Tuesday September 19, 2006

the alex + karen wedding experience (dance party + tattoos + limos + karaoke)

Okay friends, are you sure you can handle the awesomeness of this Alex + Karen wedding recap? (and only 10 days late!) Quick background: Alex + Karen = friends of mine from grad school @ NYU (come'on, you already know this!). While Alex and I worked on just about every project at ITP together (how sweet), me + Alex + Karen (and Giselle! Boomer!) worked on larger Special Group Projects together. Oh, and these days I work with Alex @ G on the dodgeball stuff. Good times! So, ready?

Let's start at Friday's rehearsal dinner - reserved for all the VIPs who get to be in the wedding (pow!). I was a Groomsman. Or an usher. Or something. Whatever. I got to wear a tux.

At dinner, family and friends gathered around round-after-round of appetizers and wine. When it came time to sit, we split into a Kids Table and a Grown Ups table. The poor bride and groom-to-be got stuck with the grown ups(, suckas!)

Now before we get too deep into this recap, let me take a second to say that the A+K wedding was perhaps the best wedding I've been to. I mean, everything was so thought out and planned out and pretty much perfect. Let me trying to call out some examples. See, that way I'll be able to remember when it comes time for My Special Day (hopefully with that girl I made out w/ at Steve Swozowski's party in 7th grade).

Best Wedding Ever Example #1: Everything on the menu was picked out by A+K. Right? I mean, it seemed like it. Lobster roll apps? Karen! Pork wrapped in bacon? Alex! Root beer floats! Well done!

I stole this video from Manlio, but here's me breaking down our reherasal dinner strategy - Kevin and I went splitty-splitty. (the 2nd part of the video is from the post-wedding reception, btw) [video]

Manlio says: "I think my favorite part is Kevinís ďI canít believe Iím going to be in this videoĒ look."

Wait, did you hear what I said a second ago? I said *pork wrapped in bacon*. Perhaps the most delicious thing I've ever tasted.

After the rehersal dinner, we trekked about 100 miles over to Floyd, this bar in Brooklyn I've heard of a thousand times (mostly via dodgeball check-ins from A+K). Anyway, bocce courts + drink specials!

Micah in the white. Oliver in the blue. Karen in the black. Amy (?) in the pink. Kevin gesturing wildly in the background.

Only two of these pics in this recap, I swear!

A+K retired early (smart!). Me + Kevin.K trekked into Manhattan and drank till 5am (dumb!). I met up w/ Dianne and Jen.D who were DJing at Backroom (hi!). I kind of heart this photo.

Fast forward to the next morning. Team Groomsmen met up w/ Alex for brunch at Schiller's (why don't I have a pic of this?).

When we went to settle up the bill, I busted out these temporary tattoos that I had made up for the wedding. I brought maybe 15 of them to brunch to give out to the wedding party. We left a few extras behind for the waitstaff.

... but not to worry, there are plenty. (er, you have to order them in batches of 1000 - foreshadowing!)

After brunch we went back to Kevin.K's place in Brooklyn and just lounged around for the afternoon. We later got all dolled up in our tuxes and best A+K tattoos.

Next, onto picture time!

Best Wedding Ever Example #2: Know what sucks about weddings (especially weddings you're in)? The ego-tripping wedding photographer who's barking orders - stand here, stand there, quack quack quack. Soooooo, A+K brought in Ms. Youngna as the Official Wedding Photographer which was awesome. So low stress - it was just kids hanging out taking photos. (btw, I stole a lot of these pics from her, so for anything that looks amazing, thank YP!)

Wedding pics location: some park in Brooklyn strategically placed bewteen the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge. The girls hit some traffic and there was some performance art group dressed in all white dancing all over the place, but besides that, Operation: Wedding Pics went pretty smooth.

... special thanks to Secret Service?

I call this one "Kids in Love".

ps: Manhattan bridge.

Bridal party.

Players. ("Look hard, like a gangster!"

... and Kevin's hipbone. (tattoos, sucka!)

Annnnndddd onto the wedding... which was held out at some place called The Foundry out in Long Island City. The afternoon went by quick - by the time we showed up (er, a little late) us VIP groomsmen were starting to sit people. Me + Kevin.K took over as ushers (we did a B+/A- job). The ceremony was led by a Humanist minister (kind of, but not really, reminiscent of Warren's role in Stacey + Dave's wedding)


ps: I think moments before A+K actually high-fived each other.

Whew, so now they're married. Inside when it was time to find your seat, I spied these little gift boxes: Karen Rainert! (you got the last names mixed up, dude. how embarassing.)

Best Wedding Ever Example #3: Everyone loves the open bar, but A+K brought all their favorites: Magic Hat, Brooklyn Lager, Brooklyn Pennant (delicious!), some Miller Lite (ha!). I mean, it's all this little stuff that makes you feel more like you're at a cookout at their apartment and less like some foreign wedding production, you know?

I got seated with the ITP kids on the 2nd level (me + Manlio + Scott). Not bad seats for Gabe + Nuti's tag-team best man speeches and the Wedding Couple's First Dance. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed that Alex snuffed my suggestion to go with MOP's Ante Up).

Eat! That! Cake!

Between cake eating and dance party (btw, I don't think I ruined any teendrama surprises. Dance party = inevitable) there was a lot of lounging outside (btw, Foundry has a huge patio on back). YP was running around snapping pics...

... me n' Harryh got up in there...

... as did Manlio and his Matrix pose...

