When we were planning our wedding, we realized that no matter where we had it, more than half of our friends and family would have to travel to be there. We were also doing all the wedding budgeting and planning ourselves, so we talked to our families, who agreed to host reception/parties in our home towns. We left it up to our families – the event could be as large or small, complicated or simple as they wanted – and so we found ourselves in the Cleveland Metroparks this afternoon, having a cookout with friends and most of Shane’s family.
Here are a few things we learned about throwing parties today:
- It is difficult to have a party at a place without a street address! We realized at the last minute that we had the wrong name for the picnic area, which resulted in a lot of panic and confusion. Somehow everyone made it, though, as did a few other friends who saw Shane’s signs and just stopped by.
- No matter how well you plan, there will still be unexpected problems. Like the two groups that were already using our rented park shelter – one for what appeared to be a family reunion, the other for a small memorial picnic for a friend. Everyone was very understanding, but I still felt pretty bad about kicking them out. We scored a totally hot grill, though, so all’s well that ends well.
- My asbestos hands from Aroma paid off, as I found myself manning the grill armed primarily with a couple of plastic forks. I made it work, though, and we had grilled asparagus and zucchini, burgers, sausages, and veggie burgers.
- Everyone likes chocolate cake. For reals.
After the initial stress, though, we had a really lovely afternoon with cake and bocce, talking and playing on the swings, beer and still more grilling. By the end of the day, we were totally sacked out, and barely managed to stay awake for a quick dinner at the Beer Engine for Spaceman Orin on the eve of his 21st birthday.