We went to a friend's wedding and reception on Saturday. The groom was a high-school friend of Ian's. The wedding was held at the Islington United Church. It isn't the couple's usual church, but they needed one that would hold up to 400 people. The church itself is really nice with lovely stained-glass work.
The wedding started about 1/2 hour late. There were six bridesmaids and groomsmen. Each bridesmaid wore strapless dusty rose knee-length satin dress with matching satin waistband and her own silvery shoes. I didn't love these dresses, both because I don't think satin looks good on most people and because the hems were topstitched. Each groomsman worse a cutaway coat (which I find quite attractive). The ceremony was of course lovely; interestingly, it was the groom that seemed nervous and teary. Someone handed him a box of tissue at the end of the ceremony :) The bride wore a strapless ivory two-piece dress. It was lovely, of course, although it would have been better had they used ivory tulle to decorate the church instead of white tulle.
After the ceremony was over and the certificate was signed, the bridal party took pictures with each of the different groups that had attended the wedding. As the grooms friends, we were dead last. It would be nice to have pictures like that, although it took a long time to do this due to the number of people.
The reception was held at the Atlantis pavilions at Ontario place. It was very nicely decorated, with white tulle everywhere. The table centrepieces were 2 1/2 foot vases with two orchid branches surbmerged in water in them. They were beautiful. There was also a big screen where people could see the action happening at the bridal table.
The bride and groom both have a Chinese background. Therefore, the first appetizer was roast suckling pig with jellyfish. I would have liked this better had the pig been warm, but it was served cold. It was ok, I guess. Ian liked it. I didn't try the jellyfish. The second appetizer was a mixed-green salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing. It did have spinach, but I'm sure that's not a problem :) The third course was braised imperial shark's fin in boullion. It was pretty yummy, although I didn't love the gelatinous texture of the broth. The main course was grilled veal rib eye. It was a huge piece of meat served with underdone rice and vegetables.
The dinner service was very odd. The tables were beautifully set. However, there wasn't enough bread for everyone at the table, so not everyone got bread. Also, the people clearing each course refused to take the cutlery away. No, really, they refused. They wouldn't pick up the plate unless the person took the cutlery off of it, and then they wouldn't take the cutlery from our hands. We had enough cutlery for fresh cutlery with each dish, and so previous cutlery should have been cleared. The bread plates were also not cleared, although they did provide a handy place to put used cutlery. By the end of the meal, the table was quite messy, however.
The non-Chinese food was not very good and tended to be very inconsistent. Ian's salad was swimming in dressing while other people didn't have enough. Similarly, his veal was rare while mine was medium-well done. I don't know what catering company they used, but I certainly wouldn't recommend them. The Chinese food was apparently catered by some restaurant in Toronto. I think it was probably very good.
Finally, Ian had requested non-seafood, non-fish dishes as his dietary preference, and they had a lot of trouble with that. For some reason, they thought he was vegetarian while they were serving him meat.
Dinner started a half hour late and lasted three hours for those four courses. There were lots of speeches during dinner (some of which were good :) We left after the first dance (choosing not to stay for the bouquet and garter toss) as I was getting tired. As we were leaving, they had a seafood and dessert table set up. The desserts looked very yummy, but the seafood smell was quite overpowering. I don't love seafood, and I don't like its smell, so the desserts weren't as appealing as they might have otherwise been. Also, it was 11:30pm and I should never eat that late :)
All in all, it was very nice to see these two people who were obviously very much in love get married. While it wasn't perfect, it was still a lovely occasion.