When I was planning my wedding almost twenty years ago, I didn’t know I would end up in the catering business, but just working out all of the details in my own wedding was great training.
I grew up attending First Baptist Church Dallas, one of the largest churches in the country. Covering five city blocks in downtown Dallas and more than 30,000 members, my parents met and married there in 1957. Everything at our church was a major production and I was at the heart of it all. Our 200 member choir had productions as elaborate as any Broadway musical and our orchestra was known to rival the Dallas Symphony. I loved going to the weddings at our church because they were always an affair to remember. Growing up with so much fanfare gave me an appetite for wanting everything I do to be in grand style. When it came time for my own wedding, it was no exception.
I didn’t get married until I was 32 years old, so I had years to dream big. I designed 1000 invitations on beautiful cardstock with gold calligraphy and painstakingly wrapped each one with handmade paper and a gold waxed seal.
My wedding dress was made of silk taffeta with hand sewn pearls and beading that covered the bodice and sleeves. Six bridesmaids wore emerald taffeta ball gowns and carried cascading nosegays of solid white flowers. The church’s century old sanctuary, with its magnificent stained glass windows, was filled with candelabras cascading throughout the choir loft holding hundreds of long taper candles. Hurricane lanterns with white roses, gold and white ribbons and trails of asparagus fern lined the end of each pew.
With 800 guests looking on, my dad walked me down the aisle. Trumpets rang out from the balcony and the Dallas Baptist University Choir sang “Standing on Holy Ground”, while four cameras recorded the event from every angle. Dr. W. A. Criswell, who had married my parents thirty five years earlier, officiated the wedding and W. T. Greer brought the house down singing his incredible rendition of The Lord’s Prayer.
The celebration continued with a lavish buffet and a five foot tall wedding cake that looked more like a huge porcelain sculpture than multi tiers of confection. There were paella stations and multiple buffets of assorted hors d’ oeuvres interspersed with cascading fruits and cheeses. As we drove away in a white vintage Bentley to the historic Adolphus Hotel my face literally hurt from smiling so long. My husband tends to remember the event as the night he stood for hours in a rented tuxedo and uncomfortable shoes while talking to hundreds of people he didn’t know. I am thankful he endured it all for me. In looking back I now know why I set the bar so high in our catering business.
Over the years I have tried to help my brides have that same feeling when The Doves Nest caters a wedding. From constructing a dance floor over a client’s swimming pool, to covering a backyard with clear tents for a starry night, we have done it all. Whether it’s a small intimate affair with just family, or an elaborate reception where the newlyweds leave the scene by helicopter, I want their big day to be a dream come true, like mine was.