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Our Wedding | Cocktail Party + New England Clam Bake Dinner

Last week, I shared our "Ceremony" shots. Here are previous and upcoming blog posts from our wedding day:

Out of the entire wedding planning process....the Cocktail Hour and New England Clam Bake was focused on the most! Kristie Meluso, our wedding planner, did an INCREDIBLE job! Thank you Kristie for bringing our wedding day vision to life!

Also, special shout out to these vendors for helping make our wedding day so special:

Bridal Boutique: Luxe & Lace Bridal Boutique

Wedding Tent + Rentals: Peak Event Services

Catering: B&M Catering

Florist: Frugal Flower

Harpist: Wendy Kerner

Bridesmaid Dress: Birdy Grey

Bridesmaid Shoes: Gold Block Heel Sandal

Drink Stirrers: Gold and Acrylic

Custom Lobster Bibs: Sip Hip Hooray

Welcome Signage: iCustom Invite (Etsy)

Setting Chart: iCustom Invite (Etsy)

Table Numbers: ZCreate Designs (Etsy)


I wanted our at home wedding to feel upscale and different than any other wedding we've been too. Personally, our families had never been to an at home wedding, so we didn't have anything to compare it to! Since we were truly going in to build a wedding from scratch, there were a lot of elements involved. Kristie was our captain who helped us sail through the entire process. Her attention to detail was the reason why I picked her to be our wedding planner, and she brought so much attention to detail into our wedding!

Kristie focused on blue, hydrangea color tones and using the natural elements of our home to our advantage. We went all-out for the gardens around the house - making sure all the flowers were vibrant and blooming. The gardens were part of the decor and helped set the mood. We sprayed the grounds multiple times to reduce the amount of bugs (especially mosquitos) - this helped us utilize as much property as we could. We also brought it tents, bars, tables, chairs, plates, utensils….even portable bathrooms. We brought in EVERYTHING to make this vision come to life. We built a venue, at home, from scratch.


The Cocktail Hour + New England Clam Bake was located in the back of our house - Cocktail Hour on the upper level of the hill, and on the bottom of the hill we had the New England Clam Bake. It was awesome sipping cocktails on the top of the hill, and be able to look down at the gorgeous sailcloth reception tent. The hill split up the areas nicely.

For all our rentals, such as the tent, bars, tables + chairs, etc. we used Peak Events Services. Kristie introduced us to them and they were so easy to work with! Since it was our first time using them, it was nice having a planner who had worked with them in the past. Kristie selected a mixture of low and high cocktail tables during the cocktail hour for people to sit and stand, and they looked beautiful on the grass for guests to crowd around.

During the Cocktail Hour, we had our wedding ceremony harpist play music, while guests enjoyed cocktails and our raw bar. The raw bar was filled with clams, oysters, and shrimp. We also had hors d’oeuvre passed around with wait staff. For cocktails, we had a full bar, but had sangria ready to drink at a little side bar. My favorite little detail Kristie added for cocktails were the cocktail stirrers. We got ours from Etsy and they were SO CUTE! We picked out a gold and acrylic version. It was a fun little addition of detail and highly recommend getting for any wedding!


At the bottom of the hill in our yard was the gorgeous sailcloth tent for the New England Clam Bake dinner! At the front of the tent, our florist broke down our flower arch from our wedding ceremony into three pieces and put them at the entrance of the tent. It was a great way to incorporate the flower arch into the wedding so the flowers didn't go to waste.

For our tables, we had a mix of exposed wooden tables and round table-cloth tables. Each table was filled with hydrangea flowers, and icy blue candles. We originally selected white candles, then Kristie had us do the icy blue candle for a pop of color. Another great style tip! Looking back at the photos, it's one of the decor items I am most excited about. So simple, but colorful impact.

The tables were centered around the dance floor and stage for the band! Prior to the wedding, we had an electrician come in to do the electrical work to ensure the band could play without blowing any fuses. Luckily, for the New England Clam Bake, no electricity was needed to prepare the food, so the only electrical needs were the band! This was not something we thought of beforehand when we decided to do an at home wedding!

Now for the dinner.....and our key theme of the wedding....the New England Clam Bake! We had our New England Clam bake surf + turf style. We had lobsters + steak tips, corn bread (instead of rolls of bread), a strawberry summer salad and veggies. I have had a lot of lobster in my life, but it was the BEST lobster I had ever had. I am shocked to say it, but the way the caterers cooked it was unbelievable. It was so cool being able to see them cook next to the tent and crack the lobsters so they were ready to serve. We also got custom lobster bibs, and people seemed to enjoy them more than I expected! We had our names and wedding date on them. I tried to save one for a keepsake after the wedding, but they were all used. Our guest loved them! They were a cute personal touch!

Finally, the lobsters were served on our gorgeous wedding plates! Instead of having charger plates, we stuck with just the blue-detailed plates so it received all the attention (a charger plate is a plate under a plate and it adds definition and decor to the table). One of my favorite things to see after the wedding was how many people took pictures of the plates with their lobster dinner on their phones! Linking the plates here!

Next Tuesday is the final blog post to share our wedding. I love going down memory lane with these photos, and hope you are too! If you have any questions or comments, let me know below in the comments section!


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