|The gift table, with its own little marquee in case the partly-cloudy sky got obstreperous.|
|The bride is a horticulturalist and artist; this wildflower arrangement is hers.|
|The view from the buffet.|
|And we walked by the marriage vows to get to that buffet.|
|May there always be a shared adventure rich with moments of serenity, as well as excitement; vital with problems that test as well as successes that lift...|
|The feast included charcuterie and cheese plates, mezze and salads and sandwiches and really great breads.|
On the groom's side, we got to meet Mum and a cousin or something. On the bride's side, there were Mum and Dad, one and a half sisters, three aunts, two uncles, just one of several cousins, Mum's second ex-husband (effectively bride's stepfather for much of her childhood and adolescence), stepdad's mother, sister and wife and someone who may have been his mother's boyfriend, Dad's mother, sister, wife, two cousins and Dad's daughter by current marriage so that's another half-sister. There may have been more. The photo of the bride's mother, father's wife and stepfather's wife together is... let's call it interesting.
|Dress varied widely. One of the wedding gifts was the bride's gorgeous tiara of fresh roses.|
Where do I come in? Through the kitchen door, natch. I made Mum and Dad's wedding cake more than thirty years ago, and the bride wanted someone to bring dessert. They hadn't specified a wedding cake, but wedding cakes are fun! And since they had way fewer than 150 guests, I didn't need to construct a three-tier cake, which I can only vaguely recall how to do. So I decided to go with two tiers and a cheesecake on the side that would make her dad happy.
|Cheesecake o' love.|
So having made that first cake, 30-some years ago, I got called on twice more in the ensuing fifteen years. That, for those of you challenged by the maths-totting, means I haven't made a tiered cake for more than fifteen years. How hard could it be, I reasoned, and left everything to the last minute. My wedding cakes have all been chocolate, with fruit filling between the layers and buttercream overall. The two marriages celebrated with chocolate and raspberry ended in divorce; the one celebrated with chocolate and cherry filling is still going fairly strong. So there you go. One of the bride's friends whipped a gallon or two of cream to go with a few gallons of fresh strawberries, plus there were sorbets, so everyone got well-desserted.
|Sugaring a cherry is akin to gilding a lily, but sometimes 'fancy' is the right way to go.|
They both seem very down-to-earth, reasonably smart, and centered. I'm betting on happy ever after.
|Guests did a little swimming as the sun drew in.|
|Then there were lanterns. The groom and bride took theirs out on the pond, lit it...|
|let it go...|
|and watched it fly.|