We got our pro pictures back and I'm stoked to finally be able to do my post-wedding post!
Ceremony and Reception Venue:
Butler's Courtyard in League City, TX - A+++++++++
Let me tell you that I was so lucky to find such an amazing place... We really just stumbled across it and it was so lucky we did! We'd wanted to get married at an art museum or library or science museum. These proved to be impossible for a number of reasons (mainly money). We happened to get a pamphlet for Butler's at a wedding show and decided to check it out - fully expecting to be blown away by the price and the tackiness. We were dead wrong.
The place is gorgeous. They only do one wedding a day there, so you have the whole lot to yourself all day long. There is a multi-roomed reception area, a courtyard, a wedding gazebo (but you can get married indoors if it starts to rain), a cottage for the bride and maids to get ready in, and a separate building for the guys to get ready in - complete with foozeball table and big screen tv. The whole place is like a garden and needs almost no decorations. There is a waterfall with a babbling brook, a lovely green lawn, flowers and plants everywhere...
It was initially more expensive than we'd wanted, but once we realized how much was included, we jumped on it. Butler's takes care of the cake, the food, the DJ (or string quartet, or harpist, or classical guitarist), the waitstaff, the bartending, the linens, the chairs, the dinnerware, there are centerpieces to choose from for the tables, they have a totally awesome staff that will actually decorate FOR you if you just bring in what you want. And you can do as much or as little as you want -- I only chose to obsess over the things I wanted to obsess over. It was really important to me to DIY my decorations and to design my cake. The food, though? I couldn't have cared less, so I let them take care of it. It was perfect for us... every time I'd get stressed, I'd turn to Josh and say, "Just think how much worse off I'd be if I had to price shop for table linens right now..."
BUT the biggest selling point of Butler's are the owners, Janice and Nancy! They're so excellent at what they do and you can tell that they're in the wedding business because they love weddings - not because it's an easy buck. They pretty much act as wedding coordinators throughout the whole engagement. They also act as coordinator/planner at the rehearsal and on the day of the wedding. (You don't have to stress on the morning of, trying to make sure the caterer has the right directions to the venue... And, they actually have themselves and their staff linked by walkie-talkie so everything is seamless and you don't have to worry about a thing. You just tell them and it's like magical faries come and fix the problem... For example, after the ceremony, my aunt noticed there weren't enough tables for the reception, so she mentioned it to Janice. She said that literally within one minute tables were shifted and added and no one even noticed anything was wrong.) Their offices are on the property and always open, so you can pop down and see them for any little whim. They're very organized and very personable and very connected in the community... so they have tons of recommendations and people willing to bend over backwards for them. They're really genuinely nice people and, frankly, I kinda miss them now that the wedding is over! :)
They were also recently voted as one of The Knot Magazine's top venues of 2008, so I'm not the only one who loved them!
Monkey Tree Photography - A
I posted a comment the other day where I was worried about getting my pictures... turns out I was just being a worrywart and Kasey came through like gangbusters! She was very cool and very laid back and I really liked her personality. She was just what we were looking for... She shoots beautiful, fun photos in a variety of styles, and she's very flexible. She and her assistant were professional yet casual, and they were able to blend in or take charge as needed. I highly recommend her!
Cakes By Jula - A
This recommendation is odd because I dealt with Jula solely through Janice at Butler's Courtyard.... She does all the cakes for Butler's (though she does others on her own, I believe) but the BC brides design the cake with Janice and then Janice meets with Jula... I was a bit leery of this practice, but it turned out to be great! The cake looked just like I wanted and tasted great! What more can you ask for?
So, yeah, those were pretty much my only vendors because Butler's takes care of everything else!
So, on to the pictures!
I'm burning off a little steam doing some ballet before the ceremony.
This is the back of the property... The red house is where the girls get ready, and you can see the gazebo in the background.
This is the front of the main building...
And this is the reception area all set up and ready!
A little montage of some of my favorite pictures...
Mom tying me in...
Me and the gals.
Contrary to popular belief before 3/15/2008, the world did not come to a screeching halt because my gals had different colors AND different dresses. In fact, my sister (blue) and my friend Shannon (green) ended up picking the same style dress, but I think it looked different on them and I think they looked smashing!
I'm quite proud of how well my DIY Christmas ornament bouquet and tissue poofball hangy-thingies turned out! I also did the maids' flowers and the centerpieces myself and I'm quite pleased with them as well!
Major cry-fest ahead!
So, all day I was cool as a cucumber.... then it was time to do the around-the-corner-we-can't-see-each-othe
For those who are already married, I don't know how it was for you, but man... After you get dressed, it's like a wedding rollercoaster! After a morning of puzting around, you put your dress on and someone snaps a few photos and you're like, "Dum-dee-dummm... what now?" And suddenly people start going, "It's time! Let's go! It's time! Are you ready? It's time!" And the next thing you know music has started and you're walking and talking and BOOM! Married.
Josh getting ready to walk out
My and my folks (I don't look like I'm crying, but I'm downright blubbering... Josh actually composed the song I walked out to, so I was over the moon at that point!)
The now-requisite Chucks shot
The whole shebang
Big group shot after signing the marriage license!
On to the reception!
Some of my paper flower centerpieces
Our totally awesome cake!
I changed my sash out for two ribbons....
Table favors - my favorite food on Earth!
An impromptu "Young Guns"-style skit/mime/lip synch to Bon Jovi's "Blaze of Glory" by the fellas. (This actually happens a lot.)
A little gift I got for us on Etsy for the wedding day
Did I mention I dyed my crinoline?
Busting a move to "Bust a Move"
And we're out!
So, that's it... Hope you enjoyed!
I'll probably be sticking around the community because I'm all about seeing different design schemes that people have for their weddings....