My dad is one of seven; he has two brothers and four sisters and though they’re scattered all over the United States (and at points, beyond!), they are surprisingly close. While they would like to see each other more, the “sibs” always gets together for three things: the annual Anderson family reunion, their father’s birthday and the weddings of all their nieces and nephews. I remember being so proud at my wedding to have all my aunts and uncles there, together, for me.

I don’t know how it all started, but years ago my aunts started buying beautiful picnic baskets and filling them with food for the newlywed couple on the night of their wedding. Being mothers (and mothers of married children) they knew that the newlyweds often don’t have time to eat at the reception – they are far too busy talking to guests, dancing, cutting the cake and then they are whisked away without ever having touched the food that they so carefully picked for their wedding.

We were that couple. Andy was pretty sick with nerves before our wedding. We were already legally married at that point, so it wasn’t cold feet – he’s just not good at speaking in front of crowds and we had over 250 wedding guests. Needless to say, no food passed his lips. Just water. I was busy talking to people I hadn’t seen in years and just too excited seeing everyone have such a good time! I couldn’t sit down, let alone eat food.

By the time we got to the hotel at 12:30 in the morning, Andy said: “I’m hungry.” I said, “Me too.” We ate some food from the basket and saved the bottle of bubbly for when we got to our honeymoon destination the next day.

Last weekend was beautiful so we decided to have a picnic in Central Park. We pulled out the picnic basket (which is really a Rolls Royce of picnic baskets) and it has everything – plates, cutlery, napkins, wine glasses, cheese board and knife, a blanket. It also brought back such happy memories of my wedding night and also my wonderful aunts who filled it with food, goodies and a beautiful note.