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Party Time: Our Wedding Reception!
All the wedding recaps in one place, because we live in an “In Case You Missed It” world…
And now: The Party!
When Brian and I started wedding planning, we learned very quickly that it’s insane. Places, whether they’re traditional wedding venues or empty warehouse spaces, charge you site fees and serving fees and fork fees and separate spoon fees, and so many fees. Plus, everything we liked even a little bit was either wildly expensive or booked until 2019.
So finally one day I was like, “Can we just get married in Central Park?” And then Brian threw out the idea of having our reception on a boat, sailing around Manhattan, the greatest city in the world. We liked that it would be a little less conventional and would show our guests the best views of our hometown.
Having the party on a boat also meant we didn’t really have to decorate! When you have the sparkly skyline as your backdrop, you don’t need much more.
Our “theme,” if you could call it that, was “gold glitter.” We had some vases with gold candles scattered around (which I’m sure no one noticed except my mom, who searched the entire country for the perfect gold candles) and vases filled with gold candy (Rolos, Hershey’s Nuggets, Dove chocolates with caramel, Mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, etc.). But no flowers, no centerpieces. No guestbook. (Can you tell I gave up on Pinterest early in the planning process?)
We had a “cocktail-style” party instead of a sit-down dinner. I do not like sitting still, plus we were on a boat. Who wants to sit inside when you can be outside dancing and looking at the best city ever?!
I think that’s it. Onto the recappy part…
While our guests boarded the boat, someone brought a tray of food out to our car. I mostly just ate 12 mac and cheese balls with buffalo sauce. That’s basically all I ate all night. (To be clear, I had plenty of chances to eat, I just wasn’t interested in taking the time to do so. So it was less, “The bride and groom never get to eat” and more, “the bride refuses to leave the dance floor.”)
Before we walked onto the boat, Brian and I said to each other, “Let’s not be like those couples who spend the whole night greeting people separately and don’t get to hang out. Let’s hold hands the whole time.”
LOLZ FOR DAYS.
We made our “grand entrance” and I didn’t trip, thank god, and within 12 seconds of boarding, Brian and I were on opposite ends of the boat, mingling with people…separately.
We found each other later, for our introductions. The bridal party walked in to “Eye of the Tiger,” and Brian and I were announced as “Alison and Brian Cristiano” to OneRepublic’s “I Lived.”
The boat was beautiful, and there was a tiny rainbow overhead. I mean…seriously? New York came out to play. And show off.
Our first dance was to “The Power of Love” by Celine Dion. Does that surprise you at all?
For months Brian and I said we were going to take dance lessons, but we never did, and wow, probably should have. We basically just stood in the middle of all our family and friends and I screamed the lyrics and Brian smiled really politely. We tried a couple “moves” but generally failed and begged everyone to join us on the dance floor so we weren’t so ashamed.
While we did forgo a lot of the traditions (no garter toss, no bouquet toss, no “watch us cut our cake”), we did each dance with our parents.
They opened up the food stations so people broke to eat and for a while people were all over the boat. I did my best to talk to everyone and I think did a pretty good job. But eventually I just wanted to dance.
After some dancing and some mingling, DJ Taiga (yup) called everyone to the top deck for toasts, which all took place while we were sailing underneath the bridges in the East River. It felt very dreamy. Except for the part when the J train loudly cruised over the Williamsburg Bridge in the middle of my brother’s toast. IT’S FINE.
After the toasts, Brian grabbed my hand and was like, “Let’s be alone,” and we stood off to the side and watched the party happening.
Everyone told us to do this, and it was one of my favorite parts of the night. And I cried because I was so happy and didn’t know how to properly process all those good feelings.
Then DJ Taiga (who has not yet accepted my Facebook friend request…) opened up the dance floor for the most epic dance party of my life. He totally killed it. I danced so hard the entire night. It was so much fun. Sorry to anyone who may have seen my boobs. I feel like they may have come out of my dress at some point. I don’t know. There were probably a few close calls.
At one point, Coordinator Douglas came up to me and was like, “It’s time for you and Brian to cut your cake,” and I was like, “ACTUALLY NOPE, NO THANK YOU, we want to keep dancing, box it up for later, thx bai.”
And that’s what I remember from the rest of the night. Dancing, sailing past the Statue of Liberty, and having the best time of my entire life.
When we pulled back into port, I was so sad it was over and tried to convince the captain to “do it again!” But he had to go home. So I ate a bunch of cupcakes before we de-planed. (“A bunch of cupcakes” = 14 mini cupcakes.)
I asked DJ Taiga (friend request still pending) to end the night with Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York,” and everyone busted out in a big kickline, which was right up my Ali alley.
Everyone said we would be so tired by the end of the party that we would go back to the hotel and crash.
Instead, we went back to the hotel bar, closed that down, ate pizza in the hotel lobby, then went to a bar around the corner. I wore my onesie the whole time.
By 2:30 AM, my feet hurt, so we went back to our room and ordered a pizza. This is why I can never leave NYC.
We were up and giggling at 7 AM the next day because we were too excited to sleep.
It was all perfect and wonderful and magical.
And then we went home, ate our wedding cake with forks, straight from the box, and then went to Africa.
Or I guess…the beginning.
Thanks for sticking around through all these wedding recaps (if you’re still here, that is). Wedding planning (and execution) was an interesting journey, and as much as I claimed to hate it for that 10-month period (and yes, there were several bouts of “let’s just elope”), in the end, I loved putting together something personal and special for all of our loved ones to enjoy. It really is incredibly magical having all the people you care about in one place at the same time, tearing up a dance floor in your honor.
So that covers it! Go Team Cristiano!
Again, all pro photos by Erin Baiano, my hero.
AND BECAUSE I’M IN A WEDDING MOOD NOW, CARE TO SHARE? Favorite wedding memory — from yours, or a wedding you’ve attended — go!