Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A BREWERY WEDDING RECEPTION // B&B WEDDING SERIES

If you've been following along, you know that we got married in Greece while on a 2 week trip (Q&A here), and then had our reception a few weeks later in Wisconsin.

We chose to have a late-night reception at a local brewery that we love to go to, Wisconsin Brewing Company. Our goal was to throw a PAR-TAY. We wanted people to feel relaxed and have a total blast!
Here's how it all went down:

Venue: 
We looooove beer, and we thought a party at a brewery would rock. Cool industrial vibes, good beer, and plenty of space for everyone. The brewery we chose has a taproom that had the photobooth & DJ in it- with lights down low and music up loud---as well as the actual brewery itself that had sitdown tables, lights on, and snacks out for those who wanted a quieter setting to chat. They allowed us to bring in our own food and decorations- and they took care of tables/chairs/setup. The staff was amazing- we couldn't have been happier!
(Image credit: WI Brewing Co Instagram)

Time:
We had our party be 7pm- Midnight on a Saturday. We wanted people to have plenty of time to get in town, and if they wanted, explore Madison for the day before having to get ready for the reception. Since it was in November, it was pitch black out at 7pm- so the huge windows in the venue to the dancefloor weren't an issue of letting light in!

Food:
We let our guests know the party would just be "sips & snacks", and suggested places to go for dinner beforehand. We offered up cheeses, meats, crackers, veggies, dips, chips, desserts, candy, and more - so those who didn't eat before actually had plenty to snack on! Now, I know some people feel it's TACKY to not serve dinner. That's totally their opinion! We chose to do this because often dinner takes up a good amount of time at a reception- and we wanted people to get RIGHT to dancing! Plus- a lot of wedding food sucks. There. I said it. We've been to some weddings with delicious food- but we've also had our fair share of not great meals that probably cost a fortune. 

Drinks:
Because we were at a brewery- the beer was obviously the highlight! We had kegs of 2 of our favorite beers that were free for guests, and then gave everyone 2 drink tickets to enjoy one of the other 12 beers on tap that were higher alcohol/fancier, or a hard lemonade/rootbeer. We were worried for a while because the brewery didn't have the license to offer wine- and we hoped our guests wouldn't be annoyed..but then we reminded ourselves that everyone is an adult. If they want wine they can drink a bunch beforehand or sneak it in ;-)
(Image Credit: Wisconsin Brewing Co)

Photos:
Because the entire event was dark due to it being November, we didn't hire a photographer. Instead, we found an AWESOME photobooth  (Meir Photography) on Thumbtack (separate post coming soon) which people completely loved. Plus, nowadays everyone has smart phones and took pictures of the party on their own. Since we got professional pictures taken in Greece, we didn't feel we missed out not having reception pictures.

Music:
We also found a DJ on Thumbtack- and they completely rocked. If you're in the Madison area and are looking for a DJ- we can't recommend Infinity Entertainment (ask for Amy!) enough! They were awesome and kept the party going all night long.
Decoration:
The space was so huge, doing much decorating would have been a lost cause! We really liked the industrial look, so all we did was add some photos from our trip, dried leaves, and floral bouquets to our tables, a few large photo posters, and signs with our wedding hashtag (#BestulBrewBash) around the space.

Lodging:
We booked a block of rooms at a hotel about 7 minutes from the venue and paid for a shuttle to take guests to and from the hotel. The shuttle was fairly expensive, but we knew if we were throwing a late night party full of beer we better provide transportation for our guests! We negotiated a slightly lower price on the shuttle assuming we filled the whole block of rooms (which we did!).

Favors:
Like I mentioned earlier, Michael figured since we were at a brewery we should totally do tacky koozies- and that's exactly what we did! I made a design and ordered them in 17 colors from 24HourWristbands for SUPER cheap. Word to the wise: you get what you pay for- some of the colors we got were WAY off from what the website showed. Obviously our guests didn't know/care- but I was a little bummed when the "neon" green/orange/pink came in dull/dark and not at all neon. 
I figured people might think they were lame and not take one- but knew some people would think they were awesome. We were shocked by how excited people got when they saw them! People were fighting over colors and asking to take more than one! To this day I still get snaps from people on Snapchat of them using them at home or at work - which makes me SO HAPPY.
Wedding Koozies

So there it is!
Our (perfect for us) brewery wedding reception! I know everyone has an opinion about what makes a reception great-and that this style of event might not be your jam- but I hoped you at least liked hearing about what we did :)

Our favorite part of the night, of course, was getting to celebrate with our families and friends. It's so rare and amazing to have all your favorite people all in one place.

