Lifestyle Wedding

Wedding || Post Ceremony & Dinner

Immediately after the ceremony we were surrounded with friends and family giving us hugs and well wishes. There was so much confetti on us that we kept finding it throughout the rest of the day! Then we popped open the bubbles for all our guests. (75 people get through a LOT of prosecco on a hot day it turns out.) Because the wedding was very DIY there was no real catering staff, though we had a very lovely girl help us out with some odds and ends, so everyone poured their own drinks. It turns out that renting glasses can be exceptionally expensive so we had a random assortment of jam jars and honey pots. Later on in the evening, we unveiled a load of red solo cups. (This might seem really weird to all my American readers, but solo cups don’t really exist in England so people go crazy when they see the “red cups” because it’s like seeing a movie prop. Long story short, they went down a treat). 

After barely managing a swig or two of prosecco, Sam and I were whisked away to take photographs with various family members and wedding party members, whilst everyone else enjoyed their cocktails outside to some music. (We DJ’d the whole day ourself with various iPod playlists for every section of the day.)  I’d been a bit anxious about how smoothly the group photos would go, but it all worked out perfectly in the end. And then Sam and I went away with our photographer for some couples shots. It was the perfect escape – we had hit the point where we had really needed some alone time and sitting in the back of Neil’s car holding hands and laughing together was a welcome relief. 

Because there was a bit of a gap before dinner, to tide everyone over we had various kinds of salsa and tortilla chips. With some spicy varieties in honour of New Mexico and all our New Mexican guests. This was the one aspect of the day that I truly missed out on. By the time the photos and mingling was even remotely wrapped up, the chips and salsa had been devoured. Because we had such a lovely field to play with, there ended up being a few ball games spearheaded by my brother.

Since the wedding was taking place in England, I still wanted to bring my homeland into things, so though it’s not a New Mexican wedding tradition (just a party tradition), we did have a piΓ±ata. To bring a bit more New Mexico into our day, we also made loads of luminarias for the evening. I refused the blindfold but did have my eyes closed and knocked the piΓ±ata off the rope with the first go – but it hadn’t broken open much to the consternation of Sam’s young nephew. He then proceed to really give it a thorough whack! (He might have even pulverised some of the candy.) Sam’s youngest nephew managed to ride the piΓ±ata around for the rest of the day. 

When it was time for dinner, we all gathered inside and sat down for pre-dinner speeches. Sam set the pace with an absolutely wonderful speech. I know I’m biased but I’ve never heard such a great groom’s speech or heard a crowd so engaged. I cried towards the end of his speech, naturally. Then my best friend and maid of honour, stood up and gave the most heartwarming speech off all times. It was so special to me and definitely one of the highlights of the day. I cried, obviously, as did a few other people in the room. Sam held my hand tight during the entirety of GB’s speech to help me hold back my tears (unsuccessfully). Then Sam’s brothers gave a dual bestman speech which was just the perfect level of lovely and embarrassing. 

Instead of having escort cards on the table, we decided to combine the idea of them with everyone’s wedding favour. Throughout the past few years, we’d collected a book for each individual guest (especially picked out for them). Then I found a set of old library cards and pockets and put them in all the books so that Sam and I could write a note to everyone on the library card. 

For dinner we had the most delicious hog roast with the best stuffing I’ve ever had in my life. Plus a huge selection of salads and sides, and a vegan chilli for otherwise inclined guests. I know some brides say they didn’t get a chance to eat on their wedding day, but there was none of that issue here. I scoffed mine down! By some weird twist of fate – mostly due to being too busy talking – we ended up being the last people served which meant we didn’t end up gorging ourselves on as much stuffing as I would have wanted, but that’s my inner glutton talking! My brother had seconds before we even managed to have firsts, and that’s just so wonderfully in character with everyone.

backdrop bunting colourful-wall flags hackness-village-hall-2 hackness-village-hall
table-settings
lights-and-flowers
lights
cake-table
cake
alcohol-cart
boozebeers
all-the-kids
pouring-champers
with-my-momwith-mawith-family
playing-games
lounging
girls-cheersgreg-at-wedding
felix-cheers
cheers
by-kegs
pinata
hitting-pinata
cheers-speeches
sams-speech
tables-speeches
gb-speech
usher-speech

***All photo credit goes to Neil Jackson Photographic****

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  • The books are such a lovely idea!

  • Love the photos. The party sounds fab and very interesting. Congratulations.

  • Your wedding was beautiful. Now I am wishing I could go back years and redo mine just so I could give books as wedding favours. What a wonderful idea.

