Tuesday, September 20, 2011

40th Anniversary Family BBQ

My parent's move back to the US coincided with a big milestone in their marriage - their 40th wedding anniversary! To honor the occasion and to give our extended family a chance to welcome my parents back to the US, we hosted a BBQ in my parent's honor.

With the limited amount of time I had to plan, I was able to find some pictures of my parents from when they were first married (luckily, I had scanned these for use with my wedding) and a few more favorites throughout the years for an impromptu garland strung over our side buffet:
I spent two days after work cutting out the pieces and letters to make a Happy Anniversary banner - I wish I had taken a better picture of the different types of patters/papers I used because if I don't say myself, it came out beautifully:

To celebrate the "40" aspect of the occasion, I made up a trivia quiz asking pop culture questions about the year my parents got married (1971), with the prize being a homemade assortment of popular candy from the  70's.  This required googling similar assortments online (which were overpriced and offered small sample sizes) and the help of a coworker who dropped by Yummie's in Maine for me, but I think ended up with a decent selection of classic candies that had party attendees reminiscing about their favorites:

I've found that hosting a get together often leaves me running around the house like a crazy woman or stuck in the kitchen getting food ready, but I did manage to remember to take a few pictures. Reflecting my Asian upbringing, everyone visiting our place is required to take off their shoes.  I got a kick out of looking at our mudroom and seeing the pile of shoes, the sure sign of a crowd!

My mother-in-law Charlotte brought a beautiful platter of fresh fruit along with my favorite cream cheese/marshmallow fluff dip:

Beautiful wedding-themed, chocolate-dipped strawberries from Konditor Meister:

Also from Konditor Meister, a beautifully decorated cake:

Here are the guests of honor playfully posing for my camera:

If you look closely, you can see Amy popping her way into the pictures:

Did I mention how goofy my family is? And yes, Amy's made it more fully into the background of the picture (along with my cousin Andrea in pink):

Gold cake with layers of banana cream and chocolate - considering the size of the cake (it was sized to feed 20-25 people), it was amazing how quickly it was consumed:

Have you noticed Andrew in the pictures yet? He was stuck grilling the hot dogs, hamburgers, veggie burgers and steak tips for our guests.  Did I mention that it was the Saturday before Hurricane Irene hit so he was stuck in pouring rain and high winds for more than an hour? The poor guy was soaked by the time his grilling duties ended:

Here's a quick shot of the crowd hanging out in the living room, including my in-laws, Amy, cousin Andrew, Amy's roommate Merissa, my parents' honorary son Phu and my dad's cousin Paul in the background:

Our three season porch was also a popular gathering place (perhaps due to the fact that we had all the coolers out here?)

I was expecting more in the way of leftovers but dreading them at the same time, since we didn't want too much food lingering in the fridge in case the power went out the following day during the storm. Luckily thanks to the grazing efforts of my cousins, we didn't have much to put away at the end of the day:

In case you were wondering about who won the trivia contest, my devious cousins were able to answer some questions/get answers from some of the older members of the crowd to win the 70's candy basket - which was for the best, since I think they were the only ones that were young enough to enjoy the sugar rush!

The biggest reward? Seeing my parents interact with family and friends that were present at their wedding 40 years ago and simply enjoy a quintessential American afternoon filled with plenty of food and cold drinks.

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