Rodeo, New Mexico
February 16, 2006
Celtic and classical string music from Montage Trio greet us in the lobby. Guests write wedding wishes on paper leaves, then hang them on branches of the wedding wish tree. We proceed to the lounge for cocktail hour, where we’re warmed by fireplace and laughter and sustained by delicious appetizers and wine.
Sunlight streams through floor-to-ceiling glass walls of the dining room as guests search for their tables. Under warm-toned paper lanterns hung from the rafters, each round table seats eight. Views include emerald-green fairways, gulls flying and on rocks in Stillwater Cove, and several sailboats still on the water. Shortly after all are seated, bride and groom are announced and they dance to Waiting on an Angel. Sun shines luminescent through my daughter’s waist-length bridal veil flowing behind her as they twirl and whirl about. Their first dance as newlyweds ends with an impressive dip, eliciting "ahhh’s" from the crowd.
As mother of the bride, I admit that my attention isn’t primarily on food that night, but as Saskia and Neal sit down to dine, serving staff brings starters of Dungeness and Alaskan snow crab risotto with sweet Meyer lemon, corn, and caramelized shallots. Next comes butter lettuce salad graced with herb-crusted goat cheese medallions and oven-cured sweet tomatoes, topped with roasted shallot vinaigrette. The sun is setting as entrees are served. My choice, free-range chicken with morels, roasted fingerling potatoes, and artichoke and spring onion confit, is delectable and different.
Toasts are made after dinner. Neal has two best men, and each offers their own distinctive flavor to his toast; the first is impromptu, whimsical, and humorous in unexpected ways, the second a rendition of a lovely modern fairy tale told in the old style. Saskia’s matron of honor and best friend gives the third toast as all nibble from silver trays loaded with truffles and chocolate-dipped strawberries.
The wedding cake is far from traditional: three strawberry-topped cheesecakes perch on butcher blocks at varying levels. The bouquet and garter toss follow the cake cutting, with Neal almost disappearing under Saskia’s billowing skirts in search of the garter. From then on, it’s dance, dance, dance the night away to favorite tunes played by the DJ. Though her back is bent, my 91-year old mother has a youthful gleam in her eye as her new grandson-in-law gently leads her around the dance floor. As the reception winds down by midnight, energy and exhilaration are still palpable in the air.
The Beach and Tennis Club is open to club members and resort guests for lunch, and private parties and weddings on extended hours. The menu includes a fine selection of creative gourmet starters, sandwiches, salads, and entrees. The chef’s menu additions change daily. Resort attire is requested.
From journal Love Song at the Pebble: My Daughter’s Wedding