Wedding Reception

Part II of the exciting Wedding post… the Reception!

The reception was located at The Reef, which is on Long Beach’s harbor. Located near the Queen Mary, it is also steps away from the hotel!

Cake toppers a joint effort… Steve’s idea, Mariam’s painting.

Beautiful flowers/centerpieces from Madison’s Garden.

We had the tables named after venues that Mariam and I have attended concerts or sporting events at. The name tags were in the fashion of a ticket, with a QR code that would take you to our wedding (The Knot) website.

Wedding Party Entrance (Check out the wedding video… video > photograph)

A photo booth was available on the patio overlooking the Long Beach harbor.

Such a great night. Having all of our friends and family there to celebrate with us, meant so much to us. Thanks to all that came and made our special day that much more special.


Mariam & Steve

Wedding Prep

All the fun things that come along with planning/prepping for our wedding.

After making our invitations and handling a lot of the prep for the engagement party, we knew that we wanted to have a lot of DIY to our wedding.

As anyone that has planned a wedding know…. you need to figure out a date asap! Of course, that takes coordination from your family, friends, church, reception location, etc, etc, etc.

After a few attempts, we finally were able to settle on August 20, 2011.

Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church – Long Beach, CA

With that finalized we could then focus on the other eleventy billion things that come with it. We won’t go into all of the details here, but will provide some highlights.

-Weddings are expensive. Weddings in southern California are very expensive. 🙂
-Finding a location that could hold our event(size, wants, etc) isn’t as easy as you’d think, living in a metropolis of 400K.
-Cake tasting is fun. Especially when Rossmoor Pastries is involved.
-Being limited in who you can invite isn’t fun… We definitely would have liked to have more invitations sent, but unfortunately our banking account had a more modest number in mind.
-Checklists make the world go around. Make big lists, make smaller more defined ones… just have one/some.
-The Knot is what we used for tips, ideas, and the aforementioned checklists.

Some of our DIY-ness:


Wedding Ceremony Programs

(pencils were attached to the wooden handles… gave our guests something to do prior to the ceremony)

Ceremony Programs

Hotel Gift Bags

Planning and prep are different for many couples. We decided to be more hands on, although hiring a coordinator did cross our minds a few different times.

Overall, it went pretty smoothly and didn’t cause any major fights! 🙂

Engagement Party!

The Albers and Enwias getting ready to party

A tradition that is well-known within the Enwia family (and a good portion of Californians, I believe), but not with the Albers clan from Iowa, was the idea of a lavish Engagement party. That being said, it didn’t take long for the groom’s side to warm up to the idea!

We held our Engagement Party at Recreation Park, here in Long Beach, on December 11, 2010 (12-11-10). Our close family and friends attended our little soiree, which entailed a cocktail hour, dinner, followed by some dancing. Steve was very lucky in that his parents, brother and his wife, and sister were all able to make it out for the event.

The event was held at the Long Beach Recreation Park Clubhouse. About 100 people were in attendance and kept the party going long into the night. I don’t think it took long to realize that both sides of the family and friends would have no issue getting along. We heard a few comments about how awesome the wedding would be, considering how fun the engagement party was… nothing like a little extra pressure!

Since we were in early December, we decided to take advantage of the holiday season and did a little Christmas light tour on a double-decker bus. It was the perfect capper for a great weekend!