Dawn heads into the foyer to greet the arriving guests. The next entity to arrive is D'Hoffryn, who is carrying a box pierced by many holes. "May the love we celebrate today avoid an almost inevitable decline," D'Hoffryn greets her, then tries to give the gift to Dawn. However, Dawn is distracted by the arrival of Halfrek, who is also wearing one of the screaming green bridesmaid's dresses. As we've all seen in the promo, D'Hoffryn's gift sticks a squirmy tentacle out at Dawn. D'Hoffryn and Hallie continue on inside, arguing about Hallie trying to get Dawn to make a little vengeance wish. Dawn notices Spike slumping around the lobby and hurries over to talk to him, seemingly excited to see him. Spike doesn't even greet Dawn, however, and instead just truculently says, "I want you to meet the date," gesturing towards the Goth-y chick he has on his arm. Dawn politely says hello, the date just says, "Uh huh," and Spike says "date" about five more times. Looks like that whole Spike-and-Dawn rapport is as dead as, well, Spike. He cared more about making himself look like the big man here than he did about actually talking to Dawn. Dawn wanders off.
In a large gathering room, which features a bar along one side, Clem, Cousin Carol, Mrs. Harris, Uncle Rory, and a guy with tentacles on his chin are all sharing uncomfortable conversation. Carol and Rory comment on Clem and his buddy being "circus folk," and Clem admits that "there are ancient ways." He then quickly covers with, "Clowning as an occupation grew out of the Commedia dell'Arte and ancient sports," which seems like a nice topic for conversation but only leads Rory to sneer that Xander's children shouldn't be raised in any sort of cult. As the tentacle guy gets involved in the debate, we see repeated shots of Xander's mom looking apprehensive. Mrs. Harris isn't like I thought she'd be. I thought she'd be more obviously horrible because of the time Xander called home and she had no idea who he was. But then there was the time she wanted to provide Xander and Giles with snacks, so maybe she has her good days and her bad days. Mrs. Harris finally catches a glimpse of her husband, who is hunched over the bar, knocking back drinks and laughing cynically about the "'til death do us part" section of wedding vows. He instructs the bartender to give him another drink. The old man in the overcoat (remember him?) has shown up at the wedding and works his way thought the crowd, obviously looking for someone.