The lavish affair was set to take place at the exquisite Arlington Hall at Lee Park in Turtle Creek. I couldn't have picked a better venue myself. In fact, when I first saw the facility back in my cake days, I remember thinking that I had to tell Kori about it when she began planning her wedding, and lo and behold, she chose it as her reception location. There is just such a classic, southern glamour about the property. It really is unlike any other facility I have been in and it's truly unique. Anyway, the bridal party arrived in style in our bumpin' limo bus with Kori and Jon arriving in a little bit more style being chauffered in a classic Rolls Royce...not too shabby! We headed to the bridal suite for a little (or if you were me, a lot) bubbly and then ushered into the main room where they introduced us and then, of course, introduced Mr. and Mrs. Jon Bailey.
The couple had their 1st dance ("Feels Like Home" -- How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days anyone?) and on cue, I proceeded to shed several more tears. I wish I could say those were the last of my waterworks for the night, but I'm afraid I would be lying. Their first dance was really beautiful and the girl who sang was awesome! I could not wait to bring sexy back on the dance floor, but my booty shaking would have to wait just a bit longer since the band was playing the standard "light dinner music"...seriously, who can't eat to the tune of Outkast, Hey ya...honestly? Just kidding...kind of...anyway, I digress as usual.
I promptly found my family so they could gush over how beautiful I looked...ha ha, at least I'm honest? Hey, if a girl can't look halfway decent after putting on a pound (make that 2 pounds) of makeup and having someone do and redo their hair about 4 times, there's no hope. And so, I remembered there was supposed to be a sweet potato bar on premise so I corraled my sis to hunt down this tasty treat with me. We were successful in locating the goods and had mashed sweet potatoes mixed with sweet cream, brown sugar and raisins all in a martini glass...delish...or should I say Yum-o, if you will...for those of you that watch Food Network. I also had downed 2 glasses of champagne, so I needed to get a little refill on my bubbly beverage at the open bar...I am officially a self-proclaimed champagne-only drinker. Let's just say the champagne did not stop flowing until the place was shut down, and I was certainly not the only one to imbibe! I also used my downtime (and by downtime, I mean the chunk of time when the band is not playing music that demands my presence on the dance floor) to talk to Peter & Anne, Shaun, Tim, Josh Horn and Jon Hernandez, both of whom I had not seen in forever!!! It is always so good to see people at wedding that you never get to see otherwise!
Once the band had finished their obligatory set of smooth listening jazz, it was time to get the party started. I must inform you that the band-elect was none other than "Top" which actually plays at Martini Park on occasion, should you be so inclined to partake in the ultra-hip over-50 crowd...I kid...but not really. One of my favorite parts was being able to dance with Kori to Mustang Sally while the dance floor was relatively empty because let's just say the dance floor did not stay empty for long. I saw people dance at that reception that I never thought would dance in public a day in their life! It should come as no surprise that the music/dancing was hands-down the highlight of the reception, in my not-so-humble opinion. It was the perfect mix of songs and the band was incredibly versatile playing everything from Beyonce's "Crazy in Love" to "Jesse's Girl" to Michael Jackson classics. I never wanted to leave the dance floor because every time I did, I felt like I missed my "favorite" song. I don't think I have danced that hard and for so long in quite some time. I absolutely did not leave the dance floor unless absolutely necessary, and I actually don't think the bride or groom left the dance floor for any extended period of time either. It was so great to see them having such an amazing time at their reception because so often, the married couple doesn't even get to enjoy their own reception...such a shame...but so not the case with them.
One of the only reasons I did leave the rockin' good time on the dance floor was to take advantage of their photo booth. That's right, they had a classic photo booth at their reception that was an absolute hit with I think absolutely every single person there. There was always a line for the booth, and you got your prints on the spot. It was so much fun, and the pictures definitely got progressively more hilarious as the night went on. It's amazing how free people feel when they get in a photo booth, but it should be known that all pictures taken behind that not-so-private curtain were posted online the very next week...whoops a daisies!
Amidst the party, the couple did have to cut their highly-anticipated wedding cake, and when I say highly anticipated, I'm mostly referring to me as it was a cake from my old bakery. Kori had chosen cassata as her wedding cake which is an ameretto-infused cake lathered in the most decadent cream cheese frosting you've ever tasted. However, I made sure my rents took some home for me in a napkin because I didn't want to waste any time eating cake with so much more dancing to be had. Any self-respecting girl would have done the same thing.
So it was back to the dance floor to keep the party going. I had such a blast dancing with Shaun, Tim, my sis and Kori's Mizzou friends! We had to all look absolutely ridiculous at certain points, and I would have paid money to see us on a video. I also got the chance to dance with my dad to Eric Clapton's "You Look Wonderful Tonight." It is such a special song for me and was such a special moment with my dad, so of course, prompted my last set of tears for the day.
It felt like mere moments had passed when the band announced the last song, and just like that, we were herded out to the front to send the couple off. I felt like shouting "wait, just one more song, just one more chance to shake it," but it was no use. The couple left in a bevy of bubbles and we were left with a half-empty glass of bubbly. We (Kori's friends from college and me) decided to make the most of it and proceeded to have a little impromptu photo shoot in the bridal suite...don't worry, there are pictures below.
All in all, it was an absolutely fabulous wedding week that included quite arguably the reception to end all receptions. Kori, Jon and her parents planned an incredible event that everyone truly enjoyed. As I said before, it was the highlight of my summer and really, the highlight of my year. My only complaint is that it is over and we can't partake in the party all over again. Nonetheless, the happy couple are finally married, enjoyed a relaxing honeymoon and are settling into married life quite nicely...that's probably the real highlight...awww...
Until next time friends, this is RL reminding you to keep it classy...or something like that...
Me and Shaun