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Laura Hunt

A Weekend to Remember
A celebration of a wonderful, warm-hearted couple

Johanna Kaestner

When Nancy and Tim planned their wedding, they had the same vision. They wanted to celebrate their union, their heritage, their life together and to introduce Nancy's East Coast family and friends to the people and places close to their hearts in the Bay Area, their chosen new home. The outcome was a celebration that lasted three days and ended with the wedding on "top of the world."

The festivities started with an elegant Friday evening dinner in the Berkeley Faculty Club, made possible by the groom's father, a former professor at UC Berkeley. The large craftsman-style lodge is right in the center of the university campus.

The Saturday night event was a complete contrast that brought a light-hearted revelry to the weekend. It was a night of dance, music, and fun. The casual "Celtic, Klezmer hoe-down" took place in the auditorium of Head-Royce School, where Nancy and Tim had met as teachers. The Celtic band "The Hillbillies from Mars" played the music honoring Tim's heritage; he is the first generation of Irish immigrants. The Klezmer band "The Red Hot Tchotchkes" emphasized Nancy's Jewish tradition. The two bands took turns entertaining the guests and engaged them so much that some of them went onstage to perform.

The American connection was demonstrated through the fare. Red and white bistro tablecloths and votive candles set the mood and Blue Heron Catering served a picnic style dinner of grilled chicken and salads. Dessert was announced by its aroma wafting through the hall followed by the real thing, a scrumptious apple crisp with whipped cream. It was tempting enough to bring the dancers back to the tables.  

Of course the culmination of the weekend was the wedding. Nancy had chosen the Brazilian Room in Tilden Park. It is situated on a secluded mountain top and surrounded by oak trees, meadows, and the rolling hills of Northern California. Now-familiar faces gathered for the ceremony and cocktail hour on the patio overlooking the lovely landscape.

The ceremony took place in the enchanting golden light of late afternoon. Close friends held up the chuppah, which was made especially for the wedding by two of Nancy's fellow teachers. A Great Blue Heron stopped by for a visit and lead to the question if it was the catering company's own.

The reason Nancy and Tim chose Blue Heron Catering to provide the food for the Saturday and Sunday events, was their ability to serve delicious, casual food and create an elegant event with mouthwatering delicacies. Together with Leah Vass, the catering company's event coordinator, they planned the menu which appealed to the more traditional East Coast palates as well as the adventurous Bay Area appetites. The outcome was a sumptuous California Mediterranean-style buffet. The menu featured Filet Mignon and sides of Salmon and a full complement of vegetarian options.

The florist, Howard Arendtson of H. Julien Designs, brought out a rich vibrancy in the floral arrangements. Shades of gold, saffron, celadon and lime green in roses, lilies, orchids and tulips enhanced the buffet, dining tables and walls. Amber lighting created dimension and warmed the atmosphere.

After dinner, a plate of chocolate-dipped strawberries and cookies was served to each table. The fabulous wedding cake finale was a golden sponge cake, filled with lemon curd and fresh raspberries and frosted with a white chocolate butter cream. The cake and the delectable cookies were a creation of Paul Masse, the former pastry chef at the Ritz Carlton.

Photographer: Nan Phelps captured the essence of the festivity of family and friends who came together to celebrate this happy union.

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