Saturday, October 23, 2010

Chris & Julia's Wedding

After driving up 5 hours from Greenwich I made it to the historic Eastland Park Hotel in Portland an hour before the rehearsal dinner at the Saltwater Grill in South Portland. This gave me enough time to relax for a little bit and get my dress clothes ready for the weekend. The hotel was really nice but the room was pretty small although Emily told me it was one of the nicest. I guess that is how they used to be when the hotel was first built so long ago.

The rehearsal dinner that the Riggot's put together was amazing. It was a lobster bake complete with oysters, potatoes, corn on the cob and even bbq chicken! Emily and I sat at a table with her brother Nick and his wife Jen and some of Julia's family. Jen does not like seafood at a all so I kind of felt bad about how I was going to plunge into the lobster I got.. hehe. A 13 year old cousin of Julia was sitting next to me with his family and I gave him some pointers on how to take apart the lobster without using any cracking tools. He was quite the character.
It was awesome getting to eat fresh Maine lobster again as it is so expensive to get on the west coast. My mom had bought me a lobster roll from papa gino's (yeah, the pizza place) at an interstate rest stop but it was full of mayo and awful. This was the real deal and I thoroughly enjoyed it! Before the end of dinner and desert Emily popped in the DVD photo slideshow she had made on my laptop of Chris and Julia's younger years. It came out great and everyone liked the music she put to
it as well. Some of the photos were pretty hilarious. Most of the family knew about it before hand as Emily had requested photos from everyone. Chris and Julia were genuinely surprised. After dinner we all went up to a bar on the top floor of the hotel for drinks. Emily's dad bought us all many rounds and we were all able to see the Yankee's get eliminated from the playoffs much to everyone's delight.

I was able to sleep in until about 10am the next morning thankfully and casually made my way downstairs around 1pm dressed for the wedding. I had some time so I walked down Congress street to get a bagel and stop at Starbucks for a drink. I met up with Emily's mom and dad just after 2pm to head over to Chris and Julia's new home in a cab for pictures and to get ready. Their new house is beautiful and even has a very old bomb shelter in the basement complete with shelves for food and stuff. You certainly don't see that kind of stuff in the Northwest! As usual with the Riggott family the Wild Turkey was brought out but over the past couple years it has turned to the American Honey version
of the bourbon. We all did shots and Chris got "iced" by one of his bros with a pineapple Smirnoff Ice... nasty. Emily's dad gave me the DSLR and I was appointed to take photos of all the happenings. I was also given the cocktail hour ipod with the playlist and the DVD Emily had made from the rehearsal dinner. I was able to hop in the official limo although I wasn't officially part of the wedding party I just played the photographer roll (next to the actual hired photographer as well). At the church Julia's dad approached me with a Flip HD camcorder to record the wedding. The wedding was very nice and Emily and Julia looked beautiful. The ceremony went off without a hitch. I don't really remember exactly what went on as
I was more focused on getting a super-steady recording of it for Chris and Julia. I think it turned out pretty good. The ceremony was only about 25 minutes long. After we all met outside and I hopped into the hotel bus with the Riggott family to direct the driver to the reception at the beautiful Portland Golf Club while the wedding party went off for wedding photos.

When we got to
the Golf Club I found the hostess and we got the ipod playlist going for Chris and hooked up the DVD on a loop on a TV so all the guests could see the photo slide show Emily had put together. The bar was an open bar (Thanks to Emily's dad) and I hung out with Emily's extended family until everyone arrived taking photos of everything and chowing down on some catered food that was brought around. The favorite of all was a pork loin slice on top of a what looked like a mini McDonald's hash brown (they called it potato pancake) with an apple chutney on top. It was awesome! I also ran around outside the venue to snap some picks of the golf course with the fall leaves and the bay in the background.

The reception was amazing and the food was delicious. Everyone, including me surprisingly got a good deal of dancing in. Nick very nervously toasted Chris and it came out great although he was super worried about it. It was really
great catching up with Nick and Jen and Chris and Julia whom Emily and I sat between at the head table. Chris' friends were really fun and at one point we all wandered off to a photo room with all sorts of costumes and wigs around that everyone put on for some ridiculous photos. One of his buddies actually went back to the reception in a Cat in the Hat outfit to dance! When it came time for the the bride to throw the bouquet all the single women lined up and unfortunately for me it went right to Emily's feet who picked it up. When I was being pushed out for the garter belt Emily glared at me and said, "you better catch it!". I didn't realize the importance at the time and when Chris threw it the dang thing went the farthest from me as possible. I would have had to push and then dive over someone to get it which would have looked really awkward and desperate and given the whole family the wrong idea. What I didn't
realize was that the guy who caught it (a close childhood friend of Emily's thankfully) had to put it on Emily in front of everyone. Awkward.... Whoops! The DJ was great and all we had a great time dancing to the tunes. Both Chris and Julia were picked up in their chairs at one point and paraded around the room!

After the reception Emily and I went back to the room to change and then headed out with everyone downtown to an Irish Pub that was packed with people! I grabbed a Guiness and also bought a round for Emily's parents and aunt and uncle. I don't have much money but after they always buy me rounds I had to buy them at least one! There was a band right behind us so we all had trouble hearing each other talk and after a while we lost Chris and Julia who headed up the street for
slices of pizza. This was now going on 1:30am so we headed out for pizza as well. Emily's mom bought a bunch of slices including what I thought was a bbq chicken slice but turned out to be a very hot buffalo chicken slice! By the time we got back to the hotel it was after 2am and I was not looking forward to getting up at 7am to make the drive back to Greenwich, CT!

Having hung out in Portland and remembering how cool the city is from my undergrad days at Bowdoin as well and the beauty of Maine in general I definitely think that if we moved back to the Northeast we would move close to Portland. I really really like hanging out with Chris and think that we could be close friends if we lived there too. I love the Northwest with all my heart but I'm also not one to say what the future holds for me as I have experienced a lot of surprises in my life. Perhaps one day we will move back, and if we do it will probably be to Portland.

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