Before you start to think that we’re just selfish and greedy or hopeless romantics who can't stop getting married, please bear in mind that our motivations are purely altruistic. We want to be able to share this experience with people all over the country, all over the globe, really. While the wedding in Bamberg was amazing, I don’t think I would have been able to bear not having my grandparents and other family members present at some wedding-type activity; Jon feels the same way. Hence, a party…er, reception, in both of our hometowns remedies that conundrum. What a difficult cross to bear.
Thanks to video technology, we were able to show highlights from the wedding in Bamberg so that guests would feel like they were there. (And thanks to having too much time on my hands due to unemployment, I was able to put together a slide show of pictures and video as well.) Everyone else came for the cake.
I had heard that when you have a reception after a “destination wedding,” the mood is much more casual and relaxed. True. However, this was the stage that involved most of the planning that turns ordinary women into “BRIDEZILLAS.” Venue, photographer, caterer, DJ, cake, decorations, flowers, hair, etc. Even though I didn’t feel that way, I totally understand why couples are ready to just have the whole thing over with when they start getting into the nit-picky details.
We were very fortunate to find great vendors (wedding lingo—I read too many back issues of Modern Bride), so if anyone in the KC area needs recommendations, I would be happy to share. Perhaps it wasn’t the fanciest or classiest affair, but since we still haven’t figured out the validity of charger plates or seat covers, we were really only concerned that our guests had fun. In that we were successful, I think. And if not, everyone we know is too nice to tell us otherwise…even those who got stuck cleaning up afterward (a huge thanks—you know who you are!).
Speaking of help, now is the perfect time to “publicly” thank everyone who helped with the reception. Thank you to my lovely cousins, friends, and assorted relatives who came early to help set up—there is no way it would have gotten done without you. Thank you for arranging a beautiful bouquet, decorating a May Pole-esque cake, doing my make-up, taking care of the adult beverages, and for dancing the night away. Thanks also to those who gave advice along the way and answered all of my ridiculously wordy questions. And of course, thank you to everyone who attended, especially those who traveled long distances. We really can’t express our gratitude enough, although we will continue to try.
It probably sounds redundant by this point, but we truly had a phenomenal time. I didn’t sit down the entire night and I didn’t want to stop and eat (a momentous occurrence), both of which are excellent indications that much fun was had. Okay, so it wasn’t exactly perfect—our first dance song was played sans words, we didn’t get to talk with everyone who was there or long enough to those we did get to talk to, the projector wasn’t quite loud enough, we almost forgot the blessing—but we don’t really roll that way (no matter how much of a perfectionist I am).
If there’s anything I’ve learned in the past few years, it’s that you can’t plan everything. Life is just going to happen. You have to embrace the good and learn from the bad. (End touchy-feely, philosophical wandering.)
For instance, how could we possibly plan for my younger brother to don homemade lederhosen, dance his way across the room, and do an impromptu polka with my grandma while we sang “Happy Birthday”?!?
Did we have any idea that the dance floor would fill up with people mimicking Pizza Hut, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and McDonald’s when the DJ played the “Burgerdance” song (a favorite at German fests)?!?
Would it have been reasonable to expect all of the grandsons and grandsons-in-law to serenade Grandma with a touching rendition of “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’”?!?
Could I have hoped for my grandpa to grace us with a more perfect blessing at the beginning of the night?!?
We certainly had no idea that we would be hoisting the tables in the air as we (well, really only Jon knew the words) sang and drank along to the German “Holzmichl” song…
You would think that after all that planning, preparation, and fun, we would be experiencing a bit of a let-down as we returned to “real life.” On the contrary. We have another reception to plan!