Our Anniversary Party!

Well, it’s all over.  And I have to admit, for a day or so, I had the same let-down that I remember getting after our real wedding day – the soaring adrenaline crashes, you’ve had a lot of drinks, and you’re left with a house full of flowers and a ton of photographs.  Nothing can compare with the wonderful fun that our wedding had in 2006, with 423, a hopping DJ, and a hotel full of family.  But as I first mentioned in this series – my first wedding design left something to be desired.  None of the northern Wisconsin vendors could possibly understand what I wanted, and therefore, the final effect was, aesthetically, lacking.  I’ve fulfilled the dream of re-doing the whole day, and surrounded by some of our closest friends, John and I celebrated 5 years of wedded bliss.

Everyone arrived starting at 4PM, just as the sun started to get a bit golden.  Our full open bar, covered in candles and gold linen, was outside in the elements, near the cocktail tables covered in apricot and pale pink satins.  We had lounge furniture near the tent (all provided by Canopies) and the cocktail tables each had a vintage glass vase with a single large deep apricot dahlia.  Simple and functional all at once.  Vintage French music played quietly in the background as everyone grabbed their first cocktail, and the hot, divine appetizers began to get passed around.

We couldn’t have a more perfect evening.  Once the wind died down, all the candles in the tent could be lit, and the gorgeous Venetian Murano glass chandelier from Exciting Events cast just the right glow over the table and the cake – a perfect pale pink, airbrushed gold, 3-tier confection from the Cake Lady.  An escort card table, covered in vintage gold lace linen from BBJ, held a brown manzanita tree covered in large crystals and holding all twenty escort cards.  As guests found their name, they opened the envelope to discover their table number.  All the amazing paper products – from the menus to the escort cards to the table numbers were printed by the fabulous Centennial Press Designs, and calligraphed by Blooming Quill.  They were the perfect details.

As Neil from the amazing Front Room Photography took photos of everything from the bouquet to the napkins to the favors, guests could wander around the glorious table, done up in textured ivory linens from Elegant Touch and seated with golden Opera chairs, they enjoyed the feast for the eyes that La Tulipe executed – five vintage candelabras of mixed looks were covered in thick creamy, blushy roses, hydrangeas, garden variety roses and ranunculus.  A boatload of lower arrangements held more roses, stock, ranunculus and dahlias.  Vases were covered in sheer pale pink chiffon, and tied with additional ribbon and secured with multiple vintage brooches.  Smaller golden elevated plates decked in crystals held more candles, and a million votives brought more light below.  It was stunning, smelled amazing, and was perfection in every way.

There were thousands of other fun details – from the beautifully wrapped bridal bouquet to the hand printed menu cards and calligraphed place cards.  Our guests raved about the divine serf & turf meal from Shully’s, and were overwhelmed with the top notch service and execution of their staff.  With Sandi Jacobi running the show, and the man himself – Scott Shully – showing up to check on things, I felt like a bride again indeed!  After dinner, the amazing party favors – double stacked vintage boxes full of cookies from the delicious Pat O’Brien & Co., hand decorated vintage designs – everyone was going ‘mmm’ from the start.

The party went late – we all stumbled into our sleeping quarters at the house (we had many couples spend the night so no worries about driving – just where to fit all the air mattresses) at about 2:30am after a spontaneous bonfire and many cocktails.  The next morning, I was first up with the baby, so I baked two dozen chocolate croissants and poured the OJ and made coffee so as people slowly woke (those of us with kids still couldn’t sleep past 7am) we were able to rehash all the hilarity and fun of the previous hours and relax.

It was divine, divine, divine a million times over.  And it made me realize something:  first – it made me reconnect with the bride that I am.  I remember how it feels to be the one in the middle of it all, the one who pulls together a party, and is the belle of the hour.  It’s great, amazing, but I can empathize even more with my brides – I know how it feels, and because of that, I will make sure THEIR experience is even more extra special.  Plus, this whole experience made me more in tune with who I am – as a designer and a person – and I think it is so very very important for brides and grooms to know who they are, what their fashion sense, and style preferences are – because then their wedding will really FEEL like them.

I am so lucky to have married a wonderful amazing man, to have his child, and to have such fabulous friends and co-workers.  My heart is so grateful and thankful to all my vendor friends who made the night (and the memories…and the photos I can’t wait to see!) perfect, and to our friends who also celebrated the night with us.  Salute!

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  1. Vicki Kunz
    Posted August 29, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for the very kind words, Sara. I’m so glad your anniversary spectacular was everything you had hoped for!

  2. Molly Michel
    Posted September 1, 2011 at 4:41 am | Permalink

    I love the wedding do-over! If only I could convince my husband to do the same. :0)

    Happy Anniversary!

  3. Sara Dahmen
    Posted September 1, 2011 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Thanks for everything Vicki!
    And Molly, just have your hubby contact me, we’ll set you guys up with a splendid anniversary par-tay! :)

  4. Julie German Krawczy
    Posted September 17, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    I would LOVE to see your “original” wedding too!

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