I am finally sharing what everyone wants to hear about – the wedding reception! Yes, a wedding is about the ceremony and the union between a couple. But let’s be honest, we all look forward to the fun part – the reception. I am glad to report that we got a lot of positive unsolicited feedback about our reception and wedding in general. During the day itself and the weeks after, people were telling us that we had one of the best (if not the best) weddings they had ever been to! I know I am biased, but I felt the same way.
We held our reception in The Colony’s Coral Ballroom – if you’re familiar with The Colony, this is the large building behind the pool area. The ballroom itself is absolutely gorgeous! It has basic white walls with a beautiful powder blue ceiling and has some beachy details like chandeliers that imitate coral and some wall sconces/details. But rest assured, the beach theme isn’t overwhelming or tacky. We didn’t really play into it at all! Overall, I think it is a great space because while it is a blank slate, it isn’t necessary to add draping or anything crazy decor-wise. I also love that some of the walls are mirrored, which makes the space feel larger!
I am not sure how many people this space claims to sit. I was definitely worried the ballroom would feel rather empty since we only had 40 people. However, it was the perfect amount of space! Honestly, I feel like if you had more than 75 people or so it could feel very crowded. One of The Colony’s employees, Elizabeth, helped us originally book the space. She gave us the idea of doing King Arthur seating – which is essentially seating everyone at one giant table. We loved this idea and it worked great for our group! Making the seating chart got a bit stressful, but it worked out perfectly in the end.
Our tables turned out better than I could’ve imagined. I remember when we did our walk-through before the ceremony started, our jaws hit the floor. We were blown away by how beautiful everything looked! Our florals especially were just beyond gorgeous; we certainly did not expect that many flowers. When it came to the table decor, a lot of it we found ourselves and brought with us, or shipped to our florist beforehand.
The big gold bowls that held the main centerpieces were purchased from tableclothsfactory.com (the price on them has gone up significantly though). We also got tablecloths for the high tables near the dance floor, napkins, and chair sashes from there as well. They’re super affordable and quick!
As for other decor: for the tables, we got candelabras, frames (for the table markers), and napkin rings from Amazon, rattan votives and bud vases from At Home, and candles from IKEA. For the high tables near the dance floor, our rattan-wrapped hurricanes from the ceremony were brought in and reused.
If you read this blog post, you’ll know that we printed our own name markers and menus. I designed those along with our seating “chart” with a file from Etsy and got the paper supplies we needed from Amazon and Michaels – it saved a ton of money, and with how few people we had attending it took almost no time! We also got our seating chart and our commissioned art piece (which we used for our invites) printed on poster board at Walmart. It was great because we were able to order them a few days prior and pick them up at a local Walmart once we got to Palm Beach – it’s a great destination wedding hack!
The Colony included a ton in our rate per head; however, some of the table items were rented from other vendors to achieve the look we wanted. The Colony supplied plates/cutlery, white linens, the bar (which I was obsessed with the background they had for it), our food, table chargers, and the tables themselves. We upgraded our chairs and water goblets; The Colony took care of the paperwork and rented them on our behalf through an outside company, and we just paid The Colony directly. And as I mentioned before, we purchased specialty napkins and high-top tablecloths ourselves and provided them to the Colony beforehand.
Side note: I am sorry if I am all over the place with this post! Even though I’ve divided up wedding posts, I feel like this one has so much to include that it can be hard to make it flow well.
The last few things that we brought ourselves were the monogram we DIY’ed, cocktail napkins we used at the bar from Etsy, our cake stand (because our bakery wanted $40 to rent theirs and we had to return it to their studio afterward), our cake serving set, our cake topper (made by my brother-in-law), Grant and I’s champagne flutes, and our little things like the guest book, card box, etc.
For the wedding party’s entrance to the reception, we let each pair/couple pick their own song to enter to. I love that this made it feel more personal to them and let their personalities shine! The fan-favorite was definitely my sister, her husband, and their son Percy (the ring bearer) entering to “The Hot Dog Song” from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. It gave everyone a good chuckle, and Percy demanded it was played again later in the night and everyone danced to it haha!
