Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Wedding day recap: the afterparty!

Getting into the town car at the end of the reception marked the first time either of us had sat down since dinner, so when the driver followed the GPS's wonky directions, I didn't mind that he took the long route to the W Midtown where we were staying that night. A lot of Jon's family and many of the wedding party members had booked rooms there as well, so it had been decided that the celebration would continue in the hotel bar once the reception was officially over. It was nice to sit for a while!

[WARNING: Super long post! Just fyi.]

Because we had taken a somewhat less direct route from the reception to the hotel, when we arrived we pulled up behind my best friend's parents' SUV -- they were dropping off a carload of friends for the afterparty. My friend's dad popped the trunk, and out rolled her older brother. Hilarious! Jon and I were greeted by the hotel staff, who took my little bag of things and led us to the elevator to take us to our suite on the 24th floor. Ooh la la! Don't mind if I do! As the elevator doors closed, Jon's cousin, one of the groomsmen, popped in (somewhat inebriated) and said he was going to come up to our room and use the bathroom. The hotel guy tried to stare at the wall and stay out of it I think, and Jon probably gave his cousin a look that said oh hell no. When we stopped at 24 after a pretty awkward ascent, his cousin decided he would just ride back down to the lobby and find the public restroom there. So weird.

Anyway, so we got to our room, which I believe Jon's folks had upgraded from a normal room to a suite, and for which my brother and his girlfriend had purchased some romance package that included rose petals on the bed, chocolate-covered strawberries and champagne, and the first order of business was to REMOVE SHOES. Here you see Jon doing thusly:

After shoe-removal, we looked around a bit. Not too much to see, except that the shower was all glass, one of those glass walls was right next to the bed (HELLO), and the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooked Piedmont Park. (We could practically see our house from our room in the morning!) Since it was a suite, there was a den/sitting room when you first entered. Here that is:

Interestingly, I saw this very room (or one decorated in exactly the same fashion)
featured on the W. Scott Chester blog this morning. What are the odds?

I decided to give the glass-walled bathroom a go, since I hadn't peed all night. I just want to say, ladies, that it is TOTALLY POSSIBLE to go to the bathroom all by yourself and not dip your dress in the toilet. I did it three times over the course of the night with no mishaps and was so proud of myself. (Sad, isn't it?) Basically, you just grab the innermost layer of your skirt -- which, in my case, had a stiff edge to it to make the dress easier to walk in -- pick it up from the hem and turn it inside-out so it holds all the outer skirt-layers in a sort of bowl-like situation. Brilliant, I tell you!

But I digress. In addition to rose petals, strawberries and champagne, there was another surprise awaiting us (courtesy of Jon's folks) in the form of a dozen mini cupcakes from Highland Bakery, who had made our wedding cake. Once we had kicked off our shoes, used the facilities and scoped out our swanky suite, we plopped down at the table and cracked open the bubbly. We also took a look at the massive bag of food our caterers had sent with us, which included samples of every dish that had been served. Two giant slabs of cake (wedding and groom's) were sort of glopped together in one of those takeout boxes. Seeing no forks, we decided to dig into the mini cupcake assortment instead.

We snacked and drank some champagne while we chatted and rested our feet for a bit. We probably stayed up in our room for about 30 or 45 minutes before we went back downstairs. (Meanwhile, I received [drunk] texts from my best friend that read "WHISKEY PARK" [name of hotel bar] and "FOLKS IS HURRRR.") I attempted to put my shoes back on (for the sake of my dress) but ohhh it buuuurned, so I opted for the flip-flops I packed and dragged around an extra 3.5 inches of skirt for the rest of the night. It was an excellent call, I have to say.

When we showed up at the bar, most of the grad-school crew was there, along with most of the wedding party, Jon's family and all the other guests who were staying at the W. It was definitely a good crowd! The bar was sort of clubby and loud, but it was a good time. Witness:

chatting with a grad-school classmate

Jon and Kasi, his best friend from home

Random bar-goer congratulates me!

