Let me write the recap of the reception as my reception self –
Whee! Evelyn looks pretty! OMIGOD there's wine. And it tastes SOOOOO good. My tablemates rock. J is freaking hot. Evelyn looks so pretty! More wine? Mmmkay! God this food is good. Is it appropriate to lick the plate? Champagne? Prosecco? EVEN BETTER! WOOOOO!!!! The Ice Cream Sandwich table is the best EVAH! I think we should make promises to all stay in touch and go drinking like 4EVAH! More wine? Mmmkay! OMIGOD can I bathe in this fig-wine reduction that’s on the pork chop? While we’re at it can I mainline the savory brioche pudding? Why is it I am so tipsy and I’ve only drank one glass of wine? OOOOH! My table is SOO funny. The best man is so funny. SNIFF. Emma said the sweetest thing. WAAAH! HEEEEEEEE. Evelyn's father is singing Elvis’ “It’s Now or Never.” THIS IS THE BEST RECEPTION EVER!!!! OMIGOD. Evelyn’s father is forcing her and Rikel to dance! As he sings “I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You.” I CANNOT BREATHE!!!!! Why did Rikel make fun of Evelyn’s dancing? She and Rikel look sooooooo pretty on the dancing floor. The bartender is the nicest man on Earth. He just gave me the big bottle of Perrier so my liver isn’t permanently damaged by all the wine I’ve been drinking. I just got a hug from the groom’s mother! She’s the nicest lady on earth! I hope she doesn’t notice I am massively buzzed. Another YOOOOOGE bottle of Perrier. Thank you Mr. Bartender! Tomorrow I’ll owe you for my lack of a hangover.
So did anyone get the impression I drank a lot at the reception?
Here’s me recapping as my sober self.
1:00 pm After hitching a ride with the best man and the maid of honor who loathes him, we get to the reception which is going in full swing. I reconnoiter with J who tells me that he and the MC, Karen have everything set. The venue looks perfect. I hope this doesn’t give anything away but the reception was held at The Stained Glass in Evanston. I have to give the folks at The Stained Glass their props because this reception was perfect. The wine chosen was delicious, the service was warm, friendly, and efficient, and the food was once in a lifetime good. Malik, the manager on duty, worked with J and Karen to make sure everything was set and treated me, J, and Karen as folks who would help make the reception the best it could be, as opposed to hindrances and pains in his ass.
1:10 Servers are bringing out tasty nibbles on puff pastry. You can put pretty much anything on puff pastry and it will taste good. I scarf down five of them. Karen reminds everyone to sign the guestbook. The guestbook has holders for Polaroids and people can take a Polaroid and sign the guestbook next to their picture. Can I sing the praises of Karen the MC enough? No I can’t because she is a true rockstar. Her voice is able to be heard above the din of conversation without overpowering it. She’s already setting the tone of this fun frolic of a reception.
1:20 Rikel and Evelyn arrive. 10 minutes ahead of schedule. Could I love them even more? Karen announces the arrival and we all applaud.
1:30 I begin to herd folks into their seats. After there’s a critical mass of people seated, I find my seat at the Ice Cream Sandwich table. I find out that Ice Cream Sandwich is the couple’s “safe word.” It appears that Rikel is an excellent bullshitter who can tell outrageous lies with a straight face. When the phrase Ice Cream Sandwich is uttered, the couple has entered the no bullshit zone. This becomes even more appropriate when we end up being THAT TABLE. You know THAT TABLE. The one where everyone drinks a little to much, yells a little to loudly, and talks a little too dirty. J and I are surrounded by college friends of Evelyn’s and their significant others. We are truly THAT TABLE.
1:45 My wineglass is never empty. This will be a fun afternoon! The sassy server comes to take our order. J in his Southern way has already learned where they found the wine and where she grew up. He also finds out that Malik is from our neck of the woods. Lance, the boyfriend of Accomplished Writer Lady, sasses the sassy server. I order the calamari with gnocchi, the pork chop in a fig-wine reduction with brioche bread pudding, and the crème brulee sampler. J orders the crab cakes with avocado, the duck with polenta and cabbage, and the chocolate bombe.
