Highway to Happiness: Let’s Mingle

Wedding Recaps

Even though our plan had been to greet our guests as they arrived, the transportation mix-up meant that almost everyone had already arrived to greet us, instead. Either way, hugs and happiness overflowed our intimate gathering. The cheese, fruit, and pastries were hitting the spot as we had hoped, and I think there were just as many guests opting for coffee and tea and there were for Champagne or our signature cocktail. (Not wanting to risk a spill but finding myself suddenly parched, I stuck to ice water until after the ceremony.)

I especially love the overhead shots courtesy of the second shooter in the balcony. | All images via Pink Shutterbug Photography

I especially love the overhead shots courtesy of the second shooter in the balcony. | All images via Pink Shutterbug Photography

Roadie and I wandered among our guests and I admit to being a more than a little happy as they started complimenting us on our choice of venue as well as our decorations as they asked about several items. The small desk that held our ceremony programs in an antique from the one-room-schoolhouse days that Roadie and I refinished together–I’d grown up using it as a nightstand, but it predated that use by many years as we found out that Dr. Aunt had used it as a child, herself, and refinished it back when she was in high school. And if guests look closely at the corner of the lid they could still see the impression left by Brother Scooter’s front teeth from a long-ago bed-jumping incident. It may not seem exceedingly wedding-y, but it’s a part of our family’s shared memories, memories that were added to by Roadie and I working together to restore it, so it seemed right to have it serve a useful purpose as we started this next chapter of our own branch of the family history, you know?

It was great to see the little touches we'd plan work so well in the space.

It was great to see the little touches we’d plan work so well in the space.

Our cardbox got a decent workout during Cocktail Hour, but folks were, I think, a little stymied by the cork guest book (despite a sign to explain the hows and whys). We ended up with some signed corks, but less than expected. Oh, well, you win some, you lose some.

In the bottom picture you can see the golf cart that was supposed to pick us up acting as a piece of scenery.

In the bottom picture you can see the golf cart that was supposed to pick us up acting as a piece of scenery.

Now, there was  another hiccup during cocktail hour and that had to do with the music. I’d created playlists to run the allotted times starting with cocktail hour. I’d spend hours adding and removing songs to make the times work out just so, and labeled each playlist with the start time to make it virtually mistake-proof. I did this for a very specific reason as we’d planned to play  a specific song as the transition between cocktail hour and the prelude, and the playlists would easily flow from one segment to the next. And I’d gone over this musical cue with the DoC during our last planning meeting.


The wrinkle came when the DoC opted to start the cocktail hour playlist early–while they were still setting the area up and we were still taking pictures down the hill. I’d heard the music start, but hoped (since there was nothing to do about it from where I was) that she’d reset it at the appointed time.

I’m sure no one is surprised that she didn’t, and our transition song played at good 30 minutes early. *eyeroll* I remember hearing the opening measure and whipping my head around, looking for the DoC. She adjusted the playlist to an earlier track, but I’m afraid the damage was done. Instead of the distinctive intro to Europe’s The Final Countdown (yes, we did, we totally went there) sounding at 11:30, the DoC simply cut the music off completely. Instead of the gentle, gradual movement of guests (with chuckles from those who got the joke) from one side of the fountain to their seats on the other, the silence made everyone self-conscious about taking their time and they all rushed to their chairs.

The other songs I’d queued up for before the parents were seated? They got skipped, too. And this is how we found ourselves moving up the timeline a good 10 minutes.


The Road Trip Wedding Recaps:

It’ll Be 5:30 Somewhere!

Third Time Wife, Wedding Planning

Under any other circumstances, mid-morning might be a smidgen early to start serving alcohol, but since it is a wedding and it does fall in the acceptable brunch imbibing zone, I don’t think too many folks will bat an eye at it. Though some will undoubtedly try to ease the social stigma of morning drinking by joking about it being “5 o’clock somewhere.”

(For kicks and giggles I looked it up: it’ll be 5:30 in Greece when our cocktail hour starts.)


For those not quite ready to partake of our signature cocktail (more on that in a minute), we will have other bevvies available, of course!

Honey Lake didn’t really have a brunch-level event package when we booked with them, so that meant we could pretty much cobble together what sounded good to us from their standard event menus. Since they do business retreats and the like, they did have options for breakfasts, so what we did was request the “Free Range Continental”

Assorted Breakfast Pastries and Muffins, Bagels with Cream Cheese, Fresh Whole Fruit, Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice, Freshly-Brewed Regular and Decaf Coffee, Assorted Herbal Teas and Water

but asked to take out the bagels & schmear (a little involved for mingling—breaks the 2-bite rule) and sub for it one of their Display Options: the “Imported and Domestic Artisanal Cheese Board”

Assortment of hard & soft cheeses from around the world, organic fruit, marcona almonds, crafted breads, quince jam, tupelo honey.

for a slight upcharge for the usual continental price.

We’ll have the usual high-top tables scattered around the bend of the fountain circle for people to cluster about (haven’t discussed whether or not there will be chairs set out—I vote no to encourage mingling, but we’ll see), the guest “book” set up on a table in front of the fountain, and an antique desk holding our programs (that will get its own post soon). Both Mr. Road Trip and I will be there greeting our guests and taking some semi-candid photos during that time (having gotten the family formals out of the way just before).

But, of course, it wouldn’t be cocktail hour without a cocktail!

I’m in 100% agreement with the practice of having a signature cocktail to both cut down on bar costs and to personalize the event that much more. And creating cocktails is something I really enjoy doing, so it was a no-brainer that we’d be coming up with something very us for the wedding.

Brunch cocktails usually fall into the Mimosa or Bloody Mary camp, and since our wedding is wine-themed, it makes sense to go with the former and use a sparkling wine as the base for our cocktail. I actually have my own signature drink, The Snarky Tart, that I created years ago and I wanted to include a nod to that, and other flavors that we both enjoy.

This is what our tasting session looked like, trying to figure out which bubbly to use…

Which bubbly will it be? | personal photo

Which bubbly will it be? | personal photo

Oh, the rigors of wedding planning 😉

What did we decide on? Stay tuned…