Wedding Planning

Part 2: Grace and Jason’s Detail-Oriented Reception from Emily Takes Photos

The fun with Grace and Jason continues! (If you missed their ceremony and prep, head over and check it out because it’s gorgeous!

The fun with Grace and Jason continues! (If you missed their ceremony and prep, head over and check it out because it’s gorgeous! Don’t worry, we’ll wait for you.) For their reception, they had what I consider to be the ideal outdoor locale – a small (fancy) barn with a patio so they were able to eat outside and then when it cooled off, head indoors for dessert, a dance contest and piñata whacking. Yep, it was that kind of wedding.

And, you can see the love and attention that went into every detail of their wedding – the wedding bundt cake made by Jason’s mom, the garlands and more paper cranes handmade by Grace, her adorable, ruffled sweater for when it started to cool down outside, all captured beautifully by Emily Takes Photos. (Editor’s note: In the newsletter that went out this morning, I mistakenly referred to their origami cranes as Chinese rather than Japanese. The couple is teaching in China and it was all a bit too much for my pregnant brain to process.)

Be sure to keep reading after the photos as Grace talks about what surely every bride has experienced at one time or another – wedding nightmares.

Did anything funny or out of the ordinary happen?
So much of the wedding was a bit ‘spur of the moment,’ but that’s what made for our most awesome memories. Before the wedding, my dad and I found ourselves disagreeing a bit on what song we should dance the father-daughter dance to. Eventually, we decided to nix it completely and just ‘see where the music took us.’ During the reception, Jason and I were having a hard time getting people on the dance floor until ‘Sweet Caroline’ by Neil Diamond started playing, which is sort of a sentimental song for my dad and his brothers. My sister quickly called my dad to dance with me and it became an impromptu father-daughter dance. My dad is a big crier, but he’d managed to hold it together through the entire wedding until that moment! It was a little strange, holding onto my dad while the two of us were crying and Neil Diamond serenaded us, but it is a moment I will always cherish. It was far beyond anything we could have planned in advance.

Tell us details of the events surrounding the wedding as well.
Jason and I are English teachers in China, and got engaged while we were back in the US during a visit. Since I knew we’d be out of the country for another year, we had to get as much wedding planning done in just two months! Most blogs and wedding planners will tell you to spend as much time as possible to interview different photographers and visit as many venues as you can. We actually booked the first venue we visited and the first (and only) photographer we met with. At the time, it was all we could do, but as time passed, I’d realized how huge my decisions were, and when we got back to the States, it made me a bit anxious.

Thus began my series of wedding nightmares. They ranged from Jason not showing up. Jason showing up in shorts and a t-shirt. No guests showing up. My in-laws not showing up. A bridesmaid throwing a fit. The decor being awful. The food being horrible. Having to get married in a casino. Every morning, I’d wake up wondering if I’d made the right decisions, had overlooked something, or if my wedding would be as disastrous as the weddings (ironically) of my dreams. Finally, in the middle of another nightmare, I threw up my hands and said, ‘I don’t care, as long as Jason and I are married by the end of all this.’ This didn’t stop future nightmares from coming, but it certainly helped me to change my outlook on things. And you know what? At the end of our wedding day, we were married. And he didn’t show up in shorts, either.

How did you know your partner was ‘the one’?
This is something that I don’t believe is a one-time deal for me. There were tons of times when I was sure that Jason was the one, and there were many times when I wasn’t so sure he was the one, or if I wanted to get married at all. Even now, as we are figuring out what it means to be married, living in a foreign country, and sharing our lives together, the horrible thought that I made a huge mistake does cross my mind from time to time. But there are daily reminders or little things that Jason does that reassure me that he was placed in my life specifically not just because he’s an incredible, brave, and kind man who loves me, but because we are amazing together.

Any advice you’d give new brides who are just getting started?
If you hear people laughing (at appropriate times), if you had a great time, if you still think it was a wonderful day a month later, and if you managed to get married by the end of it, it was a successful wedding. And really. That’s all that matters.
Bride’s dress: Jenny Yoo
Bride’s shoes: Steve Madden
Bride’s comb: Heavenly Treasures
Groom’s suit: Banana Republic
Groom’s tie clip: Keys and Memories
Bridesmaid’s jewelry: Starfish Project
Groomsmen’s suits: Banana Republic
Groosmen’s tie clips: Keys and Memories
Venue: Radonich Ranch
Photographer: Emily Takes Photos
Catering and coordination: Vignette Events
Pies: Beckman’s Old World Bakery
Invitations: Kari Waldrep

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