Me and my NU guys!

Jon and his SU guys/groomsmen (Dante changed)

Poes + Wolbes + stoneface = YES

Me and Emily with Stewart, object of my jr. high affections and little brother of one of Em's best friends

Abby, me, seester

me with some of the grad-school gang!

Me and Jon's cousin Kent -- we took a series of pictures and this was by far the most awesome

Best Man, looking pretty psyched about life

After a little while in the clubby bar, we decided we wanted space where we could all sit down and maybe talk some, so we went downstairs to what looked like an empty bar but was actually a closed bar. Oops.

Someone from the hotel came to inform us that we could either go to the bar upstairs or the bar downstairs, but we couldn't stay in the middle. Jon's folks took this as their cue to turn in, but before they did we needed one last family photo for the evening:

From there we continued down the stairs to the lobby bar, which had photo opps aplenty. I couldn't resist spreading out across a large bench in my poofy dress:

Abby's brother Morgan sat down and got sucked into the photo session:

We spied another just-married couple at the front desk, so I had to do a get-a-load-of-this-guy cam shot for their stealing some of my bridal thunder. Gah! My dress was totally prettier, too! ;)

I actually spoke with the groom shortly after -- they had come all the way to Atlanta from Athens because they had a flight out in the morning -- and we wished each other well.

After that, my sister had the brilliant idea of recreating one of our favorite movie moments: the scene in Three Amigos when the amigos first turn up in Mexico and get shots of tequila at the bar. These were lemon drop shots, but whatever. It's a pretty faithful homage to a fine film:

It's like beer...

"That's an odd taste."
"It's probably watered down..."

Not long after that, we found the spot where we would camp out for the next few hours. Underneath the main staircase in the lobby there was a weird little pod-room with booths lining the perimeter. Perfect! Our own private room with seating for everybody!

Folks came and went, and eventually the crowd thinned. Round about 3 a.m., the guys in the picture above the one of me and Jon decided they needed pizza. They went to ask the concierge which local establishments delivered at this hour and managed to track someone down. They placed an order and the few of us who remained at this point all migrated up to Jon's cousin Christie's room, where the pizza was eventually delivered.

There was seriously not a bite left about 2 minutes after the pizza arrived. I didn't have any, but most everyone else did. The crew at this point consisted of me, Jon, Jon's brother, two of their cousins, one of their stepbrothers, an old neighbor of theirs, two of my college roommates and another dormmate friend of mine from Northwestern. Kind of a hoot. While we were hanging out there, I began the long process of removing bobby pins from my hair -- I definitely appreciated the head start when I got back up to our room!

I also want to take this opportunity to say that it is a freaking miracle that Jon stayed up this late, and seemed to enjoy it at that. I am a night owl and a party animal by nature (I was always the last to go down at a slumber party), but Jon tends to be in bed by midnight most nights and that's how he prefers it. I was so proud and pleased that he partied our wedding night away with me and all of our friends who had come to town for our big day.

This picture of my dress hanging in the den of our room, taken at 4:18 a.m. Sunday morning when we finally decided we should get some sleep, is the last shot from our monumentally awesome wedding day. Thanks for the cool lighting, W Midtown!

*all pictures courtesy of myself, E. Poe, D. A. Ciampaglia, A. Wolbe and A. Quinn via facebook


  1. What a FUN after party!!!

    After Lance and I got back to our hotel post wedding we just assumed everyone would be down in the hotel bar...so we headed down there...NO ONE was there yet?! It was crazy...so we decided to just head to bed :)

    I was dead tired but I'm still a little bummed we didn't keep the party going! Would have been so fun!

  2. That last photo is so gorgeous! What a perfect way to end the evening, although I don't know if I would have made it so late!

    And your dress was absolutely prettier. The prettiest, in fact!

  3. Still sad I missed this rockin' after party! Especially the Three Amigos photo! So impressed.

  4. oh my goodness...your dress is GORGEOUS! congratulations :) isnt married life the best?