Well, Rory and Cecelia's wedding was quite a party!
Oh, yes... God bless the Drunkin' Irish Relatives... and the Drunkin' Chinese relatives-in-law as well!
(Cecelia's maiden name is Yip...)
As you all know, foreigners can be a bit strange...
(*HUGE FRIGGIN' GRIN*)
...case in point being that the actual church wedding was held at 11:30 a.m. (finished up around 1:00 p.m.) while the reception wasn't scheduled till 5:30 p.m.!
Well... no bother... after the blessed event (the actual wedding ceremony... not the open bar) it was off to the Rose and Crown Pub for a wee bit of "tea and sandwiches." (And by that I mean pints of beer and finger sandwiches.)
We only stayed for 45 minutes or so. It was hot as hell and since we had the time, it was back to the hotel for a swim and a change into our "party" clothes.
(More on the hotel, later...)
WHAT A FRIGGIN' WEDDING...!!!
We're talking 5:30 p.m. till 1:30 a.m. with open bar and a drinking crowd!
The reception was held at the Grand Luxe on Bayview Avenue in Toronto and you knew what kind of party it was gonna be the moment you stepped through the main entrance to be handed a "signature" cocktail under the watchful gaze of two of Toronto's finest! (Yep... still not sure why we had uniformed, armed police officers "guarding" us... but they were nice enough blokes!)
So, anyway, as I was saying, they had these kinda reddish, fruity little "tropical" cocktails waiting for the guests as we arrived, plus, a full open bar, passed hors d'oeuvrers, and serving stations with both sushi and other Asian food as well as standard Anglo offerings.
They also did something a bit different; during the cocktail hour guests lined up to have professional photos taken with the bride and groom. A real nice idea!
By 6:30 p.m. or so it was time to occupy the main ballroom. Beautiful set-up! Very classy...
The bridge, groom, and wedding party were at a dais set in the middle of the room with the bar directly across from them and the huge dance floor in between.
Funny enough... our table... and specifically my chair... was the closest to the bar!
Let me tell you something... beyond the open bar... beyond the excellent food... beyond a fairly competent DJ who "humored" us old folks with a fair number of "oldies"... this wedding had offered something fairly unique: Entertainment!
Yep... after the mandatory grand entrance of the wedding party, et al., it was "Enter the Dragon." (Or more accurately, "Enter the Lions!") Yep... apparently it's a Chinese tradition to have the "lions" come in (along with a supporting case of costumed drummers) to do a bit of dancing and spread good luck around the room!
But, oh... no... that wasn't the end of it! In answer to the Yip's lions, next up were the Lougnane's Irish step dancers!
(The wedding was professionally videotaped, so once it's available I'll swap out the "stock" videos and add the actual videos! In the meantime... you get the idea!)
Last bit of entertainment... a special appearance by Jason the Argonaut!
Yep...you guys know "The Fireman" from Jets games? Fireman Ed? Well, apparently Rory is an Argonauts superfan!
Anyway, while we were all hoping for the cheerleading squad...
...having "Jason" drop by was fun!
Oh... something else the Canadians do! You know how at amusement parks they often have a photographer who has all sorts of hats and even uniforms and other props for "staging" individual, couple, and group "fun" photos? Well, they had one of 'em at the wedding! Yep... pick out a hat... pick out a whole costume if you're of a mind... and off ya go! Another nice touch...! Something different!
Now... as previously touched upon, I did like the DJ - overall that is. Now I don't know if this is a Canadian thing or whether it was simple the crowd, but even though there was music from the moment we entered the ballroom, Mary and I (and one other couple - and older couple - who danced one dance) were the only ones dancing for the first few hours of the post-cocktail hour reception!
You know me... (and Mary)... we simply don't care... but it was a bit odd.
Let's see... first course... salad... second course... pasta... third course... the entree - capon and steak, served with vegetables - and only after all of this (with the entertainment in between) did they get around to the traditional "father & daughter" dance, "mother and son" dance, and bridge and groom's "first dance."
Me? I like to dance from beginning to end. I mean... it seems somewhat of a waste to be spending all that money on a DJ and not have the crowd movin' and groovin' all night... but, hey... if the trade-off is gonna be an eight hour open bar...
(*ANOTHER HUGE FRIGGIN' GRIN*)
...I supposed I can live with the Canadian customs!
Anyway... after the "official" opening of the dance floor, that was the signal for both families - and the friends and associates - to boogie-boogie-boogie!
What can I say, folks... Rory's dad Kevin was out of control... in a good way... and... so were a good number of my fellow guests! Indeed, If I broke the 80th percentile in terms of rowdiness I'd be surprised!
There were break-dancers... there were wrestling matches... (all in good fun!)... at one point a flying Rory (cross my heart!) leaped into my arms to "surprise" me on the dance floor...
...all in all one hell of a party!
(Oh... and after 11:00 p.m. - another hot/cold buffet along with cake and pastry station!)
Being the mature, responsible adult I am...
Stop laughing, you bastards!
...I ceased drinking at around 12:30 p.m. (since I had to drive "Hank" back to the Westin), and with all the dancing (and eating!) I'd been doing I wasn't "impaired" in any case. That said... I must have closed in on twenty or so gin & tonics - with a couple of those "tropical" signature cocktails and the odd shot thrown in. Kevin and Ann and the Yips certainly got their money's worth with me and the rest of the crowd partying there that night!
Anyway... as to the rest of the vacation (the highlights, anyway)... stay tuned...