Had it not been for the plate of appetizers L's sister made for us or the glass of water and stiff drink some friends brought me, I don't know if I would have had time to eat all that much during the cocktail hour and following reception. Thank goodness for thoughtful people.
More pictures followed, this time with extended families and friends. They would be the last formal pictures of the day. From there, we socialized with everyone outside in the hot son - a gorgeous day, but not the best conditions for wearing a black wool tuxedo - and had a few drinks.
Inside the dining hall, the room was decorated with such care that it was hard to imagine the hundreds of kids who had just eaten dinner there a week or two prior during camp's last few days. It's amazing what a few flowers, a dance floor, a band and nice tables and chairs can do to a place. (217 people in their Sunday best, so to speak, doesn't hurt either.) You can kind of get an idea of what the tables looked like from this picture:
(Yes, that's the green paper I schlepped all over the city, finding a place to cut it to size.)
L and I changed out of our dress shoes for the big dances coming up. Here's a picture of mine (L's were the same, but white with a blue stripe):
Then the hora started. And what a hora it was. At the Weddies, the fictional awards show L imagined to honor outstanding achievement in excellence for weddings, I'd bet tat we'd be nominated in the category of "Best Hora." It lasted for about 25 minutes with just about everyone on their feet, clapping, circling and enjoying themselves. I've actually never been in the center of a hora, as my bar mitzvah party was a small affair held at my family's house, so this was an entirely new and exciting experience for me. Standing in the middle of a giant circle with my bride, with everyone I know and love standing around us and being showered with confetti was amazing.
Many speeches and much eating followed, although little of the eating, as I've mentioned, was done by me and L. We stole nibbles from friends' plates as we made our way from table to table greeting everyone.
Someone asked us why we didn't do a receiving line. Let's do some math, shall we? 217 guests x an average of :30 greeting each guest in line = a receiving line almost 2 hours long. Any questions?
So, here we are making rounds:
Later, it was time for the moment that many grooms dread, one that most guys see as a part of the wedding meant only for them to live through, not actually experience. Like going to the florist or making the token appearance at a women-only wedding shower, I don't know too many men who actually look forward to their first dance and being the center of attention, at least when they have more in common with Fred Flintstone than Fred Astaire.
Weeks before the wedding, I had been in touch with Emily and Gabriella of Matrimony Mony. The two women have built a business choreographing wedding dances for nervous couples who want to spice things up a bit.
After meeting with Emily and Gabriella over drinks to discuss our personalities and what we were looking for, they took our song (Peter Allen's version of "The More I See You") and choreographed a dance which they taught us a week later. A videotape of the choreography allows couples to practice at home without instruction.
So, we were a little nervous to pull off the choreography and ran outside shortly before we were supposed to start to run through the steps.
When we were called up for our "first" dance, I must say that we brought down the house. I don't think anyone expected the moves we put down, since most people are used to the slow foxtrot of a million love songs. The dance had a little of L's goofiness and some of my more laid-back style. Emily and Gabriella, thanks for helping us do something that really reflected our personalities.
It was clear sailing from there on out. L and I had few responsibilities left and simply focused on having a good time.
Now, you might be wondering if anything went wrong during the reception, as that's typically the time when most brides and grooms find something to complain about: a drunk uncle, a late DJ, or not enough food. We had none of those problems. But one thing did pop up and when it did, the only thing we could do was laugh.
The band, an excellent group headed by Stuart Rosenberg, played "I Will Survive." As many of you may remember, that song was one I wanted to put on our do-not-play list. I say "wanted to" because it turns out I had forgotten to include it on the list I had sent to Stuart. Still, they were great musicians and didn't play the songs I had remembered to put on the list. After all that planning, the one mistake that should happen during our wedding reception turned out to be mine.
The dancing continued and slowly people began to leave as the hour grew later and people had planes to catch or long drives home. If there was one other mistake during the wedding, it was that we did not properly warn the caterer and the band that we weren't doing any sort of cake cutting ceremony with L and me mushing bits of icing into each other's faces. We had wanted the cake to simply be served so that people could eat it at their leisure. But because we hadn't told them that we had wanted to do that, dessert got a late start. The cake was delicious (I'll try to post a picture as soon as I have one), which is a good thing because we probably have an entire third of it left. We'll be eating it at anniversaries for the next 300 years.
So, if our only gaffes were a song that shouldn't have been played and cake that hardly got eaten, we did okay. In fact, I think we did great and never had a better time in my life. The smiles on the faces of my parents, L's family and the rest of our friends said it all.
In the end of it all, in case you are wondering how it all turned out, we still were married.Posted by The Groom at September 9, 2004 02:23 PM