TRAVEL THERE: AND THEN WE WAITED
If the wedding was a departure from my norm, the reception was a rocketship to Mars. I’ll try to explain it, but I doubt I can do it justice.
The Very Long Interlude
The bus ride from the church to the hotel only took moments. We’d hung out on the church portico for a long time and I was glad to be starting the next phase of the celebrations, but I immediately ran into trouble – or perhaps I should say I tripped into it. As if my lack of tendrils wasn’t enough of a humiliation, while I was going down the stairs to the ballroom, the sole of my strappy high-heeled sandal decided to part ways with the rest of the shoe.
Halted in my progress, I expressed my desire to change into another pair of shoes, but was dissuaded from it by one of my nephews. He explained I didn’t want to miss the entry of the bride and groom. Apparently he thought their arrival was imminent, but as I would learn before the evening was over, he was very wrong. I was given the assurance that almost immediately the dance floor would fill with women who would also be barefoot. That seemed reasonable, so I took off the shoes and carried them with me into the Pearl Ballroom.
Let me just say the decor was amazing and beautiful. In the first few moments I was awestruck and had a hard time processing it all. Little did I know just how much time I would have to consider every single detail of the room. And I might mention that I was starving. I hadn’t eaten since breakfast. I was saving calories for the huge buffet I heard would be coming. However, right that minute I was so hungry I was wondering if my broken shoes might make a good meal. They certainly weren’t serving any other purpose.
Perhaps you’re concerned about me being so hungry in a situation where adult beverages would be served. Well, let me remind you. there was to be no bar. There was no champagne. There was no signature cocktail. Scotch is the wedding beverage of choice and for at least the first hour of the wait, there was nothing – because everything is supposed to happen at an Egyptian reception after the bride and groom enter. Our bride and groom had disappeared and they stayed disappeared for a long time. And they didn’t even have the excuse of picture taking to cover their absence, because back at the church, folks were by now setting up for yet another wedding after the wedding that followed our wedding.
American wedding traditions scored one on the Egyptians at this point. Some couples handle it as Bill and I did. We got our pictures ahead of time. Bill and I beat everyone to the reception and greeted them as they came in – ushering them into the buffet. Other couples, wanting post wedding pictures and the big entrance, have a cocktail hour complete with waiters wandering around with trays of treats. I remember long awkward waits in the past, but between the cocktail hour and folks who get the photos out of the way early, we’ve sort of solved that problem.
The first hour of the wait passed pretty quickly. Just taking in the set-up of the ballroom was an entertainment. There were long dining tables and high cocktail tables; a glamorous lounge set up for the bride and groom; and a huge stage filled one end of the ballroom. When that fascination wore out there were all those Egyptians in their wedding finery to watch. Just as at an American wedding, there were kids entertaining themselves all around the room. I was hungry and thirsty, my husband abandoned me in my shoe-less state to greet old friends, but I figured the wait would be over soon. Come back next week and see how that went.