gave the sweetest Maid of Honor toast that made us laugh and cry. She shared memories of our days playing dress up and watching Say Yes to the Dress, and how we have kind of been planning this wedding since day one. LT has been by my side for as long as I can remember and it was so wonderful to hear her share our memories of growing up and how it all led to meeting my groom. She is the sweetest, best friend a girl could have.

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Soon it was time for our first dance. I have been a huge music lover my entire life, and I always loved dissecting song lyrics and finding ones that fit specific moments in my life. So one of the nicest parts of wedding planning, was picking a first dance song that fit us perfectly. When we first met, we bonded over our mutual love of Frank Sinatra, so we knew one of Old Blue Eyes’ songs was a must. We listened to all of our old favorites, but when we stumbled upon an old version of “It Had to be You”, we knew we had found the one. Eric and I both didn’t date too much before we met each other. In fact, neither of us had dated anyone for more than a couple of months before we met. I like to think that we just didn’t fit with anyone but each other. Thus, “It had to be you” has become our song.

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Next, I had a special dance with my dad. My dad owns every single Jimmy Buffett album and made sure that my brother and I grew up as loyal Parrotheads. And though Jimmy Buffett is known for “Margaritaville” and “Fins,” he has some beautiful ballads as well. One of which is called Delaney talks to Statues. When I was 12 or 13 I remember going through a tough time with the common woes of middle school. To cheer me up, my dad wrote the lyrics of this song in a letter to me, and it is still something I cherish today. It surprised me how much a song that Jimmy Buffett wrote for his daughter could sound like my own dad had written it just for me. It has always been really special to my dad and I, so of course we had to use it for our dance. We danced and sang every word of our song, which made it one of my most vivid memories from our wedding day.

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Next, Eric danced with his Mom to “In My Life” by the Beatles. Eric and his mom have always been very close, and it was so nice to watch them share a special moment together. It is so easy to see that many of the wonderful qualities that make Eric who he is came right from his mom. You can’t help but love these two.

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After all of the official wedding activities were done, it was time to dance! We saw our band, Skyline and the Backstreet Horns, at a friend’s wedding and knew we wanted to have them at ours. They played a great mix of contemporary songs, Motown hits, and beautiful slow songs. And my mom and Eric were absolutely thrilled that they played their favorite song “Happy.” These two love this song so much and have deemed it “their song.” So cute! Everyone was up dancing late into the night, which was absolutely perfect.

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And with that, our wonderful wedding day came to a close. It was so full of amazing memories and fun and we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day.

Wedding Recap: Our Ceremony

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Shortly after Eric and I got engaged, we decided to get married at St. Paul Catholic Church. I went to grade school at St. Paul Catholic School, and spent hours of my childhood in that beautiful church.It was the church I was baptized in, had my first communion and confirmation, and even had my 8th grade graduation. It was really important to me to get married there, and Eric was sweet enough to be on board with the idea. But in order to assure that both of our faiths were represented, we had Eric’s close family friend and pastor co-officiate the ceremony. It was perfect. Eric and I are pretty traditional and chose to not see each other before I walked down the aisle. It made me even more anxious to get out there and see my groom!

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Since the boys were already at the church, our limo went back to my parents’ house to pick me and my bridesmaids up. We saw the boys on the side of the church as we pulled up, but we were safely hidden inside. It was so fun to sit with my girlfriends and watch all of our guests arrive right before our ceremony was set to begin. Soon enough my Auntie Karol, who was helping pass out programs, came to get me and my bridesmaids and bring us into the church. I waited in the back of the church with my best girlfriends, my parents and Eric’s parents as the organist began to play the processional songs. I waited as Eric’s parents, my mom and then my bridesmaids, each went down the aisle one by one.

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And then Canon in D began to play, and I knew it was our cue.

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My dad and I have always been close so I had both looked forward to and dreaded this moment for as long as I can remember. I knew walking down the aisle arm and arm with my Pa would be incredibly emotional, and it definitely was. But as soon as I caught a glimpse of Eric, any nervousness I had vanished. I had known I was going to marry Eric only a few short weeks after meeting him nearly 5 years ago, yet it was hard to believe that that moment was already here.

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We reached the front of the aisle and my dad, Eric and I had a special moment to ourselves before my dad kissed us both and sent us the rest of the way down the aisle.

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Eric and I sat on the alter with Eric’s Best Man and brother Mike, and my Maid of Honor, LT. And then my cousins Lauren and Meghan  and Eric’s cousin, Katie read the scripture passages we chose for the ceremony. We were also lucky enough to have my cousin Kristen as our soloist for the ceremony. Kristen has sung at a number of weddings and was absolutely incredible with planning the music and singing for our entire ceremony.

