There is no other type of event I do that harbors in me so many different emotions than a wedding. There is no doubt, weddings are a lot of work for everyone involved, but it is all worth it to see families join together, disagreements aside, in order to witness the joining together of two people in one of life’s most sacred ceremonies.
Last summer, I catered an amazing wedding at a private site on the Cape. There was a home on the site but it was really just a simple summer home. Clearly no part of this luxurious event could take place in this house. Everything was to be shipped in right down to the ovens and bathrooms. Four tents were erected- one would hold a full kitchen suitable in size for plating food for 115 guests. Another was just for storing used china, etc. The third tent was constructed for the catering staff’s equipment. The final tent, the guest tent was magnificent as you can see from the pics.
Our staff arrived the day before to begin preparation. The weather was on our minds and as it turns out, a gorgeous weekend was in the cards. We toiled from the early afternoon into the night, setting up tables, making sure ovens worked. A generator even had to be brought in because of the electrical demands for this demanding event. Early the next morning we gathered again at the site to finish the set-up.
The ceremony took place on site as well. By 4:00 PM, guests arrived by trolley from neighboring hotels and inns, as a funky reggae band played some island sounding beat.
Servers passed white lilac garnished trays of sparkling water and lemonade, as well as glasses of Veuve Cliquot Champagne. The couple chose a short ceremony and after rings were exchanged and the officiant announced the new couple to the crowd, the reggae band once again began playing those seductive rhythms, so redolent of the islands. The wind was blowing ever so slightly and the sky was as blue as a big bowl of sapphires. It was going to be a magical day.
Guests were famished and we were prepared to impress them with a stunning menu. Four specialty cocktails (one of which was non-alcoholic) were served in bakers jars- Mojito’s, Flirtini’s (Razberi Vodka, Cointreau, proseco, pineapple, lime and cranberry juice), Mango Martini’s and a Ginger Beer punch.
And there was a full bar located in an abandoned gazebo!
There were passed hors d’oeuvres as well as a stationary table of Mediterranean tapas type finger foods. Servers passed, just to name a few, classic crab cakes with remoulade, polenta triangles with eggplant tapenade, and roasted pea puree with arugula and parmesan on crostini’s.
Some of the tapas included tiny falafel with mini pita’s, tzatziki and spicy harissa sauce; a variety of middle-eastern dips and local fresh goat cheese towers topped with slow roasted cherry tomatoes, pink peppercorns and crushed fresh garlic.
At this point in the reception, I remember not being able to wipe the silly grin off my face. I think that secretly, I imagined my daughters’ weddings to be this amazing. Everyone was dancing, laughing and enjoying this picture perfect day.
After guests feasted on hors d’oeuvres, it was now time to enter the dinner tent. The decor selected for the event reminded me of how an elegant sailboat might be decorated. The linens and floral arrangements were simply spectacular.
A new band, all the way from New York City, tempted guests into the tent with some hip jiving blues tunes. Toasts were made to Kir Royales (Champagne, Chambord and a twist of lemon) and soon after each place setting received a mouthwatering carrot ginger soup with frizzled leeks.
This was followed by a Chilean Sea Bass with a hoisin-brandy glaze, a Yukon gold potato cake and sesame ginger sugar snaps. A vegetarian alternative was offered replacing the sea bass with a firm tofu that was seasoned with a dry rub and grilled.
After much dancing, dessert was served. Two large tables were festooned with multiple cakes on one (Chocolate Mud Cake, Strawberry Shortcake and a Hazelnut Dacquoise Cake) and assorted sorbets (Cassis, Mango and Passion Fruit) on the other. Guest tables also received a hydrangea garnished tray of mini pastries including Chocolate Mousse Cups, Chocolate Dipped Strawberries, Belgian Truffles, Chocolate Eclairs and Fresh Fruit Tartlets.
Guests danced well into the night to some reggae tunes. As if the gods above were watching, a lovely ocean breeze cooled off the tent and all I could think was, life is good!
Enjoy the pictures from this special day.