Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Final Wedding Recap - Reception (and Recuperation)

For the final recap of Sister's wedding, I am choosing to bullet point the highlights.  There's simply too much to go through a chronological description of the events, and this way, I can focus on the funny.

~ My one sentence summary of the reception is as follows: "I'm off wine."  

~ Picture taking post ceremony consisted of Sister glaring at the photographer, either the MOH or myself blinking in a picture, the photog attempting to wrangle 6 girls, 1 flower girl, and nearly 25 boys into some semblence of posed / casual pic.  We took a few inside the Capitol building, and a few outside.  [My favorite is included in this post.]

~ The infamous trolley (the transportation from the Capitol to Monona Terrace for the reception) started out rocky.  The trolley drive was refusing to drive up close to the Capitol because he was trying to avoid the vans and stalls of farmers lining the Square in Madison (note to self... summer Saturdays in downtown Madison = hippies buying organic veggies at the farmer's market).  Anyhoo, after threats from my mother, the trolley guy got in line, and post ceremony was shuttling guests over to the Terrace whilst the wedding party suffered through photo agony.  By the time I arrived at the reception site, everything was fine, but I can only imagine the holy hell that would have arisen had any other trolley problems ensued.

~ Aunt #1 and Aunt #2 were in charge of set-up at the Terrace.  Despite dealing with a less than chipper staff, they pulled off their tasks fantastically.  It was not, however, until two days after the wedding, that we learned they had misplaced an entire pack of escort cards... approximately 50 of the groom's family (they rival the Kennedy's in terms of fecundity).  Before the clan showed up, the cards were located and properly arranged on the table in the cocktail area, but that could have been a hot diplomatic mess for Sister to deal with.

~ As hinted at earlier, I began my bridesmaid-ly drinking and mingling duties with a nice Riesling, and some distant family relatives.  Despite introducing a cousin-in-law of my mother's by the wrong name, I held my own in the small talk division quite well (I am planning to keep my amateur status for the Olympics).  

~ My grandpa met and chatted with my future in-laws for a substantial amount of time.  NavyGuy hinted that the conversation revolved around airplanes, and that no unpleasant childhood stories surfaced, but he could be lying.  (His parents also met the rest of my family; as far as I know, our wedding is still on.)

~ The wine continued.  (By 6:00, I was on glass #3)

~ The MOH put together a slide show of the bride and groom (which, incidentally, she was still working on on her laptop as we sat in the parlor pre-ceremony... it just wouldn't be a family photo project if it wasn't being finished dangerously close to the deadline!).  

~ Dinner was an awesome chicken saltimbocca (which the bride opted to remove the ham from; taste was still good, and she saved $1 per plate!), potatoes, and green beans.  Our head table made the (un)fortunate discovery that as wedding party members, we were allowed both types of wine at dinner (7:15pm - glasses #4 and 5).  A bridal party wine race commenced.  (For a bunch of college educated women, we sure can be dumb.)

~ In order to get the bride and groom to kiss, you had to tell a humorous or heartwarming story about the couple.  I of course, being halfway in the bag, volunteered to get the ball rolling with a story that hopefully explained Sister cutting her own hair as a young child.  I think I was trying to show her independence... the best I can hope for now is that I wasn't slurring, and that I got the groom's name right (again, NavyGuy swears I did fine...  I have a sinking suspicion that I will no longer be offered wine during holiday dinners at his home.)

~ Good cake.  Red velvet, with buttercream and fondant frosting.  According to the bride, it lacked the moistness present in her taste test months ago, but I moistened it with glass #6 and ate my own piece as well as the bride's.  Thanks sis. :)

~ Dancing began.  Bridesmaids shook their groove thang.  And then, the best part of the night... the great dress switcheroo!  Sister had roped me in as an accomplice as soon as she arrived in Wisconsin.  Only the groom and myself knew that she had purchased a saucy, short, Havana-Nights-esque red party dress to change into so she could dance the rest of the night away.  We snuck off to her room, switched outfits, moved some stuff up to the honeymoon suite, and prepared to make her grand re-entrance.

~ Needless to say, mom was shocked (I suspect slightly annoyed to be left out of the surprise), and Sister began kicking up her heels, visiting with Baltimore friends, etc., and generally having a great rest of the night.  [Again, check out the photos link in a different post to see all of this good stuff.]