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After the readings were done, Pastor Paul preached a beautiful sermon. And then the Deacon called us up to the alter as he blessed our wedding rings. It was then time for our vows.

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We chose to say the traditional wedding vows, because we both felt there was something really special about repeating the same wedding vows that our parents, grandparents and so many other couples that we look up to said at their own weddings. After we exchanged our rings, it was time for our first kiss as Mr. and Mrs. Jones.

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We then turned to face our family and friends sitting in the church and I was overwhelmed by all of the love in the room. It was wonderful to see all the people we loved sitting together in front of us, cheering us on. We then went down to the pews to hug our families as all three of my cousins sang “How Beautiful” from the choir loft.

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I vaguely remember giving my mom, dad and Grandma a hug, but one of my clearest memories from the day is when I made my way over to my brother. Sean is the type of older brother that every girls wants.  He is protective, caring and incredibly supportive. He has taught me so many things over the years and absolutely always has my back. And on my wedding day, just like every other day, he was my Best Man. We gave each other a long hug in that pew, and managed to squeeze out a quick “love you” before it was time for the final part of the ceremony. The Deacon and Pastor Paul officially announced us as Mr. and Mrs. Jones!

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Wedding Recap: Getting Ready

April 26th, 2014 was without a doubt, one of the best days of my life. I married the love of my life surrounded by family and friends. It can’t get much better than that! So in an effort to keep the memories from that day fresh, I thought I would share them here. I hope you all don’t mind a short break from the recipes, but I promise that the next few posts will be just as sweet!

I woke up bright and early that day because I was just too excited to sleep. My mom and I had hair appointments at 8:00am, but since we were both too excited to sleep, we had the chance to sit and chat over a cup of coffee. I loved that we could just sit and sip our coffee together and discuss the excitement that was to come. It was the perfect start to the day. I had my hair and makeup done, and eventually, my beautiful Maid of Honor LT, joined us at the salon to get her own hair done. The three of us then went back home to my parents house, and my other bridesmaids began to arrive.

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I was so lucky to be surrounded by my 4 best friends in the world. These girls all entered my life at different times, but they all are more like sisters than friends. LT, Annie, Lo and Leona are the best friends a girl could ask for and it meant so much to have them by my side for such a special day.

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I gave each of the girls a champagne glass with their initial, as we had to have a little something special to drink our mimosas from. We chatted and drank our mimosas as the photographers arrived.

Before I knew it, it was time to get into the dress! I had tried on 10 or 15 other dresses before I found the right one. It wasn’t anything like what I had initially looked for, but it was the first dress that I really felt like myself in, so I knew it was “the one.”

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For my shoes, I bought some satin peep toe wedges. But the finishing touch was a pair of emerald green clip on earrings that my mom found at an estate sale.

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My mom, LT and Annie had all accompanied me to my dress fittings and had watched the dress shop owner lace up the somewhat elaborate back.

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However, they couldn’t quite seem to get the ribbons to lay flat. So, as I mentioned before, my boys had to step in.

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I may be the only bride in history whose dad and brother got her into her wedding dress, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. It was such a funny moment, and something I will always remember. After I was ready, we took some family photos. It was important to me to take these pictures at my parents house, because I loved the idea of having pictures taken where we had had so many family Christmases, birthdays, and Monday night dinners. It was, and always will be “home.”

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My brother and I

 

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Our little foursome

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Me and my Pa

 

 

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My mom and I

 

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Next, LT and I took some pictures outside of our houses. We spent most of our early days running back and fourth between our two houses, and always joked that we spent more time in the middle of the street than at either of our houses. We even have a few pictures from grade school in our dress up clothes of old bridesmaid dresses, so it only seemed fitting to have a few pictures taken in the same setting, along with LT’s little sister Marybeth.

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LT, Marybeth and I

Meanwhile, the boys were already at the church taking a few photos of their own.

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Soon enough it was 2:30 and it was time to get married!

 

A Bridal Shower Weekend

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What a fun weekend! My Saturday was filled to the brim with pre wedding festivities. I started the day off at a bridal shower given by my Grandma and Auntie Karol.

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My Aunt and Grandma

We had lunch at the Ardmore Cafe with 20 or so of my family and friends and it was such a great afternoon. We ate lunch, chatted and then I was given so many thoughtful gifts. My cousin Jenny and Aunt Norma even put together a box of decorations for each holiday of the year. And they even included Eric’s favorite holiday…football season

IMG_1611It was such a great shower and it was so wonderful to spend with members of both Eric and my families. A big thank you to my Aunt and Grandma for all of the planning that went into the day!

