Our wedding reception, "Rockabilly Prom," finally became a reality on May 26th 2012. It was anything but smooth sailing up until that point. Actually, everything that could go wrong, did. Let's see......the catering company raised the price per meal by a dollar the week before we booked the dinner and wouldn't honor the quoted price. That added up with a large guest list and a to-the-dollar budget. One of Zack's groomsmen, or "Prom Court" as I like to call them, found out he was going on tour overseas and couldn't make it, which left us without a drummer for multiple bands. But the worst thing by far was dropping by our venue, The American Legion Hall, days before the event to find out that they were in the middle of remodeling and didn't bother to tell us. It was horrendous! I was upset mostly because it was one of the oldest venues in our town. It was built by William S. Hart as a movie theater to show old western films. It had the perfect look for a prom, with a stage, built in tuck-n-roll booths lining the walls, and old posters of people like Tex Williams who had played on that stage. I was so upset that they ripped out the wood paneling and added white stucco. All of the teal booths landed in the trash can. Everything was beige and blah. I hated it! I cried for hours and decided I couldn't have my reception in the horrid room and had to take on the massive task of moving the venue two days before the reception. The staff there was not sympathetic and didn't want to give us our deposit back and tried to say it would take a week to get the check to us, which was unacceptable as we had paid cash and would be long gone on our honeymoon in a week. Apparently they didn't know who they were messing with, and you bet your bottom dollar that I got that deposit back the next day. The one stroke of luck was that another venue we had toured and liked, The Elks Lodge in Van Nuys, was free that night. So we booked it right away! This venue was also historic, had beautiful hard wood floors and cool built in seating around the walls which reminded me of an auditorium. It was large and centrally located too. The staff was super nice and made the transition really great.
Zack and I contacted all of the guests, some who were already in town in hotel rooms near the original venue. We called the rental place and switched the linens from rectangular to round based on the new locations available tables. We called the caterer and cake baker who both agreed to deliver to the new location for an additional fee. After quite a bit of work, it all seemed to work out.
We also did all the decorating ourselves the night before and the morning of with help from only a few good friends. I was even decorating in my jeans up until the point when guests walked in-whoops!
I present to you: Rockabilly Prom! After everything that happened, it finally all came together!
The new venue has a disco ball in storage that they put up for us- perfect!
Balloon bouquets we made in our colors: gold, pink and teal!
The candy buffet turned out super cute! I am so glad because it was a lot of work getting all those glass jars from Michael's one at a time when I had 50% off coupons.
I handmade the "Congrats" banner here, all the bows and the paper signs that dennote the candy flavors. I had a lot of fun with it.
The cake was a gift from my Mother-In-Law. We had a ton of fun custom designing it with the baker, Jill's Cake Creations. This Australian lace reminded me of a beaded cocktail dress that Marilyn Monroe wore, so I knew I had to have that. I also knew I wanted it to be pink with bows. This unique stacking pattern seemed very vintage to me, and I love that the little vintage cake toppers from our elopement wedding cake could snuggle up all cozy like in between the tiers. It came out perfect and I loved it much more then I thought I would!
The top tier of the cake was saved for our one year anniversary. The other two tiers were different flavors: one was pink champagne with raspberry champagne filling and the other was lemon with Bavarian cream filling. Sooooo yummy! The color of the cake inside matched our colors too- pink and gold. What a coincidence!
The centerpieces were also another DIY piece that I had fun with. My Honeybee's and I spent months glittering those coke bottles, which really brought us closer together. I couldn't have done it without them! The flowers were carefully selected from Steve's Florist to fit the 50's theme. Then we put one type of flower in one of the three colored coke bottles (pink, teal or gold) and staggered the height. Then baby's breath and little paper flags added the finishing touch!
We also spend a lot of time making gold glittered 45s with various sayings ranging from Rockabilly Prom and Go Team to cheesy sayings like Cool Daddy-O!
The last two I made the day before the reception was a King and Queen one for the back of the chairs for the King and Queen. I ran out of E's so I used 3's backwards- genius!
The "honeymoon" table was a half-round table topped in a pink table cloth with a gold lame table cloth over that.
At that last minute we found these two chairs in the back room- perfect king and queen chairs, don't ya think?
At the very last minute, everything came together, with the help of many people.
This balloon arch was very time consuming, but doing it ourselves saved hundreds and hundreds of dollars. It didn't come out perfect, but a lot of love went into it!
Zachary spent a ton of time hanging streamers all over the walls- just like photos I found from 50s proms-perfect!