~ By this point, the night was significantly blurry, and NavyGuy wisely ended my evening.  We stayed at his house that evening, because he had to get up early for his flight back to Florida (and he didn't want to share a room with my mom... such a chicken ;).  I crashed immediately when we got back, making my first mistake of neglecting the hangover precaution of water and crackers before bed.

~ Somewhere around 3:00am I woke up, and all I could think was, "Why is someone kicking me in the skull with steel boots, and how do I make them stop without opening my eyes or moving?"  This should have been a sign of how Sunday was going to go, but I eventually fell back asleep, only to get up again four hours later, to get NavyGuy ready to fly home.

~ I returned to the hotel around 9:00am in a sorry state.  I was wearing sweatpants, Navy hat, a green shirt proclaiming "Keg Security" (size XL), flip flops, and humiliation.  Despite brushing my teeth twice, my tongue still tasted like grapes and feet.  I had taken some drugs for the head, but they clearly had not yet kicked in, and my stomach was questioning the combination of three different types of wine.  When my mother opened her hotel room door, she said (loudly): "Oh.  Are we off wine now?"  A feeble nod, and I pushed her aside to crash into the nearest bed.  Had I had my wits, I would have run through McDonald's for an EggMcGrease sandwich, which would have started to solve my problems.  Alas, my only option was sleep.

~ I awoke again to a small child tapping on my head.  Had she not been a cute relative, she could have been at risk for a sharp slap.  People were arriving to say good bye (and I think, gawk at the "responsible, mature," 26-year-old wino lounging like a dying manatee on the bed). 

~ Long story short, I felt fine by 1:00 when we were driving home.  The hangover cure?  1) Chocolate (I munched on the stale puppy chow from the bachelorette party).  2) Gatorade (or any other powerade/vitamin water/etc variety available).  3) Grease.  As stated earlier, McBiscuit/muffin/sandwich works well, but in a pinch, get a king size bag of regular potato chips from a gas station.  I swear - if this does not stave off a headache, nausea, spinning, irritability, and feeling like your arms and legs are going to detach from your body - then you haven't had enough to drink :)

~ Sunday evening, we dined at the grooms' house and watched the newlyweds open their gifts.  I got quite excited at the sight of a portable pyrex dish set; Sister wasn't sure if it was dishes or some kind of fancy planter.  (Seriously, all things domestic are totally lost on her.  I'm still amazed she's able to clean her own clothes.  Cooking rice baffles her.  She can travel through a foreign country using only her language skills and charm to survive, but clean a window?  Not a chance.)  Other "fun" gifts: a 10 pound glass picture frame, and a Nativity set (for the atheists).  Actual FUN gifts: a beautiful, personalized wedding quilt from the groom's godmother in red, white, and black, and a small rat/elephant/buddha statue (it symbolizes harmony or something, but came from the adopted child of close friends, and has sentimental meaning).

And so concludes our mini series "Sister's Wedding Extravaganza."  Oh no, wait.  One more tidbit.  My mother rear ended me as we were driving out of the hotel parking ramp.  Apparently, waiting for my change from the high school parking attendant was extravagant and time-consuming.  (No one was hurt, no car damage - before I get an angry rebuttal from said mother.)  Alas, check one wedding off the list.  Sister and Brother-in-Law (and little puppy/"niece" Lucy) are living happily ever after in California.  Mom and I are still recovering, but we have to get better quick because...

...the countdown clock begins for next May... (according to I have 294 days...agh!!!)


Anonymous,  August 3, 2008 at 7:17 AM  


You look smoking hot and extremely trendy! I love the hair! And that actually is a bridesmaid's dress that you could wear again! Kudos to the bride!

Love, Macy's mom

historygirlie August 3, 2008 at 5:09 PM  

Thank you for the wonderful laugh with this post. I read it directly after my phone call regarding Athletic Director and "You're Fat" at the Fam party. You always know when I need a giggle!

And I must be full of raging hormones....your letter to apartment made me weepy even though you were writing to an apartment. It made me think of my dorm days...Ahhhh, 403 Breese Hall, UWO, I miss you. :)

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