    • Thank you so much! I thought if anything else, at least it might provide inflight entertainment for those who were flying back to North America post-wedding. x

  • I am literally sobbing looking at all the happiness in your photos. It is so prevalent in literally every single picture!
    Again, your reception is just as lovely as your ceremony was, and the book idea is literally the most amazing wedding idea I’ve ever heard!

    • Ah, Kayla! That’s too much! Thank you so much! I cried dozens of times throughout the day just because I was so overwhelmed by happiness. I’m so glad you liked the book idea! Sam and I were a bit nervous that some guests wouldn’t like it. x

      • I think it was so nice. I love the idea of favor that is personalized for the guest. So sweet!

  • LOVE the tin baths for the drinks! Did you find those? Everyone looks so relaxed and happy and the book idea for favours! How did you manage to choose one for each person?! Alice xxx

    http://www.woodenwindowsills.co.uk

    • We borrowed the tin baths from the farm next to the hall (haha just the kind of things that float around in North Yorkshire πŸ˜‰ ) The books took us ages. Pretty much as soon as we got engaged we drew up our guest list and then would pop into charity shops and book swaps about once a week and see if anything on offer seemed like one particular person. Some people were super easy, and some were really tricky! x

  • books as wedding favours? love that!

  • Aw I love the idea of the books, such a good idea as you can get them so cheap these days!

    • Nearly all were from charity shops in our neighbourhood and quite a few of them were even free! (The shop puts them out on the street for people to collect if they haven’t sold after X amount of time.) But shh!!! Don’t tell anyone their gift was free πŸ˜‰ x

  • Ohhhh I love the books at the place settings! The nude (naked? bare? how did Benjamina call it?) wedding cake is so beautiful!! It looks like such a good time – love the New Mexican touches – perfect! I felt that way too… would’ve liked to experience some of the things (like more of the food you work so hard to choose!). And yeahhh the Solo cup thing is a slight bit baffling but I know Germans like them too. I just will never understand… I always cursed having to drink out of those πŸ˜‰

    • I can’t remember what Benjamina said now, but I think the lovely woman who baked ours called it semi-naked (Sam doesn’t like most frostings / any fondant so it was our cake compromise.)

      AH, solo cups. Sam said once he thinks he and his friends find them so exciting because since they don’t exist here they only see them in the movies. A slice of your very own American movie. I just like how happy everyone was to drink out of them! x

  • You smashing that pinata with a baseball bat in your wedding dress has got to go down as one of the best wedding photos of all time. Enter that in ALL the competitions, please.

    • Oh man, Emma has one where I look even crazier with the piΓ±ata. I’ll have to find it for you. x

  • I love the idea of collecting books for your guests! It’s absolutely fantastic and special! =) You should totes publish Sam’s speech! Sounds epic!

  • What a wonderful reception!!

  • I love this so much! It seems so personal and so low key, which is always nice for the guests as well! And it’s so funny, I went to three weddings last summer and it got me thinking ‘I’m definitely giving books as a favour at my wedding’ seems great minds think alike πŸ™‚

  • I love that y’all gave out books to everyone. What a fun idea!

    • it all came about because I was thinking a) what I’d most like as a favour and b) something that our guests who came from America and Canada could take home with them. And it ended up being a fairly cheap favour idea because they were all thrift store finds or free. But we used our guest list to find individual books that we thought each specific person would like, so hopefully it’s the thought that counts right? x

      • I received a secondhand book in a birthday party goody bag when I was about 11 or 12. I loved it!

  • Add me to the club of folks who love the books as favors idea. That’s really cool. Also, as a fellow glutton, I love that y’all made time to eat! It always makes me a little sad when I hear a couple say they didn’t have time to eat at their own wedding, for which they painstakingly chose good food and drinks for their guests to enjoy. It sounds like you got to enjoy everyone and everything πŸ™‚

    • Haha maybe it says a lot about me that I’m never too busy for food! I think a lot of bloggers tend to be book nerds so that;s probably why it went down so well on comments here. I hope other guests liked them as much! x

  • Miu

    There are so many wonderful details to be discovered! I love the decoration and the idea with the books!

  • Ala

    Looks so perfect! So happy for you both xxx

  • I LOVE the book idea for each guest! That’s so unique and way more special + meaningful for each guest. I may have to steal that someday! And the honey pots and jars are so cute too. That’s so funny about the red solo cups LOL!

    • Ha, the solo cups and the honey pots were both a great way to save money whilst it still being something we knew would make people laugh.

      I had the best time picking out all the books. It too nearly a year (because I was only getting them from charity shops and free book drives) but it was one of the most fun bits of wedding admin to do!