Wedding Bells

Ah, weddings... there must be a reason that there are both wedding bells and dinner bells...

Wedding bells have been ringing steadily across cyberspace among food bloggers for the last several months – including Shauna, Diane, Molly and Clare, and already a month behind me now, my own.

LB and I were married in Bend, Oregon on August 12 (see that honey, now you have a virtual reminder that will be catalogued for as many years as this blog remains online, so that you never have an excuse to “forget” our anniversary!). First, let me give credit to my fabulous photographer, Marisa Chappell, who was so personable and laid back that everyone in attendance raved about how cool she was (plus, the woman takes incredible pictures of food too, as you can see on her website - so how could I not fall in love with her?) Almost all of the photos in this post were taken by her, unless otherwise noted, and she has so graciously allowed me to pilfer them off of the web to put here. Oddly enough, since LB and I were the center of attention, as were my lovely foodie bridesmaids, none of us had cameras or wherewithal enough to have someone else take pictures of the food that day. Worse, it appears that we were the only people who would be crazy enough to want to take pictures of the food at all - because after scouring friends and family’s photos for these types of pictures, I couldn’t find a single one!!

South and Middle Sister at Black Butte Ranch - Photo: Michelle

Alas. Regardless of my obvious lack of foresight to capture the food-related props of the day, I can still tell you about them. LB and I were married in front of the Three Sisters Mountains at Black Butte Ranch in Sisters, Oregon (see above photos). There were nearly 100 of our friends and family in attendance and we did everything we could to make the day unique to our lives, and us, including writing our own ceremony and vows and having my stepfather officiate. We (ahem, by that I mean: I) incorporated food into as many aspects of the day as I could...including a wine ceremony. Instead of a unity candle, we sealed our marriage by the combining and sipping (er, drinking) of two wines – a red and a white.

Now, finding a red and a white wine that you can mix together (to make a visual “rose” of course!) and still taste good (like something you would want to SEAL your marriage to) is no easy feat. I knew right where to get the wine though – Ryan Dawe-Stotz, the wine manager at my favorite gourmet food store here, Marche Provisions, is a man in the know and he picked out the perfect wines to combine. This is how much I adore Ryan: when I told him what I wanted, he simply asked, “Do you want a particular region or style?” We chose two Italian wines since LB’s family is Italian (I’d tell you what they are, but I’m blanking out right now!).

Our reception was held in an outdoor courtyard at the McMenamins Old St. Francis School - the funky, wonderful place where LB asked me to marry him and an Oregon (and Washington) institution. In the middle of the courtyard was a cigar and whiskey bar – one of LB’s favorite drinks. For our guests, LB made 120 miniature jars of blackberry jam and blackberry ice cream topping from fresh blackberries picked in our back yard (all by his self, with only a little advice from me – I was so proud!), and we packaged them with papers and little tags saying “Spread Love.” Instead of a guest book, our guests were also asked to sign a handmade ceramic plate (handmade by Amy from Brush Strokes in Massachusetts - LB’s home state).

Ah, but what about the real food? This is a food blog, after all. McMenamins makes its own beer and wine – I recommend the Pinot Noir (very Oregon) and a glass of the Rubinator (a ½ and ½ mixture of the Ruby Ale and the Terminator Stout) if you’re ever in the area. They also make their own spirits (try the Pear Brandy!) as well as roasted coffee too. Choosing the place meant losing the ability to choose our own caterer, so we had to use the caterer at the McMenamins for our wedding food (I know, it did feel like a bit of sacrilege, considering that I’m not usually a huge fan of McMenamins food). But over-all, the food was tasty so I didn’t have any complaints. We made little buffet menus for everyone with the classic quote by Virginia Woolfe across the top:

"One cannot think well, love well, or sleep well if one has not dined well."

Our buffet menu included:
Antipasti, Fresh Fruit and Crudite
Pork Medallions with a Blackberry Sage Reduction and Yukon Gold Potatoes
Herb Crusted Halibut with a White Wine Butter Sauce and Wild Rice Pilaf

Mixed Green Salad

Sautéed Seasonal Vegetables

Freshly Baked Dinner Rolls

Iced Tea and McMenamin’s Own Coffee

We had our rehearsal dinner in a local park, catered by Incredible Edibles. The food was fabulous, and showcased a variety of food from Oregon, as well as touched on my more “gourmet” side –the gorgonzola butter was especially delectable.

