Merri and Pete’s Wedding Reception

Shared with their kind permission, a few of the pictures featured in this blog post were taken by the wonderful husband and wife team behind Black & Hue Photography. Most of the photos are my own, but the truly fabulous photos can be attributed to Black & Hue Photography.

It’s hard to believe a whole week has passed since Merri and Pete’s special day. Here is the final wedding recap surrounding their beautiful wedding. (It’s also the final wedding recap in our “year of weddings!” The next wedding on our agenda is my sister and Ross’ wedding in March!)

Merri and Pete’s Wedding Reception 

Following Merri and Pete’s gorgeous Phillippi Estate wedding, the bridal party gathered around the beer garden to wait for the photographers to snap some pictures before it was time to join guests for a cocktail hour on the back porch of the Edson Keith mansion.


The beer garden was such a creative feature that Merri and Pete planned for their guests to enjoy on their wedding day. When guests walked out to take their seats before the ceremony, they walked through the Edson Keith mansion’s rose garden which Merri and Pete morphed into a beer garden featuring specialty beers from Brooklyn Brewery in New York.


This was a huge hit with the guests and perfectly reflected Merri and Pete’s personalities! The bridal party all enjoyed a beverage before it was picture time.


Pictures were seamless and Black & Hue photography did a great job of providing direction without making pictures feel stressful.



With group and groomsmen pictures done, the boys were free to return to the cocktail party while the girls finished up with a few bridesmaid pictures.


(For those who asked, I tried my best to gather information about all of our bridesmaids dresses from my fellow bridesmaids and link to them here in order from left to right. Bridesmaid dresses: Cat – BCBG, Amy, me – La Femme via RueLaLa, Ashley – BCBG, Merri, Leah – Aidan Mattox, Liz – Tibi “Make It Mine” dress, Krystal – and Sarah – Betsy and Adam via Macy’s)


We were instructed to do a few “no smile” pictures which I am sure I ruined since I can’t do the serious model face, but we laughed a lot. Then it was time to join the party!  

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Kappa Delta reunion picture:



Cocktail hour concluded with best man and maid and matron of honor speeches before guests walked inside the mansion for dinner. Pete’s brother, John, delivered a funny and heartfelt speech that had everybody laughing.


Leah and Ashley were Merri’s maid and matron of honor and both gave fabulous speeches. We were all in the same sorority in college and have known Merri and Pete since they first started dating in late 2004, so they had quite a few funny stories and some very sentimental things to say that made me laugh and tear up.

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Pete also said a few words to thank guests for sharing their wedding day with them before we headed inside to eat.



Our table:


I love taking pictures mid-sentence. Ha!

After dinner, we made our way back outside to watch Merri and Pete’s first dance as bride and groom.


They are such a loving and affectionate couple and while they danced you could just feel the joy surrounding them. They were adorable. 


Aside from Merri and Pete’s love, the theme of the entire evening was family, as both Merri and Pete are extremely family-oriented, so the father/daughter and mother/son dances were very special.

Merri and her dad both seem to smile non-stop, so their dance was upbeat and fun to watch.


Pete and his mom had such a sweet dance and you could tell the two share a wonderful relationship.


Once their dances were done, it was our turn to hit the dance floor. Merri and Pete had a live band that kept the dance floor packed and the party going all night long!

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We spent the rest of the night partying it up on the dance floor and made sure to snap a few pictures in the vintage photo booth that was set up in the cake room. 




The cakes were very unique since they were shipped in from Momofuku in New York. Fancy, huh!?


Merri and Pete had six rustic-looking cakes in some amazing and creative flavors including apple pie cake (my favorite), pistachio, chocolate pretzel, banana and more. The cakes were a hug hit, especially since Merri and Pete let guests serve themselves so everyone could try many different flavors. Yes, I tried a little of each. Get in my belly!   

Guests did not head home after cake and dancing! Merri and Pete arranged for an ice cream truck to arrive outside of the venue close to 11 p.m. and we all grabbed treats to eat on a trolley that took us to downtown Siesta Key for an after party!

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It was a great way to keep the party going and everyone had a blast partying it up for the rest of the night at the Daiquiri Deck! 

photo 2 (4) photo 3 (3) I’d say we had a pretty good time!

Congratulations again to Merri and Pete! Wishing you many, many years of love and happiness!


  1. Jessica says

    I loved the idea of having a combination of creme colors as bridesmaid dresses. I’ll have to remember that ! What was the name of the song for the father/daughter dance?


  2. april says

    merri & pete’s wedding looked so beautiful, as well as SO much fun! i love the idea of the late night ice cream truck and trolley ride. very unique! =)


  3. Rachel says

    The bridesmaids all looked absolutely gorgeous! I love that you got to choose your hair styles and dresses, it worked so well.

    I’m getting married in March too! I hope Leslie is doing well with planning it, it will be even more fun to follow along now


  4. Amelia says

    In you Kappa Delta reunion photo, I would LOVE to know where the girl in the center purchased that gorgeous black lace dress! I am searching for one exactly like it!

    thank you!


  5. says

    I love how many different things they did to really make their wedding unique from the beer garden to having 6 different style cakes, that is just awesome :)

    The photography is just flawless too, it doesn’t look overdone or overposed just natural which I think makes photos so much prettier and better. Echoing the other comments I loved your dress too and really all the bridesmaids dresses were great <3


  6. Kari says

    We are thinking of taking a trolley after our wedding, too! Questions: how did that work out? Did Merri wear her wedding dress? I am contemplating getting transportation after a busy day at our wedding. I’m afraid I will be exhausted! Thanks, Julie!


  7. says

    This wedding looks absolutely gorgeous and so much fun! I love the idea/theme for the bridesmaid dresses & the color scheme! Everyone looked beautiful and looked like they had such a great time.

    January 2014 begins the “year of weddings” for my boyfriend and I. haha We are attending 5 so far that we know of, and I am in one of them as a bridesmaid! It’s going to be a crazy year.


  8. Lisa says

    What an amazing wedding from start to finish!!! Definitely my fav from your year of weddings! (They were all special and unique in their own ways but I just loved all the special details meri and Pete had!)


  9. says

    Although I love one huuuuuuge wedding cake to be the star of the meal, I really like the idea of trying a bunch of different flavors! All of them sound heavenly, and I so want to try the pistachio one. Mmmm! And father/daughter dances are always so sweet and sad. Like, I smile and cry all at the same time. :P


  10. says

    The dresses are ALL gorgeous. WOW!! Love the style of this weekend. Siesta Keys looks SO much fun…just Florida in general lol. My hubby is in Orlando right now for a golf conference while I’m stuck home in Canada. I’m ready to move ;)


  11. Laura says

    I love reading all your wedding recaps! This wedding sounded like it was a blast. I am drooling over those cake flavors, that is so unique. Your sorority sisters are all beautiful! I love getting together with mine at weddings, it’s truly like no time at all has passed since college!


  12. Merri says

    Great recap JB!!! You’re just the best for taking the time – I’m going to print these out an make them into a little book :) LOVE YOU!!


  13. says

    Great recap on a great wedding. Everybody looks like they had a blast at this wedding. The beer garden looks like the perfect setting for a wedding. Everybody must have enjoyed the dancing. Wedding receptions are always the fun part of the wedding. I guess it was fun to have that ice cream truck and Daiquiri Deck was also fun.



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