2:00 Karen starts off the festivities by introducing Ella and Cupcake, the best man who will give their toasts. Our glasses are filled with some amazing prosecco. I am so glad they chose Prosecco which is lighter and fruitier than champagne which I always think has a metallic flavor. Sadly for Ella, Cupcake kills his toast. He talks about his friendship with Rikel and the weird code words Rikel uses. Cupcake talks about the need for no bullshit zones and how he had to declare one after Rikel announced his engagement to Evelyn. I can’t capture how crazy funny and affectionate Cupcake’s toast was but take my word for it, it was memorable. He thanks me for organizing the wedding and I give my best Miss America wave. Ella gives a wonderfully loving and heartfelt speech and everyone’s in tears.
2:10 And then it’s time for Evelyn’s family to give their toasts. Her brothers give these jokey, stream of consciousness toasts. They’re sweet in that awkward family way. And then comes the most awesome thing ever. Evelyn’s father stands up and says he learned to sing Elvis songs so that he could sing them at his daughter’s wedding. With a totally thick Chinese accent he croons Elvis’ It’s Now or Never. The Ice Scream Sandwich table loses its shit. We start screaming as if we are watching the Beatles. And then something awesomer happens. Father Wrong asks the couple to come on the makeshift dance floor (better known as the area in front of the bar) and make his dream come true. Yes, he wants to serenade the bride and groom for their first dance. There wasn’t supposed to be any dancing at the reception but Evelyn and Rikel are trapped. They dance like Fred and Ginger. I get misty watching him move her around the dance floor with gentleness and love. That quickly dissipates as our table screams lustily when Father Wrong sings “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You.” We give Father Wrong a standing ovation.. Father Rice can only meekly congratulate the couple and thank everyone who traveled to the wedding. It’s hard to top and Chinese Elvis impersonator. Karen asks if anyone else wants to make a toast. There is no way the Ice Scream Sandwich table isn’t all over that. I get the microphone and thank Evelyn for putting all of us in a table together. It’s a testament to the love they have that we’re all here rooting for them. I end my toast by saying that we vow to be the rowdiest table ever and scream “I’m throwing down the gauntlet RIGHT NOW!!!!!”
2:30 The food comes at it is excellent. I simply cannot believe how wonderful the food is. Seriously the best wedding food I have ever eaten and that includes my cousin’s country club wedding that had lobster AND filet mignon. The standout for me is the bread pudding which is completely original. Hearty and delicate at the same time.
3:50 After we have eaten. Karen introduces the traditional Asian tea ceremony. As neither the Bride, nor Karen, nor I were really told what the tea ceremony entails, Karen heroically tries to do color commentary on the proceedings. Evelyn and Rikel also look completely befuddled by what they are supposed to do. Karen does a great job under the circumstances by presenting the parents, uncles and aunts, and Grandpa Wrong. We all cheer for each of them. I am seriously giggling like a hyena and I hear Karen say “The tea ceremony symbolizes respect for the elders and…good luck…and BABIES!” She continues with the babymaking jokes and pretty soon all of the elders are cracking baby making jokes. The baby jokes turn into some kind of baby bidding as each elder predicts more and more babies for the newly minted couple. I grumpily turn to J and say “noone at OUR wedding was auctioning off our fertility!”
4:15 Rikel and Evelyn cut the cake. They give in to the urge to smash it in each other’s faces. Hilarity ensues. The cake is wonderful. Chocolate AND vanilla with a chocolate ganache center. Not too sweet with a light as air buttercream frosting.
4:30 The guestbook SLOOOOWLY gets passed around. Jessie, the groom’s sister, grumbles, “It’s like they’re signing their senior yearbook.” Did I tell you how much I love the Rices?
5:00 The guests file out and J and I take the loot to the bridal suite.
6:45 I am in the hotel Jacuzzi with Rikel’s mother, father, and aunt. They thank me profusely for organizing the wedding as we collectively get all pruny.
8:52 Emma brought KARAOKE REVOLUTION!!!!!!!! I finally break 50,000 singing Time After Time. Oh and the marriage license gets signed in the bridal suite’s bathroom.
10:14 We are shooed out of the room so that the bride and groom and get it on. By which I mean they will get some well deserved rest.
Congratulations, you two crazy kids. The world believes in you.