Technically I probably could have included our reception in the vendor category, but since it is such a large part of the big day, I saved the best for last. When Matt and I first started looking at reception venues we knew we didn’t want a banquet hall. That helped to narrow down the list. The next requirement was that it be a reflection of us, something that involved the outdoors or rustic elements. So we looked at Cantigny, Brookfield Zoo, The Narnia Estate, Danada House and Two Brothers Roundhouse.
Going into the search I was very leary of Two Brothers Roundhouse because their website does not do due justice to the actual facility. I had to leave my judgement behind, which was a good thing because we were completely blown away by the Roundhouse. Their consistent, friendly staff held our hands through the entire process; from the initial meeting to follow up questions to setting up the tasting and then doing our final walk-through and drop off of everything for our reception. We trusted our vision of northwoods done classy with our colors of navy, yellow, white and silver to their banquet team and our big day, did not disappoint.
Greeting our guests was a ridiculously large image of Matt and I from our engagement shoot – our version of American Gothic, “Northwoods Style”.
Before entering the ballroom our guests were able to view our guest book (created by the very talented Christopher Cannon) and pick up their table card on birch tree branches from a tree cut down by Matt and I in the northwoods of Wisconsin. (Catching on to our theme?)
Also in the room we had a spots for guests to complete the guest book, drop of cards/gifts and another table to honor family members who have passed on. Everything was arranged perfectly by the Roundhouse staff.
And for the most important table, the cake! Two Brothers partners with the Cakery in Aurora for all of their wedding cakes. We wanted a simple rustic looking cake that would easily be adorned with some of our flowers to tie in everything. Not only did the cake look beautiful but it tasted amazing! One fun surprise I had in store for Matt on our big day was a groomsmen cake. Working with the Cakery I ordered a lemon cake proudly displaying the University of Michigan.
Now on to the decor. I purchased tulle and lights from Restoration Hardware to dress up the four posts around the dance floor. Thankfully the Roundhouse staff put everything up for us! One splurge was to have silver chiavari chairs. I love how the chairs instantly classed up the room!
Matt made the centerpieces from that same tree we chopped down at my family’s lake house in Wisconsin. That tree also provided us with large branches for the head table which we interspersed with candle holders, provided by my matron of honor, to add some warmth and a different look.I picked up a few larger vases for the girls and myself to use at the head table to show off our flowers.
At the tables for guests, we left a few notes. One was explaining that instead of favors, a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association as well as the American Cancer Society was made in their honor. Each table also had a note about no glass clinking. Instead, our guests had to perform certain tasks such as singing the National Anthem, start a conga line, share some marriage advice or have the table sing a love song. We wanted to make it a little more challenging/interactive for our guests to make us kiss – and it was worth it! Especially when the head table started singing the National Anthem and got the rest of all the tables to stand and sing along. Moments like those are priceless.
Matt and I had a vision of what the banquet room would look like, but Two Brothers Roundhouse took it to the moon and beyond. Everything turned out better than I had expected.