Ringing in the New Year with a wedding toast.

I had the pleasure on December 31, 2010, New Years Eve, to not only enjoy a wonderful New Years Eve dinner and dance but to be also included in the celebration of a wedding for someone I didn’t even know.

When my husband and I arrived at the Cocoanut Grove ballroom that evening, we were surprised to see that one section of seating in the Bay View Room was not decorated in the black, gold and red New Years Eve decorations that were prevalent in the rest of the room.  Instead, the tables were decorated in silver and white, with tall, slender base-lit vases spilling over with beautiful white ostrich feathers.

Sure enough, there were the bride and groom at a table framed by the long windows overlooking Monterey Bay.  And even though their reception area was set aside by the change in decoration, everyone in the room felt that they had been invited to help celebrate a most happy occasion.

For the price of dinner-dance tickets, the happy couple was able to combine their wedding reception with a kick off party for the New Year.  With the dinner and dessert menus set by the Cocoanut Grove, and entertainment already selected, they could concentrate on other aspects of their wedding plans.

This may not be the perfect arrangement for other brides and grooms, but looking at the smiles of the newlyweds, as they danced with their friends and a room full of strangers, it certainly was the right thing for them!