Mindy wanted there to be little surprises throughout her wedding. After the ceremony, when everyone was on their way to the reception---many on 3 large rented buses, Mindy and I slipped away while Justin waited. When we returned, we had removed the bottom half of her dress! When we picked out the dress, it was an added bonus---it just buttoned off. We had never seen that before. Now she was free to party all night!! All the guests thought she had changed dresses. It was a fun surprise for all.
The reception was held at the Nashville City Club downtown. It's located on the 20th floor with a 360 degree view of the city. It looked so pretty with all the lights of Music City.
As the guests arrived we started the evening with passed appetizers---crab cakes, hot chicken on biscuits (hot chicken is a Nashville "thing") and assorted bruschetta with cocktails. These were Mindy's custom napkins. Butch has been using the phrase "Throttle back" since the girls were little. It means "settle down" and was used whenever the girls were getting too loud or wild. When they got older it meant "don't be messing around in the car while driving." Once they reached drinking age, it meant---and still does---"slow down, you're drinking too much!" Mindy thought it was a great double-meaning for the bar. Of course only our family and friends would really know the inside joke. Anyway, when it came to drinks at the reception, I don't think anyone heeded his advice! Mindy and Justin had a custom cocktail. I hope the photographer got a picture of the little sign. I think it had something to do with a shot of Jim Beam in a beer. Totally not anything I would ever drink.
Rather than a bridal table, Mindy opted for a "sweetheart" table for two. That way, they had a couple quick bites and started visiting their guests between each course. We used Scrabble racks around the room: bride, groom, gifts, cards, cakes and seating. I knew I was running the risk of possibly losing some of my tiles--and I did---an "E" and a "G." I'm going to try to find them on Etsy.
Here's a better view of their Kate Spade champagne flutes that they received from my friend, Sally Hoffman for a wedding gift. It's hard to see, but the base is a rose colored metallic.
We had a 4 course dinner starting with tomato basil soup. Next was a really good salad. The main course was chicken with a rootbeer sauce over mashed potatoes. We had requested a green vegetable on the side, because the plate looked a little lonely and needed some color. Somehow, that addition had been overlooked. It really wasn't a big deal as we had enough food. Hmmm. That reminds me. I need to check the bill to make sure we weren't charged for the vegetable. If there were any glitches, I'd say this was it.
The centerpieces were flowers totally immersed in water with a floating candle on top. They were low enough to not interfere with conversation. That happens to be a pet peeve of mine---big floral arrangements. There was a set of small, medium and large vases on each table. They were placed on top of mirrors with additional votive candles at the base. I made the table numbers with my Cricut and assorted scrapbook papers. On the inside, I put the number of places that were supposed to be at each table. With assigned seats, I didn't want to leave anything to chance.
The party gifts were Coke bottles. Besides keeping with the red and black theme, if you look closely, you can see the personalization. They say, "Share a Coke with the Donnellans." You might remember that the custom Cokes bottles were how Mindy invited her sisters and nieces to be bridesmaids.
This is the groom's cake. The baseball cap is made out of Rice Krispie treats. The Red Sox layer is red velvet. The Fenway Park is devil's food. It's amazing what they can do with cakes these days!
The bride's cake was our "splurge" item---well, besides the dress and Cokes! Dessert Designs is a local place that makes the best cakes. No one can duplicate them. When you take one bite, you know it's their cake. Mindy and Justin picked the cream cheese pound cake with a strawberry filling. Mindy wanted a simple cake so she could have the red flowers on it. Justin wanted round.
This is the only picture I have where you can see how the bottom of Mindy's dress buttoned off. This is a shot of another little surprise Mindy had for her closest cousins and friends.
Mindy invited all of the people close to her that she was unable to invite to be in her wedding to select a "cake pull." Cake pulls are a New Orleans tradition. Ever since Mindy graduated from Tulane and worked in New Orleans, she has had that city in her soul! About the cake pulls: there's a tiny envelope that has a wish for the recipient. It's attached to a ribbon---black---that has a charm on the other end of it. The charms can be put on a bracelet or necklace. All the girls got a kick out of that. The cake people place them in such a way as they do not tear up the cake when they are pulled. Just something fun and different.
Justin and Mindy's first dance was to the song, "You Are (the one)" by Lionel Richie. It was perfect! They sang it to each other.
The final surprise came with the farther/daughter dance. Mindy and Butch started with a waltz to "Edelweiss" in honor of the fact that Butch's mother was born and raised in Austria (and the fact that it's a showtune--Mindy loves the theater). Then after a minute or so, the "Hand Jive" from Grease started. Butch backed off and looked puzzled while Mindy started doing the hand jive---trying to get Butch to join her. It's a pretty quick paced routine. Suddenly Butch joined her. It was so fast and good! Of course I knew this was going to happen. Turns out, Butch had been practicing when I was out of the house. I never saw him do it. The significance to that song is that Mindy has been a Grease fanatics since she was a little girl. When she started kindergarten, I told her she could not sing those songs at school! Back when the internet was new, her very first email address was missgrease---for years. In fact, early on, when I couldn't say anything about the wedding plans, Sally said to me, "Well, we'll be disappointed if she doesn't do something from Grease!" I just had to sit there and not say a word! Anyway, it was a fun surprise.
Everyone danced the night away to party tunes that Mindy and Justin hand-picked. At one point, my cousin, Mark posted a picture of his mom and dad (my Aunt Marie and Uncle Tony) on Facebook saying---"Went to a wedding and watched my parents dance to The Humpty Dance and then 10 minutes later, saw my 81 year old mom fist bump the grooms father. Watch yourselves people. The end is near!"A final shot of the happy couple before we unbuttoned the dress.