I think the instruction was to “Gay it up.”

We’ve been invited to six weddings this year! Sadly, we had to decline one invitation, but that still leaves us with five ceremonies between April and September. Not that we’re complaining. We’re happy we have so many friends who value us enough to want to share their love.

By the time summer is over, we will have been to our first lesbian wedding and our first gay wedding. We will have spent time dancing the night away in Rochester, Waterloo, and Kanata. We will have witnessed the weddings of cousins, colleagues, and close friends.

And then there was our first New York City wedding.

I know, I know… I just blogged about NYC two weeks ago – about my super awesome birthday weekend and all the shows, food, nightlife, and friends – but so what? Any opportunity to blog about Gotham is welcome.

Not our photo - stolen from one of Cindy's Facebook friends.

Not our photo – stolen from one of Cindy’s Facebook friends.

Given how much we love NYC, we were quite giddy with anticipation for this event: the union of our friends Cindy and Dan. We were expecting big things, too. After all, how could “The City that Never Sleeps” not deliver the wedding party to end all wedding parties?!

From the get go, this wedding had the market cornered on awesome venues. The ceremony took place on the rooftop terrace of the Flatiron Hotel on 5th Ave. Dan – a New York City boy – wanted to make sure we had a gorgeous view of his hometown. And he and Cindy delivered. The backdrop for the loving couple was the freakin’ Empire State Building! How Manhattan!!

The weather was perfect. The guests were chic (If I do say so). The bride was stunning.

Some of the Ottawa contingent.

After a lovely ceremony, the guests relaxed briefly with a few drinks and appetizers before we were ushered out to the street below. Our hosts had arranged two double-decker buses to take us on a tour of Manhattan – a brilliant idea that afforded guests the opportunity to mingle and get to know one another.

The only drawback was the lack of toilets on board. We had all loaded up with beer and wine before departing. We did our best to avoid voiding until they dropped us at the reception hall in Astoria (Queens) – but in the end, the party’s willpower was insufficient and an unplanned stop at Starbucks was demanded.

All aboard!

Otherwise, the day had been flawless. And the reception was no exception. The music was fun. The food was delicious. The best man’s speech was funny, heartfelt, and genuine – one of the best we’ve ever heard. And the drinks were free!

But the reception still threw us for a loop.

The groom (along with his new wife) were on board our bus as well… at least for the first half of the tour.

All the weddings we’ve been to have followed the same schedule – namely, the meal and speeches happen concurrently FOLLOWED by a first dance from the couple. Only after that does the dance floor come to life, and it usually stays jumpin’ until 1 or 2 in the morning.

This wedding turned that tradition on its head!

The first dance happened BEFORE any food was served, and the dance floor was open from that point onward. The DJ spun tunes between speeches, and two entertainers were on the dance floor the entire night to encourage people to get up and dance. As courses were served, people would return to their tables and eat before heading back to the floor. They kept it up until midnight, when the music stopped and guests gradually departed.

The format was so foreign to us that, sadly, we never really got to shake our stuff. We waited too long! We got in a bit of dancing early on, but by the time we had eaten and were ready to roll up our sleeves to bust a move, the music was wrapping up. We had missed our chance!

Presenting, for the first time as man and wife…

It’s not that the format is faulty – just that we weren’t expecting it. We spoke to one of the guests at our table – a woman who lives in NYC – and she assured us this is a very New York style reception. So we will need to adjust if we ever get invited to another New York wedding.

Actually, come to think of it, it’s not clear if she meant the city or the state when she called it “New York style.” We have another wedding coming up in Rochester later this summer. Maybe we better be ready for the same format!

You can see more photos form the ceremony and the bus ride at our SmugMug page.


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