The love bug has surely struck those around us this year and March seems to be a popular month for each of them to make their vows.  First it was Lydia’s, then this past weekend was Ashlynn’s.  I’ve known Ashlynn’s parents since before Ashlynn was born and so when I saw the duress my friend was under trying to figure all the details out of the reception, I volunteered to do the main part of the meal for her.

She wanted an Italian dinner of lasagna and since that was the meal I had made back in 2011 for Heather’s reception, I felt comfortable doing it.  I learned so much this time around and am very grateful for the learning experience.  Everything came out very well – the food was ready and served very promptly once the bride and groom arrived.

I was to plan for 300… and there were 300 people who showed at the wedding.  But there was a 2 hour intermission between the wedding and reception and that caused some not to come.  I think we only had about 220 at the reception.  This goes with the first thing I learned (from a caterer that was at the wedding) that between the RSVP date and the actual day of the event, things will come up and about 30% of the people who RSVP’d will not show.  In this case about 25% of the people did not show, so it seems to be a pretty accurate analysis.

I made the sauce ahead of time and then traveled to Phoenix the day before the wedding and with the help of about 6 others, we got everything in order.

Having help is crucial. You can do anything with good help and these girls did a very good job.  They’re going to be pros. (There’s my Serenity in the middle.)



We wrapped bread, washed salad ingredients, made the dressing and prepared the lasagna’s.

I worked a little with Emily at Heather’s wedding, and was very impressed with her ability to see what needed to be done, her quickness and willingness to get right in there, so I asked her to be my assistant, along with my friend Tina. Some people you can work with very well. You’re on the same page with what you’re doing, they know without asking what needs to be done and how you will do it.  I think Emily has the potential to be one of these and we work well together.  Besides that, she’s a real sweetheart.


How about some pictures of the wedding reception.  I didn’t get to go to the wedding, I just watched it on the video monitor, so no pictures there, but I have a few I can show you of the reception.

blue & black paris themed wedding


Oh, those beautiful but costly Sparklers. I still have to tell you my story about Russell and the sparklers. Isn’t the little note cute? “Let love shine”


blue and black paris themed wedding

The bride is a lover of softball and played for all her school years.

blue and black paris themed wedding

The groom is from Ireland and so they had a friend who plays the bagpipes come and play at their wedding and reception.  I’m not a huge fan of bagpipes, but this man played them beautifully. Apparently, he’s one of the top bagpipe players in Ireland and has played for the queen.

 black paris themed wedding


The appetizer tables were beautiful. (I didn’t have anything to do with that.)

 black paris themed wedding


lasagna reception

Some of my kitchen help.

lasagna reception

And then there are the servers – a happy bunch of young people who make it all fun. I loved their enthusiasm and willingness.

lasagna reception

In just a few months my own son and his sweet fiance will tie the knot.



But first I have another wedding to go to – this time in Michigan.  My nephew Austin has met his beloved and their vows will be spoken this Saturday. I’m telling you, the love bug is biting!

austin & claire

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