You can't have a prom with out a prom King and Queen. To make it fair I made a ballot voting box and lots of ballots. The voting box lists all the the candidates with elaborated high school descriptions of them. Mine said I was varsity cheerleader (true), voted most popular in the yearbook, leader of the prom committee and ASB vice-president. All of the others followed the same sort of format. While people where there voting for king and queen they could take a look at our wedding photo album, or sign our custom Rockabilly Prom year book. I spent months custom designing the yearbook based on my grandparents yearbook from '51. It had photos from our childhood, all of our relationship, all of our vacations, our wedding, and pictures of all our friends and family to sign by. It doubled as our guestbook, and has way more lasting value then some blank paper everyone signed. I think everyone should make a retrospective guestbook for their wedding!
Eventually all the guests started rolling in. Deen and Sally snagged a great table up front to catch all the bands.
You can't have a prom king and queen without crowns, so I got 7 vintage crowns on ebay, one for the queen and one for all the princesses too! The queen also got a sash that said Rockabilly Prom Queen. We also had prizes for the best dancer and best prom dress contest too!
DJ extraordinaire for the evening- DJ Lucky La Rocka! He was spinning great tunes to get people on the dance floor!
After a quick change I was out on the dance floor meeting my date for the evening- Mr. Zachary James Simpson. Notice that he already has a drink. I got him a pink carnation boutineer and he got me a matching corsage. Actually, all of the prom court got matching boutineers and corsages!
All of the ladies and gentlemen wore their best!
Blue Collar Combo kicked off the night.They were the perfect band to get everyone in a rockabilly mood!
The Elks Lodge had this great built in seating on either side of the stage, which was perfect for the boys to sit and drink in!
Four very talented and well dressed music men.
Dancing, a must for any successful prom!
My somethings blue-Emily, Deen, Cara, Mary and Reagan. This photo is priceless!
Nicole, pretty in purple.
My sister, Dad and I.
Emily and Jesse (also newlyweds, congrats!).
Amber and I posing on the paper moon!
I knew I had to have a paper moon at Rockabilly Prom so I could have THIS photo. More than anything, I wanted this photo with my hubby. I don't even know who took it, but I thank them. I adore it!
Making this moon was a labor of love. I traced it on to a single piece of plywood by hand, which was nearly impossible and involved cutting the moon in three separate pieces that had to be reattached. Then Zack cut it out with a jigsaw we borrowed from Sandra Sprague. Then Zack reattached the two smaller pieces to the main one. Zack attached some hardware behind it so it would stand upright. Then I sanded it and Reagan and I painted it all by hand. I used a hand-me-down black queen size sheet to paint a cloud backdrop. I used a bench from my dressing room as a seat and covered it in black felt scraps I bought from JoAnne's with a coupon. It was a long project but saved us a ton of money to DIY! We got a quote from one local company that wanted over a thousand dollars to rent one. DIYing it ourselves only cost us about $40! After the prom we wanted to take it home and use it as a prop for house parties, but one of our friends lost it out of the back of his truck somewhere between the venue and our house-whoops!
Amber, Sally, Deen, Sandra and I.
This is another classic photo that I will always love. We had no posed photos with our prom court, just candids!
Then the next band went on-Roy Rapid! This is another one of my favorite bands from southern California. They are talented, young, and going places! We are so blessed to have them play our reception.
The crowd loved them of course. Holly (Temperamental Broad) and Chris (Mr. Tiny of Wacky Tacky) dancing up a storm!
After Roy Rapid we did one "typical wedding" thing, we cut the cake! It was too pretty to cut!
Dessert matched his outfit!
The cake was super yummy though. This was something I thought I didn't need, but I was actually really happy to have it. It felt like the one nice, professional, fancy wedding thing we had. We are really thankful that Zack's mom got it for us. It was perfect!
Then DJ Shorty Poole spun some cool vinyl records and got people back on the dance floor to burn off that cake.
Another musical treat for the guests- the lovely Amber Foxx!
I think she was everyone's favorite for the evening because she did some slow songs for everyone to dance too. No one can resist her sweet voice! She also sang one of her famous strollers for us. Everyone looked great strolling in their prom dresses!
We knew we wanted to do the bunny hop, so we printed directions and placed them on each table. When we finally did it, everyone was doing the bunny hop, so I don't have any photos of it, but it was a blast!
Just when you think it couldn't get any better, we got Dave Stuckey and Deke Dickerson on stage to do some songs too! As a real treat he and Dave did a few of my favorite Dave and Deke songs too! It was a real honor and a dream come true to have Dave and Deke play our wedding reception. Isn't that the bee's knees? I am such a lucky gal!
They did one of my favorite Sparkletones songs "Maybe Baby".
