Unless noted otherwise, all photos were taken by Ericka Kreutz Photography.
Last week I was in Los Angeles to officiate the wedding of one of my best friends, Amy, and her husband, Brian. It was a weekend full of calm moments that occasionally spiraled into chaos. Then the chaos would settle and a beautiful calm would rise to the surface. And that cycle just kept happening. Layers of calm. Layers of chaos. Calm. Chaos. Calm...It's good to remember this doesn't just happen when you're putting together a wedding. This happens in everyday life!
"The only order in the universe is a cycle of calm and chaos." - Toba Beta
I think the theme of the wedding could have easily been Chaos and Calm. It was a mad dash to pluck wild flowers to decorate the venue, and a scramble to have guests park their cars in an orderly fashion. But by the time Amy and Brian danced down the aisle hand in hand, all that was hectic and harried became happy and hopeful. The wedding came together perfectly. Truly. I'm so honored that I got to be part of their Happily Ever After One Day At A Time journey. Here's to many years of them bringing order to their universe together!
My wedding gift to the couple was providing and preparing all of the food for the cocktail hour. An LA restaurant catered the buffet dinner. (Phew!) Yes, I have married one of my bests before, and yes, I cater cocktail parties for a living. Experience doesn't always make things easy.
The wedding took place on the deck of a sprawling mansion nestled into Topanga Canyon. Leading up to the big day, the wedding 'team' of besties all got to stay in this paradise with Amy, Brian, and their children. You wouldn't believe me if I told you three days before the ceremony that the wedding house/venue permanently turned off the gas because of a gas leak. It's true. No hot showers. True. No washer/dryer. True. No dishwasher. No stovetop. No oven. TRUE, TRUE, TRUE. It was like catering on an episode of Survivor! Even the groom was put to work grilling shrimp the night before over fading charcoal embers by the light of the moon.
But you know what else is true? That gorgeous home and pool in the ridiculously stunning canyon were full of people who got shit done. We played hard but we also worked hard. Amy, Brian, their family, and friends all came together in the spirit of generosity and love to put together a wedding more amazing than any of us imagined.
Special shoutout to my sister Jules Adams. She was totally the MVP of the wedding team. When she lived in New York, she filled in for some of my wait staff on many occasions. Jules even saved the day one year at the famous Steve Martin New Years Eve party. She learned a long time ago to not take my kitchen direction personally. (Thank goodness, because apparently, I'm bossy.)
My sister is the worker bee you want in your hive. Not only is she organized, she also enjoys cleaning! In addition to helping me prep for my portion of food service, she volunteered to 'captain' the hired waitstaff. With the other hats I was wearing, I set boundaries early on. I said I couldn't be in charge of the catered buffet or staff. Jules stepped up as the staff leader and acted as hostess accommodating the needs of the guests. She said, "It was fun pretending to be you; I know the way you like things done." Color me proud.
Jules tirelessly cleaned the house, helped with the children, put out little wedding fires, decorated, and helped Brian prepare the 'rehearsal dinner' BBQ for the families, all while looking as cute as a box of buttons. Having my sister at the wedding brought so much calm to a lot of the chaos for all of us, but especially me. Thank you, Sissy!
I prepared one little dessert to pass once we cut and served the three crazy amazing cakes (dulce de leche with chocolate, berries with lemon, and Funfetti!) With the help of Brian's mom, Kathy, I made something that required no gas. Key Lime Pudding Shots! They've been on my cocktail dessert menus all summer -- a total hit. I might have added too much lime juice, so these puddings didn't quite set and were a little loose. I was impatient and didn't wait for the cream cheese to soften before mixing so they were also a little lumpy. But despite my chaotic preparations, they were cute and tasty!
Key Lime Pudding Shots
You can use a ready made store bought graham cracker crust to make things even easier!
- 1 ½ cups finely crushed graham crackers (24 squares)
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 8-oz cream cheese at room temperature,
- ½ cup key lime juice fresh or bottled
- 2 tsp fresh lime zest
In a medium sized bowl, combine the crushed cracker crumbs, butter, and sugar. Set aside. In another medium sized bowl combine the sweetened condensed milk, softened cream cheese, and lime juice. Mix with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Or mix in the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Leave in the refrigerator at least 2 hours or overnight. Spoon in a layer of the crumb mixture into the shot glasses. Scoop the pudding mixture into a pastry piping bag or a ziplock bag with the a corner snipped off and pipe the pudding into the glasses. Top with more crumb mixture and lime zest. Makes 50 pudding shots.
Thank you to the incredible Ericka Kreutz for culling through all of her wedding footage to share these incredible photos of the day.