Forever Starts Here: The Wedding Part 3

I promise I am doing my best to keep things condensed, but like… so many details I don’t want to forget, LOL! I wanted to add a few of our couples portraits post-ceremony because they make me so happy! I had told Alisa I wanted our photos to be a mix of romantic, soft and whimsical, and also flash photography, edgy, film-vibes. She crushed it, y’all.

Before I changed into my next look for the reception, we stopped for a drink at the beverage cart, Frothy Bottom. Valery and Paul are based in Lincoln, Illinois and were exceptional to work with. They did signature drinks for us (the Sperry, and the Melo), our favorite sodas (Coke, Diet Coke, and Sprite), virgin sangria, lemon-infused water, tea, coffee, and even cookies and milk for dessert. They are a power couple. Literally even decorated their trailer to match our theme. Absolute legends.

Frothy Bottom- Lincoln, Illinois
Signature Drinks
Drink Menu

In between our ceremony, and our reception I changed into my second look. I took off my veil, changed my hairstyle, put on my Air Force Ones, switched earrings, removed my overskirt, and added my bow to my back. Once I changed, we did some more couples portraits in this look as well.

It was finally time to party with our peeps! We headed into the reception, and BOY are there a lot of details here. You ready for all this? I hope so… Before we dive in head first, let’s look at some of the details of the dinner, and the tent set up.

Florals by Julie at Flora Design Studio
Tent and plants from Herriott’s in Champaign, Illinois
Chairs from Herriott’s
Place settings
Our seating chart printed by Minuteman Press
Our head table set-up. Sign customized by Tracy at NeonPartys on Etsy.
Custom charcuterie cones
1,000 paper cranes my family made as a focal point.
Poem by my great-grandfather to my great-grandmother when he was off at war.

Ooookay, that was a lot of details. Reception time!

Our first dance was so special, and we were so thankful to have this gorgeous white dance floor from Herriott’s in Champaign, Illinois. They hooked us up with chairs, plants, tent, lighting, and our dance floor. We totally lucked out with them being a part of our day. Evin (the owner) was my go-to girl for all the things. She went over and beyond to make sure our day was exactly how we envisioned. We couldn’t have done it without her.

For our reception and ceremony we worked with Bugbee’s DJ Plus based in Champaign, Illinois. They are fabulous + so helpful! Definitely would recommend Bugbee for any wedding in the area. They are so much fun!

First dance

What a lot of people didn’t realize was that our dinner was not only delicious but very sentimental to us. Hayden and I’s first “date” was eating Olive Garden in the mountains in the pouring rain in his car in El Paso, Texas. We decided to have Olive Garden at our wedding, and it was the BEST choice we could’ve made. It is one of our guilty pleasures, and it was so fun to reminisce while eating. The Olive Garden in Champaign, Illinois helped us out SO much. We were able to go into the restaurant, where they helped us calculate how much food we needed, and did all of the number crunching, and budgeting with us. And, they truly DELIVERED. They brought way more food than we even ordered, and with the leftovers we were able to feed the local police officers, and firemen. We also were able to donate the leftovers that night to families in need. What a blessing that was!

We like cake, okay? We had a vanilla cake, a chocolate cake, and a cherry chip cake just for us two. My Nana made our cherry chip cake in a heart shaped pan for us, and that was the cake we got to cut to feed each other. The other two cakes were made by Kayla Dillman at Kayla’s Chic Treats in Central Illinois. Kayla is SO talented, and makes such yummy cake. We got our custom “The Garrisons” cake topper from Rawkrft on Etsy.

Cutting our cake made by my Nana

After we had cake, we had our wedding day video premiere. I know what you are thinking… What the heck? How do you already have your video when it is happening live? Yeah, I wondered the same thing. But, Jeremiah from Park Life Films makes the impossible, possible. Y’all he and his coworker edit your video throughout the entire day, so that everyone can see your video during the reception. And, it was incredible. Hayden and I got to sit with our bridal party to watch our video with all of our families and wedding guests. So fun, and so emotional.

ParkLife Films Same Day Edit

You didn’t think I would leave you hanging, right? Good… here’s the video.

After we watched our video, we went to go get some ice cream because… we had an ice cream truck come to our wedding! Special thank you to the Sidney Dairy Barn in Sidney, Illinois for bringing their ice cream truck to give our guests a sweet treat at the end of the evening. They even made us a special treat with a Mr + Mrs pick in it. Cue all the heart eyes!

Sidney Dairy Barn

After we had some ice cream, we hit up one of our photo stations. Something so special about this photo station is that my cousin, Anthony actually built these letters and did all of the wiring in them. He made them for my sisters’ wedding a few years ago, and we got to use the letters at our wedding, too. It was so fun to be able to incorporate his work into our day.

XO built by Anthony Beavers

We danced the night away with our friends and family, ate a lot, tossed a bouquet, tossed a garter, laughed, cried, and had the most intimate and special, private last dance. And wrapped up our wedding with a beautiful sparkler exit surrounded by our favorite people.

The perfect end to the evening was our sparkler exit surrounded by our favorite people. Part 4 including bridesmaid gifts + some honeymoon content coming soon!