It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for another Emily Plans a Wedding post!
I had a hard time figuring out what to name this post, because we’re not really talking about reception details today – at least, not in the small and pretty sense. No, today I wanted to talk about the big blocks – the big rentals.
As you may recall from one of my first posts, our reception is being held outdoors. The tent will be in the Sunken Garden of The O’Neill, with cocktail hour taking place just outside, on the porch and lawn of what I call the Yellow House (and what I think the O’Neill calls the Hammond Mansion). Here’s the pulled-back view, with my notes:
Let’s walk through this chronologically, shall we? Cocktail hour is up first. As of right now, I think we’re going to do passed and set glasses of Prosecco, white wine, and blackberry lemonade during this time, then open the full bar under the tent. On the porch, then, we’ll have one simple 6- or 8-foot table covered with a linen at each end — one for drinks, and one for the cheese/fruit/bread business. Here’s a closer look at the porch:
Imagine a pretty table instead of a picnic table, and a green and white striped awning instead of metal bars.
On the lawn, we’ll have a few high-top cocktail tables for guests to cluster around. I haven’t decided yet if we’ll do floral arrangements or just candles on these. Guests are at cocktail hour for such a short time, and are so busy during it, that I’m guessing they would hardly notice the difference, and it pains me to pay for something like that when it doesn’t really matter to me, either!
The O’Neill also has this interesting little area off to the side of the porch (outside of the walled garden):
I’m thinking it will be a great space during cocktail hour, but I’m not really sure yet what I’ll do to enhance it, if anything. Maybe just candles on the rock ledges, or custom pillows on the chairs? Any suggestions are most welcome.
After cocktail hour, guests will move into the tent. I am SO excited to say that the tent itself will be a Sperry. This is for sure a splurge, as a normal pole tent would have shielded guests from the elements just as well. However, the price differential was not as much as I had initially expected, and in talking to vendors and other brides, it seems like the “feel” that a Sperry tent as opposed to a regular tent can give an event is more than worth the price difference. Plus, since the sheer loveliness of a Sperry means fewer decorations or add-ons (like a tent liner or pole treatments), perhaps we’re saving money in the long run?
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Sperry Tents, let me introduce you. You can recognize these beauties by their swooping, dramatic peaks, gorgeous sailcloth and pine pole details, and merrily waving flags – my absolute favorite detail. The flags can even be customized to match your wedding colors! Here are a few of my favorite images:
Credits from top to bottom: Cramer Photo via Snippet & Ink, Eric Barry, Landino Photo, Lisa Rigby, two by Justin & Mary, and Weddings by Two via Snippet & Ink
These tents take on a life of their own after dark.
Credits, top to bottom: Snap! Photography, Iris Photography, courtesy of Sperry, and Justin & Mary
Gorgeous! I have been so pleased with my interactions with my local Sperry office, too. They’ve been polite, courteous, and prompt, which, unfortunately, is not something I can say for every vendor we’ve been in contact with!
Now, what will go under that tent? As you may recall, we’re planning an unusual food service, which means we won’t be doing the typical chairs and tables things. Instead, we’ll be doing a mix. We’ll have several high-top cocktail tables:
For chairs, what I really want is these bamboo beauties:
via Ariella Chezar
They’re less formal than chivaris, but fancier than folding chairs – perfect for an elegant garden evening wedding. Happily, they’re also fairly reasonably priced – usually about $4 per chair, from my research. However, I have not been able to turn up a single rental resource for these in the New England area. If you know of a source, please help!!
If I can’t find my bamboo pretties, then we’ll probably go with something like this, a dark stained folding chair.
A Bryan Photo
Lastly, we’ll have two lounge areas. We haven’t nailed down these rentals yet, but here are a few I like:
Image credits: Lisa Lefkowitz, Michael & Anna Costa, via Matthew Robbins, and personal photo
Last but not least, we will have a dance floor from which to enjoy our awesome music. I have my fingers crossed for a black and white one.
Image by Abby Jiu, via Southern Weddings
Tell me: Are you having a tented reception? What sort of chairs are you having? And do you have a New England source for my bamboo beauties??
Up next: As long as I get my act together and get them out the door, it will be our save the dates!
In case you missed a post…
The main characters
Where we’re getting married
I go dress shopping
We choose a photographer
I ponder bridesmaid style