Our Sweet Summer Wedding

I can’t believe today marks 4 years since Kevin and I got married. So much has happened since then and yet, it feels like yesterday.

Our first year of marriage was all about learning to handle finances and adult responsibilities as we welcomed our first child. The second year was about finding our groove as new parents. The third year was spent working in our greenhouse and dreaming of more children and more space. And this fourth year was jam packed with designing and building a new house and bringing our second daughter into the world.

There have been so many challenges along the way and we’ve had to work through our own selfishness, anger, pride and disappointment. We are both 9s on the enneagram so handling conflict is not our strong point but it feels like we are making progress and learning more about how to be a team. Marriage is not easy but it’s full of rewards and I feel so grateful to have Kevin as my husband.

Today, I just want to take myself back to our wedding day and remember not only the fun details of the day, but also the emotions I felt as I embarked on this journey.

Orange and pink wedding centerpieces

We got married in my parent’s backyard just a short walk through the woods from where we live now. I envisioned a beautiful summer day with green grass, blue skies, and a hot sun.

Outdoor wedding set up

Unfortunately, rain kept us from having the outdoor ceremony I had hoped for and we ended up having to move the chairs to the tent and switch our plans. It was a bit sad for me, HOWEVER, the rain falling gently on the tent made the most romantic sound and it ended up being really cool.

Backyard Wedding Reception Tent

I will always be someone who loves color so we choose hot pink and orange as our colors. A friend of ours helped us with flowers and decorations and she did a wonderful job balancing hot pink and orange with white so that the color wasn’t too overwhelming. I loved how everything turned out!

Head table back drop

My summer wedding would not be complete without a couple of cheesy Napoleon Dynamite references, a watercolor theme, and popsicles. My sister-in-law did calligraphy on our name cards, our lemonade bar instructions, and our unity ceremony board. She did an amazing job! More on her work later.

Watercolor popsicle stand for an outdoor summer wedding

Flavored Iced Tea and Lemonade Bar for a summer wedding Unity Ceremony Ideas for a Wedding. A cord of three stands is not easily broken.

Dress shopping was so fun! I knew from the beginning that I was looking for a trumpet shape with a sweetheart neckline. I fell in love with this one after a few different trips. I never want to plan a wedding again but I would definitely go dress shopping another time.

Wedding dress hanging from a tree. Wedding photography ideas.

Christina Dinehart at Sweet Bliss by Chris did our cake and Stephanie Debolt was our photographer who took all of these pictures. They both were so great to work with!

Orange and Pink Watercolor Wedding Cake

We took all of our bridal party pictures beforehand and did a tear-filled first look. I loved doing it this way.

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Bride and Groom, Flower Girl and Ring Bearer

We had a quiet moment together right before the ceremony started which was so sweet. Instead of dealing with the pre-wedding jitters alone, we had each other’s company and comfort, knowing that our lives were just about to change forever.

Wedding Photography

Our wedding was on a Friday night and started at 7:30 pm. I loved the idea of an evening wedding and we wanted to have Saturday to travel so this worked best. Our ceremony lasted about 30 minutes and included vows that we wrote together. They were personal, meaningful and were a true promise we made to each other. But neither of us wanted to take the mic and make a speech so we still repeated them after the pastor like traditional vows.

Wedding Photography

To celebrate our 4 year anniversary, I asked my sister-in-law Karen to write our vows on a sign to hang above our bed. Of course, she did an amazing job and we are obsessed. To see more of Karen’s work, visit her site here.

Wedding Vow Calligraphy for Bedroom wall Art

“I promise to love you, putting your needs ahead of mine and giving to you without restraint. I will cherish who God made you to be and value our differences. I will be honest, faithful, and trustworthy and I will give you my best as we seek and follow Christ together throughout all the days that I am given.”

It’s so humbling to see these vows again and do a real heart check. Am I doing these things I promised to do? Am I putting Kevin’s needs ahead of mine, valuing our differences, and giving him my best? There’s definitely quite a bit that I need to work on.

Wedding Photography

After the ceremony, we wanted to have a quick reception. As a play on the phrase “short and sweet” we used #SchwartzAndSweet as our wedding hashtag and that’s where the name of this blog comes from! We were able to greet our guests, eat, have dessert, do toasts, dance, watch fireworks and leave by 10:30 pm which meant everything took 3 hours in total, a success in my eyes!

Father Daughter Dance Wedding PhotographyFirst Dance Wedding Photography Wedding Photography

My mom and I spent hours making platters for our shrimp and antipasto skewers by gluing pink lace over a foam circle and then gluing the foam to a charger plate. It was so much work but I love how they turned out! We also had cheeseball, a dessert bar, and a s’more station.

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Overall, my goal was to make people feel full of love, romance, and fun. These pictures bring me so much joy and I’m so thankful to have them.

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Wedding Photography Fireworks at a wedding

Our Wedding day was so special and it’s so fun to remember it all again. Most importantly, it’s a reminder to keep putting in the work for a beautiful marriage. It’s truly a treasure that is worth it all.

