Was awkward. Of course.
I felt bad about ditching out on the ceremony (though I shouldn’t have!), so I showed up at the reception hall early to help set out drinks, etc.
Um, yeah, about that? Apparently, the plan was to keep all the guests locked out of the reception hall so the couple could be the first ones in. Like, I’m not making that up. That was the actual plan.
Let me recap here. The plan for their guests was attend the ceremony at 2, then float around a state park (taking advantage of the hiking trails and paddleboat rentals in our formal wear!!) until 6 pm, when the bride and groom planned to grace us with their presence.
Keep in mind, the invitation said the reception started at 5:30 but the couple didn’t plan to show up till 6:00. So, I guess, they wanted people to show up about 5:15/5:30 and wait outside till 6, after hanging around the park for the preceding 3 - 4 hours.
Need a bathroom in that 3-4 hours? There’s a public one on the beach. Need a drink or food in that 3-4 hours? There’s a snack shack on the beach.
I suggested to MotB that, typically, guests are, indeed, allowed into the reception venue before the couple, then applaud as the couple is announced. I saw a spark of recognition on her face: she was familiar with that custom, after all.
So, thanks to me, they opened the venue at 5:30 and people were allowed to get drinks and use the bathroom. Poor Homey—he’d been in a tux, outdoors, with no food or drink or bathroom, since 1:00 pm, traipsing around the park from photo shoot to photo shoot. All that so he could be in 3 pictures.
Anyway, we get inside about 5:30, Homey uses the bathroom and we each grab a drink. The venue was a little odd for a reception, with one big room for dining and an attached room that was too small to dance in, though they set up tables with boardgames in there. So, everyone’s hanging out in the boardgame room.
At 6, the couple pulled up, we went outside and applauded, though I don’t think most folks felt like it. Then we were rushed back into the small room to watch the couple’s first dance.
Everyone around the room looked shocked as 1) there was clearly not going to be a dance for anyone else, since there wasn’t room and 2) everyone was starving and expected to eat, as is the custom. It was all just for the photographer.
So, we watched the first dance, the daddy-daughter dance, and the mommy-son dance. Then we were herded back out of the venue so the photographer could take more pictures of the couple at the reception venue. Who needs pictures of their guests enjoying themselves anyway?
Everyone’s outside, looking confused and/or angry, and about 10 minutes la we were herded back indoors to watch the couple cut the cake.
Yep. We had to watch them cut the cake before any of us even got to eat because they didn’t want to pay the photographer to hang out for another hour (or even feed her, apparently!).
I swear, y’all, I’ve never been to a quieter reception. As soon as people got their food, the room went silent since most folks hadn’t eaten since noon (or before!) and it was nearly 7 before guests got to eat. I’ll tell you, though, they got the food right—it was good. Good thing, too, ‘cuz if it hadn’t been...
After dinner, the adults got to walk around (hadn’t had enough of that!) and the kids got to play boardgames for the rest of the reception. Yup.
I left at 8:00 because I didn’t want to get lost on the way out. I needed sunlight to be able to see all the street signs. Plus, I’d already spent enough time walking around a state park in a dress, thankyouverymuch.
Homey got lost on the way home, because he stayed till after dark.
BONUS: Yesterday, the bride and groom called us and asked us to pick them up from their hotel, since they’d forgotten their keys at the venue and Homey has a spare (we get to watch their cat this week, while they’re gone). Then they asked us for advice on what to bring for a tropical vacation. Everything Homey suggested was met with, “Well, that’s obvious.”
Cool. Enjoy your honeymoon.