The Wedding Ones: The Reception, Music and All

I'm working on implementing a big blog re-design right now, so please excuse any weird looking stuff going on around here as I get it all put together right!

Sidenote: our apartment is featured on Thrift Core today!  Check it out!

Prepare yourself for picture overload!  We covered our ceremony in yesterday's post, and today we're sharing all the fun stuff that came after: the reception!  Again, our venue was the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden, and the reception took place at the Conference Center and Terrace, surrounded by palms and cycads for a very tropical feel.  Our wonderful photographer was Kym Ventola, and all these  fantastical photos (having too much fun coming up with new adjectives here) were taken by her.

I'm going to try to use less words and more photos today, but one practical thing we want to share a little about is the music.  We rented this sound system from Avista for $200, and spent hours putting together awesome playlists to set the mood.  I'm a bit of a control freak, we like to think we have good taste in music, and we like to save money (obvi), so we easily decided to go the self-DJ route, and I think it worked out great!  We started the reception (what could be referred to as the cocktail hour, but it flowed seamlessly into the rest of the night since we didn't have a sit-down dinner) with more jazzy schmoozy music, then slowly started mixing in some low-key modern songs we like, along with some covers of older songs by current artists, all the while gently picking up the pace over the course of that 3+ hour playlist.  After the first dances (more on that below), we jumped into the dancing part of the night with a fun, body-moving mix of older hits, from swing to 80's rock.  We had more oldies at the beginning and transitioned into the newer stuff, finally getting to some awesome/hilarious contemporary dance songs we just couldn't resist at the end of the night.  I LOVE dancing, so I spent pretty much the whole time rocking out on the dance floor, sometimes with Chris and sometimes with friends and family.  It was a blast!  After "And We Danced" by Macklemore (oh man it was good), we ended the night with a cover of "I Love How You Love Me" by Jeff Mangum (he was the lead singer of Neutral Milk Hotel, one of my favorite bands of all time); I'm pretty sure every single person there got up and slow danced with us, and it was an amazing end to the night!

I know looking at other people's full playlists really helped us out when trying to fill in hours worth of music, so click here to see the full reception playlist (cocktail through dinner), and click here to see the full dance playlist.  They're also just fantastic playlists for any event... we use the reception playlist as background music for casual get-togethers all the time!  Now on to the reception photos:

We walked over to the reception before our guests, and we ended up greeting everyone as they came in, which turned out to be a great way to make sure we at least said hi to everyone.  Also, our photographer snapped photos of us with each group, which was awesome since we kept the formal portraits very limited, so this way we still got nice photos of us with everyone, though my favorites are still the candids.

DIY origami flower candle holder instructions are in this post!  I will be selling 10 of mine on Etsy if you want some pre-made ones.

I talk about how I made the round table runners using thrifted fabrics, along with a bunch of other little projects, in this post.  My mom collected tons of Ball jars from estate sales for our centerpieces, and we'll be selling those in small groups on Etsy, too.

We showed some of our favorite pictures our guests took in this post.  I never posted a DIY for making these chalkboard signs, but I got the idea from this post by Emily at Go Haus Go, except I used self-adhesive chalkboard paper (bought it on Amazon here) and frames I picked up at thrift stores.  It definitely took some patience to get the lettering right, but I love how they turned out!

We didn't really have to do much, as our venue was already beautiful!  Love these built-in planters full of succulents.

Making it official with our officiant's signature.

Love this one of my mom going "oh no" to something my dad was saying in his toast.

We had tons of tiny cupcakes in lots of different flavors from Crumbs Bake Shop (we have been in love with their cupcakes since my freshman roommate introduced us to them--her aunt and uncle own the company), and parisian macarons in a variety of tasty flavors by Indie Cakes & Pastries.

For our first dance we wanted a fun song we could dance to (spinning in my dress is so much fun!), and we went with "Baby" by Devendra Banhart, which has beautiful whimsical lyrics about laughing and enjoying life together.

We did the parent dances all in one, and we went with a great sentimental favorite, "In My Life" by the Beatles.

I love this moment.  We were dancing to "Lover" by Devendra Banhart--it's one of our favorite songs, which we considered using for our first dance, but decided it was a little too inappropriate ;)  No one else really knew this one, but we had a lovely little dance to ourselves.

And that's the reception!  Tomorrow will be our last day of wedding goodness, with portraits of us, the wedding party, and maybe some other details!

What do you think?  Are you a wedding dancer?  Would/did you self-DJ your own wedding?  What kind of music do you like to hear at weddings or other parties?


  1. Aw congratulations! Love your dress and shoes.
    Ours was very much a DIY wedding and although I probably took on too much I think those little personal touches really make a difference :)

  2. We loved being a part of your gorgeous wedding. Just stunning!
    Love, Anastasia @ Indie Cakes & Pastries

  3. Great post you've got here! this can be extremely useful. i am glad I came upon your web log. Also, for a live Wedding Music, I recommend hiring one amongst the live wedding funk bands from wedding.


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