Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Rehearsal Dinner

Some of the ladies and I went to get our nails done, and some of the men folk went off to do whatever.  One needed a new vest because the other one was too small, and I think the rest went to Dave & Buster's to hang out with some kids who were there having a bar mitzvah party.  We actually ran into my high school music teacher, Mr. Ezell, at the nail place.  He was getting a manicure.  Love love love my small town ridiculousness.

I go back to the suite we have for our wedding night.  I was going to share it with my sister the night before the wedding, the same as we did for her and Jason's.  I spent an absurdly long time in the large bathtub shaving my legs, listening to music, and just chilling out.  Then downstairs to dinner!
All photos by Angie Gaul at milestoneimages.us

MomMom and PopPop
Married over 65 years
Still Cranky

My darling Cynthia with Chris

Chris' Uncle Bill with his two boys

Chris cutting into his groom's cake.  
His mother got it in Maryland and traveled the whole way with it on her lap in the car.

Elise & Jason
By the end of the night we had drank like 23 bottles of red wine
The one bottle of white that someone opened was still half full
I may have finished it

Just like old times
Chris pouring us all glasses of wine

My mother really loves to snuggle
My brother doesn't really

This looks so much like old times at RPI it's not even funny
Laughing so hard we're crying

Fancy Nancy and Bruce

The boys checking out the cake

Awkward Bruce hugs are my favorite
He seriously is adorable, he doesn't know where to put his hands
Doesn't know how much he should be hugging me
In my head I hear his internal dialogue going like this
"This is my son's fiancee, I really shouldn't be pressed up against her boobs.
She's kissing my cheek... WTF?"

Wedding Drama 3:  Besides my flipout about the nativity scene, which was entirely pre-wedding week, the rehearsal dinner was by far the biggest problem of the weekend.  The Viana is a Feng Shui crazy place, so their restaurant's menu is Asian/Italian Fusion.  They are so snooty and expensive there it really is ridiculous.  I don't think we would have chosen it, except they were willing to give me a really cheap rate on the rooms.  $99 a night for wedding guests is ridiculously hard to beat on Long Island.  Chris' Mom thought that every other hotel we brought her to was "in the projects," so we tried to up our game a bit, as they were the ones paying.  When they came to visit pre-wedding they stayed at the Holiday Inn by my house.  It was over $150 a night and they didn't sleep at all because they were too near the train.  Sorry guys, it's Long Island, we're in Queens, trains come by.  I can practically see the train station from my bedroom window at my parent's house, that's just how it is.  She even still thought the Viana was ghetto because there was a gas station across the street and we were even in like Garden City... anyway!

It is a really small restaurant, like it barely has a full kitchen, much of the food is made ahead of time as far as we could tell.  We ate there for dinner twice, and neither times was it particularly speedy, but the food was good, and we couldn't beat the convenience of not having to take the grandparents anywhere else in the car with wheelchairs, etc., so we had the dinner there.  The sales person at the Viana had changed like 3 times over the course of when we booked things to when they actually occurred.  The first woman was a complete pain in my ass, the second guy was great, but he didn't last long, then the third person ended up being their assistant who had actually be there all along and had dated one of my friends from high school.  Anyway, I went back and forth with them for a really long time about the menu.  It was an expensive place and I wanted to make sure everything worked out okay if I was going to be spending that much of my in-laws' money.  Their menu is Asian fusion.  Asian usually includes nuts.  My co-matron of honor, my cousin Jaclyn, is deathly allergic to nuts.  I had to be very careful to make sure things went to plan.  We were only using the Italian dishes off the menu, there were to be no nuts anywhere near our food.  Jaclyn wasn't even going to eat any of the food at the dinner, that would have been far too risky, she was going to be bringing her own food, but just had to be able to safely breathe the air in the dining room.  

The hotel guy had even talked to me in person earlier that day to make double sure that my cousin was still coming and that she wouldn't be eating anything.  I said yes, but still NO NUTS.  When we sit down to dinner our first course, a caesar salad is sitting at each place setting.  There are nuts on top.  Not only are there nuts on top, but it's not even a real caesar dressing, it's a nut based caesar dressing, like sesame or something along those lines.  Thankfully, Jaclyn hasn't arrived yet, but my best friend Libby's wife is also allergic to nuts, not to Jaclyn's extent, but enough to be very harmful.  I run over to him and all but smack the salad out of his hands.  I am PISSED.  The chef is literally right in front of me because they have no real kitchen, just a buffet window type thing, and I try to calmly explain what the problem is.  He says no one told him about the nuts, and that's just how their caesar salad always is.  So I run over to the hotel guy.  He says oh my fucking god wtf, basically, and I hurry to call Jaclyn, hopefully catching her before she gets there.  I ask her if she can even come to dinner now that there were nuts in the room.  She says she should be fine as long as they're not peanuts.  What kind of nuts are they?  Peanuts.  She is in the parking lot in the car with her husband and baby.  She can't come inside.  My matron of honor who was supposed to be giving a toast at dinner has to turn her car around and drive back home.  I cry.  We try to laugh it off, but my boss and his wife, who were not invited to dinner but were staying there that night are having a cocktail at the bar and are seeing me lose my shit.  I am horrifically embarrassed, and sad, AND mad.  Angie, who knows Jaclyn and my sister already from having photographed them for other occasions understands.  Takes a photo of the offending salad and sends it to Jaclyn.  We try to laugh about it.  Dinner goes on, and it is pretty damn good, but still.  The hotel guy comes up to me after, holding a copy of the menu we had agreed on.  He is so flustered trying to save his ass that he points to the salad description and tries to tell me that it says cashews.  I'm about to tell him that even if it did say cashews, that would have been passable, but they are peanuts, when I take a closer look at the menu.  It says croutons.  Idiot.  

When I return from our honeymoon I try to get some recourse from the hotel people.  They take off the two meals that our guests were unable to come and eat, but that's it.  My mother-in-law is pissed and lists off a bunch of other things that went wrong, trying to give me some ammunition to fight with them about.  It just makes me feel worse that the dinner was so sucky, that things were cold, and they spilled meat juice all over her dress.  I could have lived my life without hearing those important details.  I get sick of arguing with them on the phone.  I stop trying.  Life goes on.

Jaclyn understands that it's not my fault, but I'm still sad about it.  I try to get her to give her toast at the actual reception.  She refuses, but gives me the paper copy to keep.  All in all, still an enjoyable evening, but still quite the disaster.


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