I just got home from a friend's 40th birthday dinner. It was a gorgeous swish-o affair at a Golf Club with a sit down dinner. It made me think about food - my favourite thing - and the environment in which you choose to hold a celebration. It also got me thinking of some other celebrations being held this year... another 40th, a wedding, a couple of friends having babies - so therefore baby showers and the like.
Tonight's was a simple meal for friends, family and colleagues; the night began with drinks on the balcony and mingling. We then sat down to a lovely banquet-style dinner of BBQ meats served with veges and salads followed by 3 different desserts (a spoonful of chocolate mousse, a shot-glass of pannacotta and a miniature creme brule) served to each person. A delicious meal served at elegantly dressed tables with no allocated seating, but plenty of opportunity to mingle with other tables and catch up with friends. A lovely setting for a significant birthday celebration and possibly even a wedding-type occasion also.
D's 40th which we will be celebrating in about 2 months, will not be such a swanky affair, although I would love for him to have something like that - we are conscious of the fact that we are putting on (and saving for) our wedding. I think D has all but decided to have a BBQ dinner party at our home for his birthday. I love the intimacy of a casual BBQ at home as people come to share themeselves in your world and there is no formality to make things awkward, etc. You can wander around and chat to anybody and often everyone there knows each other. People can come and go as they please, there's no need to stay for a "polite" period of time... there's no stress if you are "late".
For our Wedding Feast, I love the idea of combining the informal and formal of a dinner and BBQ to create a casual situation where people are comfortable and at ease. I am looking forward to people having an early opportunity to mingle and greet each other... as well as some more mingling once we've done the "I do's".... followed by a sit-down main course where you can relax, get comfortable, chat to people on your table and mingle a bit. We are still to choose our food for the evening... but I am sure I'll write more about that in time!
I love the idea of having stylishly dressed tables, with tablecloths, flowers, candles, beautiful crockery and cutlery. I love simply dressed tables which aren't overly cluttered or too distracting. Comfortable chairs (and some couches) for people to mill around on are a must, but also the opportunity to stand around to chat or hit the dancefloor for a boogie.
As a guest, there is usually a period of time which you really must be present at the wedding. At our engagement, we specifically performed the formalities at a reasonable hour, as it gave people the messeage of when they could start to head off towards home if they wanted to. I think a similar idea will be used at the wedding, especially as it is being held on a Sunday night - although there is a national Public Holiday the next day, so really there's no excuse!
Hmmmm.... more things to think about and plan - how exciting !