Monday, August 12, 2013

This Modern Love: A Welcome Dinner Surprise

With my dad getting a clean bill of health and my mom taking him back to the hotel to rest, it was time to finally get the welcome dinner started.  We were all just so relived that he was fine, that I think everyone was ready to let loose and get the drinks flowing.

All photos are personal, courtesy of Wedding Party App (having this app available to our guests was one of the BEST decisions we made, so I'll dedicate a whole post to this later!)

One of the only pictures of me and Mr. M that night--we had alot of guests to greet!



 Since we had a huge group to feed (I think it ended up being about 110 people--although we weren't allowing children at the wedding, some people brought their kids and sitters up with them to Montreal so we decided to let people bring their kids to this event), we had previously decided on a mixed menu of various items (Quebec style pizzas, poutine, salads, veggie plates, etc.) and had the option of ordering additional items in case we ran out of food.  The staff at Les 3 Brasseurs were exceptional--so sweet, attentive and just made sure to take care of everything and anything we needed.  It was such a relief to not be stressing about anything related to the welcome dinner (particularly after what had happened with my dad) and to work with such great people.

Seating wasn't assigned, rather there were just rows and rows of tables and chairs (with some booths in the back) and people were told to sit where ever they wanted to, since we wanted this to be a relaxed and casual event.
It's hard to see how many people were here but this entire upstairs area was just for us and our guests
My cousins!  I have a huge, mixed family
Mr. M as a blur and smiling guests
BM A on the left and BM T on the right

One of the Quebec style pizzas called Flamm
Someone was being artsy with their photography :)
 After dinner was served, I felt it was time to make a little speech before I surprised Mr. M with dessert.  I said a few words thanking everyone so much for coming all the way to Canada for our wedding, and what a wonderful feeling it was to have all these different groups of people in the same room together.  It was so nice to see all these people mingling in one room and getting to know each other--it was just such a special moment for us and gave us a taste of what was in store for the wedding the next day.
This is during my thank you speech
Now unbeknownst to Mr. M, I arranged for a special surprise for dessert.  I worked with my Godsister's friend (who lives in Montreal) to make a Haitian cake for the welcome dinner.  Obviously many of our guests weren't Haitian so I thought it would be a nice cross-cultural treat since it's a delicacy in Haitian cuisine.  This was something that Mr. M knew about.  But what he did NOT know was the design I requested for the cake.

Green Bay Packers themed Haitian cake!!
 As a special "groom's cake" surprise, I had it designed with a Green Bay Packers theme!  This is Mr. M's absolute favorite sports team in the world (he is a rabid fan, being from Wisconsin and all), so he was literally shocked when it was revealed.  I had never seen him so excited about something before, so it's a wonderful feeling when you can still surprise the person you love :) 
I let him do the cutting honors!

Cake was served amongst the guests as people continued to drink and mingle.  I made sure to save a few pieces for my parents to bring back to them at the hotel.
Yummy cake!
After another hour or so, it was getting late so people started leaving.  We settled up our bill (which shockingly, cost us around only $1,600 to feed 110 people--thank god we had the foresight to do a cash bar for this event or that would have been MUCH more expensive).  There were a bunch of other people who decided to continue the night at some other bars in the area, but Mr. M and I were beyond exhausted at this point and were just ready to call in a night in preparation for the following day.

Next up--the wedding morning finally arrives!!



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