Sep 27 2014

Our Wedding: Part 2

Happy 1st Saturday of fall!

Yesterday my husband Todd and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary!  If you missed yesterday’s post you can check out Part 1 where I shared some details of our wedding ceremony.  Today I’ll share some photos and details of our wedding reception.  The beautiful photos were taken by Jen Disney Photography.  You can see some of our engagement photos and more of our wedding photos in the gallery section of her website.  You may even see a few photos of Marissa and Mark’s beautiful wedding!  If you are looking for a photographer in the Southern California area I highly recommend Jen!

It was a perfect fall day (a little hot) but the weather was perfect in the evening.  I honestly could not have dreamed of a better day.  I have to thank my parents for such a beautiful event, especially for my mom who put a lot of time and effort into helping me plan.  Thanks to my family and friends who helped me set up!  Let me tell you from experience that you can have a beautiful wedding FAR below the cost of what they say is the “average” cost for a wedding.  You just have to get creative and put your money towards things with the biggest impact!  Everything went off  without a hitch thanks to our day-of coordinator Lana Meadows with Lana Meadows Events.  She made sure everything ran smoothly that day and really went above and beyond!

The Location

What if I told you that our reception was at the office building where my mom works…the images that come to your mind would probably not be what you would consider ideal for a wedding!  When I would tell family and friends where we were having the reception they politely said “Oh, that sounds nice”.  When they got to the reception everyone was blown away with the location.

Mason jars filled with flowers hung from Shepard hooks lined the path that led guests to the reception area.  (I have to give a shout out to my mom’s friend Michelle who put the flower arrangements in the mason jars together.)  The tables were set up in the beautiful courtyard next to a small waterfall.

Welcome path

Reception Tables


Reception Area

The dance floor was set up in the small amphitheater next to the courtyard.  Guests could sit at cafe tables or on the steps of the amphitheater if they wanted to take a break from dancing.

Dance Floor

The Details

As I mentioned yesterday I knew I always wanted a fall wedding.  That was the jumping off point for  wedding colors and decor.  We chose warm and bright fall colors; green, orange, brown, burgundy.  We used apples as decor throughout the wedding.  The funny thing is that a couple years after our wedding Marissa was reading a book about Johnny Appleseed to her class and she realized that our wedding date was the same date as Johnny Appleseed’s birthday!  This was a total coincidence…I had no idea when I was planning our wedding!

Reception Details

For the centerpieces we chose to do half the tables with flowers and the other half with glass vases  filled with apples.  I found the vases at HomeGoods.  This was a real cost saver as floral centerpieces can be quite expensive.  I made the table numbers with scrapbook paper and elegant ribbon which matched our wedding programs I showed you in yesterday’s post.  For the tables where kids were sitting I filled bushel baskets (similar to the ones I used here and here) with snacks and activities to keep the kids entertained.

We gave caramel apples away as wedding favors.  I ordered them online from Daffy Apples.  They were delivered right on time and were really fresh!  Two nights before the wedding we had a packaging party with my family and Aunt & Uncle.  I could not have packaged those all by myself!  A little story behind the caramel apple: Todd asked me out on our first date on Halloween night October 2005.  He was working at Starbucks and had to work Halloween night, so I brought him a caramel apple as a little treat he could eat on his break.  We now enjoy one every anniversary for dessert!


Lana Meadows made the beautiful fabric backdrop behind our head table and added the beautiful fabric touches to the head table and cake table.  I hadn’t actually planned much for the head table other than a few flowers.  This is why I say that Lana went above and beyond!  She has an eye for detail.  I couldn’t be happier with how the it turned out and the backdrop looked so much more elegant in photos than the glass doors behind them.

Head Table

This really cool dance floor structure was made by my mom’s friends’s daughter and her husband which they used for their wedding a few months earlier…I wish I was that handy!  We had twinkle lights and paper lanterns strung across the dance floor (thanks for family friends Bob, Randy and Keith..probably others too for putting them up).  Apples and burlap were arranged in the bases of the structure.  I purchased outdoor pillows that coordinated with our wedding colors for the amphitheater steps so people could sit and relax.

