After the wedding ended, C and I got in his car and started driving out to Hillsborough, to Joe's house, where our reception was being held. We couldn't believe we were finally married! Smiling, still in a daze, we recounted our feelings from the ceremony, sharing our favorite parts. We took some deep breaths and began to relax. The business was done--now all we had to do was go to a party!
Joe's house is like a romantic European villa at the top of a hill surrounded by rolling farmland. Full of art and oddities, it's like an extension of his art gallery, but with personal details. Comfortable and spacious, it was the ideal place for a wedding reception, where people could lounge inside, out on the extensive veranda, or down by the pool. We used Joe's ten-foot long dining room table for the food--sandwiches and salads from The Catering Company--with the cakes on small tables at either end.
Guests were already started to arrive when C and I got there, and we were soon mingling with them all, talking, laughing, just having an excellent time. It was so good to talk to friends I hadn't seen in a long time, as well as with C's family. Everyone seemed to have such a great time, and I enjoyed wandering around and observing the conviviality, all the while being the belle of the ball. Mostly, I was thankful to have such wonderful friends! They all pitched in and helped make sure everything ran like clockwork, while still managing to enjoy themselves.
The usual wedding rituals were followed: C and I danced our first dance, Moonlight Serenade. He is a fabulous dancer, by the way. Then my parents danced to Elvis' Can't Help Falling in Love With You, and we cut the cake, while the paparazzi snapped away. Later, outside on the lawn, I threw my bouquet to all the single ladies, and despite the 98-degree weather, C and I posed for romantic pictures with each other against the gorgeous backdrop of green fields and blue skies. It was only a two-hour reception, and the time just flew by. Before I knew it, the cd was on it's last song, "Thank You Friends" by Big Star, and people were leaving. But a few friends lingered, and we relaxed on the porch chairs, drinking Diet Cokes and feeling blissful. C and I danced a little more. I can't remember ever feeling so completely happy. It was just a glorious day.
Some of my favorite memories of the day are: my little sister K dancing with C's dad to a Glenn Miller song, seeing my mom and dad dancing, spotting my nieces and nephews smiling and pointing at me whenever they saw me, feeling so pretty in my wedding dress, the kind and loving toast that Joe gave us... and at the very end my friends serenading C and I as we walked out to the car to drive away. My three friends from New York, my mom, my sisters and brother all followed us out, singing and dancing with joy, and sent us off with a show-biz goodbye. I opened the sunroof on C's car and stuck myself out of it, waving goodbye to them, as we drove off toward the setting sun.
But first, because we were hot and happy and in love, C and I stopped at Maple View Dairy for some ice cream! Then, refreshed, happy, heart-full, and married, we drove home.