Friday, September 4, 2015

Wedding! Part 2 - Reception

So to continue with activities on the wedding day (as noted before, it was a very long day) -- after Michael and I went to take some portraits in Nolita with our photographer (where we bumped into no less than THREE! other wedding parties - clearly that was the spot for a Saturday August wedding), we headed to India House for the reception.  We made it to the cocktail hour only a few minutes late, which is really not so bad.  I was determined not to miss too much of the party -- while I love pictures and all, I really didn't want to miss time with all of these people who had made it, many from very far away, in our honor.

I liked the venue because it was essentially a big house, to be used exclusively for us and our guests to hang out and explore. 
With one of my friends who flew in from Hong Kong!
We had hired a duet of Juilliard musicians for the cocktail hour (to be honest I am not sure if they were properly heard over the din of people talking and taking pictures and the general hubbub), but oh well.  They hopefully added to the general hum of happiness and liveliness.

I didn't make it very far into the cocktail hour before I partook in a shot of whiskey (yikes!) with my Princeton friends.  As my friend said, this shot (both the picture and the drink, I guess!) is "So. Princeton."
Before we knew it, cocktail hour was finished and we were seated for dinner.  I had really wanted to incorporate the idea of our travels into the dinner, so we made seating escort cards that corresponded to table names of cities Michael and I had been to together.  Each table name also contained a little story of our experiences during our travels.

Our guests were started off on either the lobster bisque or the goat cheese salad, followed by a mezze course of ziti in a flavorful tomato sauce.  The entree was steak and scallops, paired with grilled asparagus and a cauliflower cheese gratin.  A good New York meal.
There were two types of flower arrangements, one in a golden bowl, slightly elevated from the table,
and the other one being a floral "wreath" around stately brass lanterns. 
I quite like asymmetry, and I wanted to break up the space in the room, so it felt fitting and proper to mix up the floral arrangements a bit. 

(I just have to gush a little bit about my florist (Amy from Bourgeon).  I thought she did a really amazing job.  She was so responsive, professional, calm, cool and collected.  She completely understood my vision of how I wanted the arrangements to feel organic and not very fussy.  And girlfriend could not have nailed it better with those brass lanterns.  I may be biased because I am so predisposed to like flowers anyway, but I really am in awe of how she handled it all. Thank you, Amy!)

Before I knew it, it was time for speeches.  

Pretty early on, Michael and I decided that we would be the ones to give speeches at our own wedding.  For Michael, it meant a lot to him (because he knew it would mean a lot to me and to my parents) to give a heartfelt speech to my family and family friends, entirely in Chinese.  For me, I just wanted a chance to express my gratitude, to all the people who have played such a loving and meaningful role in our lives.   It was amazing to be at the center of attention of a party like that, to look around and see how many people had congregated for us.  It really felt tremendous.  We knew it was a destination wedding for nearly everyone, including for all of Michael's family, and I know New York City is not always the easiest -- and it is definitely not the cheapest. 
Michael's wedding speech was an act and labor of love that may go down in the annals of family lore. I know it had been stressing him out quite a bit (and for good reason, because the speech was about three-four-five minutes long (give or take), and, truly, this language is really, impossibly, I-want-to-give-up-before-I-start, hard), but he absolutely rocked it.  He had everything memorized.  He hit all the right tones.  He got laugh lines!  At the end, someone yelled out in Chinese, "So how is your English?!"  My mom said he did "marvelous," which is praise alone worth singing about. 
Applause all around!
The rest of the evening progressed seemingly at the speed of light.  At some point, we did a cake cutting, where we were very docile (I think that might have disappointed some of our onlookers -- sorry!) -- the only exception being when Michael was supposed to feed me my piece of cake and faked me out by eating it as well.  Oh, I've married a comedian…

The cake consisted of a base layer of fraisier with fresh strawberries, followed by a mid layer of chocolate mousse, then a layer of passion fruit, finally topped by another layer of fraisier.  Can you tell that we were indecisive when it came to the cake tasting?
Eventually the dance floor opened up, the glow sticks came out (a great tradition of Michael's family; these come out at every big event, and especially at weddings!) and I changed into my red qipao. The dress was everything I hoped it would be - I am so very happy with how it turned out!  But those pictures will have to come later because I don't yet have any of me in it.

The night proceeded with Michael's and my first dance, followed by a dance with me and my dad, and then just lots of fun on the dance floor until, all too soon, the party was over.  

Reluctant to have it all end at 11 pm, we encouraged people to continue at an after party at a bar down the street, where I was cajoled into chugging a beer to the Tower song ("Here's to Allison, she's true blue…" - I hadn't heard that in a very long while!) and where Michael and I stayed until way late.  We  eventually walked (sleepwalked?) back to the Ritz in Battery Park, where we spent our wedding night.  

It was so fun.  And if you were with us that night, I hope you really had fun too.


  1. YAY! I am loving these recaps, thank you so much for doing them and making me feel a tiny bit like I was actually there in body instead of just spirit :).

    1. Of course! I so wish you had been able to be there in person! :)