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Friday, May 29, 2009

How To Out Do Your Best Friend's Wedding

As we approach the breezy carefree month of June we can admire that certain number of fortunate women will be realizing their dream of walking, sashaying, floating, or even jumping over a broom, on their way down the aisle on their fabulous wedding day. Yes, on this magnificent day everything from the ceremony to the photos to the preliminary limo ride to the unbelievable reception flows along without a hitch. However, no one could begin to imagine the amount of time and planning that has actually gone into the event (not to mention, the stress, but on many a friendship, and family tie or two. Gee, what makes those brides tick)?

By far, the most popular time for having weddings is between the months of May and August. Rightfully so - summer weddings are the most ideal; due to the warm weather, outdoor ceremonies are reasonably plausible, brides have the choice of shorter sleeve, or even sleeveless gowns, the period of daylight is longer so children can readily join in on the fun, flowers are in bloom... So many reasons to choose this pleasant easy season. Aside from the ceremony itself, it is the after wedding Celebration, or Reception, that announces to the stock of friends and family that the couple has officially embarked onto a life long adventure (and at this point it would indeed be the intent). The Reception, too, whether, it be presented in the form of a sit down dinner, a cocktail party setting, or just a big ol' free for all, is a way that the bride will be remembered and considered as a hostess. Well, at least to those people who care about that type of thing, ahem.

Here are some ideas that I have come across that I believe could be incorporated into most any affair that is one to talked about for years to come. Of course, each suggested scenario should be preceded by a formal cocktail hour replete with true French Champagne, authentic Russian Vodka to accompany a pleasing seafood and in season vegetable crudites spread that includes premium caviar, fine domestic roe, and bottarga. Allez!

French Accents:
'...Stations during the cocktail hour should be filled with elaborate platters for your guests to sample: pork and chicken liver pâtés; crudités; onion and goat cheese tartlets; Roquefort; leek, chèvre and walnut tortes; and French cheeses with baguettes. Try a mixed-green salad with olives and a tarragon-Dijon vinaigrette, plus cassoulet — a pork, white bean, sausage and tomato stew — and coq au vin with potato gratin for an elegant entree. Or, instead, experiment with Parisian bistro fare and serve steak frites, mussels mariniere and tuna niçoise.'

Italian Accents:
'...Sharing and passing antipasti, such as fried zucchini flowers, grilled octopus, Italian cured ice and whet the whistle. Pass on typical rolls and butter for short vases filled with tall breadsticks, rustic Italian breads and olive oil for dipping. Buono then likes to serve individual second and third courses, such as a trio of pastas — think lobster ravioli, angel hair in basil pesto and cavatelli in marinara — and entrees like lamb with rosemary and broccoli rabe or rabbit cacciatore.'

East Indian Accents:
'...A buffet offering cumin-grilled chicken with lentils and coriander chutney, fennel and spinach samosas served with a cooling yogurt dip, tandoori chicken and vegetable curry with pumpkin seeds and golden raisins are great examples of this spicy cuisine. “Indian breads are fun and delicious, and a station of lacha paratha, chapati and naan served with accompaniments like mango chutney and tamarind onion relish are always a hit,"
Source: Donna O’Brien, owner and creative director of Beautiful Blooms in Philadelphia

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