Wedding Recap: The Reception Part I

I always enjoy watching the bridal party’s entrance into the reception. Their entrance sets the tone for the evening and I love seeing the bride, groom,  bridesmaids and groomsmen let loose!

Our reception kicked off with the entrance of our bridesmaids and groomsmen who were introduced by our DJ to the Jock Jams Mega Mix.

Ryan and I gave them flashlights and lasers to add to the upbeat ambiance. 002_Entrance&TossOnce they all danced their way into the ballroom, the lights were lowered and the starting lineup for the Chicago Bulls (circa 1998) began to play.

The DJ then introduced me and Ryan… the new Mr. and Mrs. Fagan!001_Entrance&Toss We high-fived our wedding party, meeting in the middle for a kiss.003_Entrance&TossRight from the start, I knew our reception was going to be a blast!085_Details067_Details

117_DetailsOnce the lights were brought back up, the bridal party and their dates took a seat at a big feast table, where Ryan and I sat at the head.  080_Details002_ToastsI love that the above picture was snapped candidly by our photographer. She was so wonderful about taking pictures of every special moment without being the least bit invasive.

After we were seated, the DJ began playing some dinner music while waiters passed out salads and warm rolls. 094_DetailsOnce everyone had a plate of food, my dad stood up to welcome our guests and give a speech.

His speech was filled with memories, laughs, emotion, pride and good wishes for the future. 003_Toasts 018_ToastsMy sister, my maid of honor, spoke next. 026_ToastsLeslie did such a great job. She was poised and funny and shared some wonderful stories and hopes for our future. 027_Toasts007_Toasts Ryan had two best men and both gave fantastic speeches.

Dru’s speech was warm and kind.028_Toasts Daniel had everybody laughing hysterically with stories about our college years. 011_Toasts009_ToastsOnce the speeches were over, dinner was served as Ryan and I got up to visit every table and thank our guests for celebrating our special day with us. This meant that we didn’t get a chance to eat even one bite of our meal, but fortunately our dinners were delivered to our room for us to enjoy once the reception was over.

I will never forget the catering manager tapping me on the shoulder to tell me it was already time to cut the cake. The night was flying by!

We approached the table with our wedding cake and I couldn’t wait to cut into it to reveal the beautiful red velvet cake with white chocolate mousse filling hidden beneath the buttercream frosting, topped with white chocolate shavings. 090_Details089_Details We cut into the cake using the knife my parents used to cut into their wedding cake, engraved with their names and wedding date. 009_FirstDance&Cake 002_FirstDance&Cake 004_FirstDance&Cake 006_FirstDance&Cake102_DetailsI also surprised Ryan with a grooms cake, created to resemble the Chicago Bulls basketball team’s logo. Ryan is a huge fan of the Bulls and since I grew up in a suburb of Chicago, I have a soft spot for them as well.100_Details101_DetailsThe groom’s cake was a marble cake with an Oreo cream filling because Ryan is quite the Oreo lover.

While the cakes were sliced by the waiters, Ryan and I stepped onto the dance floor for our first dance as husband and wife.

To be continued…

(All photos courtesy of Gina Leigh.)


  1. says

    Your wedding was absolutely stunning! I love how elegant and classy it was, yet it seemed so relaxed and looked like so much fun!
    I hope to someday have a wedding as perfect as yours, just have to work on finding my prince charming first! 😀


  2. says

    You guys look so happy! I totally agree about the entrance setting the mood -we came in to the theme from The Godfather – it was so fun. And we had a red velvet cake too – one of my fav flavors (our groom’s cake was chocolate with a peanut butter icing that was incredible and peanut butter cups on top – you would have liked the amount of peanut butter lol).


  3. Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter says

    What an absolutely beautiful wedding! I can’t get over how gorgeous you looked!


  4. carlee says

    I want Gina to do my wedding! I love the pictures she took of you two! Shes a wonderful photographer for two beautiful people!
    How much did it cost?
    How did you choose her?


