The Music Tells the Story at This Cocktail Style Wedding

Music is so important for this couple, who lovingly tracked down the jazz guitarist who played at the wedding of the Bride’s parents and selected songs that significant family members had used in their own nuptials. However, the most special choice of all was their first dance song,”This Must Be the Place” by Talking Heads, a representation of the couple’s light-hearted love story. The song became an unofficial theme for the day – you’ll catch the lyrics everywhere captured by onelove photography, including the welcome sign by Poppyjack Shop and prints tucked amongst the florals by The Bloom of Time.


From the Bride… We had a short-but-sweet ceremony and chose a cocktail-style reception with unassigned seating because we wanted our friends and families to have ample opportunity to mix, mingle, and dance should anything strike their fancy! Music is also huge for us, so we hand-picked the majority of the songs for the evening and gave a mixed list to the DJ for them to play when they knew the time was right. The crystal chandeliers and after-dark candlelit mood was huge, too! In our minds, the best things in life are great friends and family, food and drinks, music, and perfect ambiance. I think we nailed all of these categories on our big day, and we are so pleased with how everything came together to tell our story and share a little bit of ourselves with our loved ones.

I designed every single detail by hand and even made a few things myself. I’m a huge crafty DIY-er, but I forced myself to outsource in an effort to avoid overwhelming myself with too many projects. I was determined to keep from going (completely) crazy. Our first dance was to “This Must Be the Place [Naive Melody]” by Talking Heads. I feel like the quirky, sweet vibe of that song is a great representation of our light-hearted love story, so I carried out the theme of the song by using the title phrase in our “welcome” sign. I also printed lyrics from the song and framed them as part of our cocktail table decor.

My dad had the idea of getting the same jazz guitarist who played at my parent’s wedding to play at ours. Somehow, he managed to locate this guy, who actually still plays events, and we were able to have him play during our cocktail hour. That was a pretty cool moment. I also had my first dance with my dad to “Tupelo Honey” by Van Morrison. My dad’s family is from Tupelo, and that song has always had a soft place in our hearts. Come to find out, my aunt had her first dance with my grandpa to that same song! Another important music moment was the processional, as I walked down to Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” – the same song as my mom did at her wedding 32 years ago. As you can see, music really is huge for us!

As an interior designer, I couldn’t have my wedding without a hand-picked lounge furniture setting and sweetheart table, and I am so pleased with the gorgeous rentals we got from Archive Rentals. The balloons were quite an ordeal, because try as I might, I couldn’t get our wedding party to conceptualize how large a 36″ balloon really is (i.e. most doorways are only 30″, guys0. We had all the Groomsmen at Party City at around noon that day, calling me to say they couldn’t fit the three balloons in the Groom’s M3. I had a bit of a bridezilla moment when I told them, “I’m sorry but I tried to explain this – I guess you’ll need to call an Uber XL for the balloons.” Thankfully the Best Man saved the day when he crossed their path in the parking lot, and he and his wife walked a mile back to the hotel carrying two of the giant balloons!

Brady’s mom passed away a few years ago, so we framed our parents’ wedding photos for our photo guestbook table to represent her presence. We also used my grandparents’ wedding cake topper in homage to my grandmother who passed away. I found out that day that both of my aunts had used that same cake topper on their wedding cakes, and my grandpa was super excited to see it make an appearance. I even used my grandmother’s cake plate and my mother’s crystal cake knife from her wedding. It was nice having pieces to represent those very important women there with us on that day! 

Everything was a highlight! It really was the most amazing day ever. We couldn’t sleep at all that night and were both on a total high for days afterward. We had the father of one of my bridesmaids officiate, which was a fun personal touch. Our private cake-cutting was also a fun moment for us to be our goofy, dorky selves without everyone watching us.

We only wished the night could have been longer and that we had spent more time together! We were both so busy running around visiting with all our friends and family, we hardly had any time to soak things up just the two of us. I am so glad we did a first look and completed our wedding party photos prior to the ceremony – that allowed for some couple’s portrait time post-ceremony where we got to have a bit more time together.

What I learned was that no matter what you do, it’s hard not to go crazy while planning your wedding – especially if you are a control-freak perfectionist doing everything on your own, like I did! But at the end of the day, it’s worth it to relinquish some control and let your amazing Bridesmaids and mother help out. After all, they are most likely women after your own heart.. There’s a reason why you love them so much!

Photography: onelove photography | Coordination: Pop The Champagne Events | Floral Design: The Bloom Of Time | Wedding Dress: Marisa Bridals | Cake: Jay's Catering | Stationery: Minted | Stationery: Paperless Post | Shoes: Steve Madden | Jewelry: ILioniti | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Adrianna Papell | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Badgley Mischka | Catering: Jay's Catering | Makeup: Brittany Paige | Hair: Amanda Masson | DJ: Dart Collective | Groom's Attire: Grooms Grotto | Groomsmen's Attire: Generation Tux | Officiant: Tom Onsrud | Groom's Accessories: The Tie Bar | Rentals: Archive Rentals | Signage: Poppyjack Shop | Veil + Accessories: Panache Bridal