Wednesday, May 18, 2011

One Shell Of A Wedding! : Cocktails, Toasts, Dinner & Cake

We kicked off cocktail hour with champagne all around.

Our cocktail hour was exactly what we had hoped. The weather at Glen Manor House was ten degrees cooler than in the city (so, about 76) and our guests mingled, nibbled, and explored the gorgeous property. We spent a significant portion of cocktail hour taking photos, but also managed to have time to chat with guests and get a few bites of food. Great tip: The venue coordinator asked us in advance which hors d'oeuvres we wanted to try.  While we were greeting our guests a tray was brought to us so we could enjoy our time and also sneak in a nosh!

Appetizers included "uncommon stuffed mushrooms" which had a hint of a spinach and artichoke dip, clam cakes and chowder (chowda for you fellow Rhode Islanders), and lots and lots of other treats - mini burgers, spinach pies, lamb chops, and plates of breads and cheeses.

We greeted as many guests as possible, and also got silly for a few more photos.

As dusk was settling in we called our guests into the ballroom to formally welcome them and also begin dinner. I was pretty intent on two things - I did not want the bridal party introduced in the traditional wedding style, nor did I really want a big introduction myself. However, as we were called inside we were shuffled behind a set of double doors.

By no means did I want to slight our wedding party, but I felt strongly that I wanted something that felt more "us". I also joked that I had no desire to have photos of us with my bouquet in the air and my mouth hanging open.

In the end we did more of an entrance than I was envisioning, but it made for a nice moment in the day.  Our guests seemed to enjoy it!

My Dad took hold of the mic and warmly welcomed our guests. He acknowledged the love and hard work my Mom and I had put into the day, and then shared the story of how Mr. Seashell and I met at Northwestern.

Everyone toasted, and wished us well.

While gathered at the front of the ballroom, my sister got excited to give her Maid of Honor toast. It wasn't exactly as we planned to time it, but once she gets an idea in her head it's worth going with the flow. Plus, I imagine she was a bit nervous and wanted to get her speech over with.

(Secret fact: After the wedding I discovered that she'd taken a special trip to the Glen Manor House days before to see the ballroom and practice her speech. So sweet!)

She wished us congratulations, said she loved us, and expressed her excitement over having a brother. She was perfect.

...and so proud!

I'm including this photo as well because when we were looking through our wedding photos at Christmas she announced, "See? I cried!". I adore this. Sister Seashell doesn't cry for much, with the exception of a sappy animal movie.

I think this was the crowd's reaction to Sister Seashell's speech.

Next up was Best Man Mike. He spoke about growing up with Mr. Seashell, and how touched he was when Mr. Seashell "followed him" to college. He talked about how they have always felt like brothers, and offered a warm congratulations.

Last, my godfather told the crowd he was the only thing that stood between them and dinner. He offered a blessing, and then it was time to eat!

Hive, that meal was uh-maaaay-zing. I don't have any photos of the food because it was due time for our photographers to take a break and enjoy dinner. But let me tell you, every morsel was delicious.

We decided to not wander table to table during dinner. I preferred to enjoy dinner with my new husband and not interrupt while our guests dined. At one point while we were eating I leaned over to Mr. Seashell and said, "We're eating dinner at our wedding. Let's remember this moment forever".

After everyone had wined and dined, we welcomed everyone to join us again in the ballroom. It was time to cut the cake!

While wedding planning, I asked Mr. Seashell if he had any ideas for our cake cutting song. He looked at me like I was a crazy lady. "You know, one of those songs like 'Sugar, Sugar' or 'How Sweet It Is'. Don't you know what a cake cutting song is?". He had no clue. Then, days before our wedding it dawned on me - "That's Amore!" - perfect. My favorite part was that the band encouraged the crowd to sing along. "...when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, That's Amore!"

I was supposedly really exited about the cake.

Mama Seashell calls this my "mommy feeding face". Hear that, future babies? I will give you this goofy grin when I feed you.

It was official - the cake was cut, and it was time for our first dance!

{All photos from the fabulous Blink of an Eye Photography}

Previously in the Seashell Wedding: