Tami & Jean Michael’s COVID Wedding
Originally planned as a destination wedding in Italy, Tami and Jean Michael made the decision to relocate and host their September 2020 wedding at a friend and colleague’s private property and farm in Langley. We had catered a wedding a few years earlier for very good friends of theirs, so they reached out to us to design their wedding. Food was the ultimate for them, and this is where we started. So, a small wedding of 50 keeping with the COVID safety rules, and a large tent with properly spaced tables. All in keeping with the rules. But what should have been a pretty straightforward wedding for this couple, turned into a day of many adventures. Honestly, you can’t make this stuff up! Now Tami and Jean Michael are a pretty laid back couple, and had already made peace with the fact that they wouldn’t be in Italy. So, they just wanted a really great day to celebrate with their limited number of guests.
It was a sort of sunny, sort of cloudy kind of day. It threatened rain, but didn’t really happen. We had a huge industrial barn to work out of, and the paved driveway and area held the tent. Surrounding all of this was the farm. Horses, chickens, rabbits… Now, just before everything was supposed to begin, I was at the chicken coop taking some photos of the setup. But something seemed a bit odd with one of the chickens. She was toppled over, and the other chickens were ‘cooing’ and poking around her. It was clear that she was ‘no more’. So, we called over the owner of the property, and he said, ‘Oh dear, that was my wife’s favourite chicken’. He removed it, the chickens were now happy, we continued on.
Ceremony complete, guests enjoying nibbles and cocktails, and it starts to rain. We have cover, so all is good. Tami and Jean Michael return from doing their photos, and everyone is now seated in the tent. The guests are all properly spaced, the DJ is playing softly, and we’re now going into our 3rd course of a 4-course plated dinner. And then…the Police arrive! Yes, the COVID police. They check the tent, count the number of guests, talk to the owner, inspect the kitchen, talk to me and the chefs, and then give us the all clear. Whew. The night continues. Everyone is happy, celebrating, but staying seated. But, there’s still a lot of fun going on in that tent. Lots of happiness and laughter.
And then, just as dinner is finished and we’re moving into dessert, BAM! The transformer blows on the street, and we are plunged into darkness. Now, darkness in the city is one thing, but darkness in the country is another. Sheer darkness. And everyone gets up and runs out to the street as someone says ‘FIRE’!!! Apparently a little spark hit a tree, so there was fire. And then the fire trucks arrived to put out the fire, but then the skies opened up. I mean, opened up. It was a downpour. Needless to say, there was no need for the fireman any longer.
Back at the tent and the garage, we’re getting all our camp lights going. The battery operated ones we ALWAYS take with us when we’re doing an outdoor wedding. And the owner has a generator, so he gets that fired up, and lights and music are on again! But only in the tent. We’re in the garage cleaning up with camp lights.
But you know what? There was so much joy that night, and not only from the guests. The staff were smiling all the way through. I mean really, you can’t make this stuff up! This was just everyone coming together during a really challenging time, and just making the best of it.
So, congratulations again to Tami and Jean Michael on their wedding, and for being an amazing couple that just rolled with it all. They laughed all the way through it! And of course, they will NEVER forget their wedding day after that. Nor will we…
Menu – Grazing Station
…theatrically displayed on a rustic wooden table, set out on rustic wooden platters and boards, and on multi level wooden risers…all items will be accompanied by little tent cards and signs and guests will be able to grab a small plate accompanied by utensils, and help themselves…
Granville Island Charcuterie Board
A selection Oyamas premium pates, prosciuttos, and artisanal salamis…served with assorted mustards, house made chutneys, cornichons and rustic breads and crackers
West Coast Cheese Platter
Featuring some of the finest artisan cheeses from BC; including those produced by Poplar Grove, Mountain Meadow, Moonstruck, Qualicum and David Wood of Salt Spring Island. Garnished with seasonal fruit, berries, grapes, dried fruits, and nuts, and accompanied by our own savoury shortbreads and Lesley Stowe crackers
Market Fresh & Grilled Vegetable Platter
A beautiful selection of both fresh and grilled vegetables… accompanied by a yogurt-dill ranch dip
Assorted marinated olives, marinated artichokes, stuffed peppers, peppadew peppers, and other assorted pickled items
Tuscan White Bean Dip
With grilled flat bread
A selection of house made breads including focaccia, ciabatta and assorted baguettes accompanied by whipped butter, ‘Frantoia’ olive oil & ‘Due Vittore’ balsamic
Rustic Caprese Salad
Heirloom tomatoes, ‘torn’ fior de latte mozzarella, fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt…accompanied by grilled garlic crostini
House made gnocchi with fresh peas, arugula and parmigiano
With a cheese grater and a chunk of parmigiano for each table
Quite possibly the best fish and seafood stew ever made…brimming with fresh fish, prawns, clams and mussels in a tomato and white wine broth
Stuffed Chicken Supreme
With fontina, sundried tomatoes, and capers and wrapped in prosciutto and fresh sage…on a bed of garlic sautéed spinach with grilled peppers, heirloom carrots, and asparagus and finished with a white wine and herb reduction sauce
Photos by Kristina Dean Photography