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Recipe of Love

By: 
Caitlin King

After six years of sharing the same kitchen, Vanessa Volkman, owner of Blue Ribbon Cooking, and Adam Smith, the catering company’s executive chef, decided to tie the knot, with Adam popping the question on Bourbon Street in New Orleans on Halloween. A month later, they romantically exchanged rings in Barcelona, Spain, before jet-setting to Morocco, where they celebrated with a camel ride adventure and North African–style cooking classes. “We called our ring exchange ‘our ceremony,’ while our November wedding was for our family and friends,” says the bride. “It was very important to Adam that his daughter was there when we were legally married.”

Together, the dynamic duo has planned and executed more than 2,000 weddings, prior to planning their own. Since they both love a challenge, they looked for a bare-bones space that fit the bill before landing on V2, a now-closed arts space that briefly popped up in the old Value Village building. To dress it up, they hung lush, 30-foot-long flower arrangements over long dining tables and also incorporated more than 500 candles, 110 geometric lanterns filled with succulents, 1,000 white orchids, 2,000 white hydrangeas and 10 shimmering chandeliers to make their dream wedding come true. The bride’s necklace, featuring an agate slice wrapped in rose gold, tied in with the agate touches in the decor and on the cake; for favors, guests were given personalized agate slices to take home.

With food at the forefront of the wedding, the couple planned a five-course plated dinner that included both an amuse-bouche course and oyster course. The lamb tagine, served as a part of the amuse-bouche course, was a recipe they learned while traveling in Morocco together, and even cooked up a kid-friendly PB&J triangle, cheese and cracker stack, and small Jell-O cube for their littlest guests. For entrées, loved ones enjoyed boneless short rib with Cabernet redux, veal demiglace and gremolata. Guests were sent home with jars of bourbon-spiked cherries grown by the groom’s mom, and spiked and jarred by the bride’s mom.

The groom, who likes to sing and play guitar, performed “Wasn’t Expecting That” by Jamie Lawson alongside the Michael Benson Band during the reception. A sweet reminder, the lyrics to the song were also written on a scroll attached to the ceremony backdrop, to keep the words present for guests to gaze upon throughout the evening.

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