Grant and I went straight into our first dance. We didn’t even really want to do one, but we opted to dance solo for about 60-90 seconds – then our DJ helped us invite everyone to the dance floor to dance with us. We chose the Adele version of the song Make You Feel My Love, which I also walked down the aisle to the instrumental version of.
We opted for a plated dinner (complete with wine service), which was fantastic. We got to choose two different entrées for our guests to choose from, along with a silent vegan option and a kids option. I got to try all three adult entrées and they were all fantastic! The choices were beef tenderloin, salmon, or butternut squash ravioli (vegan). The salmon and beef were served with whipped potatoes and bacon-wrapped green beans. SO GOOD! Prior to our entrées, we were all served a caesar salad as well.
One of the highlights of the night was definitely the dancing. I would say 75% of our guests danced ALL NIGHT. We strictly left the dance floor for water and bathroom breaks. We had such a blast! And of course, there were plenty of songs where everyone was out on the dance floor. I genuinely have never seen so many people dance at a wedding for such a long period of time. I think part of that was due to our DJ (Adam at Good as Gold Events) allowing us to pick our entire playlist. No one knows your guests better than you do! Also, shoutout to Adam for doing our lighting as well – it really set the mood and was so fun once the music started going.
We did allow kids at our wedding – just our personal preference! There were only three kids that attended, but we wanted to make sure they were entertained and had fun as well. We had coloring sheets and packs of crayons at their table settings when they arrived, so they had something to do during dinner. Once we started dancing, we gave them flamingo bubble guns we found at Target – they were a big hit with the kids (and adults) lol. Doing these little things cost us under $20 and made it more memorable for them!
Our cake cutting rolled around and we had previously decided we weren’t going to smash it in the other’s face. However, Grant had other plans and I could tell. So I did end up getting him before he could get me! You can see the full video his Dad captured here on TikTok. Our cake flavor was vanilla cake with chocolate chips in it and the icings were vanilla and chocolate mocha – it was so good!
After our cake cutting, I changed dresses – I had bought a dress at Macy’s less than two weeks before we left, and I am so glad I did. Changing made it easier to move around and helped me cool off! You don’t even have to make your second dress that expensive or extravagant. I didn’t change into mine until after our photographer left, so the only photos we have of me wearing my second dress are in the photos we took on disposable cameras.
Right before our photographer left, we passed out disposable cameras. This is one of the best things we did during our wedding! This was definitely not cheap; after purchasing the actual cameras and developing them, it was well over $500 (and we only had ~20 cameras). But if you have the budget for it, I recommend doing it! Not all of the photos turned out (make sure to tell your guests to turn the flash on!), but the ones that did captured the best memories. Everyone loved the expeience and it made the night that much more fun. We also got prints of our favorites to send out in thank-you cards and we put our copies in photo albums.
Around 9:30 pm (the reception ended at 11 pm), we opted to bring in some late-night bites! The Colony had a great list of options – we got french fries and grilled cheese sandwiches. Not gonna lie, I think most people would have been satisfied without them. But, not much is open in Palm Beach after 11 pm on a Sunday and we had an open bar, so we wanted to make sure people had food in their stomachs! I honestly wish I would’ve eaten more of the snacks since when we got back to our room I was starving lol.
We danced the night away and had just the best time! I truly think it is a night that we and our guests will never forget. I never thought I’d be the person to fantasize my wedding day for the rest of my life, but I definitely have become that person lol. Besides marrying my best friend, it was just a fun day!
Wow – that was a mouthful! Though this is the last “wedding blog post,” this is not the end of wedding content! I still have some posts up my sleeve, so stay tuned. Be sure to leave any questions or comments below, or connect with me on Instagram to chat! Also, sign up for my email list down below to be notified when I post next.