So, with this last post, the big wedding catering saga comes to an end, as the actual events came to an end last Saturday (though the cleaning and leftover-eating continue!) With the arrival of the wedding day, there was some mad scurrying to get the final steps completed (salad boxes stacked a mile high! browned and cheesy enchiladas straight out of the oven!), some hopes for clear weather, the drive to the wedding venue with the Subaru packed to the gills, lots of set-up, and the waiting with bated breath for all the festivities--and eating--to begin.
But before the rush of eating began, we got to sit down and enjoy the calmness and beauty of the wedding ceremony itself. To be honest, it was the only part of the evening, where I actually had some moments to reflect on this as not only an event I was catering, but as a celebration of these two people who I love so much, coming together in this privileged institution of marriage, declaring their love and desire to be with one another, in front of the most important people in their lives. The ceremony began with a processional to "I Want to Be With You Always," performed by my favorite singer and guitarist:
And then we moved on to the ceremony itself, which was touching, filled with affection, and which struck just the right balance between tradition and progressive sentiment.
And then everyone began to eat. In the rush of serving food, we only managed to capture clear photos of the appetizers. The whole table:
And artsy close-ups:
It was really difficult not to just stand around the table, watching people eat and trying to read their facial expressions and their empty plates to figure out whether they loved the food or not. We tried to make ourselves mingle and celebrate and stay away from the food itself, but it sure was hard. So much of my attention and energy was focused on making sure people were happy, not only in heart, but in belly.
And it seemed like they indeed were--happy on all counts! So many people came up to us throughout the evening, thanking us, hugging us, showering compliments on us and the food. I think a lot of people just couldn't really believe that it all came together the way that it did. I tried to make sure everyone knew it wasn't just me that had made it happen, that I was nothing without my friends and sous chefs, but I still think many of the wedding guests were surprised by the quantity and quality of the food made by these grad students.
And the newlyweds also seemed happy with us--but maybe it was all that love they were feeling (and not the food) that made them seem so happy? Who knows...
The evening came to an end with lots of leftover food and this sense of did we really make that happen? did everything really go off that smoothly and without any real hitches? how could this be?!!
We went home, exhausted, sated, happy.
And so the wedding catering saga (round 1?) came to an end. With full bellies and smiles on our faces. Happy wedding and happy marriage, JF and RM!