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10.26.2011

my wedding reception

I have received several questions about my unorthodox wedding.  My husband and I choose to get married just the two of us in Hawaii and have a reception with close family in California.  It was completely "us" and I highly recommend it if you want to eliminate a lot of stress and just have fun.  Our goal was to focus on each element completely - our ceremony, honeymoon, and finally spending quality time with family drinking wine and eating good food.  We did not have a professional photographer at our reception so don't expect the glossies on wedding blogs.  I'll do a post on the actual wedding when we get those pictures.

Invitations
Simple, graphic and the palm tree represents both Hawaii and California

Location
We rented the biggest house we could find in Los Olivos so we had a central place for our guests to gather and drink socialize.  We also arranged a private tasting with our favorite winemaker, Ken Brown (that bottle was ours and gone about 20 minutes after dinner). Dinner was at Los Olivos Cafe, Nate and I had been here before and knew the food was good and had the right vibe (it was also in Sideways).

Placecards/Guestbook
I found vintage postcards from Hawaii and California on Ebay and Etsy and bought japanese masking tape to create the nametag.  I stamped the card with a custom address stamp and return postage.  This allowed the postcard to function as a placecard at dinner and then guests were asked to answer a question and drop it in the mail for us.  We were excited each time we received a card in the mail.  All the postcards (currently in a bowl on our coffee table) create a guestbook of our friends and family who came to celebrate our marriage.


Cake
Nate's sister is a cake artisan and was the obvious choice for our cake.  We could have gone without, but I think it made the reception feel more wedding-y.  She did an incredible job despite having to work through the logistics nightmare of living in Florida and delivering a cake to California as well as our coconut cake with passionfruit filling request.  I purchased the vintage plate and pair of brass elephants on ebay (good luck and now sitting on our mantle!).  I searched for a long time for the perfect cake stand, but it didn't exist so this souvenir plate was easy to ship and carry back from California.  

Favors
I think there is nothing better to remember a vacation or event than a good meal.  I wanted something useful and relevant to our reception and I adore cookbooks.  I had bookplates made here and bought Wine Country Cooking for all our guests to remember their time with us.  My family also exclusively used recipes from the cookbook for my Grandma's 91st birthday lunch.  How sweet is that?


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