... and Oliver and his gang signs (man, it's a wedding!)...

... before we started reinacted Street Fighter 2 scenes. [bigger!]

And then the hip hop dance party started.

Best Wedding Ever Example #4: Why have some random dude DJ when you can get Dj Randizzzzzzzzle up in there. I've heard of people stressing over having to come up with a DON'T PLAY THESE SONGS list for the DJ (e.g. Chicken Dance, We Are Family, Shook Me All Night Long, etc.), but with Randy DJing the dinner music sounded like it came from Kevin's iPod (that's a good thing), the pre-dance party had all the grandma dancing (Michael Jackson) and the Big Boy Dance Party was like a No Data (sans Grellan's P.R.S. slow jams and the inevitable cueing of the Quad City DJs).

Anyway, Randy breaks out Kelly Clarkson and out comes The Alex Shuffle.

Which leads to crazy hip hop dance party for a good hour.

Maybe more?

So, the other day I'm editing these pics thinking, "Man, I need a new camera. This one is starting to take really crappy photos. I wonder what happened?" (did you notice how everything looks so washed out?) And then I came across this video of (a) Randy cuing up BBD's Poison, (b) everyone going apeshit and (c) me kicking my digi clear across the room. Hahahahah. [video]

ps: Alex, sorry I captured the tail end of The Alex Shuffle on digitape. Hope we can still be friends.

Don't forget that while all this is going on, tattoo mania is spreading like wildfire. Weddding couple...

... and then some dude who threw on up on the back of his head...

... and Kevin.K, not to be outdone.

And hello!

More dance party. I like to think this is around the time I busted out my long-lost highschool windmill, but one can never be sure. (btw, my knee may never be the same again)

Dude Factory (except for you up there at 11:00).

Around 11:30 we got booted from The Foundry. Stuck out in the middle of Long Island City, the only thing left to do is...

... call strech Escalade limos to take us back to the city!

"What? No Escalade limos? Oh, I need to book them 24 hours in advance? Huh. Hummer Limos then? Got any of those? Hmmm... how about just dirty ol' prom limos? Yes? Sweet! We'll take two!"

So we piled in as many as possible ("to The Magician!"). When the two limos pulled away, three of us were left stranded (no more room!).

Luckily, the owner of the limo company came to our rescue - I rode shotgun with the girls in the Ghetto Limo (aka the limo owner's Honda Accord). He even took me to Citibank!

Through the magic of dodgeball, we met up with pretty much everyone else we knew at The Magician. Breakdown was probably 40% of the bar in wedding attire, 20% friends (?). Matt + Dianne + Will got on the A+K tattoo bandwagon.

... as did these random kids. Dude in the red looks like he's shooting up.

And this girl? (er, who are you again?) YP in the background about to get her MAKE OUT on. (jk!)

When Magician got stale, we headed (where else) but...

... Sing Sing Karaoke!

Bonus points to Kevin.K for pulling this one off - it's no easy task getting a 30-person room for karaoke prime-time on a Saturday night on 20 mins notice. But I guess that's how it works when you show up at Sing Sing *every other night* w/ Carney + Annie + Courtney in tow.

Come'on, I'm just busting on you, Kevin. I'll tell you what, lemme sing you a song to make up for it. I like to thing we're singing a *solid* "I Just Called... To Say... I Love You" duet. But I know we're not. It's most likely (a) Patience or (b) Wanted(, WANTED!) Dead or Alive. No surprises there.

Alex rocking out. Who brought the girl in the red pants?

A little Youngna Bop going on in the background...

... which in real life looks a lot like the girl in the corner. I like to think I rock it more like Linus. If anyone *doesn't* think the girl in the red hair looks like Dianne dancing, then sorry, but you are dead to me.

Me + bride.

Special guest stars Air Traffic Controller Dunlap, Big Buck Will and Johnny Apes and Androids

By the end of then night I had, er, 8 tattoos? We probably went through about 600 of the 1000.

This poor guy. The last thing you *ever* want to do is pass out in a room full of rowdy kids with pockets full of temporaty tattoos.

We hit him up pretty good. I like to imagine that he had a legit, "Holy shit - what did I do last night!" moment when he looked in the mirror the next morning.

In conclusion, it's the rarest thing in the world to walk out of a karaoke place and feel like you got a deal - the bill is usually about 200% higher than you expect it ("Oh, $60? Wait? $300!"), but somehow we left Sing Sing doing okay (special thanks for everyone who pitched in).

5:30am karaoke survivors. I hit up The Automat about 10 mins later for a delicious average Mac 'n Cheese croquette. By the way, most of these karaoke survivors weren't actually at the wedding. Ha! (Jesse, Lock, Dianne, Spiers, etc.) Bonus points for Oliver + Kevin, btw.

And the end? I actually got up early (11am?) on Sunday feeling like a rockstar (thank you, 2am Red Bull!). I spent the day with Kevin and Jim and Dianne out in Brooklyn recapping the night and watching football.

We heard from Alex later that afternoon, just after he and Karen got back from Newlywed's First Brunch. Apparently they hit up Schiller's (the same place we got brunch before the wedding) where the waitress, after noticing their Alex + Karen tattoos, showed them her own A+K tattoo'ed up arm (presumably picked up from the ones we left behind with our tip!). Ha!

Okay, so now: the end.

Extra credit:
+ Manlio (mloco.com)
+ Youngna (youngna.com)
+ Youngna (Flickr)

Tue 9/19 @ 5:13 PM | # link| Comments (4)
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