Thank you, Kevin, for putting up with 13 months of wedding planning and every difficulty we’ve faced. You’re the best and I love you so much! ♥️

Our Sweet Summer Wedding

7 Tips For a Quick Wedding Reception

Wedding receptions come in all shapes and sizes and everyone has their own opinion about what makes a reception great. Some people value decadent five course dinners and others dream of hours of partying with plenty of drinks and dancing. On the other hand, some couples prefer a reception that, while still tons of fun, is short and to the point and let’s you move on to your happily ever after. If that’s you, here’s 7 simple tips to plan a quick reception that doesn’t compromise on your favorite festivities.
1) Do a Receiving Line After the Ceremony
I get it, people don’t like receiving lines because the guests in the back row are left sitting there forever while waiting for their turn to be dismissed by the bride and groom. But even though it can feel like a huge chunk of time, it really is the quickest and most efficient way to make sure you get a chance to talk to each one of your guests and thank them for coming. Otherwise you end up wandering around during the reception trying to make sure you talk to everyone. Not only is this impossible, but it also means you either miss out on your chance to eat and dance or you do all three which takes double the time and really stretches out how long your reception lasts. There will still be plenty of time to talk more with your close friends and family again but since you’ve already touched base with everyone, you won’t be spending tons of time making small talk with your great aunt’s new boyfriend during your reception.

2) Make a Clear Path From the Ceremony to the Dinner Tables
Once you’ve dismissed people, they have to have a good understanding of what they’re supposed to do next. Otherwise they end up hanging out and never making it to their table until they’re repeatedly coerced to do so by ushers or an emcee. The next thing you know, you’re starting your reception 30 minutes late. To combat this, make sure your officiant gives good instructions after the ceremony and make a clear path to your dinner tables. Literally lining the pathway helps as well as good signage if there’s quite a distance between the ceremony and reception areas. However, the best way to get people seated quickly is by providing an incentive and what gets people more motivated than food? So salad or cheese ball or some other appetizer out on the table and ready to be eaten is the easiest way to get your reception started promptly.

3) Take All Your Pictures Before the Ceremony
Now that you’ve figured out how to get your guests seated quickly, the next thing you have to accomplish is getting the bridal party to the reception on time. The easiest way to do this is to take all of your bridal party and family pictures before the ceremony starts so that only minimal pictures are needed in between. Thanks to the invention of the “First Look” where the groom sees the bride for the first time on camera before the ceremony, this is becoming much more popular. Not only does this keep your guests happy because they aren’t struggling to find something to do while you take ten million pictures, but it also gets your reception started earlier and you move on to the rest of your life quicker! Remember, that’s the goal here.

4) Make A Reception Playlist
When I was planning my wedding, I wanted to know exactly how long everything would take (Type A personality, maybe?). The best way I found to do that was to make a playlist for the entire reception and let it be the guide for when to move on to the next event. So after everyone was seated, the bridal party was announced and my dad prayed over the meal. I then had my emcee start a playlist of five songs totaling somewhere around 20 minutes that played while we ate dinner. As soon as it finished, we knew it was time to start the toasts. Likewise, I put together a playlist for dancing that simply played from start to end. By doing this, I could accurately plan out exactly how long my reception would last and it kept things moving along nicely.

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5) Do Toasts and Dances During Dinner 
So even though my dinner playlist definitely lasted twenty minutes, I knew people probably wouldn’t be done eating by then. That was ok though because I specifically wanted people to be able to listen to the toasts from the Best Man and Maid of Honor and then watch my husband and I’s first dance and the father daughter dance WHILE they were still eating. (Remember these dances were timed out on the playlist so I knew exactly how long this portion will take.) This cuts back on time tremendously because it’s an easy way to multitask. People eat and watch a show simultaneously all the time and because your bridal party and parents are the first to get their food, they are usually mostly done eating by then anyway.

6) Do Dessert and Dancing Simultaneously
On the note of multitasking, another thing that doesn’t need its own dedicated segment during your reception is dessert. Instead you can let people serve themselves cake while other people are dancing. Not only does this majorly cut down on time but it also gives those non-dancers something to do besides awkwardly watching the dancers dance. And while there are some dedicated people who want to be on the dance floor the entire time, most people are happy to take a break for a song or two while they eat a couple of cupcakes.

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7) Let Your Sendoff Plan and Time Be Known
This is perhaps one of the best ways to keep your reception on schedule. At some point, when you have everyone’s attention, let them know exactly when and how you plan to leave your reception. Maybe you’re doing a Sparkler Tunnel at 9 pm or Fireworks at 10:30. Whatever it is, announcing it will keep everyone accountable to staying on schedule because you all have the same goal in mind. Additionally, giving people this information will make it more likely that they stick around to see you leave because they know exactly what to expect and will be motivated to wait for a fun send off. This way you will likely be one of the first couples to leave your wedding which was a high priority for me.

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If partying late into the night is something you’re excited about, then by all means don’t worry about a quick wedding reception. But if you’re hoping to keep the celebration short and sweet it will take careful planning and effort. My wedding started at 7:30 pm, we left at 10:30 sharp and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. It was three quick hours of pure wedding romance and fun. I sincerely hope this helps you plan the reception of your dreams and your wedding goes smoothly! It’s once-in-a-lifetime so remember to soak it all in and enjoy your day ❤️