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All the girls in the family

Later on, my best friend Annie and her mom hosted a lingerie shower at their house. The night started off with a few cocktails. Namely an incredibly delicious Champagne Punch.

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It was great to spend the night with friends from grade school, high school, college and of course my favorite cousins.

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My cousins and I

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My best friend Annie

We laughed until my stomach hurt and danced the night away. And I was given some pretty things for when I’m a Mrs.

 

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But the best part was just hanging out with so many of the girls in my life. I feel so blessed to have such amazing family and friends and was so happy to be able to spend so much time with them all this weekend. And before we know it, April 26th will be upon us. And we’ll all be together again to celebrate what is sure to be one of the best days ever. 2 months to go!

 

Hasselback Potatoes

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At the end of December my mom’s very best friends threw me a beautiful bridal shower. My “aunts”, as I call them, put so much thought and detail into the special day. From the green and white “Michigan State” color scheme to the perfectly festive Christmas centerpieces, everything about it was perfect. They even gave every guest a jar filled with cookie ingredients with an attached recipe.

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Our festive table

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My beautiful bridesmaids and best friends

But one of my favorite details had to be the Recipe Box that they gave me, filled with recipes from all the guests who were able to attend. It was such a sweet and thoughtful gift and will serve as a wonderful memory of such a great day. So now, well after the holiday season has calmed down, I am finally getting around to sampling the recipes that were carefully stuffed into my recipe box. The first recipe I tried was a recipe for Hasselback Potatoes from my Aunt Renee. You slice russet potatoes and sprinkle with herbs and cheese for a delicious and decadent side dish. Make sure you fan the slices out well, or the potato will not bake through all the way. I served these potatoes with a simple pork loin and it was an incredibly delicious dinner.

Ingredients: Makes 4 servings

  • 4 medium russet potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh herbs ( I used a combination of chopped thyme & sage)
  • 4 tablespoons grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Preparation:

  1. Scrub and rinse potatoes
  2. Cut potatoes into thin slices but not all the way through
  3. Put potatoes in a baking dish, fan them slightly
  4. Sprinkle with salt and drizzle with melted butter. sprinkle with dried herbs
  5. Bake potatoes at 425 for 50 minutes
  6. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheeses
  7. Bake potatoes for another 10-15 minutes until lightly browned, cheeses are melted and potatoes are soft inside

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Wedding Cake Tasting

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Our wedding is now less than a year away, so as we get closer to the date, I thought I would share a few wedding planning updates with you all. We’ve gotten quite a bit done since we got engaged last December, and it has been especially nice taking our time with the planning process. So far we have picked the venue, photographer, florist and band for our “Green & White” April wedding. We picked green and white as homage to our alma mater, Michigan State University. But we’re hoping for a subtle toast to our beloved MSU rather than a tailgate themed wedding. No pom pons or confetti, but still a good amount of green and white throughout.

And it probably will come at no surprise to you that the wedding planning task that Eric and I were most looking forward to was the cake testing. We aren’t overly concerned with how the cake looks, but since we’ve dubbed ourselves cake connoisseurs, we wanted to make sure it was very delicious. Back when I worked as a Wedding & Events Manager at a country club, I got to see (and sometimes taste) my fair share of wedding cakes. One of the bakeries that our brides at the club used the most often was Holiday Market, so we decided to try it out as well.

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We arrived at the market a little early and had no trouble passing the time strolling through the aisles. Eric even found an aisle devoted solely to barbeque sauce. Huge win.

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Soon enough it was time to meet with Leanne, our wedding cake consultant (talk about a fun job!) to look through some of her past work and taste some of the cakes. We had chosen 4 selections of flavors prior to our appointment so we knew ahead of time what we would get to taste. Eric and I both aren’t huge fans of cake with fruit fillings so we stuck to 4 varieties featuring mousse fillings.

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She brought out two little cakes that featured two of our selected flavors. We tried Yellow Cake with Chocolate Mousse filling, Yellow Cake with Strawberry Mouse filling, Chocolate Cake with White Chocolate Mousse filling and Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Mousse Filling. The cake was incredibly moist and flavorful and the buttercream frosting was light and fluffy and not overly sweet, which we loved. All of the mousse selections were pretty amazing but there was one clear winner. Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Mousse. It was incredible. But since we realize not every one has the exact same devotion to chocolate and peanut butter as we do, we are opting to utilize all of the flavors in different layers of our cake. We even got to take home the leftovers to share with our parents…. although we did warn them ahead of time, we may not have any of the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake left to share. Yum!

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