What was your favorite part about your wedding reception- or a reception you've been to?
Someone please tell me tacky koozies ;-)

xo, lp



Find more B&B Wedding Series Posts HERE!

Find me on Instagram HERE!


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

WEDDING PHOTOS ARE HERE! // B&B WEDDING SERIES

Oh man. So many feels looking back at this day! It was so hard to just choose a few to share, but these are my favorites. I'll be sharing some on Instagram as well, so be sure to follow me : @lpodlich
Big thanks to George of Ventouris Photography for capturing us so well- we loved spending our special day with you!! If you pin/share- please give credit to Ventouris Photography!
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I could post about 20 pictures of just Michael because he looked SO. DANG. GOOD. GAH.
Wedding Inspiration- Oia, Santorini Greece wedding. Photo by Ventouris Photography
 Walking down the steps at our resort after our first look:
Wedding Inspiration- Oia, Santorini Greece wedding. Photo by Ventouris Photography
Saying some vows...I kept inching closer and closer to him- the picture series of it is pretty hilarious:
Wedding Inspiration- Oia, Santorini Greece wedding. Photo by Ventouris Photography
Trying not to cry!
Wedding Inspiration- Oia, Santorini Greece wedding. Photo by Ventouris Photography
 Better view of our ceremony site- gorgeous terrace that jutted out into the sea!
Wedding Inspiration- Oia, Santorini Greece wedding. Photo by Ventouris Photography
 GAH.
Wedding Inspiration- Oia, Santorini Greece wedding. Photo by Ventouris Photography
 Alright from here on out we have a lot of pictures of us looking at each other. 90% of the photos we have are of that. OOPS.
Wedding Inspiration- Oia, Santorini Greece wedding. Photo by Ventouris Photography
 Walking around streets of Oia
Wedding Inspiration- Oia, Santorini Greece wedding. Photo by Ventouris Photography
 EVERYTHING HERE IS GORGEOUS!
Wedding Inspiration- Oia, Santorini Greece wedding. Photo by Ventouris Photography
 Seriously perfect sunset:
Wedding Inspiration- Oia, Santorini Greece wedding. Photo by Ventouris Photography
 ...that just kept getting better!
Wedding Inspiration- Oia, Santorini Greece wedding. Photo by Ventouris Photography
 Inside the caves at Canaves Oia 
Wedding Inspiration- Oia, Santorini Greece wedding. Photo by Ventouris Photography

Wedding Inspiration- Oia, Santorini Greece wedding. Photo by Ventouris Photography

Wedding Inspiration- Oia, Santorini Greece wedding. Photo by Ventouris Photography
 Crazy amazing sunset. GAH. TAKE ME BACK.
Wedding Inspiration- Oia, Santorini Greece wedding. Photo by Ventouris Photography

Now excuse me while I go look at all the other amazing photos and pretend we are back in Greece! GAH.
For more B&B Wedding Posts, go HERE.
For more more #BestulBrewBash photos, go HERE!

Which one is your favorite?
OBVIOUSLY mine is the one of just Michael ;-)

xo, laura

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Q&A OF OUR "RUNAWAY" WEDDING // B&B WEDDING SERIES

Whoa. Between our trip abroad, our reception back home, Thanksgiving, going back to work, and now getting ready for the holidays- I have had zero time or bandwith to blog.
Getting back into it- because there is SO much to post about!
xo, laura
santorini greece wedding
(photo credit: george ventouris photography)

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For those who haven't been following along with the B&B Wedding Series- let me do quick fill in on what you've missed:
Michael and I got engaged in May, and since we've been together for 7 years and have talked about marriage for most of those years, we knew we wanted a short engagement and a private wedding.
We'd been talking about taking a trip abroad to a couple places on our bucket list for a while, so the stars just kind of aligned to get married while on our trip. We planned a 2 week vacation to Italy and Greece in October- with the actual wedding being at the end of the trip, with just the two of us present (+ a photographer). We also planned a casual late night party/reception for a few weeks after we returned from our vacation so we could come back and celebrate with our family and friends.
So there you have it. Engaged May 12th. Married October 26th. Reception November 19th.
EFFICIENCY FOLKS, IT'S WHAT WE LIKE AROUND HERE. ;-)

