By the time the reception came to a close, the cupcakes had been devoured, the candy buffet had been cleared out a dozen or so bottles of wine had been emptied. The in-between time is where the good stuff happens.
Aside from the food, our reception was full of laughter and celebration. Exactly what we needed.
Our officiant, Rosemary, sporting one of the photo booth props. Seriously, get an officiant you can laugh with. It worked wonders for us.
As unique and nontraditional as our wedding was, traditional and wonderful things remained standing during our reception. We had speeches. Heartfelt ones and hilarious ones. One in particular which will stand out forever in which my father, along with my cousins, brother, and sister, threatened Mr. FP's life with a dozen soccer balls.
To understand that one, you would have had to experience the first Thanksgiving dinner Mr. FP had ever spent with my family. It happened to be a perfect day for playing soccer that day and, being the soccer fiend that he is, Mr. FP decided to join in a not-really-a-game game of soccer on our front long with my cousins. Somewhere along the way, he recieved a blow with the soccer ball in a face courtesy of my cousin which broke his glasses in two. Entirely in two. To the point where he walked around like Harry Potter for a week with tape wrapped around the nose piece of his glasses.
This is the story that my father meticulously recreated for our guests during the reception in order to emphasize his desire that Mr. FP treat me properly in our married life. At the end of his speech, all of my cousins and siblings gracefully stood up and took out the soccer balls that had been hidden beneath their seats in order to remind Mr. FP of the bodily harm which awaits him should he cause me any heartache.
I laughed until I cried.
As far as I'm concerned, this takes the cake as far as father-of-the-bride speeches go.
And, of course, the obligatory traditional of tapping glasses to get the bride and groom to kiss was in full force that evening as well. Although, our wedding put a funny twist on it since we didn't actually use glass cups. Seeing people try to make a sound loud enough on the plastic wine glasses was hilarious.
Plastic drinkware? I know, I know, The Knot would cringe to hear this. Nevertheless, it worked perfectly for us. They were cheap and cheerful in a beautiful shade of blue. Plus, they were easy to clean up and we didn't have to worry about replacing any broken cups like we would have had to if we'd rented them.
In addition to the speeches, we were serenaded with a few verses of Taylor Swift by my precious little cousins. As if they hadn't done enough by helping with programs or acting as flower girls, they took it upon themselves to sing to us during the reception as well.
And that was it. The food was eaten. The wine was gulped. The cupcakes had been feverishly consumed. The candy buffet was empty (literally, empty, something Mr. FP is still bitter about because he didn't get to scoop any for himself).
There was no dramatic exit that signaled the end of the reception because we were spending the night at the cottage, so this gave guests the chance to periodically say their goodbyes to us. In addition to circling around the reception to visit each table, the individual goodbyes gave us a great opportunity to thank everyone for coming and to make sure we'd spent at least a little time with each person.
My older cousins and some friends were kind enough to act as shuttles for our guests since they had to park on the main road due to limited parking at the actual cottage. Although we'd been worried about how this would work, our guests responded extremely well and they knew who to find when they needed a ride back to the car. Friend valets rock.
By 9pm, most people were saying their last goodbyes and Mr. FP and I were more than ready for the day to be done. Although I understand the desire to dance the night away and party until 3am on your wedding day, that's just not us. We were ready to get changed and settle into the cottage's couch.
But, of course, we were in for one more giant surprise before turning in.
Remember that little hazard? In spite of the fact that I knew we would have an amazing wedding regardless of the weather, I had worried myself sick about the weather and we were blessed that it had help out all day. All day, that is, until around 8:30. At that time, the downpour of all downpours began and we were thankful to have tents. And let me tell you, it was a blessing. We'd been so warm all day that it was nice to be refreshed by the rain. In fact, Mr. FP promptly removed his silk tie and took the opportunity to stand in the rain for a solid 5 minutes.
Everyone always says that rain on a wedding day is good luck. But with our outdoor venue, I thought rain was the kind of luck we could do without. Thankfully for us, we got both. Sunshine for the ceremony, photos, and reception and a torrential downpour to cap off the day.
And despite all the opinions we'd received prior to the wedding about spending the wedding night at the cottage when other family members would be staying there, the cottage turned out to be perfect. Almost every person who found out that we weren't going to an inn or hotel for that night had some sort of adverse reaction: "but, you'll want to be alone" ... "you can't spend your wedding night at a cottage" ... "aren't your parents, sister, aunt, uncle, and cousin staying there that night too?"
Screw them. We didn't have to pack, we barely had to move. A simple walk across the lawn from the reception tent and voila!, the honeymoon suite. And the next morning, it was a 40 foot walk to some of the best swimming ever. Nothing could have been better for us, so I'm glad we didn't cave into other people's ridiculous expectations for our wedding night. It was, after all, our wedding night. Some people have a difficult time getting that. Idiots.