This being LA, the reception was 35 minutes away from the Church. It was back near the hotel (which is also closer to where Rachel/Josh will live, I believe). The reception was at an Italian restaurant. Never did get the name of the place. Something & Something (two names). Could have been Alfredo & Tony Antonio & Giuseppe. Who knows, who cares. Found the place and probably won’t ever go back there again anyway (not because it was bad but simply unlikely to ever be back in Fullerton, LA and wanting an Italian place to eat).
We had to wait outside for about 20 minutes because they were not ready for us yet. When we did get inside, the tables were laid out by names of movies. You collected your ‘ticket’ at the entrance which told you which table you were sat at (that is perfectly acceptable UK English in case you’re about to complain). I was sat at the ‘Gods must be crazy table’. Could have taken offense at that except the table also contained Piers & Meryl (father and mother of bride) and my parents.
The wedding party made an entrance on the red carpet (Hollywood style) with each groomsman and bridesmaid being announced by name. It was a fun (movie way) to make an entrance. The bride & groom came last to a big fanfare. They immediately ‘performed’ their first dance together. (Boy am I happy that I never had to do that at our wedding … 200 people watching with Helen leading … would have been embarrassing.) And straight after that they cut the cake and so all the formalities were gotten out of the way.
Piers (her father) then did the customary speech and this was followed by my father being called up. He looked blankly at everyone at our table and said “What am I meant to do”. I suggested make a speech as well but fortunately as he was getting up Piers reminded him – ‘Pray for food’! When he got back to the table he said he did remember Rachel asking him to do that. Problem is he remembered after he had finished praying!
The food was an Italian buffet (Penne, Lasagne, Chicken). I wondered how they would manage the who goes when problem. But they did that really cleverly (apparently Rachel’s idea). On each table was a question in an envelope related to the movie. Ours was what type of machinery did the main character try to master in the movie. After some deliberation and discussion at our table (we all had actually watched the movie) we pretty much realised we had no idea but then Piers sister said ‘It must be the Jeep – he tries to drive’. And so we went with that. After the wedding party had taken their food, he called upon the tables to give their answer. Once you got it right you could go and get your food from the buffet. It staggered the buffet perfectly and fortunately we got our answer correct!
After dinner we had the traditional bouquet throwing which ended up being caught by one of my nieces’ friends you just happened to come on ‘holiday’ with my sisters family. I am sure her parents would be delighted to know that she caught the flowers!
And after this came the ‘Money dance’. If you’re not American then you are reading this thinking ‘What on earth is the money dance’. Fortunately I had an interpreter (in my sister) that explained it is a time to dance with either the bride or the groom but in order to do so you pay for the privilege. I am assuming the money goes to them. You only get a few seconds and then the next person is up. This continues until no one else is left that is willing to pay. If you did this in SA you would be standing by yourself until you realize that no one is coming. Last night they got through at least 2 songs before the queue ran out. Personally, the only time I dance is when people pay me or my wife asks really nicely. Neither of those occurred so I gave then dancing a skip.
Shortly after that the dance floor opened up to everyone and the party really started. Who knows when it ended because the 3 guys and me left shortly after that.
Now we just have Sunday left to kill before the long flights home to Cape Town!