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This post is HUGE because we've gotten so many questions about why we chose to do things the way we did- so grab a glass bottle of wine and dive in, folks. I'm going to break it down into parts answering them and hopefully it will all make sense! Also- because it wasn't a secret I got corrected by multiple people for using the term "elopement"...and "destination wedding" just didn't seem to fit- so for now I'm calling it "runaway". Deal with it and keep your comments to yourself if you don't like it PLZ. Thanks. xoxo.
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1. Why such a short engagement?
Short answer; We couldn't wait to be married to each other!
Long answer: Like I said, we've been together for a long time, and we've been talking about getting married for so long that once we got engaged, we were really excited to be married. Also, neither of us had an interest in a drawn out engagement since it wasn't necessary with the wedding plans we had. Unlike a lot of the weddings my friends planned, we didn't have to book a venue a year or more in advance. Kudos to them for their patience, because it is something I do NOT have!

2. Why get married abroad?
Short Answer: It seemed exciting, romantic, and practical to mix the wedding and the honeymoon all into 1 trip.
Long Answer: We have traveled a fair amount together in the USA, but never abroad together. We had been talking about a trip to Europe for a while, and it was just really exciting to us to have that first trip together there be our wedding/honeymoon!

3. Why Italy & Greece?
Short & Long Answer: They've been on our bucket lists forever, and they seemed like beautiful, romantic places to go!

4. Why get married alone, just the two of you? Why didn't others come with?
Short Answer: Because it's what we wanted.
Long Answer: Anyone who knows us well enough can tell you Michael and I are a pretty openly lovey-dovey couple. My sister can fully attest how eye-roll worthy we can be with our overly cutesy name calling and PDA. Shockingly, when it came to marriage, we both wanted to be really private. As much as we love sharing how much we love each other with everyone on a regular basis, there was something so serious about saying vows to each other that we wanted it to just be the two of us there. The idea of being 100% focused on each other and nothing else in a place that was new to us just .... fit. In addition to that, we wanted our day to be 100% us, 100% free of stress, 100% OURS. We felt like the more we opened up the marriage ceremony to more people and more factors, the more it would slip away from what we hoped it would be. We've been to so many weddings where the guests are complaining about SOMETHING. The food, the weather, the attire, the seating, the cost of travel, whatever. I take things personally, and I know if I had heard that on our special day, it would have really hurt my feelings and taken some joy out of that moment.

5. ...but what about your families? Weren't they mad they couldn't be there? Don't you feel selfish?
Short Answer: Sigh. You can ask them how they feel. And yes, we did feel a little selfish.
Long Answer: GAHHHHHH. This is the question we were asked so so much. Depending on the day/time/mood I got asked it, it affected me in a different way. Sometimes I was unfazed by it, sometimes I was annoyed, sometimes I felt sad, and sometimes I was downright pissed. It's hard to put into words without sounding rude, but at the end of the day,  we are the ones that have to be married to each other. This experience is 100% what we wanted, and at the end of the day, that ruled out the opinions of any friends or family we talked to.We went back and forth about it, but knew in our guts that if we compromised we might regret it. We love our parents a disgusting amount, and are lucky that they are understanding people that let us do our thing our way. Planning a big reception/party when we got back was our way of still showing everyone we loved them and wanted to have them be part of our marriage.

6. Do you guys not like traditional weddings? 
Short Answer: Not for us, but yes for other people!
Long Answer: We have been to some AMAZING weddings. Weddings that were small and huge and everywhere in between. Weddings in churches and barns and gardens and golf courses and beaches. We've gotten to witness our friends and family members get married and be so happy and dance the night away. We absolutely LOVE sharing in the joy of our friends, in whatever shape it may take. Just because a long-planned out wedding with a cake and first dances and table numbers wasn't what we chose to do for ourselves doesn't mean we don't love them for our friends. Sometimes when I've gotten this question it feels like a trap- that by saying we didn't want a "traditional" wedding we are crapping on our friends who did. Hopefully people get that weddings aren't one-size-fits-all by now!

