By Jeanne O’Brien Coffey
If there’s one thing everyone needs these days, it’s more joy. That’s what engaged couple Chris and Christy quickly realized while anticipating their wedding last year. When their 180-person celebration was canceled by the COVID-19 pandemic, they adapted quickly to a new celebration.
“The only thing we knew for sure was that Chris and Christy did not want to wait,” says Mother of the Bride Ellenann. “They wanted to get married!”
A candlelit ceremony on the steps of the ICA plaza. Cake by I Dream of Jeanne Cakes.
“Indeed, with uncertainty around the pandemic being top of everyone’s minds, it might seem natural to consider pushing things off. But with the right partner, magic can still happen,” says Ken Barrett-Sweet, Vice President of Catering for The Catered Affair, a Boston-based full-service event company.
“TCA is able to create the same spectacular event at any size,” Barrett-Sweet says, noting that the company is at the forefront of an industry think-tank committed to innovating new ways of safely presenting and serving food while keeping elegance at the forefront.
A reception under the stars. Flowers and décor by JNG Event Consulting.
For Chris and Christy, that meant whittling their guest list down to an intimate 16 guests, hosted at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art, a sculptural building with a spectacular – and mostly covered – deck overlooking Boston Harbor.
“[The Catered Affair] made Christy feel like this tiny event was as big as any major wedding celebration,” Ellenann says. “They made a big deal about her wedding and fussed over every detail. That was very important to me.”
Innovations like roving bar carts to keep guests from congregating, and individual plates of Duxbury and Wellfleet oysters on the half shell (the bride and groom’s favorite) instead of a classic raw bar kept the focus on intimate elegance, something Barrett-Sweet says is top of mind at The Catered Affair. In fact, he says, a smaller guest list can add up to even more extravagance per guest, and any money left over can be used for something special, like a trip later on or a towards a new home.
Individually presented oysters and mezze grazing plates for cocktail hour.
For their micro-wedding, Chris and Christy opted for mezze grazing plates, a three-course dinner including filet mignon and lobster tail, and a custom wedding cake with ribbon made of sugar, all accompanied by Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut.
“The food was incredible- truly a 10 out of 10,” Christy recalls. “What bride eats 100 percent of her meal at her wedding? I did!”
The family was also impressed by The Catered Affair’s attention to safety regulations. “[TCA] was so thoughtful in everything they did,” Christy says, adding that while safety was always at the forefront, it was nearly seamless for the guests. “They went the extra mile to make sure it didn’t feel like we had a ‘restricted’ event with limitations and rules, and made unique changes to the food settings/drink serving and variations of furniture to make it not feel so unusual.” For example, TCA set up the deck with extra cocktail tables, chairs, lounge furniture, and a cake table, spread out so the space met guidelines but didn’t look empty.
That flexibility has always been part of TCA’s mission, now more than ever says Barrett-Sweet. “Many events have been postponed or downsized in the past year and TCA works with clients on an individual basis to determine the best solution for them,” he says.
For Chris and Christy, an evening to remember for a lifetime was capped by a flood of candles illuminating the stadium-style wooden stairs along the side of the deck, conceptualized by Jimmy Guzman of JNG Event Consulting.
“After dinner and the sun setting, we all sat and had drinks and enjoyed the beautiful night, looking back on a happy day,” Christy recalls. “It was such a special end to the night.”
Whatever the future holds one thing is absolutely certain: you’re going to get married to the love of your life. All the rest is details and you and The Catered Affair can manage them together.
As newlywed Christy explains, “It was important to focus on the moment of getting married and celebrating with the closest to us. Having TCA and the ICA handle everything– and make it so beautiful –allowed us to focus on that, and forget about COVID for a minute.”
Contact us to start planning your next wedding or event.