Dance Floor 2

The Grand Entrance

Grand Entrance

 The Wedding Party

Wedding Party

My sweet flower girls!  We found their dresses at TJ Maxx…my mom and I hit the jackpot and were so excited when we found them.  They were the same ivory color as the sash on my wedding dress.  When I asked them to be my flower girls I looked online for a cute flower girls book, but they were all really expensive.  So, I made my own little book describing all of the fun things that flower girls get to do at the wedding.  I wish I had taken  pictures of it!

Flower Girls


So many heartfelt well wishes and memories shared in the toasts by my dad, my sister and Todd’s best man Nate!


The Food

Light appetizers of salami, cheese, crackers, veggies and spicy sausage were served to guests as they waited for the wedding party to arrive.  Cold lemonade and iced tea tasted refreshing on this hot September day.

For dinner we had a made to order pasta bar.  Guests could choose their pasta sauce: pesto, marinara, alfredo, pink sauce or a simple olive oil and garlic.  There were several choices of meat like chicken, shrimp or spicy sausage.  Finally they could choose from a variety of vegetables like broccoli, mushrooms, tomatoes and onions.  Salad and bread accompanied the pasts.  Everyone raved about the food and were able to go back for seconds…some even thirds!

Pasta Bar

Cake Cutting

The talented Jillian Witt of Sensational Cakes made our beautiful wedding cake.  The top layer and an extra sheet cake was lemon cream cheese and the bottom two layers had fresh strawberry filling.  It was delicious!  When planning the wedding I couldn’t believe that how a wedding cake was.  Some places were charging over $5.00 per person/slice.  We were referred to Jillian by one of my dad’s co-workers and her prices were very reasonable.  I’ve since used her for other events.

Cake Cutting

First Dance

We danced to Joshua Radin’s “Id Rather Be With You”

First Dance

First Dance 2

Father Daughter Dance

My dad and I danced to “What a Wonderful World”.  So glad I have this memory of us dancing together!

Father Daughter Dance

Mother Son Dance

Todd and his mom danced to “I Hope You Dance”.  Love that song and this photo of them dancing with all the twinkly lights behind them!

Mother Son Sance


Everyone had a really fun time dancing under the lanterns and twinkle lights.  Guests could get coffee and other hot beverages from the coffee station to enjoy with their cake as they watched people dancing.  Love the soft romantic glow that the lights gave off in the evening.


Dancing 3

Twinkle Lights

Bouquet & Garter Toss

Marissa, my Maid of Honor (and sister!) caught the bouquet!  I just love how that turned out!  Todd’s best Man Nate caught the garter!  I actually wore 2 garters, because I wanted one to toss and one to keep.  One was also my “something blue”.

Bouquet and Garter

Several months later Marissa got engaged to her wonderful husband Mark and they married the following July.  She’ll have to share her wedding photos with you on their 5th year anniversary next year!

Marissa and Mark

The Getaway!

For our honeymoon we went up the California coast…one of our favorite vacation places.

The Get Away


Lana Meadow’s EventsJen Disney PhotographyM’s Flowers | Mike Wandrey Entertainment | Lascari’s Italian Restaurant | Sensational Cakes | Create A Party Rentals

Thanks for walking down memory lane with me!!  Hope you enjoyed.  Have a wonderful weekend…what are you all up to?

Signature - Alisa

4 comments on “Our Wedding: Part 2

  1. Alisa, Congratulations to you and Todd on your 5 year anniversary! I remember your wedding like it was yesterday it was so much fun. Of course, we were chasing kids around, trying to get Serena to smile, and Julia to stop following you and Todd around greeting your guests at the reception! That was funny. Anyways, it was beautiful and I just remember how happy your mom and dad were. I didn’t realize Marissa only got married a year later, for some reason I thought was several. Oh, and I have the flower girl book you made! I just photos they’ll be emailed to you shortly. :)

    • Thank you Traci! It was such a fun day and love that you were all a part of it. The girls were just doing their flower girl job…being there for the bride at all times ;)! Loved how they greeted the guests too! Can’t believe you still have the flower girl book!! That makes me so happy. Thanks for sending me pictures. Hope to see you guys real soon. on said:
  2. Congrats guys!! Seems like yesterday (but then it seems like yesterday when all you girls were running around at WABF). I love the picture of you and your Dad.

    Carrie McAllister on said:
    • Thank you Carrie! I love that picture too…it is one of my favorites! I remember those times at WABF…especially all of us girls dressed u in our Easter dresses. It is fun that Shaun, Audrey and I have the same wedding anniversary year. on said:

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