Now is the moment you’ve all be waiting for – the wedding reception. The reception, at the Biltmore Hotel, was so gorgeously and elegantly decorated I almost don’t know where to begin. The tables were a mixture of some round tables with some long, royal tables. The long tables gave the room an instant different feel and also reminded me of being at an elegant, royal ball. Something about the long tables yells, Beauty and the Beast ball to me. Don’t ask me why. The linens were a gorgeous shade of dark grey, which added to the elegant feel of the room.
The flowers were all different types and shades of dark purple and bright pinks. I loved that the centerpieces weren’t so high that you couldn’t see over them to have conversation with others at your table. Though the high centerpieces always do a great job of filling the room, I’m a bigger fan of the shorter ones so I can talk with those at the table. The higher centerpieces had strings of crystals hanging from them, again adding to the elegance in the room. The chivari chairs couldn’t match the linens more perfectly in their shade of dark silver/grey. The uplighting in the room also gave it a beautiful, glowing feeling to the already elegantly decorated ballroom.
The entrance of the bridal party was festive as they all did a different move for their introduction. One couple even brought out a flask and shot glasses and stopped at the entrance, poured themselves a drink to get the party started. When it was time for the Bride and Groom to make their entrance, as the new Mr. and Mrs., flower petals fell from the
sky, ok roof/balcony, upon them. It really looked like a fairytale entrance as the petals fell all around them.
The Bride and Groom quickly made it to the middle of the dance floor for their first dance as husband and wife. They dance to At Last, a song I hold dear to my heart and a song my friends have deemed my theme song over the years. The dance was beautiful, with a surprise ending. The slow song mixed into – wait for it – a salsa song! As they danced and shimmied their way around the dance floor, the room broke into laughter and claps. This was a great surprise because if you know the Groom, you know he would’ve never done that before if it wasn’t for the woman he loves. I must give some props to the Bride for her success in this. It was choreographed and was executed flawlessly! They somehow made their way to the parents, after a perfect dip and kiss for the cheering crowd, as the Groom grabbed his mom and the Bride her dad and they shared the dance floor to more salsa. I liked this part because it cut the whole dancing show in half and kept everyone entertained with a salsa beat instead of the more traditional slow dancing sways.
When it came time for the toast, the Bride’s sister and Groom’s two brothers brought the room to laughter and I think even some tears. The toasts were beautiful, meaningful and from the heart. I’m sure the Bride and Groom couldn’t have asked for a better toast. The details weren’t even forgotten here as the champagne used to toast the newlyweds was the Bride’s favorite, Veuve Clicquot Brut Rose Champagne, which she discovered when reading the books by Mireille Guiliano. Guiliano is an author who I also admire and is well-known for her books such as French Women Don’t Get Fat and French Women for All Seasons.
Dinner was a slightly different than the expected plate of chicken at weddings. It was a traditional Hispanic meal of pork, beans, rice, and mariquitas, a form of plantain chips, which everyone greatly enjoyed. However, don’t picture it as the typical dish you make at home or you receive at a casual Cuban restaurant. This meal was first-class in presentation and the Biltmore Chefs really did a great job in making the plate look like a work of art.
The cake was a beautiful multi-tiered cake, designed by the Bride. The first two tiers were made to match the embroidered, intricate details of her wedding dress. There was a pretty, sparkling broach added to it and it looked as simple elegance as the rest of the wedding did.
Right before midnight, and after everyone had enjoyed dinner, cake and lots of dancing, a second room, connecting to the main ballroom was opened. This was a surprise for the guests, and the Bride and Groom. The newly opened room contained a coffee bar making
anything from espressos to cappuccinos, dessert and after dinner drinks, as well as mini cakes, chocolate covered strawberries, and other mini pieces of desert heaving in tiny shot glasses. It was a nice break to a party that wasn’t completely winding down. In the midst of the dessert delicacies, the “Hora Loca” started. This is the Crazy Hour that’s been popular at receptions now. Hotel staff helped in distributing colorful top hats, masquerade masks, beaded necklaces, noise-makers and horns. It was a time for everyone to join the dance floor for a few more songs and let loose!
After the music came to an end around 1 in the morning, and just when we all thought the pampering and treats had ended, some of us who were staying at the hotel – and those social butterflies - were sitting around reminiscing on a beautiful day, when the Biltmore staff showed up, silver platters in hand, filled with bite-sized snacks. This included choices like trays of mini sliders, Cuban sandwiches, Elena Ruth sandwiches, Midnight sandwiches and other bite sized goodies. This was greatly enjoyed and yet another surprise to all. After a night filled with drinking and partying, guests are usually in the mood for a small bite to get them to bed, and these mini treats really hit the spot by all. All the mini desserts and yummy sandwiches were prepared by the Biltmore’s chefs and I can testify that they really are, world-class chefs because everything was absolutely delicious.
The next morning, guests who stayed at the Biltmore Hotel, joined the Newlyweds on their farewell brunch. About 50 guests joined them as the newly Mr. & Mrs. before sending them off on their European honeymoon. Flower arrangements from the reception were reused and the quaint ballroom looked gorgeous and was filled with tired, yet happy faces.
No detail was left behind, as the men in the family took the job of decorating the Bride & Groom’s get-away car to make sure they received as much attention on their drive home and to their honeymoon as their guests received throughout the weekend.
What have you seen done or have you done to make your reception stand out? Did you do anything to surprise your guests? Did someone do something that stood out to surprise you? Any out of the box reception ideas? Please share in the comments.
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