Erin Rachel Photography | Picayune MS High School Senior and Family Photographer serving the surrounding areas Mandeville LA, Covington LA, Slidell LA and the Northshore » Senior and Family Photographer covering Picayune, MS and Mandeville LA, Slidell LA and Covington LA. Offering Photography Classes and Workshops in the Picayune MS, Covington LA, Mandeville LA and Slidell LA area. part two []

And this quite possibly could be what some of you faithful blog readers have been anxiously waiting to see…the last part of our perfect day. It’s the fun part…the reception.  The part where everyone is now relaxed and catching up with family and friends…a time of celebration…a time to enjoy.

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Oh the reception…the celebration…

I have to say it’s the best wedding reception I’ve ever been to…well I kind of hope I would say that, right?  After all it was planned out and thought out to fit us perfectly for our day.  I don’t say that in a selfish way, just the fact is, a lot of planning and thought went into this day…and the reception is the fun part!  The details…the yummy food…the chattering and laughter…the kids running around with ice cream all over their faces…the friends and family celebrating…I think I should share some details about the reception that make it unique to us!

Ok if you need me to pause and let you go ahead and look at all of the pictures, which I’m sure you already have done, I can pause…I can give you a few minutes to look…just promise to come back and read?!?!  Promise? Ok…

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As we began to brainstorm for the reception, I wanted a small place, a cozy or might you say home-y place.  A place where everyone was comfortable and not lost in a huge reception hall.  After all it was a small intimate wedding.  As I began to think about “where”…I thought of my dear friends that own a restaurant (T Leblanc’s)  in town.  I’ve known these dear people for quite a few years as I’ve had the privilege to teach their girls music and build a relationship with them as friends.  I called up Mrs. Toni just to inquire and see if they had the date and building available for Aug.31.  She quickly returned my phone call…saying they had planned on leaving town that day for family vacation but she would talk to her husband to see what their final plans were.  She called me back shortly there after and said they were going to post-pone their departure time and wanted to help out with the reception.  She went onto say that she had always told her girls “When Miss Erin gets married we are doing her reception for her…”  I kind of stopped in the conversation, not wanting her to think in any way that this is why I even thought about their place or would have even called.  She went onto say that this is what they wanted to gift Bern and I for our wedding gift…our reception.  The catering and all of the work going into this, I was simply in awe and realized how blessed we are with such amazing-God-given friends in our lives!!!!!!

As I quickly told Bern about this we were amazed and humbled, yet grateful.  So this imposed a new idea around our reception…we knew we wanted an intimate wedding ceremony…but the reception only seated so many.  We had to make a hard decision to do the reception by invitation only…talk about a hard one…we had to put boundaries up…I wasn’t too sure about that…but through discussion with my parents we came to the decision of family and out of town guest and those that I had asked to help.  It may have been one of the hardest decisions around the wedding itself…but with Bern and my parents agreeing, this was what was best.

Moving on…please lets get to the fun stuff….

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I along with the help of my sister, Summer, (who mostly did the initial work on the reception!!!) who spent hours over pen and paper planning out the decorations, back drops, ordering many things online, to making many trips to many places, to thinking about the straws all the way to the back drop of the cake table to the chalkboard sign (drawn by the amazing Mollie!- so a huge thanks to her! interested in her work, email her:: mollie [dot] betsch [at] eagles [dot] usm) to where this and that went and more and more…My sister was the “glue” to the whole reception, might you say!  Hence I loved loved loved it!   Then some ideas from my floral designer, with all of her talents…I then handed off the details of decorating and setting up to my dear friend Eden! I have some kind of amazing friends…let me make sure you caught that…Ah-MAzIng friends who spent hours on our day…I had asked Eden if she would be “in-charge” of the reception.   Yes these dear friends have been mentioned BY NAME…they deserves more than that but, there isn’t much more recognition I can give on the blog…besides a round of applause to them!!!  Eden went Friday night to the restaurant…AFTER…they closed at 9:15pm and stayed there until 1 am setting up and decorating…and making sure it was all in place…and trying to fix the uh-ohs-we-forgot…and uh-oh this doesn’t work like we planned so lets go to plan b.  Yeh you know those kind of dramas.  Let me tell you friends, she did amazing, along with my floral designer being there that night too, working hard at getting the tables looking beautiful.  I just can’t tell you how blessed we were with all of these wonderful people in our lives.

I have to say when I walked in…even though our family and friends were there cheering us in…I wish I could have frozen that moment…where I could have stood there just taking in the reception and the decorations and the perfection of it all.  My mind was racing with how amazing it looked and how “wow-ed” I was!

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Oh the food…you should let me pause here… so I can tell you a little about the food…oh-my-word.  As we had to choose what food we wanted at the reception…we went back and forth and well back and forth another time or two on this decision.  Mrs. Toni had told me we could do ANYTHING we wanted…it didn’t have to be off of their menu or catering menu.  We talked about pretty much all of the options known to us…fried chicken…pasta…brunch…you name it…I finally looked at Bern as we were sitting at their restaurant one Friday night eating and said “You know what, I love nothing more than a good hamburger and french fries…something yummy and not frooo-froo” He simply responded “lets do it!”  So that was the decision and it couldn’t have been more fitting for the two of us.  Our menu consisted of:

Hamburgers and French Fries, Onion rings and baked macaroni and cheese, salad and fried green tomatoes with their to-die-for remoulade sauce…oh my goodness, and Bern and I actually ate…like really ate at our reception.  I just wish I hadn’t been so full and could have eaten more!!!!! haha

The one thing we have heard most everyone say about our reception…

“You had the best reception food EV–EEEERRRR.”

and…yes they emphasize EVER!  We had to agree…but yet we are so glad everyone else agreed too!!!!

