After thirty years of living faithfully with one another, our family friends finally decided to make it legal. My husband David would perform the ceremony. Our family would host the reception at our home. My daughters, Maggy and Sharon, and I would cater it.
Our goal: despite hosting, officiating, and catering the wedding, David, Maggy, Sharon, and I wanted to really be able to celebrate this moment.
Did we succeed? You bet.
Since we knew our friends well, we planned a menu that was significant for them and relatively easy for us to pull off. The appetizers were from all the places they loved—Lobster Roll Sliders from Maine, Muffuletta Foccacia Squares from New Orleans, Austrian Roasted Pumpkin Soup which I served shooter-style garnished with roasted pumpkin oil and seeds, crab cakes with a mango salsa to remember their time in the Caribbean, a big platter of French cheeses.
The biggest reason we enjoyed the wedding is that help arrived at 2:00. After familiarizing them with the food and menu, we took off our aprons and took time to primp for the ceremony that started at 4:00. I’ve hosted way too many parties without help. Trust me: if you want to enjoy your own party you need to hire competent, experienced help (and that would not be the neighbor’s 15-year-old kid).
We took timesaving shortcuts. The wedding couple requested lemon meringue pie for dessert. That’s six pies. I could have spent a couple of hours making pie dough from scratch. Instead I rolled refrigerated piecrusts in graham cracker crumbs that gave them a homemade look and flavor. I had a choice with the lobster sliders—steam four 1 1/2 pound lobsters (@ $10 per pound) or buy 1 quart of frozen picked lobster meat at $65 a pound. Same price. Easy decision.
We were flexible. For the main course we had proposed big platters of Grilled Butterflied Rosemary Lamb Shoulder and Grilled Tuna Nicoise. When I had to make the decision between $23 per pound tuna and $8.99 per pound salmon, my platter became Grilled Salmon Nicoise. And no one seemed to notice that that grapes stood in for the non-existent apricots in the salad.
It was a magical night—even for the cook. I’m glad I was able to see everyone enjoying the food, happy that I didn’t try to play both caterer and host, that I wasn’t stressed because I spent way too many hours and way too much money doing it “right” instead of the way that felt right….for me.
Cookie Kim says
We are over the moon delighted for Randy and Allen and so happy they tied the knot with David on the alter! It looked like a beautiful day and I’m sure all their Bucks County “family” wish them 30 more years of wedded bliss. God Bless.
Lori @ RecipeGirl says
I love that you took needed shortcuts. The guests, I’m sure, loved it all and had no clue about that sort of thing. I worked for a caterer back in the day, and oh-my-gosh I remember what hard work it is. I did a party at my house for 18 a couple of weekends ago. My husband insisted on hiring help. I argued, but I was glad when all of the dishes were done at the end of the night!
Dana Booth says
I am so glad I found your blog. You just sound awesome. Those are incredibly reasonable shortcuts. I always make my own piecrust, but maybe I’ll do your graham cracker shortcut sometime; it sure would be easier when making a bunch of pies for a big dinner!
I also admire you for all of the weight you’ve lost and for leaving your job at Cook’s when the job was taking over in your life. I was reading about your Perfect Recipes for Eating Great to lose weight and saw a bit of your story on Amazon. It so sounds like me in many ways wrt weight and I’m in the same boat at just over 200 now 🙁 I’m getting the book and very much looking forward to the recipes and more of your story. Thank you for writing it! I’ve now got your blog in my RSS feed and am looking forward to following it 🙂
Fabulous! Love that you didn’t stress out “doing it “‘right” instead of the way that felt right”- wise words, and not easy to learn to go with the feeling, the inner direction. So happy you all could enjoy and celebrate, and my goodness the menu sounds amazing. A beautiful gift to your friends- the loving generosity of your catering and your presence
Food looks amazing, and love that you catered the party, but were able to enjoy it. Lucky friends!
It was a wonderful party! We had a great time and of course the food was over the top. You three did a spectacular job.
Great tips Pam. We opted for memorable finger foods at our wedding and had a ball enjoying them with our friends and family. I love how your whole family was involved in this wedding. What a treat for your friends!