Friday, April 18, 2008

The Big Day, Part 3: We partied until we all fell down

Parts 1 and 2

As soon as the ceremony was over, we hugged and kissed each other some more, and then Holla and OF came over to hug us. People were hugging and kissing and congratulating us and I don't really remember who all I spoke to or what anyone said, because there were so many. I was really overwhelmed.

The PA system was lugged up from the beach to the great room and re-set up (thanks, Simon!) and while people mingled, drank wine and beer, and ate breads and cheeses and gourmet crackers and fruit and hummus and pita, we took a few more formal photos (both sets of parents with the b&g). Afterward, we wandered around and greeted more people, and someone handed me a glass of white wine (probably one of the catering staff). It was tasty. I never got to eat any of the appetizer-y stuff, but I am told it was good.

Dan and I went inside to remove the pretty flower from the top of the Princess cake and ate it, then tried to put our cake toppers on there. They didn't last very long - not enough room, too heavy, and so we ended up with a mangled cake and mini-Dan lost his head. Oops!

Eventually the salads (greens, citrus segments, and pumpkin seeds with a citrus vinaigrette) were all plated, so everyone found their escort cards and brought them to their tables. One thing that didn't work so well in the damp? The table cards, which weren't on cardstock (just heavy paper) and so they didn't stay upright. I had made table card holders out of dowels and wine corks and hot glue, but they ended up not being used and just sitting on the tables.

See table sign, sadly flopped over.

We had a most excellent emcee, who got things rolling and did just the right amount of announcing. We could not have asked for a better person to do it. Here he is, showing what a real man wears under his kilt.

OF's parents left and came back with a borrowed space heater, which a cousin's boyfriend helped maneuver into place. It helped warm everyone up, and OF made some jokes about it melting the tent. Luckily, that didn't happen, and everyone was glad for the extra heat.

After the salad course, the buffet was opened up, and our table went first. We had maple-soy glazed salmon, chicken in red bell pepper sauce, sauteed asparagus, and wild rice pilaf, primarily sourced locally and in-season. Dan and I got our food and sat to wolf it down quickly, spent some time chatting with the other people at our table, and then got up to work our way around and speak to everyone. Luckily, we made it all the way around and at least said hi to everyone there before people were finished eating. Then, Holla got up and made a most excellent toast (one regret from the day is that nobody videotaped the toasts, because they were fabulous, funny, touching, and wonderful). When he was finished, OF got up and made a toast. Then Dan and I got up and thanked everyone for coming. I got a little choked up during my bit, because of how emotional I was and how lucky I felt that so many people had done so much to help us in the months and days and hours leading up to the wedding.

After everyone was finished eating, Dan and I went off to take some more photos (in my flamin' chucks!) and Simon asked people to sign the guestbook. Which, over the course of the day, nearly everyone did! When we came back inside, we did our first dance to "If I had a Million Dollars" by the Barenaked Ladies (one of our songs) and because I was still wearing the chucks my dress was too long and I was worried I'd trip. After a minute or so of dancing, we'd asked that our friends and family join in, and many people did.

Then the party really got started, though not as many people danced as I would have expected. I guess it's just hard to get into dancing when it's light outside and all you've got to lubricate you is wine and beer. Oh, well. The people who did dance seemed like they had a good time, even the babies. Early on, I did a dance with my sisters to "I'm gonna be (500 miles" by the Proclaimers (another meaningful song) and they taught me the dance that everyone did at camp; they must have started doing it after I left because I never learned it, but it wasn't difficult.

Soon after that, Dan and I cut our little princess cake and fed it to each other. There was no mooshing of cake in either face; we had agreed beforehand that this was something neither of us wanted. The caterers cut up all the cakes and everyone got to eat it. The cakes were so popular, in fact, that when we brought the leftovers up to the house for the afterparty, there were only four small slices left out of all 3 cakes!

Eventually the sun came out and many people went outside to warm up. Some people enjoyed their cake and wine and visited, while others went on a boat ride. I could tell that there were many people reconnecting and others meeting new friends. Lots more photos were taken, both of us and of our guests. My extended family (mom's side) took a photo together, which may be the only one in existence from the last 20 years!

It seemed as though people were having a good time. I tried to get around and chat with as many people as possible. Dan and I took some photos on the dock with Leah, which I'm glad we did because they turned out really nicely.

Most people left by around 3 or 4 and the caterers had cleaned up everything but the wine glasses still in use, so those of us who were still there gathered up the rest of the glasses, did some light cleaning, and packed up the flowers, wine, smartwater, and keg to haul up to the rented house. Those last few minutes just enjoying the sun and spending time with our friends were some of my favorites of the entire day. Also, Simon brought both a funny hat and a flask, and Bequi brought some kitty ears. Meow!

Most of us walked up the hill to the house, while Leah and Simon drove the keg and some of the other things. We unloaded everything (well, I helped some, but mostly I was taking off my wedding dress and changing into something a little less restrictive). I was also given a lei, but I'm not sure who gave it to me. We all kind of sat for a few minutes and relaxed, chatting a bit about the day. We opened a couple of bottles of prosecco and poured it for our friends who had accompanied us thorugh the end of the day - Bequi, Simon and Leah, Cil, Monkey. Eventually some of the people who had stayed at the house (EEK, Zipp, etc.) came out to join us. Soon, guests started to arrive at the afterparty, many of whom had changed into more casual clothing. Dan prepped the grill, while I sliced bell peppers, put out the cheese and buns we'd bought at costco, put out the condiments, and dumped some chips and salsa into bowls (hooray for rented houses with fully equipped kitchens!) and put them out in the living room area.

I also sliced and juiced some of the lemons Leah and Simon had brought up from their yard. Leah made simple syrup and finished the lemonade. It didn't get made in time for the wedding, but there was lemonade on the wedding day. Hooray! And once it was finished, I had myself a tasty beverage of lemonade with vodka and a girly straw. MMMM.

More people arrived, our music was playing, and suddenly the house was full. Scarlett's boyfriend took over the operation of the grill, with some assistance from other manly types, my mom and her friends hung out, Dan's family hung out, our friends and loved ones all just kind of did more enjoying of each others' company, and finally the food was ready. So we started eating. It was hard to make myself eat because I was so tired at that point, after so many hours and days of being "on." We had forgotten to bring up the leftover food from the club, so Lissa and Holla went to get it, and more people got to eat. I am told some of it was taken by Dan's aunt to feed the relatives for the next couple of days, and there was still lots left over the next morning. At one point I found myself doing the twist with Dan's uncle, which was fun and also made me realize that I was about to collapse. I was the most tired I'd ever been in my life, I think.

So Dan and I left our own (after) party, far earlier than we'd expected to leave. But we had to check in to our B&B, a lovely place in Cloverdale I'd driven by for years but never seen inside. I am told the rest of the party was a lot of fun, and that dancing and merriment went on for hours. I wish I could have been there. Instead, we made it to the B&B just in time, hauled our stuff inside, and collapsed in the gigantic bed. Despite my bone weariness, it still took me ages to get to sleep because I was trying to process everything in my head, and it wasn't going to happen all in one night.

It was a good day. We had a great wedding and could not have asked for anything better.

The End

Thanks to Leah, Bequi, Ginny and Curtis/Lissa for the photos. More here and here.


Sara said...

YAY!!! It was super, super fun!

yournamehere said...

Looks like everyone had a blast.

Anonymous said...

It was beautiful and inspiring and memorable and all that, sure, but most of all, it was just plain FUN. I'm glad you guys enjoyed yourselves as much as we all did!