It’s time for the final wedding recap post! If you haven’t already seen them, Part 1 covers getting ready and a few bride and groom portraits, and Part 2 covers the first look and ceremony.
After we hopped in the 1954 Bentley, we took a brief drive around downtown Lexington before arriving at the reception location. Lexington was hosting its own Comic-Con, and we received well wishes people dressed in some crazy costumes as we rode around. We had a blast driving around, and it gave Derek and I the opportunity to be alone and take a breather before the reception.
Our reception was at the Historic Round Barn at the Red Mile. The Red Mile is a harness racing track, and the barn was built in the late 1800s. Our gifts were actually collected and put into one of the historic horse carriages that they have on site.
Historic Round Barn at the Red Mile
We took pictures with the entire wedding party and as an officially married couple when we got there.
The beautiful ladies.
My bridesmaids looked absolutely gorgeous! From left to right: Logan, Elisa (Derek’s sister), Amy (my cousin), Katy, Jenna (Maid of Honor), and Randi (Derek’s sister).
The handsome gents.
The guys were looking pretty fly, too. From left to right: Patrick, Stephen, Jesse, Will (my cousin), Josh (Derek’s brother and Best Man), Garrin, Evan, and Jared (my brother).
As my friend Katy put it, “America’s Next Top Bridal Party.”
After the pictures, we headed into the reception space. We paired up our bridal party (including the always entertaining pairing of Stephen and Garrin) and sent them into the reception dancing to “Bring Em Out” by T.I. (which not-so-coincidentally happens to be the music used at UNC basketball games :)).
It was awesome to see all the months of planning come together at the reception. The barn and the decorations were stunning!
Can you believe our family friend Ms. Kim made this cake? She did an amazing job!
Bride and groom champagne glasses.
We used coral hydrangeas in large mint julep cups for our centerpieces. (Another Kentucky touch.)
We put out coozies and soft drinks for favors. We had Ale-8-One from Kentucky and Cheerwine from North Carolina.
Instead of a regular guest book, we had everyone sign a bourbon barrel head. We have it on display in our house now.
After introductions, we had a buffet with a Southern menu. We started out with mini hot browns and beer cheese with veggies and crackers as a passed appetizers during the cocktail hour. The main dishes at dinner were shrimp ‘n’ grits and beef brisket. Sides included broccoli salad, mixed green salad, macaroni and cheese, and green beans. NOM. Bayou Bluegrass Catering provided our food for the evening, and they were fantastic. The food was delicious. People are still telling me how much they enjoyed it.
After dinner, we did toasts and cake cutting. Jenna is not a fan of public speaking, but she powered through the nerves. Her speech was incredibly touching. I cried then, and it makes me tear up thinking about it now. We may not be blood-related, but she’s my sister.
Jenna giving her maid of honor toast.
Josh’s toast was the perfect mix of humor and heart. It meant a lot to both of us, and I’m excited to have another brother!
Josh giving his best man speech.
Derek decided to stuff the cake in my face instead of being nice, and I retaliated. It resulted in one of my favorite pictures of the night.
Vengeance is mine!
After toasts and cake, it was time to dance and party!! Derek and I danced to “First Day of My Life” by Bright Eyes. The song was one of Derek’s few requests for the wedding and it was perfect.
My dad and I danced to one of our favorites, “Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (what a name!). For both the father-daughter and mother-son dances, we asked other fathers and daughters and mothers and sons to join us on the dance floor after the first minute or so.
Derek and his mom danced to Luther Vandross’ song “Always and Forever.”
We got everyone dancing after that!
My parents were dancing machines.
After much dancing, we took a brief break for the bouquet and garter toss. Katy, one of my bridesmaids and oldest friends, caught the bouquet. Her reaction was priceless!
The garter toss was equally entertaining. The looks of devastation/disbelief on the guys’ faces are hilarious.
We danced for a while longer, and then wrapped things up with James Taylor’s classic “Carolina In My Mind.”
We hopped on a party bus with our wedding party and headed out to bars downtown until 2am. It was an exhausting, wonderful, amazing day. Marrying Derek made it the best day of my life, but the celebration with our friends and family is something that I will treasure forever.