Tuesday night I had assorted friends over for an all-adults, talk-as-long-as-we-want seder. I thought it went quite well. There were ten of us (planned to be eleven but somebody stayed home sick, alas).
As we did last year, we had the first part in the living room -- if we're reclining in comfort, why not use the comfy chairs? (I think, but am not certain, that I have Lee Gold to thank for this idea.) The haggadah I use (Silverman, revised/enhanced) has transliteration for many of the key parts -- part of why I chose it, for accessibility -- but not all of them, so I made a supplementary sheet with the rest of what we'd need. With luck I got everything this year that I had missed last year; it's an iterative process. People were good sports about faking their way through unfamiliar melodies, and I got to hear one or two new ones from others. (When you bring diverse people together you don't all have the same traditions, which is cool because we can learn from each other but can leave people feeling a little off-kilter while they get used to it.)
Somebody brought the Velveteen Rabbi's haggadah and shared some readings from it. Note to self: go download that. One thing in particular that I want to pick up for future years: as pointed out by one of my guests, the haggadah spends more time recalling discussions of the exodus than the exodus itself; we don't read from the book of Exodus, for example. The VR haggadah has a nice engaging summary that we inserted into the magid to good effect.
Note to self: get more grape juice next year! Last year we only used one bottle and this year I bought two (had a couple more people); three would have been better. Also, it's worth it to get the nice bottled sparkling grape juice, not the stuff from the juice section of the grocery store.
We went for about 2.5 hours before the meal, I think, with lots of good conversation. The meal was pleasant and we did the rest of the haggadah and sang some of the songs after.
Note to self: get a different, or additional, folding table for next year. There was no good way to seat 11 people with the tables and chairs I had; I set up something that I thought would work but people rearranged while I was getting the soup ready, so I guess it didn't. Since we only had 10 they were able to make that work. But I don't want my furniture to limit my guests in the future. (When the dishes start to limit the guests I'll just get more or use plastic or something.)
I'm glad my friends were able to be part of this, and I'm glad Dani was there this year.