Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Reception

I can't believe that I've been posting stories about the wedding for almost a month now! Maybe you can't either...but's story is probably the last in the "series" since it's about the reception. That's good because I'm ready to get back to posting about food, wine, or some other critically important idea... :-)

Like the wedding itself, we wanted to keep the reception simple. I originally wanted to have the wedding mass out at the church at Colonia Guell, a Gaudi-designed building that's my favorite of his. We could have done it there but it would have introduced a whole bunch of logistical challenges to the day since Colonia Guell itself is about a half hour from Barcelona's city center via car. It would have required renting at least one bus to take everyone out there for the ceremony and then back for the reception. Yuck...too much just didn't fit with the K.I.S.S. goal we had. So, in the end, we decided to hold the wedding and reception on La Rambla Catalunya within a couple of blocks of each other.

Diana and I chose to do the reception at El Glop restaurant, which is one of our favorites here in Barcelona. (El Glop means "a gulp" in Catalan.) When you arrive, it doesn't look like much; just another bar-style place, which there seem to be maybe ten on each block. Nope. The magic happens when you go down the steps to the basement where traditional Catalan architecture and (great) food can be found.

A funny side story... Diana and I, on the Monday following the Saturday we got engaged, met with Xavi the priest, the priest at San Ramon de Penyafort (the church where we did the wedding), and the manager of the restaurant and had all three coordinated/arranged within about an hour of each other. All part of the K.I.S.S. program!

Diana and I got to the restaurant about 30 minutes later than planned due to our long stop at La Pedrera for the wedding photos. Right after we arrived, we did a cava (Spanish sparkling wine) toast:

...with our family and friends in attendance:

This one's not during the toast but it shows the guests on the other side of the room along with some of the architecture of the space:

Dinner was a set-menu choice of a barbecued-meat combo or a salmon steak. I loved the barbecue combination and never got to try the fish. Lots of wine and cava were drunk and people seemed to have a good time. (A plug for El gotta' go there and get the arroz negro for lunch one day...yum!)

Right after the main course was cleared, Victor got up and read the three poems (one each in English, Spanish, and Catalan) that he had written for Diana:

Diana then did the bouquet toss. There were about eight young ladies vying for the flowers with Paula, one of Diana's friends who is also from Colombia, getting the prize. I love this photo because she seems so happy and her boyfriend seems a bit terrified at the sight of the flowers:

Later in the evening, Diana's friend (and our wedding priest) Xavi led everyone in a sing along while he played guitar. He did about ten songs in all, everything from Mariachi to traditional rock 'n' roll.

What wedding reception would be complete without the official cutting of the cake? Obviously not ours!

Everyone's been to enough weddings to know that there are good tables and not so good tables to be at. Our reception had "sleeper" (in a good way) tables like the one where folks from Diana's church sat with Gema, Olga, and their sigots (significant others) but the award for the table that looked to be the most fun definitely goes to this one. Congrats to Victor, Vladimir, Nadia, Marcos, and Leiris for killing at least a bottle of wine each and for showing us all a thing or two on how to have an awesome time at a wedding and reception!

Wow. I can't believe it. I'm married. Whoda' guessed? Certainly not me. But, it's good so far and I'm confident that it'll continue that way. Thanks to my family who came over from Philadelphia, our friends here in Barcelona, Diana's family back in Colombia, our extended families and friends in the United States and Colombia, Xavi, the mystery guy who got us into La Pedrera for our photos, and the gracious folks at El Glop.

Thanks also to my beautiful bride Diana. I love you very much! Here's to a long, happy, and, very importantly, fun life together!!!

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