We needed a little more estrogen after all that testosterone on stage, and no one is cuter then the young new talent on the scene- Ms. Mary Simich. We have been telling her for years to start her own band, so we are so happy to see her do it and get instant success.
We were blown away with her version of my favorite Janis Martin tune, "Let's Elope Baby", in honor of our elopement. But we were even more amazed to find out that she had written a song for us called My Sweet Lovin' Boy about me and Zachary. It is so touching! It was the best gift anyone could give.
Here is the video of the song:
Then her brother Chris joined her on stage for a duet! They make a great pair! We are so lucky to have such talented friends!
You would think we couldn't possibly have any more rockin' music on stage, right? Nope, I am the Rockabilly Socialite after all, and I have a big reputation to live up to! Next up were more endlessly talented friends, The SideWynders!
Rene is such a great guy. We are lucky to call him a friend!
Look who showed up next- Captain Jeffrey! He was perfect to mellow out the mood late into the night.
Tatsuo- our friend who traveled all the way from Japan! So nice to have him there!
Pappy, Adam and Suzie.
Brian and Reagan
Did I mention the drinks were strong? Finally saw Tom Plante crack! He wasn't the only one to pass out, but he was the only one to pass out in the ballroom, so he was the one who got tulle and flowers piled on him.
For the best dressed contest we had all the best dressed guests line up and Zack and I narrowed it down to three, and then one. Reagan ended up winning!
Her dress was powder blue tulle with a stitched swirl pattern all over it. The bust was a rouched sort of shelf bust and the side of the skirt had a darker tulle waterfall. It was sooooo beautiful and in perfect condition! I wish I got better photos of the dress, it was stunning.
We had a dance contest too, which was very hard to judge. Chris Simich ended up winning, but I was too busy carefully judging to snap a photo! He did great and deserved to win!
We ate, drank, and danced all night. The only thing left to do was to crown the Rockabilly Prom King and Queen. Dave "Pappy" Stuckey was our MC for the evening. He took all of the ballots and meticulously counted them. He called up all the nominees for Prom King on stage: Bobby Cavener, Rene Cervantes, Zack Simpson, and Brandon Dixon. By a big sweep, the vote went to Zack Simpson! No one was surprised. He was voted best hair and is a teenage heart throb.
Then it was the girls turn. All of the nominees for Prom Queen lined up: Amber Foxx, Sandra Sprague, Reagan Foy, Deen Dioria, Alana Amarillas, Nanci Lopez and I. There was an anticipatory drum roll.........and I was announced to be the Rockabilly Prom Queen! I was running against some cool ladies so I was so surprised!
All of the girls got vintage crowns, but mine was the biggest! It had a heart in it, which was dreamy. I also got a pink and gold sash that happened to match my corsage perfectly!
As prom tradition dictates the prom King and Queen have a celebratory first dance under the spotlight.
We danced to "Teenage Queen" by Lonnie Barron. It was the most suitable song for a Prom themed reception. It was perfect- Teen Queen meets blushing bride. After that song the rest of the prom court jointed us on the dance floor for "High School Confidential" by Jerry Lee Lewis. The DJ's, Lucky La Rocka and Shorty Poole, played all the best high school themed songs all night. I am basically obsessed with 1950's high school stuff, which of course is why I wanted a prom themed reception.
After all that dancing we retired to our thrones!
At that point only the die-hards were left to dance into the night.
My grandma snuck a dance with Zack!
We all bopped, jived and strolled long into the night! At the end of the night we gave an impromptu thank you speech, but we want to thank everyone one again:
It wouldn't have been possible without all of my friends and family who helped months before the reception with planning, making decorations, and providing a sound board. The night would have been nothing without the talented musicians who generously played for us: Blue Collar Combo, Roy Rapid, Amber Foxx, Chris and Mary Simich, The SideWynders, Captain Jeff, Deke Dickerson and Dave Stuckey. Thank you ALL for playing, we are so lucky to have such wonderful and talented friends! Thank you to the two DJs, Chris Whitfield and Shorty Poole who never left a moment of silence, you two rock. Thank you to everyone who helped set-up and clean up, I would have lost my marbles without your help. Thanks to my mother-in-law Michelle Simpson for the beautiful and delicious cake, the reception wouldn't have been the same without it. Thanks to the Van Nuys Elks Lodge for hosting our prom very last minute and accommodating all of my crazy requests. The staff was so nice and made everything possible. Lastly, thank you to everyone who came and celebrated with us, we love you all!
That night we didn't hit the hay until 5:30 am. We had to wake up pretty early to catch brunch with the family before heading to our honeymoon in Palm Springs, which is of course coming up in another post very soon.....say tuned!