Wife and I arrived at the dinner reception location, Charlotte’s University Place Hilton, with about 45 minutes to spare, so we took a stroll along the boardwalk behind the hotel.
There were drummers, giant chess pieces, and lakefront perches:
Just before 7, we wound our way back to the Lakeview Ballroom, collected our table assignment, and planted ourselves firmly at Table 7:
Well, not all that firmly, since the hors d’oeuvres were calling us!
Crudites and grilled veggies:
Fruit (with an unpictured chocolate fountain!):
Here’s my plate with grilled zucchini, yellow squash, and eggplant; carrots and tomatoes with spinach-artichoke dip; two crackers with green cheese triangles (it was herby and so delicious!), cheddar cheese sticks, and dill havarti cubes; and grapes and strawberries:
Servers came around with a couple more goodies, so I also had a smoked salmon-wrapped broccolini:
And an antipasti skewer with roasted red pepper, artichoke heart, fresh mozzarella, olive, and sundried tomato (and my sweet tea in the background, finally!):
I also got a small appetizer dessert plate with fruit and chocolate:
The champagne toast was next, but I don’t like champagne (I know, I know, how is that possible?), so I had sparkling white grape juice. The toast from Ilin’s dad is when the waterworks started again. I’m such a sap for father-daughter stories!
When the toasts were finished, it was time for the dinner buffet! I filled my plate with Mediterranean salad (spinach, sundried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, huge chunks of feta), caprese salad, asparagus with goat cheese and pinenuts, a mountain of sauteed veggies, and a small piece of salmon on a bed of spinach (there was also rice pilaf, beef, and chicken breast, but I passed on those because my goal was to leave the reception still able to walk on my own two feet):
Everything was delicious, obviously.
For drool purposes:
Dessert was more chocolate fountain!
Our tablemate, Ilin’s friend Ivana, had the genius idea to fill a teacup with chocolate and use a roll from the dinner buffet to dunk!! I wish she had thought of that sooner because I was just on the cusp of overexpansion at this point and did not want to push it. I took a picture to document the brilliance:
With that, Wife and I said our goodbyes and went on our way back to Kristin’s house, stuffed but not overstuffed. Everything about the ceremony and the reception was so beautiful and perfect and sincere, and we had a lovely time. Congratulations, Ilin and Theo!
What’s your favorite item for chocolate fountain dipping? Mine is banana!