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Then the cake…oh how could I not have even mentioned this FIRST!  I mean hello!

My amazing friend, Melissa, who is the baker extra-ordinaire herself gifted us our wedding cake……..I knew there was nothing that could go wrong with our cake if it were up to her!  I had to reassure Bern that she wasn’t just the average-cake-baker…trust me it will be to die for…and yes he agrees now.  I had always told her I wanted coconut cake…well when she and I visited Charleston, SC back in February…we had the best ever Coconut cake at Peninsula Grill…she quickly googled to see if she could get this famous cake recipe, we figured no way…well guess what?  Much to our surprise this famous restaurant had their recipe online to give out…she saved it and well that was part of our wedding cake…So our top and bottom layer were coconut…the middle well it was strawberry and white chocolate…Yummyyyyyyy!!!  I wish I could eat a piece at the moment…but I can’t, it’s GONE!  It was all gone quite quickly!!!!!  So she had the cake under control…no doubt…now she wanted to know how to decorate the outside.  She quickly disclaimed to being a cake decorator…she is the baker.  I knew I wanted something simple and rustic…so coconut flakes and white chocolate flakes is what it was…and it couldn’t have been more perfect…well and more yummy!!!!  Then she had another question….sheesh I didn’t know there were so many decisions around wedding cakes….so she asked…”cake plate, have you thought about what you want me to set it on?”  I said “actually I haven’t.”  Thanks to my sister she contacted Bern to see if he could cut her a piece of wood for the cake plate …they surprised me with this, as he brought it down from Maine too.  Oh my goodness…I am one blessed girl by all of this!

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Then there is the ice cream sundae bar…Yes then there is this.

First my husband (oh I love the sounds of that, the sound of which I am still getting used to saying!!!) he LOVES ice cream…no like really loves it.  I can take-it-or-leave it.  Although for several years I always said I wanted an ice cream sundae bar at my wedding…Why? I don’t know, it just sounded fun for everyone and for the kids…not because I loved ice cream just because it sounded fun.  Little did I know that my husband loved ice cream and this would fit us so well!

To say the least my sister did an awesome job planning out the sundae bar and I think everyone loved it!!!!!  Sprinkles…ice cream…homemade chocolate and carmel syrup (thanks to my sister in law!!!), and of course the cherries on top!

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We were surrounded all day by our family and friends, our loved ones!  We are so blessed!!  Now my nieces and nephews are playing “wedding”!  As this was their first time to a wedding that they can remember…now they are making big plans to marry!!!

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As you see each table had lots of flowers and beautiful touches…a huge thank you to Mrs. Robin, our floral designer, but even more our friend!  She does ammmmaazzzinngggg work!  I knew I could trust her and put all of the floral into her hands and that it would be perfect…little did I know I still would be blown away.  It was all gorgeous and stunning…alot of the bottles that the flowers are in are from Bern’s granddads collection.  As we were in Maine back in July, I noticed these and asked about them…I immediately knew they would be perfect for our wedding, along with having a little bit of sentimental touch to them, we wanted to use them!  I loved the uniqueness and randomness this touch added!

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Saying good-bye to everyone as Mr. and Mrs. we were nothing but smiles filled with excitement.  It was such a perfect day and the best day as we started life together…a journey we want to call ours, a journey we don’t know what lies ahead yet a journey we know the Lord will see us through together…a journey filled with many happy times along with sad times…that’s life and there are seasons in life.  The fact that this journey is together makes it worth every second.

We can’t thank everyone enough for all of their help to make our day so perfect, it’s like all of our family and friends had a little thumbprint on our day…whether it was them using their God giving talents to bless us, just being there to support and encourage us, or being willing to help in anyway…all of the comments, emails, texts, phone calls, cards and more that you all have sent to us.  We are surrounded by such amazing friends and family and we are so thankful for that.  God has truly been so good to us.

Our story doesn’t end here…each day ahead God has been continuing to faithfully write our story together.  We are excited to see what He has in store for us.





  • Vicki McCormack - I love your blogs! I hope you continue to update your blog with just your everyday adventures as a married couple now! Enjoyed being part of your special day! I love you!

  • Cindy Jenkins - I love reading your blog and am so happy to hear all the fun details. What amazing friends you have to offer to do your reception. I’d love to visit their restaurant if you could share the name. Hamburgers, French fries, and ice cream! Now that’s what I’m talking about!!!

  • Paul and Nancy Mitchell - I have so enjoyed your posts through the wedding process. It is amazing how God has brought the two of u together in his perfect timing. Knowing the Staples Family for 25 years or more I can tell u that u have a winner as a husband, and being blessed to be a part of that family u will only make it better.

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