愛-Vey! Our Chewish Welcome Dinner Continued

Since about half of our guests were coming in from out of town, and traveling from locales as far-flung as Hong Kong, London, Montreal, and the Hague, we wanted to kick off our wedding weekend with a shindig to welcome our out-of-town guests and to keep their bellies full and spirits up. 

And what better place for MIL and FIL Hot Cocoa to host an Asian fusion welcome dinner than the mecca of California Asian fusion cuisine, Chinois on Main?

What's awesome about Chinois (other than its famous Chinese chicken salad) is its "Miami Vice" meets "Grey Gardens" decor. It's a DeLorean DMC-12 back to the mid-80s. If it were a dude, it'd be decked out in a rad Hyper-Color t-shirt, white khakis, and a gold lame blazer with big shoulder pads and the sleeves rolled up.  If it were a lady, it'd kick it Jane-Fonda-style with a lime green leotard, magenta tights, and leopard legwarmers.  And it'd be rocking a perm . . . or a mullet . . . a permed mullet.  

It's so unabashed in its whackiness that you just gotta love it.

There's no competing with the aesthetic of the place, so the only quasi-decorative items we brought were the items for our guestbook and wish-tag vignette (more about this in a later post), and a pair of digital picture frames, one with photos of all the friends we had at the welcome party and the other with photos of our family.

Not that I even noticed the decor that night, because soon after Mr. HC and I arrived, the room was packed with our friends and family! 30+ years' worth of relationships in one room. And everyone was there . . . for us! Holy crap!

Here's my husband making his "Holy crap, are they here for us?" face.

This expression pretty much captured the way we felt for the first hour of our welcome dinner.

The next few hours? These expressions:

"Holy crap, I think they are here for us."

"Holy crap, they are here . . . for us! We are such lucky mo-fos!"

Lucky mo-fos, indeed. All the stress and anxiety of the preceding days vanished. We just felt so loved, so excited! It struck us like lightning: our wedding weekend was really here!!

I can't even explain the joy we experienced seeing our friends from various different parts of our lives mingling. And since we didn't have reserved seating for dinner, people sat down with whoever they were chatting with during cocktails and really got a chance to get to know one other.

And some of our new friends, like Weddingbee Pro and wedding planner extraordinaire Angel Swanson, were there too!

We wanted the evening to be raucous, fun, and festive, and so we invited our guests to give "toasts, roasts, or performances."  Mr. HC's med school friends set the bar high with a hilarious Powerpoint roast that skewered, among other things, Mr. HC's proclivity to make looong Powerpoint presentations!

The awesomeness of their presentation is captured precisely by our expressions in this photo.

Mr. HC's twin sister and oldest group of friends roasted him in poetry, song, and Powerpoint (sense a theme here?!)  . . .

. . . while his friends from business school leveraged their collection of embarrassing stories of Mr. HC's exploits for an impromptu toast . . . that ironically did not include Powerpoint.

Friends of Honor, A, L, and G -- all literature professors -- presented a sestina they wrote in honor of our wedding.  I can't believe how creative, brilliant, and touching it was.  Here's an exerpt:

How would one describe such a future?
It was not the least bit daunting to A.
She knew that, although difficult, giving up pork could lead to happiness,
Perfecting her fiancé’s Cantonese could improve marital
Communication, and kung pao chicken paired with
Manischewitz could raise the degrees
On their plates and in the bedroom. Look out, S!
. . . .
We are excited to continue to watch this couple grow by degrees.
There are so many stages which we await, happily:
A little girl who looks up at us with the same sweet smile as A,
Or a little boy who ambles by with the same step as S…
The child’s first word: “deconstruction” or “defibrillation”?—
we can’t know the future;
But we anticipate the beautiful family that will come from this marriage.
Un-freakin-believable, right?!

And the toasts and roasts just kept coming . . . . My college roommates, Mr. HC's friends from Hebrew school . . . there was a seemingly inexhaustible supply of embarrassing stories to tell, and we loved every moment of it!  Mr. HC's twin sister (and my Sister of Honor) E did an amazing job coordinating the toasts with dinner, so that there was laughter between every delectable course.

No speeches happened during the dessert course though.  Once the waiters brought the family-style dessert platter to each table, there was just silence . . . and the occasionally sigh of chocolate-induced bliss.

I would have eaten the whole platter by myself, if not for that damn white dress I had to put on the next day!  Curses, white dress, curses!

And of course no American Chinese meal is complete without fortune cookies!  We ordered purple fortune cookies from Fancy Fortune Cookies and personalized them with Chewish fortunes, like: "You will soon dine on authentic Jewish food . . . Chinese."  Snort snort.

And then, just as suddenly as it began, the amazing evening was over.  Here's Mr. HC thanking our guests and assuring them that, contrary to what his friends said about his tendency to show up for everything just a bit late, he was going to show up at the chuppah on time.  

Just 8 hours until the start of our wedding day!  Holy crap!

Mo  – (May 18, 2009 at 12:52 AM)  

What a fun recap, I felt like I was actually there!
And I don't think I've ever heard anyone describe a place as a permed mullet. I might steal that one day for my own descriptive uses.

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