Let's get something straight: Amy Born and Alex Pascal might have had the best smelling wedding of all time.
They were married on a gorgeous fall day (yeah, yeah, I know, it's the winter solstice already, but we've been a tad busy) at Strathmore Music Center in Rockville, a place generally known more for its Shostakovich Fifth than its culinary prowess. Nevertheless, as Amy and Alex stood under a chuppa on the patio on a late afternoon, listening to beautiful readings and tributes from friends and family, their caterer was busy grilling just about anything you'd ever want to eat grilled. Like, fifty feet away. And the incredible aroma of all of those vegetables and all of that chicken and meat slowly wafted down the patio, teasing everyone trying to stay focused on the marriage at hand.
Amy and Alex probably planned it that way. They wanted their wedding to be one big mingle, so to speak, a time for the most important people in their lives to come, drink, eat and dance. And all without any of the silly pretense that has taken over much of the wedding industrial complex. In fact, much of the mingling came before the ceremony, a time when many brides and grooms might be nervously tucked away in an undisclosed bunker. Not these guys. Amy and Alex specifically wanted to enjoy the company of their guests prior to their vows.
They also wanted their ceremony to be a bit more interactive than the norm. The ceremony was staged in-the -round, but any fear anyone might have had of being obscured from the action was put to rest instantly. As various speakers approached the chuppa to speak, Amy and Alex changed position, like moons orbiting the sun. Everyone had a front row seat at some point or another.
Guests were greeted with a hot pretzel, a bag of freshly popped popcorn and staggeringly beautiful weather. Hamburger sliders were passed. The couple played an hysterical version of The Newlywed Game. And due to a certain father of the bride having a certain something to do with a marshmallow treat we all know and love, let's just say there were more sweets than at your average wedding. (My seven-year-old daughter is a Peep-aholic and was over the moon when I told her that she had been personally invited to tour the factory in Pennsylvania next year!)
Between the pretzels, the chocolates and a brush made out of scallions being used to marinate all of that grilled food, there was something very homey about this wedding. And if you've been around Amy for more than three seconds and have heard her laugh, then it all makes perfect sense.