MBFW: Rustic New Jersey Engagement Party

My Best Friend’s Wedding” – The 1997 hit featuring a young Julia Roberts pining for Cameron D’s man just moments before their wedding. It’s a whole thing.

My best friend’s wedding (MBFW): the upcoming 2016 production wedding featuring my boon companion Claire (you might remember Claire from a buncha times) and her fiancé, Theo, a strapping young Brit who’s taken a shining to my favorite Brooklyn babe.

Both, I am certain, will be classics. One, I imagine (**spoiler alert**) will feature slightly less heartbreak for Ms. Roberts.

BUT I DIGRESS. This is not a post about rom-coms. This is a post about the most beautiful engagement party thrown  to celebrate these two lovebirds. Set in the charming home of another one of Claire’s best pals, this party had it all, nestled in a quaint Jersey shore town on a brisk November afternoon.

Picturesque noshes.

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Biscuits for days, tarts for hours. Goat cheese and tomato and onion tarts featured.

Warm flannel blankets clustered around a fire pit….

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Oh, and a cornhole set

HAND-CARVED WOODEN LETTERS for the names of the couple-of-honor and simple, bright yet subtle flower arrangements (Pinterest, eat your heart out).

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Precious moments.

A rugged Englishman to tend to ALL THOSE FIRES!

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Theo does chimineas. Everyone benefits.

And a TON of frittatas.

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Hello, lover.

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I know….

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EGG-BASED CASSEROLES FOR THE WIN!

Apparently, Claire, the blushing-bride-to-be, agreed. She is (expertly) pictured below, in a stunning almond-colored, embroidered Free People frock, her face crammed with homemade Vietnamese spring rolls just dripping with fish sauce.

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She loves this photo and, because of it, has hired me to be her wedding photographer.

And while the food and the decor were divine, the part of this engagement party that made it so magical were the people. The couple’s friends and family from near and far (luckily, mostly near, England is a hike) gathered together over the most amazing, homemade eats (shoutout to Katherine and her family, the hosts for the day, who probably have more tart pans than I have fingers) to eat, drink, and be merry (ALMOST made the married pun, but I’m better than that).

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Grandmothers gabbing

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The firepit served as primo real estate on this chilly November day

They say “It takes a village to raise a child.” And I’m pretty sure that it also takes a village to throw a quality engagement party. From a signature cocktail speaking to the couple’s favs (it was a Pimm’s Cup, British roots are strong!) to crowdsourcing main dishes and desserts, from understated decorations to perfect placement of seating areas, the flow of this soirée allowed everyone to mingle, munch, and merrymake in the most natural way possible. It takes a village to throw a party.

But, don’t worry, we didn’t forget about that child.

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This little man tried hard to make this photo NSFW by yanking on this dress.

As is tradition, the party couldn’t be called official until the Cermonial Crying of the Mom. Kathleen, Claire’s mama, delivered.

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No, I just have some smoke in my eye.

To Claire and Theo, I raise my (virtual) glass to you both. You have one of the most loving support systems I’ve ever witnessed. Your family and friends loves you more than you can ever know, and I’m elated at the opportunity to chronicle this whole process.

By Claire’s request.

 

 

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Papa Brandow toasts. Everyone tries not to cry.

Thank god for that smoke, made for the perfect excuse.

Could someone pass the tissues?

 

 

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One thought on “MBFW: Rustic New Jersey Engagement Party

  1. Pingback: Stargazy: Got Me Pie-Crazy | Food, Sweat, and Beers

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