Chip, Chip, Hooray! Attending a Very Fun, Tex-Mex-Themed Wedding

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

If you follow me on Instagram, you might've seen that this weekend, I attended one of the most fun weddings ever, that of my friends Emily & Ron. They dubbed the entire event #guacdowntheaisle, & it was just such a blast. 

The reception took place at a Tex-Mex restaurant (we'll get to that in a minute), & the festivities included a number of unusual elements that I feel it my duty to share with you, good people of the Internet. How could I keep something this fun & joyful confined to Instagram & my own memory?!

First, let me tell you about the bride & groom: Emily is a lover of social media & social justiceloving who I first met in 2007, when I was a legislative assistant at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism & she was working at the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. Jewish liberal activists, unite! She was also the college BFF of my friend Elissa, who has since passed away.

These days, Emily is the digital marketing mind behind Greater Good Strategy, & I had the pleasure of co-working with her on a regular basis during my last year living in D.C. (RIP to our favorite Starbucks, though.) Longtime readers of this blog might also remember Emily as the friend who threw the birthday conference, at which I was a presenter (on the topic of personal branding, of course).

Emily met her now-husband Ron, an urban planner, online. (Internet couples, also unite!) Though their personalities are wildly different - hers, loud & excitable & full of obvious, outward passion & exuberance, & his reserved, clever, & even-keeled - they are one of the most well-matched pairs I've ever had the pleasure of knowing.

Photo by fellow attendee Susan Mendoza Friedman

Here were some of the most unusual elements of the ceremony portion of the day:

The early start
This was a day-time wedding, which I'd never attended before. The ceremony began at 10:30a.m., followed by a lunch reception. The whole thing was done by 4p.m.

The wedding 'zine
The wedding program was a black & white, multi-page 'zine that included explanations of parts of the ceremony, descriptions of Jewish rituals, & even the seating chart for the reception. So creative - & extremely helpful.

The passed pastries
As the ceremony began, attendants passed out black & white cookies (a Jewish classic) to everyone in attendance, which we were encouraged to enjoy on during the ceremony itself - & which my friend Ben did during the Seven Blessings. Sometimes you need a snack!

The call to action
During the ceremony, attendees were encouraged to fill in a letter to their member of Congress asking them to block any attempts at passing "concealed carry reciprocity" legislation. The letter was the last page of the 'zine, of course - & after we'd all filled in our pages, they were collected to be sent to our elected officials. (Here's how you can do the same, by the way - all online.)

The second line
As the ceremony ended, the music began - the second line music, that is! Emily & Ron borrowed a New Orleans tradition, hiring live musicians to play jaunty, jazzy music, including Hava Nagila, in the hotel lobby while the couple & their friends & family paraded behind them.

Photo by fellow attendee Shannon Powers
After the ceremony, we used a custom Lyft code to get to Chuy's Tex-Mex, a chain restaurant with a location in Rockville, MD. It was the site of Emily & Ron's define-the-relationship date, & they've been back many times since.

I've heard a lot about Chuy's (OK, mainly from Emily), so I couldn't wait to experience it for myself. Plus, the only bad things about weddings, for the most part, is usually the food. Bland chicken breast, woof. I knew that wouldn't be the case this time around!

Chuy's did not disappoint, from the bottomless margaritas to the passed apps (spicy veggie queadillas & tiny chicken flautas) to the main meal of fajitas served family-style.

Here were a few other highlights of the reception:

The cocktail hour playlist
The groom curated a playlist of his favorite songs from Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings. The 'zine describes her as "a Brooklyn-based soul and funk singer who got her start performing at weddings be- fore hitting it big. Imagine a lady version of James Brown." You can listen to Ron's entire playlist on Spotify.

The nacho car
When I read the words "Chuy’s signature nacho car" in the 'zine, I figured it was a typo & that it was meant to say "nacho bar." Alas! I walked in the door & spotted half a vintage car with the trunk popped open, housing... a nacho bar. That's right: a nacho car bar. So cool. So delicious.

The cookie table
Emily & Ron borrowed a tradition beloved by folks in the Youngstown, OH, & Pittsburgh, PA, a "communal cookie project" (their words) in which wedding guests bring cookies to the reception, all displayed on a sort of desserts-to-go table. In this case, most of the cookies were devoured before we even hit the dance floor - but damn, they were delicious.

The best part, though, was all the freaking joy - not just between Emily & Ron but all of their friends & family, the beautiful community they've created, & some of my absolute favorite people (including them) in the mix.

As more & more of my D.C. friends get married, I see less & less of them in group settings - because, well, we've been relying on weddings to bring us together! It was such a delight to spend an afternoon eating nachos & dancing in broad daylight with so many of the folks I love most (& see least).

Mazal tov to Emily & Ron, whose marg-nificent wedding was one of the best events I've ever attended. It's one people will surely taco 'bout for years to come! 

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