7. So, how was it? Did it turn out like you planned?
Short Answer: AMAZING & YES.
Long Answer: Other than our wedding clothes that we shipped over getting stuck in Greek Customs (argggghhhhh), everything was awesome. The location was perfect, the staff were unbelievable, the photographer was hilarious, and the moment was exactly us. We said our vows, exchanged rings, kissed, and then couldn't stop grinning. :)

8. What was the best part? The worst?
The worst: Our stuff being stuck in Customs. THAT was a bill we didn't anticipate. Oy.
The best: Other than getting married (duh), the best part was once we finally finished taking photos and the sun was fully down- we went into a cave at our resort to have dinner. We sat there and rehashed the day while eating an insanely good meal and drinking overpriced drinks. We had this awesome buzz around us, overlooking the sea in the moonlight. It was one of those moments I know I'll never forget.

9. Did you re-do your vows at your reception? Did you wear your dress again?
Short&Long Answer: Nope to vows. Yup to dress.

10. WAIT..wait wait wait. But are you even LEGALLY married?
Short Answer: Yes.
Long Answer: Our goal initially was to legally be married in Greece. I worked on getting some paperwork done and had a month and change of VERY frustrating emails back and forth with the Greek Consulate. Boring story short, paperwork didn't go through for our wedding to be legal abroad, so we got our papers legally signed in Wisconsin when we returned.

11. Ohhhhhhhh Nice try then. So I mean you weren't REALLY married in Greece?
Short Answer: OMFG don't be rude you jerk.
Long Answer: Very few people asked me that question in that tone of voice, but the people that did...well..let's just say I think less of them now. To me, and to Michael, October 26th is our anniversary. It's when we said our vows to each other and promised to be together forever as husband & wife. The fact that the State Of Wisconsin doesn't recognize that date is fine with me, I understand the legal stuff- but the State of Wisconsin doesn't get to tell us when our true marriage was real. I have a friend who at their big, traditional wedding had something go wrong with their marriage certificate- and so they weren't legally married until 3 weeks later when it all got sorted out. Would you go up to her and say OH SORRIEZ your wedding wasn't real! That's not your REAL anniversary! So it's the same with us. Bai. (can you tell I get fired up about this? BAH.)

12. Ok fine- but where are the wedding pictures? Aren't you sad you don't have photos from the day from other people?
Short Answer: They are on their way. And only like 10% sad.
Long Answer: The wedding pictures are being edited, just like any other wedding pictures. We have a sneak peek but haven't posted them yet.  Obviously we're antsy to get them too. 90% of me is just fine not having any pictures from anyone else, because again, that was the plan. 10% is bummed that there weren't many candid non-professional shots captured, but my fingers are crossed the professional ones will all make it worth it!

13. Did you guys do any traditions that day? Did you stay in separate places the night before?
Short Answer: Yes to traditions, No to separate places.
Long Answer: Despite not having a traditional wedding, I looove traditions! I still did the old "something borrowed/blue/old/new" thing, which was fun. We also did a "first look" before the vows part, which we got captured on camera. Also- Michael never saw my dress or me IN my dress before our first look. It was seriously tricky to travel together and hide it, but I made it happen!
We stayed in the same place the night before, and ate breakfast together that morning..and hung out most of the day too! Being on vacation together didn't really allow for separation ;-)

14. Did you write your own vows? Were they a surprise to each other?
Short Answer: Partially...to both questions.
Long Answer: We wrote most of our vows together the night before our wedding and finished them the day of. We used a combination of parts of vows we found online, as well as some of our own words. The beginning and the end of the vows to each other were the same, and then in the middle we each wrote a few sentences that were a surprise during the actual exchanging of vows! We have the papers our vows were written on that we read to each other and I'm framing them to hang in our loft :)

15. Would you do it the same all over again?
YES!

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Long story short, we really REALLY enjoyed our trip and our wedding. We have a million stories and memories that we get to share together for the rest of our lives, and we feel insanely lucky for that. Everyone has their own vision of how they want their wedding to be like, and we got really fortunate to be able to actualize ours. We had so many completely kickass friends and family members support us, share in our joy, and get us even more excited for the choice we made. If I could pass on one piece of advice to anyone for their wedding it would be this: Focus on what brings you and your partner joy and go after that. Stick to your gut and remember this is about a marriage, not just a wedding ;-)


Have more questions about how we did our wedding?
Feel free to leave a comment or email me! (beautyandbeard AT gmail.com)

xo, laura


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