Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Wedding Reception

Laura and I had a very small wedding, so we wanted to balance it out with a bigger, funner reception. We wanted to get married on February 29, though, which was a Monday this year. Since many of our friends and family would have to travel here from out of town for the celebration, Monday did not seem like a good day for the reception. So, instead, we moved the reception back to the next weekend.

Laura and I are both pretty non-traditional, so the reception was really just a big party. Specifically, it was an outdoor barbecue at a grove run by a local dude ranch/resort. It was a really good time, and I'd like to recount as much as I can for posterity.

I arrived near sunset to find several people already hanging out. Our friend Ann was busy taking pictures while there was still light, and some of us got distracted briefly by an owl that flew through the grove.

Much of the early part of the festivities involved me attempting to personally greet everyone I knew who attended while the band set up and the food got cooked.

We hired my friend Robbie Benson and his band, the Super Soul Bros, to play during the event. Previous Fangamer weddings featured Robbie performing solo, jamming away on his keyboard, which was certainly entertaining. However, having seen the whole band perform many times, I knew I wanted to show people what they're really capable of. In the end, only four of the six possible members were able to come, but that was enough. The Soul Bros were awesome, and the ranch staff running the place apparently kept mentioning how good they sounded.

Although they're best known for the video game covers, the Super Soul Bros are just generally capable musicians with a wide repertoire of jazz and funk music outside of gaming, which they demonstrated over the course of the night. They're available for pretty much any event, if you can afford to fly them out your way. Or, better, if you live within driving distance from San Jose, CA. They also have incredible stamina, able to play for long stretches of time if needed. I'm pretty sure I've seen them play for about 8 hours in a single day before. At the reception, they only really stopped once pretty much everyone had eaten, at which point they grabbed some food themselves.

The Tanque Verde Ranch staff did a great job in that regard. The steaks especially were fantastic, and there was a good variety of other foods available: burgers, fish, chicken, corn on the cob, salads, baked potatoes, fruit, and so on. It was all pretty delicious.

During and after dinner, I got to meet several members of Laura's family for the first time, including her brother, James. Everyone seemed really nice, and they welcomed me to the family just as, I hope, my family welcomed Laura.

As the night wore on, people started taking advantage of the open bar more. People danced near the band, including little Iris, Reid's daughter, who I was happy to see seemed to be enjoying the festivities.

At some point Laura and I cut our cake while everyone else ate cupcakes and made s'mores by the campfires. Our cake was topped by a couple of our figurines: Laura's Samus Figma and my Krillin figurine (Buu Saga--with hair). We cut the cake together and were pressured into simultaneously feeding each other slices of cake.

I don't know much about wedding protocol, but I do know that, when the time comes to shove cake into your new spouse's mouth, you have two options: play it straight and awkwardly eat cake out of each other's hands, or shove the cake into your spouse's face to show the world what you think of tradition. Oddly, in my experience, smashing the cake into your partner's face seems to be even more traditional than the alternative. Still, awkwardly feeding my wife cake didn't feel right at that moment, so I went for the messier option. Laura proceeded to chase me around until she got her revenge, and soon we both proceeded to a sink to wash cake off of our faces.

Eventually the night devolved into a Soul Bros-backed karaoke night. Dan did a rendition of Weird Al's "Headline News," I did a rendition of "Paradise Line," Iris did "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," and Adil led a group chorus of the "Pokemon Theme Song."

Eventually it came time to shut everything down and start packing up. Friends had to leave in the morning, family had to get to bed, and Laura and I had an early plane to catch.

We said our farewells, packed up our stuff, and headed home. The night was restless after that, my mind too filled with thoughts of everyone who came to wish us well and of the future we'd be sharing. It was a good day, though.

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