Our Wedding: Reception

After the wedding, we all headed over to the reception, which was just down the street, at the hotel where out of town guests were staying. We were trying to make it easy for our guests, and we were so happy when that worked out. Eric and I collected all of our things, and he drove us over in our rental car. We had decided against a limo because it wasn’t really a priority for us, but when we went to rent the car, the agent insisted on upgrading us to a Cadillac for a seriously discounted fee. The best of both worlds! I remember getting into the car (tricky in my dress!) and then just looking at each other, not being able to believe we were married! When we got to the hotel, we found that the doors to the hall were still locked, and our awesome photographer said she would run upstairs and get them opened, and she did! The wedding party entered to Europe’s “The Final Countdown” as a playful tribute to the greatest show ever (and one Eric and I watched the whole way through when we first started dating): Arrested Development! Walking through those doors into a room full of people who loved us was one of the greatest feelings ever. I feel like throughout the whole day, I kept being reminded of why we have weddings in the first place: because there is truly nothing better than joining your life with the person you love the most, and having all the people who are most special to you there to share the joy.

After we were all seated, my dad made a sweet toast and welcome to everyone. I love that there is a high chair in this picture. We were so excited about all the little ones being there!

Fr. Charlie was going to give a blessing for the food, but he gave us so much more than that. He explained that in the early days, the church was associated with the hearth, and that the church was wherever its people lived. He said that now that Eric and I were establishing our home together as people of God, the church would always be there. This moves me more than I can possibly say, and I couldn’t not share it. He was giving  us little gifts like that all day long.

When dinner began, our music started, and I kept forgetting we had chosen it all and leaning over to Eric and saying, “Can you believe they’re playing this? I love this song!” It was awesome. Eric’s best man and my sweet Besfrinn both made us beautiful toasts, and we are so grateful to them.

Then it was our turn to stand and thank everyone for loving us and supporting us and for coming from so far to be with us. We also thanked our parents for providing such amazing examples for us. Eric’s parents and my parents were married only a few months apart over 30 years ago, and they inspire us every day with their beautiful love and friendship and their commitment to continuing to learn and grow together and as individuals. It means the world to us to have them in our lives.

It is certainly true what they say about wedding receptions: they fly by. But on the other hand, we crammed an awful lot of fun stuff into a few hours. After dinner we had left ourselves time to just go around and say hello and thank you to everyone, and even though in a perfect world, we would have gotten to everyone, I am still grateful for all the conversations we were able to have.

One of the highlights of the reception for me was that Eric and I had put together a slideshow of pictures set to a few of our favorite songs. Maybe even better than watching us slowly grow up, become our own selves, and then meet each other was the actual process of choosing the photos. I love Eric’s baby pictures and was happy for them to be displayed to a wider audience!

Then it was time for our first dance, to Ben Folds Five’s “The Luckiest,” which makes me cry every single time I hear it. Holy moly.

And then I danced with my sweet dad to “My Girl,” and he revealed to me that he had secretly been taking dance lessons to do this dance with me. He loves me so much it breaks my heart. Little did he know that I don’t really know how to dance either, but just wing it most of the time! We had a hilarious and wonderful time.

Eric danced with his mom to Joan Baez’s “Forever Young.” So sweet.

After a bit more dancing, it was already time to cut the cake. We discovered that it was not exactly in the flavors we had ordered, but we didn’t care. It was delicious, and there was nothing on earth worth getting upset about. I am just glad we made sure we had a piece. And that we had agreed beforehand not to smear each other with it!

And finally, it was time to tear the club up! I love to dance, and I wanted to make sure that everyone else felt comfortable dancing too. Eric and I were definitely the first to the floor, and we loved hearing all the songs we’d chosen.

We had so much fun dancing with Eric’s little cousins! We had a circle of five or six of them going at one point. It was a blast!

This is Eric’s baby cousin Mary. She is so precious. I hope that years and years from now, I will be dancing at her wedding.

I was also really excited to dance with my little brother, who knows how to have a good time! When an old school hip hop song came on, I was trying to drag him to the dance floor when he informed me that he had danced so hard he had busted the button on his pants! Way to give it your all, hermano!

And I loved dancing with all my Oberlin friends, who had come from all over the country and rented a house for the weekend. I love them so much.

It was also awesome to see so many of our friends from Newman in Berkeley, many of whom knew Eric long before I did, but who welcomed me with such kindness. I am grateful to be able to call each and every one of them my friend as well.

Before we knew it, it was time for our last dance. Everyone came downstairs to blow bubbles and wave goodbye to us as we headed to The Peabody for the night.

Our awesome photographer came downtown with us to do some portraits as the sun was setting, and they are some of my favorites.

When we had finished with the shoot, Amy asked us to make our “We did it!” faces, and this is what we did! I have been thinking so much about our wedding in these past few weeks, and this is the conclusion that I have reached. It was not the best day of our lives because nothing went wrong or because of the flowers or the food or the dress. It was the best day of our lives because we gave our lives to each other. And I will be celebrating that for the rest of my life.

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