There are many ways to have fun at a wedding. There's the tried and true method of just gettin' drunk and dancing and indulging in the sanctified merriment. There are also those rare weddings where the occasion itself is rich with meaning and true emotion, and it is a joy just to be there in the glow of someone's love (I'm taking this on faith, as I don't recall ever actually attending a wedding like that). And then there are the events where the real pleasure is in simply doing everything correctly and not making any social gaffes. Kind of like putting in a pleasant day's work.
Today's event was like that. The couple in question, dear souls though they are, are nevertheless rather emotionally camera-shy. The whole elopement scenario was a way to avoid being in the spotlight, and this reception was more of the same: cocktails, cake, champagne, and a few brief, dry-eyed toasts. No big scenes.
It felt good to know the etiquette beforehand: cocktail parties are for mingling. You hold your drink in your left hand, keeping the right hand free for waving and shaking. You dress tastefully, never outshining the hostess, and you mix it up, not staying too long in any one social configuration. You stay a decent length of time, you bring a nice wrapped gift (in our case, the new-ish XTC boxed set), and you don't get overly drunk. Check.
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