We got to Drew, and spent some time enjoying the beautiful weather. Then we spent some more time, since the photographer took quite some time to get there. By then most of us were complaining of sore feet, so the mounting block at the side of Mead Hall was quite welcome as a seat. The catering staff did eventually bring out appetizers, and WATER!, and we all watched the little flower girl playing. She was very cute, and well-behaved for her age, and she had decided that lurse was her friend.
Once the photographer did arrive, the pictures didn't take very long, and we sneaked up the back stairs so we could be ready for The Grand Entrance. I'm not sure how grand it ended up being, but palingyuan and oidhche certainly did look good descending to the music from the throne room scene at the end of Star Wars. Then there were the obligatory first dances.
And then, there were the toasts. palingyuan's dad went first, and his was short and sweet. Then it was my and demongrey's turn. And the only positive thing I can say about it is that daernhelm gave us a great introduction (he did a great job as MC all night long, incidentally). We worked so hard to come up with a toast that was witty and appropriate and fun, and we didn't manage to deliver it. I didn't bring my notes up with me, trusting that we both knew what we were doing. demongrey started in the middle and then froze, and I couldn't manage to recover because I wasn't mentally in the right place. I was, and continue to be, so terribly embarrassed. I let myself down, because I know I can do better than that. I failed demongrey when he was counting on me, because part of the whole point of my being up there was to cover for him when he froze (which we both knew was likely to happen). Worst of all, I did not do my very best for oidhche and palingyuan. It is my hope to eventually reconstruct the toast as it should have been, and give them a copy, so they can see what they should have heard.
At any rate, I drowned my shame in water and wine, and a certain amount of whine as well. Dinner was... not bad. I've had better, but I've had worse as well. The cake, on the other hand, was exquisite. pinkythemoose does really amazing work. I wish I'd gotten to try the other cake as well.
And then came the dancing. It's funny that the one place I eventually overcame my shyness is on the dance floor. I just enjoy dancing so much that I'm not willing to give it up just because I don't look good, or because my reaction speed is too slow to keep up with the beat. Besides, as I told blackfog while dancing with him - we looked every bit as good as (for example) johnstevensaul and leftsphenoid, because we matched. I got to dance with the bride, the groom, the flower girl, and nearly everyone else. In fact, I can only think of one dance that I wanted and didn't get, and I was having too much fun to remember it and do something about it. I must say, it's kind of odd to realize that my group of friends has more men that like to dance than women... I hope everybody else had a good time, but for once I wasn't worrying about it. I just relaxed and enjoyed the moment.
Finally, we all assembled out on the front steps, and the bride and groom departed to the Disney Main Street Electrical Parade. Or, at very least, they departed to the street - the details of a getaway vehicle had never been determined. Eventually amy_pearlman drove palingyuan back to the hotel. oidhche stayed behind, and eventually I went with him and blackfog and demongrey back to the apartment so they could change, as by then I was one of the only people there with the keys.
For many weddings that would have been the end, but in this case there was a post-reception party back at the hotel. I actually missed most of it, since after waiting for the boys to change and going to the hotel, I went upstairs to get changed myself and help clean up the hotel room. By the time I dragged myself downstairs, I'd missed most of the excitement. Of course, I was just about out of energy by then anyway. When I got there, it appeared mostly to be a case of waiting for the rest of the family to give up and go to bed.
Then we went on the happy nostalgic diner run. Much silliness abounded; around the third time someone said, "Hey, who let you two sit together?" I pointed out that the same could be said all the way around the table. I think that indicates that it was a good mix of people. I would try to explain some of what went on, but like all such gatherings, some of it would only make sense to the people who were there (and some of it wouldn't make sense even if you were there. Like leftsphenoid laughing hysterically after something I whispered very quietly and refused to repeat).
Around 3 AM, it was time for lurse to drive oidhche and palingyuan to the airport, so the party broke up and we headed our separate ways. You'd think that after all this time I could manage to get between Summit and New Providence without incident, wouldn't you? We ended up taking the scenic route. Eventually everything went as expected. At a little after 4, I closed my eyes for what was going to be a very short night's sleep.