A new venue.
A (very) warm summer evening.
A pitch-perfect seafood themed menu.
Twenty friends and strangers gathered around the table.
We pulled out our hand painted portrait rocks (which hadn't been used since last summer's EDP No. 2) and ooh-ed and ahh-ed over Melissa's new portrait canvases that honored each of our new guests. Charlotte and Sydney created a beautiful table for us to share, that was topped with fresh cut stems and Charlotte's homemade clove candles.
Katie crafted our summer seafood menu and assisted Janelle, Evy, Stephen, and Rico as they prepared our five courses. We mingled over halibut and shrimp ceviche while Adam and David led a pre-dinner game that had everyone in fits of laughter. From there, we moved to the table for a grilled corn salad in perfectly ripe tomato cups. We devoured clams in a spicy brodetto and sopped up the juices with crusty bread, before digging in to grilled sausages and radicchio. Stuffed to the gills, we savored a flavorful and light berry soup topped off with Prosecco. All the while, we sipped on Brandon's gin + ginger beer cocktails (lovingly titled "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"), blonde beers from 2nd Chance Brewing, and a Adam's perfect Don Julio Tequila selection.
Paul's crafted playlist moved with us throughout the evening, even managing a dramatic crescendo as Amanda delivered an impromptu toast. David, Anna, Alex, Paul, Marisa, and Adam helped with the hustle and bustle of set up and tear down. Aileen floated throughout the crowd, collecting names and stories for individualized thank you cards. We all took turns tickling Bea and Nate, our adorable 1-year old guests.
Once again, I struggle to find a balance between capturing every moment and setting my camera down to simply savor it. At several points throughout the evening, my camera hung by my side as I thought, "This is the best one yet."