From the venue, to the clothes we wore, the flowers we chose, the invitations we made ourselves, we decided this wedding was first and foremost for the two of us. Being fairly easy to please, we figured, if we were happy, most everyone else would be as well.
At the time, our favorite restaurant was Mesquite, a southern style BBQ joint. Their food was always good, so we asked the owner how much he would charge us if we wanted to use the main room for ourselves and about forty guests, for the whole evening.
We were in for a pleasant surprise: The owner decided on $3,500 for the hall AND the food, which included not only outstanding slow-cooked BBQ, but also a variety of Cajun style seafood and steak dishes. Now that was a price that could not be beat!
Even the wedding cake was unique: Bonnie loved the brownies served at Mesquite, so I asked them to make the biggest brownie-cake ever. The look of surprise and delight on Bonnie’s face was priceless! And how good was that cake?
Most everyone there that evening ate a very meaty BBQ supper: You could hear groans coming from the guests, as many of them echoed the sentiment, “Oh my god, we can’t possibly eat another single bite.”
Now remember, our wedding cake was not light and fluffy but instead made up of two layers of brownie, with icing. And yet, one by one, everyone sampled and then completely gobbled up their portion of the delicious brownie-cake.
As for the evening’s entertainment, both my wife and I play folk music, and we thought it would be awesome to hire a band to play Irish music for our wedding reception. The band even came with a dance instructor. We had visions of our guests dancing more than a few jigs and reels that evening. We also brought our own instruments: I brought my Irish whistles and hammer-dulcimer, and Bonnie brought her fiddle.
After supper, it was time for the first slow dance of the evening in honor of the bride and groom. Due to my disability however, I do not dance much, so we thought it would a nice touch if we played the first slow dance together instead.
Many of the musicians knew me already from the jam sessions I attended, but none of them knew I played the hammer-dulcimer. As my wife and I were heading back to our head table after we played the slow dance, one of the musicians approached me and said, “Now, where do you think you’re going?”.
“To sit at the head table with my new bride?” I hesitatingly replied.
“You’re not going anywhere. Now sit yourself back down, and play us some more tunes on that lovely dulcimer of yours!”
And that is how I got cornered and ended up playing more than three hours of music at my own wedding reception. It was such an incredible feeling, playing music, and seeing forty or more guests, including my beautiful wife, jigging it up, and having a wonderful time. By the end of the evening, even the servers and kitchen staff were dancing up a storm.
There was so much dancing in fact, the Best Man’s shoes disintegrated. We all had a good laugh at that one: He had so much fun dancing, his shoes exploded from all that joy.
In the end, our wedding was as stress free as we had hoped. Everyone ate well, many people danced and had a good time, all without breaking the bank.
As with weddings, so as with life: It’s not how much money you spend along the way, but the laughs and good times you have together that make it all worth while.