The Day, part two: The Reception

We stood in the hall waiting to hear the DJ make the announcement. It was beautiful looking into the hall, at all those people gathered waiting to celebrate the joining of our lives (finally!). We made our way to the table for a quick seat and shoe change for me. And then it was time to dance.
That first dance was exactly what we needed: one romantic moment to talk to each other with no one listening. We laughed, kissed, and spun around. And it started to sink in as the rest of the world watched.
After that we waited for champagne (oops!) and the toasts to start. I’m not sure why, but I had decided to let Chuck go first, and he blew us all away.
He made us all laugh with stories of trouble that he and Brandon might have gotten into over the years, about how awesome it was to have his friend move next door, and then about how Brandon had confided in him all the things he hoped to find in the girl of his dreams. Brandon and I were both in tears as Chuck recalled the day that I came over to hang out and somehow all those things that Brandon hoped for were manifested. And how Brandon came over the next day, and looked at Chuck and only could manage one word: “dude.”
The rest of the speech was a blur, but I felt so honored to be one of the pair people were lifting their glasses to. Bryan followed, and then Jessie, bless her. She told me how she started to choke up and skipped to the end and even abbreviated, she had already made me tear up as well.
And my dad. He spoke about how I had always gotten what I wanted, starting with how my name was spelled and how I was changing it again for someone I loved more than anything else before. He thanked Brandon’s family for raising such an amazing man.
And we ate, quickly. We had decided rather than doing a receiving line that we would go to each table and greet and thank them, which took forever. It was nice to get to see everyone, though. I was honestly the most nervous I had been all night as we were doing that. I was starting to come down after all the excitement and emotion, and I was feeling tired. We got through it though, and then came another big detail we were excited to share.
Well, at least I was excited to share. Brandon was pretty proud of how it turned out too, though. We had put together slide shows of ourselves growing up to play during the father/daughter & mother/son dances, partially to take the focus off people who were nervous to be seen dancing. It was beautiful though, and I know our families loved it.
Finally it was time to cut the cake. I had already made the deal that there would be no smashing, but when my mom piped up from her table ‘smash it in her face’, I knew we had to do something. So I asked him if he wanted to get her. And we did…. we took off running with cake in hand and got her what she wanted. Sort of. Mom was a good sport and I helped her clean up before the bouquet & garter tossing.
It was a silly tradition, but fun and (hopefully) a good photo op. Kyle caught the garter for the 27th time, and little Ashton caught my bouquet.
After that we danced and drank, and my exhaustion was drowned in wine and champagne. I did my best to keep things going, while Brandon meandered some more with the people who opted out of the public display of foolishness. The DJ was pretty great, and every time I went over to tell him I needed a slow dance to rest, he already had one queued up.
At some point I found myself pretty tipsy and the reception hall mostly empty and it was time to say good night. We thanked our photographer & DJ, I took a shot from the bar with Jessie & Chuck and got my dress loaded up in Brandon’s car.
I made him take me to McDonald’s for a bite to eat before we headed back to the hotel. I ate and then admittedly drunk dialed family members to thank them for such an amazing day.
And then it was just me and Brandon, and all the love that we share.


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