Most exciting, however, was the long awaited arrival of our engagement party. Dave and I had a FABULOUS time, and we were ecstatic that so many of our friends and family were able to make it, many who had to travel a long way or give up other exciting summer plans to be there.
While the engagement party was an "event" in its own right, another way to think about it is as practice for the actual wedding. There was real planning involved, enough so that the aftershock resulted in me wasting the remainder of the summer lolling around our condo in recovery from all the work and time spent with my mother. We had to find a venue, choose a menu, book a DJ, design centerpieces, package favors, and find "the dress." Ambiance, food, and entertainment...the essentials for any good party.
And booze. Lots and lots of booze. When the drunk men in my family pose for a classic guinea line-up, lifting their pant legs in Rockette fashion, then you know your bartender earned his tips.
Anyway, I suppose I should share my new found knowledge on vendors and party planning. The party was an engagement gift from my parents, so it was more elaborate than if Dave and I had tried to throw it for ourselves. We checked out a few places, but finally settled on Marco Polo Ristorante in Downtown Brooklyn. It has a private party room, the food is delicious, and the people there were super accommodating. Plus, there is this enormous stained glass ceiling depicting these god awful, puffy haired angels peering down from the sky at us revelers below. The whole scene is so tacky that it's kind of spectacular...hideous in a way where you can't stop looking at it and finding new things to laugh at.
They look like an 80's hair band from heaven.
The centerpieces were fan-frickin'-tabulous! We ordered them from the same florist my sister used for her wedding, Flowers by Emil on 18th Avenue and 73rd Street in Brooklyn. The woman, Phyllis, who lives in the shop (or at least she must live in the shop because she's always there, and the poor lady always looks exhausted) is amazing. She, unlike my mother, does not find my excessive color ideas to be extreme, and goes above and beyond what you expect. I showed her a few pictures of centerpieces that were out of our price range, but she somehow found a way to mimic the look while still keeping the cost down.
She put lemons in the bowl. LEMONS! :)
(An emoticon is appropriate here, for lack of efficient words to describe my happiness and satisfaction with the service.)
We went with the same DJ my sister used for the wedding as well. His name is Peter Agnotti, and he's really good and on top of that has unbeatable prices. We didn't hire an MC, deciding to save those bells and whistles for the real shebang.
The favors were the most talked about item of the evening. Quite honestly, it's going to be impossible to top the awesomeness of this favor at the wedding, so I don't think we're even going to attempt it. The concept for the favor was actually my Dad's idea. There was a custom designed pint glass with a picture of an electric guitar that read "LOVE ROCKS," packaged with two bottles of various New England craft beers and a bag of mixed nuts. We slapped custom labels with our grinning mugs on them and a message that read "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. Thanks for helping us celebrate."
It might have been my Dad's idea, but I did all the work to design and order the supplies, and my mother did all the work to wrap it all up and make it look pretty.
Again, practice for the real wedding. Other people give super ideas...bride and MOB stress out and argue about the details and execution.
It was my idea to wrap it in orange. But that shouldn't surprise anyone.
All in all, although the planning was stressful and tedious at times, I kind of like this stuff. I'm a list maker; there is satisfaction in writing out page after page of daunting tasks and then violently crossing them out one by one as you gradually affirm to the universe just how awesome and indestructible you are.
The "Write Out-Loud" Sharpie ad campaign is directed at people like me.
What neither Dave nor I were prepared for, however, was the amount of time we spent taking pictures. There are about 20 pictures of us plastered around Facebook with tired fake smiles on as we desperately tried not to look at the drinks we were not drinking while taking all of these God forsaken pictures.
By the end of the night (after several of the aforementioned drinks), we stopped trying to hide the fact that the picture-taking process was defeating us.
So please, future wedding guests, I beg of you: be merciful in when you snap our photo. On my wedding day, I am a declaring a "NO POSED PICTURES MORE THAN ONE HOUR INTO THE RECEPTION" rule. Take my picture while I'm sober and my desire to be the center of attention still outweighs my desire to cut a rug and throw my sweaty hair into a ponytail.
Can we shake on that?
Thanks in advance.