Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wedding Celebration for Roxy & Roy

So my dear friend of many years, Roxann, decided to get married recently.  She wanted to do it quietly, but I couldn't let her miss out on the most important part of any marriage - a big party!  So I insisted on throwing her a celebration, and nearly drove myself mad in the process.
I had a month to plan, which seemed like plenty of time, until I kept adding more and more details.  I decided some simple things first, like the menu, but of course that kept expanding too...  Here's a link to it: Wedding Celebration Menu

The real crux of the matter was the guest list.  Roxy said we could expect anywhere between 30 to 50 people.  30 seemed manageable, 50 seemed a little scary.  I figured I could handle it either way, but kept changing the menu and adding up portion sizes - how many pounds of food can you expect each person to eat at a party?!  Of course, this was all part of the fun!  Let's face it, I like a challenge.

Along those lines, I also decided to make a wedding cake.  Preparing for the party probably would have been less stressful if I hadn't made that decision, but it all worked out in the end!  Here's a link to my wedding cake recipe:
Champagne Cake with Pineapple Filling & White Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing
I decided on a theme for the party - sunflowers.  I was under the impression that it was Roxy's favorite flower.  So, I spent weeks buying every fake sunflower and sunflower related item I could find.  I also chose to use fresh sunflowers to decorate the cake.  After the party, I asked Roxy if I was correct about it being her favorite flower.  It isn't!

Regardless, it was an elegant theme for the party and gave the place a warm, autumn feel.  At the very least, she and her new husband didn't seem to mind the insane number of sunflowers scattered about.  As you can see in the pictures, I even hung a few from the blinds.
Ahem.... as you can see, that happens to be a sunflower serving platter below.

Kyle offered to videotape highlights of the event as his gift to the bride and groom.  Here is the lovely and thoughtful video he put together for them.

Wedding Celebration Video

These vases are an idea I saw in a magazine - to place floating candles in a vase full of dyed water.  For this party, I dyed the water an orange-gold.  I found these floating sunflower candles online.  I turned the lights down low and placed about a half a dozen of these around the house for a romantic feel.  The vases can actually be purchased for only a couple of dollars each at places like Pier One or Target, and the final effect is lovely.

I gathered up any photos I had of Roxy and Roy together and had a collage poster made (you can do this through Snapfish or Shutterfly, etc) and hung it on the wall.  It was nice for the guests to be able to look at the photos, and also a great gift to give the couple at the end of the evening.
I also happened to have an old picture of Roxy in a bride of Frankenstein costume, so I hung that up as a joke.... in the corner, so as not to detract from the romance of the event!
I used candy molds to make chocolate hearts, flowers and doves, etc, and placed them in trifle bowls.  I also made a chocolate bride and groom mold, and painted it by hand in the colors that Roxy and Roy had worn to the actual ceremony.  I must say, I thought it turned out really cute!
I also purchased a wedding guest book and placed it in the entryway, so that guests could write their sentiments to Roxy and Roy, and so that the couple would have a memento of the occasion.
As you can see, there were a few more sunflowers in the entryway....  and that's not the last of them!

I wanted to make the party as festive as possible, so I also created a "balloon arch".  I happened upon a picture online, and of course I had to try my hand at making one.  There is a roll of clear plastic that you can buy that has holes where the balloons tie.  You blow up balloons and attach them to it.  This sounds easier than it actually is.  The balloon arches (yes, I made two) nearly resulted in the break-up of my relationship, when in a heated moment of argument about the design, on the night before the party, Kyle shouted at me, "It's 2 am and we are not professional balloon artists!!!".

They came out nice, though maybe not nice enough to justify a late night shouting match.
I purchased a pair of gold champagne glasses and some champagne, so that Roxy and Roy could have a toast when they arrived.  They showed up 15 minutes early, and Kyle took this funny picture of me freaking out and pouring the champagne as quickly as possible!  I am as white as a ghost, apparently the stress just drained any hint of color from my face.
And here is the lovely couple, enjoying their toast:
The party turned out great.  Quite a few people did come, but as tends to happen at any party, some came early and left shortly after, and others showed up much later, so it never seemed like too large of a crowd to handle. 

My friend Molly came hours early to help, and probably got carpal tunnel from all the things I asked her to chop and wash and assemble and serve.  My other friend Liz was there, working like a pro in the kitchen as well, so I was lucky to have a few extra sets of hands.  I'm surprised they are both still speaking to me, as I am a mad perfectionist, and was nearly out of my mind for most of the evening trying to make every detail perfect.  So thanks guys, for putting up with me!

The cocktails were fun to make - I came up with most of the recipes myself, of course!
For the food, I served a wide variety of flavors and tried to incorporate nearly every type of protein.

Watermelon Ceviche 
Shanghai Chicken Drummettes

Bacon Wrapped Scallops with Jalapeno Papaya Salsa

Mexican Style Grilled Corn Bruschetta

As a side dish, I served this Asian peanut slaw, which is always a hit.  It is also a dish that is easy to make in advance.

Asian Coleslaw with Peanut Dressing
And then, the main courses....  I purposely chose finger foods, things that would be easy to eat, portable, and not too messy.  And, of course, that would look cute in my little Pier One bowls and glasses!

I used my standard pulled pork recipe, but substituted brisket, as I was serving pork on tostadas.

Sweet and Tangy Pulled Pork
Chorizo and Roasted Red Bell Pepper Pizza
And finally of course, there were desserts! 

The wedding cake was a huge hit.  Luckily, Molly and Liz have been to more wedding receptions than I, so they knew the procedure for which to have the bride and groom cut the cake.  I had no idea how to handle that!  At least I had the foresight to buy a really pretty crystal cake knife and server for the event.

It was a beautiful moment and everyone applauded when Roxy and Roy kissed and shoved cake into each other's faces.
As you can see behind Roxy and Roy in these photos, I created a couple of dessert towers in addition to the cake.  I made brownies, chocolate dipped pretzels, miniature cupcakes, etc.  When I looked at the photos later, I noticed that Roxy's friend Adriana's daughter, Sofia, was hanging around the desserts in nearly every picture.  She was absolutely adorable and at the end of the night, she finally asked me if she could have some dessert.  So polite!  It was there for the taking all evening, but she waited hours to ask.  Little Sofia had better manners than most of my party guests, that's for sure!

Besides the cake and the candy molds, I made standard brownies coated with yellow icing, to match the theme colors, peanut butter filled pretzels dipped in white and dark chocolate, and butterscotch brownies.

And also, tiny peanut butter cupcakes from the recipe below.  Somehow, I didn't get a pic of those, but I used mini Reeces as a garnish, so it's basically the same idea, just smaller!

Okay, I think that's all I made for the party!  Writing this post was nearly as difficult as cooking all of this stuff!

As a final testament to my insanity and OCD, here is a picture of the toothpicks I used to serve something on.  Yes, I color coordinated them to the colors of the party.  I know, I should be embarrassed, or at least committed.
All in all, it was a wonderful event.  Roxy and Roy's friends and family were sweet, fun, and so happy for the newly married couple that it created a real warmth in the air.  It was a really special evening, and one of the most complex and time consuming parties I have planned, which is my way of saying that I really, really enjoyed doing it!

Congratulations Roxy and Roy!


  1. awesome food! great party! What a thoughtful and sweet friend you are!

  2. Thanks Leah Jean for the wonderful party. I know I'm posting this very late (2 mths after the party), but I just realized I can post a comment. DUH! haha!
    You ARE a thoughtful and sweet friend and I love you for that :)