      • Gina Leigh says

        Thanks everyone for all the sweet comments! Julie’s wedding was such a joy to photograph…she has such an infectious smile. 🙂

        Carlee, I would love to talk with you about your own wedding! Feel free to drop me a line or give me a call. I’m not sure where you are located, but I do love to travel if you are out of the area!

        Blessing to you all!
        Gina Leign


  5. Shelby says

    Oh the wedding is simply perfect! I love how you waited to do your First Dance after dinner. I’m getting married in April and plan on doing the same thing. It’s always seemed so awkward at most weddings when the couple comes into the room with so much energy and enthusiasm and then it comes to a halt with a slow song. Good choice 😉


  6. Scarlett says

    Hey Julie! A friend of mine told me about the 15k Gate River Run in Jacksonville March 12, and it sounds awesome! Maybe you could run that instead of a half?


  7. says

    Your wedding is absolutely stunning (not to mention everybody in the pictures are as well!). Both cakes look delicious – especially the red velvet one. What a beautiful and special evening, captured perfectly by your wonderful photographer!


  8. Chaya says

    That cake looks so gorgeous and delicious! Regarding your half, I trained for three half marathons in 2010 by running only 3 days a week. That left me lots of flexibility for other exercise, and I didn’t have to run on a specific day if I totally wasn’t feeling it. The training plan I used for my last race came from a Runner’s World book called Run Less, Run Faster, and I got way faster with it! Enjoy your next few months of shaking things up, whatever you decide.


  9. says

    I love the idea of having one large table for the bridal parties which you and ryan also sit at. I always said I wouldn’t want to sit at a sweetheart table by ourselves. I mean the wedding is a time to celebrate with family and friends, why would we want to sit by ourselves? That is what the honeymoon is for! The only thing is I would want the bridal party to also be able to sit with their dates…


  10. says

    The tables and the flowers look absolutely beautiful! Oh and the cake! That is goregous! Red Velvet is my favorite. Chocolate mousse filling sounds amazing! My boyfriend is also obssessed with Oreos. I will have to remember oreo filling when making him a cake 🙂


  11. says

    Okay, so I just have to say that your photographer is simply AMAZING! You are so lucky to have found such a talented person. If I may ask.. how did you go about finding her?!?

    Love the recap! Receptions are def. one of my favorite parts of a wedding 🙂


    • says

      i googled A LOT! i looked at a ton of websites. i just repeatedly searched for “st. petersburg photographers” “tampa photographers” “vinoy photographer.” any terms! when i saw her site, i fell in love with her style. it wasn’t too formal or pose-y. she was amazing!


  12. Jessica says

    Your wedding reception is even more gorgeous and breath taking than you ever let on in all of your posts leading up to the wedding. (Not that I was expecting anything less) but WOW…when I opened my browser and viewed the photos, I was a little awestruck in just how beautiful everything turned out.


  13. Nathan Miller says

    With the jockjams (brought back alot of shildhood memories), Bulls intro (Way hip), and Bulls Cake…I really like and appreciate the idea of you incorporating Ryans ideas and likes into the wedding! Seeing how most weddings revolve around bride, and myself being a huge sports nut I found it a breath of fresh air. We just got back from a trip to Jamaica two days before Christmas where I asked my now fiance to make me the happiest guy in the world so we are now making wedding plans and may have to use some of your guys ideas! Congrats again!


  14. McKenzie says

    Thanks so much for the Shape workout! I cannot wait to try it tomorrow! You are such a motivation and your pictures are amazing!


  15. says

    It looks like a fun time! I had heard that many couples don’t get a chance to eat their own wedding food, so we made sure to eat before going around to each table. I am not a nice person when I’m hungry! lol


  16. says

    Wow, from the Bulls starting lineup to the Bulls cake with Oreo cream filling, I’m pretty sure my boyfriend would think this was his perfect wedding reception, haha. Really lovely pictures, your photographer was great!


  17. Kate says

    I love the joy in every face! How beautiful! My hubs and I also cut our wedding cake with the same knife my parents used. My mom surprised us and had our names and wedding date engraved on the other side of the knife.



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