The Celebration!

Cocktail hour, the part of the party I am so sad I missed out on. Our venue has such a cool area set up for guests to enjoy during the cocktail hour, complete with an outdoor bar and plenty of yard games. I am hoping our guests enjoyed the option to play games and took advantage of it! The games available to be played were cornhole, bocce ball, horseshoes and croquet. They were also served some very delicious snacks. We settled on three appetizers including my personal favorite, chicken and waffles, bacon wrapped shrimp and a variety of skewers with different meats, cheeses and fruits. While our guests were busy getting the party started, the bridal party was busy taking photos. I’m not going to lie, this time was pretty stressful for me, I knew there were a lot of pictures to be taken and it wasn’t always easy to corral the different parties to get them all done. Our catering staff was kind enough to bring the bridal party out a big bucket of beers so that we didn’t have to walk inside to the bar to get our own drinks, that way no one was missing when it was time to jump in for pictures. We took family formals and some bride and groom shots in the garden where the ceremony was located. Then moved off to the front of the plantation home to take our big group bridal party pictures. We then dismissed the party off to cocktail hour while Doug and I took some photos down by the creek located in the front of the property. By the time we were finished I think we were a little behind schedule, although it didn’t really matter. I was just ready to get into the reception and get the party started now that all the hard parts of the day were over.  We had our bridal party introduced to “Can’t Stop the Feelin'” by JT, they all had some very creative entrances, see pics below! Before Doug and I came in it was so loud we couldn’t even hear if they’d announced us yet or not, everyone was just cheering and clapping while our bridal party formed a tunnel for us to run through. Right after our entrance we began our first dance as husband and wife. We decided to dance to Zac Brown Band’s “Whatever It Is”, this had been a meaningful song for us since the beginning of our relationship and we how it was a little more upbeat than a traditional slow dance song. We had gone to dance lessons twice before the wedding to practice and about halfway through we aborted our pre-planned danced and just did our own thing which I preferred, it felt more natural and more like us. At the conclusion of our dance, my dad gave his welcome speech and my aunt Karen said a prayer then we opened the buffet. You guys, our food, I know I’m a bit biased but it might be my favorite food I’ve ever had at a wedding. Nothing overly fancy but so so so delicious. The next day I was very happy to see how much of the leftovers we had at my parents house, BBQ for days! We allowed sometime for everyone to enjoy their dinner before we started the speeches. We had three speeches, my maid of honor Kristin, followed by my sister Laura, and Doug’s best man Thomas. They were all wonderful and very special to us, I am so happy to have them on our video so we can hear them all over again. Shortly after we cut our cake to the tune of “I Can’t Help Myself” by The Four Tops. A delicious vanilla cake with lemon curd and fresh raspberry filling and vanilla buttercream icing. I hadn’t decided whether I wanted to the cake in Doug’s face or not, but I opted not to in the moment. We were nice and let each other keep a clean face, although it was tempting. Then came the father daughter dance, I had heard a song by Zac Brown Band well over a year before the wedding and knew that was the song I wanted to dance to. It’s called “I’ll Be Your Man” and is written from a father to a daughter. I still get emotional every time I listen to it. It was a special moment to be dancing to that with my dad, and laughing that my dress was carrying Liam’s paci all over the floor as we were moving around. We had one last dance we wanted to do before we opened up the floor to everyone, the anniversary dance. I think this dance is fun and gets people up and out there, but I mainly love it because I know my grandparents are going to win more often than not. They have been married for 66 years, it was so cute and special to see them out there dancing together, and is such an inspiration for us to see love last like that. After that the dance floor was open to all, as well as the photo booth and they stayed packed all night. About halfway through we did our bouquet and garter tosses, we had such a blast celebrating and dancing with all our favorite people! The night ended with our last song, “Let the Good Times Roll” by Ben Rector and our ribbon wand exit. We still wanted to keep the party going so we loaded up some friends and family onto the trolley and made our way to downtown Nashville where people repeatedly asked me if I got married today and I told them a wedding gown is my usual bar attire. I wish I could do it all all over again tomorrow!

Cheers,

Ashley!

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