The Wedding Day Diary: Reception

After the kisses and hugs came the wrangling of family members and bridesmaids and groomsmen for pictures! This did not thin out the crowd at all. Ben’s large family + my large family = 99% of the attendees at the wedding. I thought I had fine-tuned this part so that it would go quickly and smoothly, but no such luck. I really felt bad for Kris & Nikki during this part –

  • OK, all of Ben’s family – yes, everyone.  Everyone that is here that is related to Ben by blood, get in the picture!
  • Now add me.
  • Ok, now just Ben’s immediate family.
  • Now add me.
  • Just Ben & his immediate immediate family – – where are his parents?…just a few more pics!
  • Now add me.
  • Ok, Ben & his brothers & sisters?  Ok? no?
  • Ok, my entire family – gather in the middle.  no the middle.  In a circle.  no no no – a circle!
  • Yes, the ENTIRE family – in-laws, nephews, etc.  Look up!  Look straight ahead!
  • Ok, add Ben.
  • Ok, just me & my brothers and sisters.  They’re spouses?  Dang it – no, not yet – we’ll do that next.
  • Now add Ben
  • What?  no no!  We still need the groomsmen & bridesmaids; we’ll be just a second!
  • Ok, from the balcony?  Ok.  uh, yeah cool from the balcony too then.
  • Ok, just me & my mom??  No?  Ok, add Ben

I didn’t plan that well at all.  And while I’m trying to corral people together, Ben has kidnapped Kris & has started taking Glamour Shots with his Groomsmen.

My shoes are KILLING me.

I don’t even know how long it took to take all those pictures.  But it was at least three-times longer than I planned on it taking.  I hope the appetizers kept guests occupied and full 🙂

I couldn’t WAIT to finally get to the party.  The Reception!  The Harrison Center for the Arts‘ ancient gymnasium had been magically transformed to my Shabby-Chic-Rustic-Romantic gala of my dreams by Natalie & La Vida Dulce Events, and to my knowledge the beer & wine were flowing, the DJ was rockin’ and everyone was waiting for us to show up!

We walked into the reception to one of Ben’s original songs he had written for a film he did the previous year in school – a bouncy fun piano tune.  The DJ had been having so many problems with it, he passive-aggressively made a point to highlight the fact that we insisted on playing it.   But, the DJ was one aspect of the wedding that I had to realize that no matter how much control I tried to exert over it, I just wasn’t going to get my way entirely.  I submitted a 3-hour long play list for the wedding, highlighting the songs I wanted to play at certain times, during certain things.  I just didn’t expect him to play it all before I arrived….  But, I did also have a few DO NOT PLAY UNDER PENALTY OF DEATH songs on my list, and luckily they never showed up.  But, it just irks me to have gone out of my way to designate certain songs for certain things, and then not hear those songs.  But it seemed that everyone had a fine time anyway, and he played all the requests that people could dish out!

Yes, a fine time was had by all, after Ben & I got out first dance out of the way.  We danced to Billy Joel’s “Just the Way You Are”.  It was perfect for us!  Then we allowed everyone to eat!  The best thing about getting married is that you’re first in line for the buffet!  Ok ok, the BEST thing is getting all those awesome tax benefits.  Ok, for real, the really REAL BEST thing about getting married is being so in love you can’t contain it any longer and have to share and show your love to all your friends and family!!  A very close second is the buffet line jumping.

Trust me, you would want to be at the head of this buffet.  The Jazz Kitchen catered our wedding, and the brilliant chef-owner, and dear friend David Allee was there personally.  I’m not just saying this, because every bride thinks SHE had the best, but I really DID have the BEST food at my wedding.  Ask anyone there.  Pork loin with cranberry & apple compote, Roasted Vegetable tortellini, delicious moist cornbread…I couldn’t get enough!  The easiest, most stress-free part of my wedding was working with The Jazz Kitchen and Lu-Ann – she foresaw things I hadn’t thought of, and took care of them before there was a problem.  The food was a no-brainer; it’s my favorite food in the Midwest easily, so of course I was going to use them as my caterer; but my expectations were totally exceeded.

So what’s for dessert?  Well, SOME people, who shall go unnamed, ate their dessert FIRST!  Looking back, one of the funniest moments in mind is as Ben & I walked to our table at the reception, I gazed around, looking at the tables, the table runners, the tree-stump centerpieces, and the cakes and cupcakes that were displayed on top of each centerpiece.  Rather, that should’ve been displayed on top of each centerpiece.  My eyes (and heart) stopped at a table very close to me whose tree-stump centerpiece had neither a small round cake, nor several dainty cupcakes.  Mini panic-attack ensues, covered by a plastered on smile from ear to ear.  I wasn’t worried that the people at the table wouldn’t get cake – no, there was plenty to be had and shared.  It just didn’t look…cohesive.  There was one glaring bald spot in the meadow of shabby-chic table clothes and centerpieces.  How could this happen?!  As soon as I had a free moment, I asked.  Turns out, immediately upon sitting down, everyone at the table lay claim to one of the brightly decorated cupcakes and couldn’t just leave it unprotected upon the stump – no – they had to have it on the plate right in front of them.  Everyone at that table did this.  It cracked me the hell up.

Yes, it’s important to have good looking cakes (and/or cupcakes, whatever your preference) at the wedding.  To me, it’s equally important that they be the best damn cakes/cupcake you’ve had in your life.  I thought I had found the best cupcakes when I tasted the famous Flying Cupcake Bakery’s offerings.  But, on a whim, I decided to give an old High School friend’s bakery upstart a try – in the name of trying to keep my vendors über local.  Mica Gosnel calls her miracle creation factory “Confectioneiress Cupcakes”.  To eat one is to experience the joy of having the entire Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie explode in your mouth.  I had been looking forward to eating 5 specific cupcakes that entire day:

  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
  • Lemon/Vanilla
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Food & Drink flowed (the drinks thanks to last-minute helpers Natalie, Tony, Eric, Zach and many others) and toasts were made.  Ben’s Mom & Dad’s toasts were incredibly sweet; I’m so lucky to be so thoroughly and seamlessly accepted and loved by Ben’s family.  Zach’s speech was very funny, without being painful.  Then, who won the “painfully funny” award, you ask?  My brother.  After a long pause after the other toasts were done, Curtis (my oldest brother, who walked me down the aisle.  Who sheltered me during my first job out of college.  Who will one day insist that I pay him for his legal advice…) regaled us with good tidings and “welcomed Ben to the…genital pool.”

What?

“Welcome to the gene pool” would have been embarrassing enough, but genital pool?!  I was mortified.  Hysterically mortified.  Honestly, I didn’t mind at all.  I’m glad, thankful, that my brother got up and spoke on my family’s behalf.   And, his snafu is an exactly accurate portrayal of my side of the family!  My brother is an extremely intelligent, and very learned, lawyer, and regardless of that he’s still human.  And I think that describes me to a T too.  hahaha.  And it was one of the most memorable, funniest moments of the day.

My reception could STILL be going on right now, six months later, and I wouldn’t be tired of it.  I wish I had gotten to talk to people a whole lot more.  I wish I hadn’t danced in those damn shoes for SO long.

The next day, we were off to our honeymoon
and we’re still on it.

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