We did it!
We married off two great people, avoided what seemed like an imminent rain event, and sent everybody home stuffed to the gills with good food.
This was an outdoor wedding in my parent's backyard and as luck would have it, the day before was absolutely perfect weather ... warm, sunny, light breeze... just perfect.
That was Friday.
Saturday morning, we awoke to the sound of pouring rain and it continued off and on throughout the hectic morning preparations.
We continued on, hashing out contingency plans for food, people, and ceremony placement if it was still raining at wedding time.
An hour or so before the ceremony, although the sky was still grey and threatening, the rain stopped.
The ceremony went off as planned beneath my Dad's citrus trees with a crowd of well wishers to celebrate the new couple.
Here's a few scenes ...
Prenuptial agreement: I, the undersigned, agree to BBQ a bunch of chicken and make a big ol'pot of Minorcan style clam chowder.
There's no small amount of pressure when you're cooking for a crowd at the most special event of someones life. I wasn't the only cook either, other people were stressing too. My Mom, my Aunt Shelba, the wedding couple, ... we all had our cooking jobs to do to make this event as tasty as it was tasteful.
The Minorcan chowder was my biggest stressor though. There were a lot of Minorcans at this wedding and they KNOW what good clam chowder tastes like.
It was like being on Top Chef ... only manlier.
When I dished out the first cups, a distinguished jury of Jan, Marlene, Greg,my Uncle Richard, cousins Rick, Alan, and Mike, and others were the first on the scene, spoons at the ready.
When they nodded and gave it the thumbs up, I knew it was going to be okay.
The chowder was finished off outside under a canopy and over a gas fire. I had made it 2 days before, but it needed a little more flame time and it had to be just right.
So while a DVD slide show of the happy couple was being watched by the throng inside, I was outside stirring and messing with my bivalve concoction.
It was somewhere after the final taste test, with the slide show almost done that I remembered I was supposed to give the wedding toast, so I grabbed a scrap of paper and jotted down some thoughts that had been bouncing around in my head.
It had to flow from my brain, down my arm, and on to paper before I could commit it to memory.
After the ceremony, when it was toast time ...I did okay, I think, only getting choked up once ... (dang it).
Here is the lovely Annette and her husband Terry, just moments after they became man and wife.
There was all kinds of huggy, kissy stuff going on ... it was a wedding after all.
I even put on flipflops for a few hours and I took a picture just to prove to y'all that I did it.
I videotaped the serious stuff, and then turned Junior loose with the video camera to do interviews. I did not go back and review the tape before handing it to my new sister Annette, so just as a disclaimer, ... Annette, my part ends after the ceremony, you can blame Junior for any nonsense after that.
Here is the incredible, amazingly delicious, wedding cake that my Aunt Shelba made. There are two kinds of pound cake hidden beneath that icing and it was all wonderful.
I had three slices of the chocolate pound cake ...it was so good.
I was too full of wedding pound cake to eat any of the groom cake, ... okay, that's a lie ... I had just a nibble to test it. It was wonderful too.
She did such a great job capturing his other love, after Annette of course. The boy has been surfing since he was 14 ... that's about 42 years worth of waves and Aunt Shelba nailed it with this cake. She even gave the surfer guy grey hair!
It might seem like a shame to cut such a beautiful cake, but this wasn't some bland bakery creation, this was an eatin' cake with actual flavor.
The newlyweds escaped for a little while in Terry's pickup which was decorated on the sly by his nieces and nephew.
Later they came back to help with the cleanup, because that's the kind of people they are.
So, whew! ... we did it.
We pulled off an outdoor wedding on a rainy weekend.
Back to nature tomorrow, but I thought you might enjoy these scenes of the big event.
The menu for all you foodies out there:
Minorcan Chicken Pilau
Minorcan Sausage Pilau
Shrimp Rounds with Datil Pepper Relish
Minorcan Clam Chowder
... and a host of minor players to round out the main dishes.