Bacon and Basil Wrapped Chicken Breast Tri Tip with Gorgonzola butter
Roasted Red Potato Salad with caramelized shallot vinaigrette and bacon

Chilled Asparagus Salad with red peppers & sweet balsamic dressing

Mixed Greens w/ dried cranberries, hazelnut & bleu cheese

Locally Baked Breads

The best part of the rehearsal dinner, though, was having my lovely friend, fellow foodie and bridesmaid, Carina, make all the delectable desserts for us. I have a post all about Miss Carina and her incredible baked goods which will be coming soon, but let me just say that this woman knows how to bake AND to cook, and that I was unbelievably honored that she offered to make the dessert for our rehearsal. What did she make? Only a fabulous selection of her dessert menu (she has just recently started her own cake/dessert business in the Bay area)...

I wish I had some pictures, but the ones I do have just don’t do these beautiful desserts the justice they deserve, so you will have to feast yourself on these words instead:

Her famous Kerianne: a dense, sinfully rich flourless chocolate torte

An Italian-style Ricotta cheesecake with a pecan-coconut crust – lusciously creamy and decadent with the most perfect golden hue just around the edges
(both of the above had an organic raspberry coulis on the side)

Tom's Grandma's Favorite Cake:

Three moist, chocolate butter cake layers with a sweet cream meringue buttercream

And finally, her Baklava Bonanza: A rosewater-tinged pistachio and cashew traditional Arabic baklava (modeled after the famous Zalatimo sweets from the levant - Jerusalem to be exact)

But of course, for a foodie at a wedding, the wedding cake is the ultimate end. We chose a cake made by Linda Hickman and DeAnna Kinsey from The Cake Lady after tasting cakes from several bakers in the area. Moist, delicious, and using fresh ingredients, they had, by far, the best tasting and most moist cake. This could be a combination of nearly 50 years experience by the mother-daughter team - both of which are a joy to be around and Linda (the mother) was not shy about doling out marriage advice from her 50+ years of marriage. We chose a different flavor for each layer on the cake, and then covered the whole thing with a white chocolate buttercream:

Chocolate Rum Cake with Tiramisu Filling
Pink Champagne Cake filled with Bavarian Cream

and Lemon Poppyseed with Raspberry Filling

So there you have it my friends – our wedding fare in all its glory. Some of it was wonderful, some had incredible meaning to us, and some just made us fatter and happier. It was, all in all, a feast to be remembered.

7 comments from you:

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

A feast to remember, that's the way it should be. In that setting it should be easy to remember in a grand way.
The cake sounds and looks divine!
The jam gift for guests is a marvelous idea - that is spectacular!

shauna said...

Congratulations, my dear! you look stunning, the setting was spectacular, and I'm sure the food was scrumptious.

Isn't being married a wonder?

Welcome back! I missed you.

Nerissa said...

Okay... I think it is now confirmed that my brain imploded from the yummy food factor in this post. Sounds like (and looks like) it was a great bash. I love the signing plate idea. One day I just might actually steal it LOL

Dianne said...

Congratulations to you and LB! Is he LH now? It looks like you had a wonderfull day and you looked gorgeous in your dress. The food looks pretty good too! Congrats on the degree too!

D x

Julie said...

I can't imagine a more breath-takingly beautiful location and you and your dress look pretty breath-takingly gorgeous too.

michelle said...

Thanks! Yeah, I was so proud of LB!

To you too my dear! I've been reading all about your honeymoon and living vicariously through your adventures in Italy (that would have been our dream honeymoon had we been able to take one!). I missed all of you too...

We think it was! Please do steal any ideas you'd like!

No, LB is still LB - just went from Loving Boyfriend to Lucky Bastard! Thank you for all the congrats too!

Uh, I'm blushing now. Gosh, thanks!!

M. said...

Hey! You're back! And married! (It shows how long it's been since I checked the right section of Bloglines that I just now saw this!) Congratulations! The wedding sounds absolutely lovely.