When my friends Duy and Winnie invited us to their wedding celebration, I really didn’t have any expectations. I know Duy well enough to know that the food would be great, but beyond that, I really didn’t know what to expect. I also knew that there would be several old friends there to celebrate. Duy warned me in advance that their Vietnamese celebration would be very different than American weddings.
Wow! Oh em gee! Jazz hands! Cartwheels! Whatchu talkin’ bout Willis?
What a party!
Winnie hand-made most, if not all, of their decorations. And, I had to smile when I saw that the centerpieces for the tables were in Mason jars. I think she and Nathan first bonded over their fondness for Mason jars.
On each table there was a bottle of champagne and a bottle of cognac. I don’t know if cognac is a traditional thing, but it is a Duy thang. It only took about two minutes before our friend Brad was serving up drinks.
Duy and Winnie made a grand entrance!
But, let me tell you about the food. I lost count of the courses — they just kept coming. I was sitting between Nathan who eats like a bird at public events and Clay (like me!) who samples everything. I think Clay and I ate Nathan’s portions as well as our own.
Everything was served up family-style — another Duy touch! I ‘m not entirely sure what all the dishes were, but they were all great! This dish had a salad, sliced steak and bacon-wrapped shrimp.
But, it was this dish that amazed me the most. Those are steamed buns and beyond is the best duck I’ve ever tasted. It was amazing. I’ve not really ever had that “duck experience” until now. I’m sold. I’ll have the duck with the crispy skin, thank you. I missed an entire course of scallops because I was so focused on the duck. I did recover enough to remember to take a picture of the lobster — though we had already eaten half of them.
And, just when we though it was over, they brought another plate of beef with broccoli.
The only thing that topped the food, was getting to see old friends. One of my favorite parts of the evening was that Duy, Winnie and Duy’s brother Long and his wife Kim went table to table. Apparently, it is customary for the bride and groom to go to each table to greet their guests and thank them personally. I think it’s such a wonderful tradition. Many of the tables had funny games for them to play and the whole affair was a perfect blend of formal and fun. I did notice that toasts were made at most every table and by the time they arrived at our tables near the end, I’m amazed that anyone could even stand up!
I knew that Tony would also give a speech so I made sure I went over to listen. Duy gave the “best man” speech at Tony’s wedding several years ago and it’s a fond memory of mine that Duy said to a packed crowd that included Tony’s mother Donna, “I was pretty nervous about this speech, but I just want everyone here to know that you are all naked to me right now. Sorry Donna.”
First, Duy’s brother spoke to the table.
Then Tony spoke about his and Duy’s long friendship and his wishes for the couple.
Then we all took a million photos and laughed. No wait. I think we toasted Duy and Winnie a million more times. I can’t remember if we toasted with champagne or cognac. It was both? Okay, I admit it. We toasted with both.
Duy and Winnie, may you have the love-story of the century and we hope all your dreams come true. We are so blessed to be your friends.