Weekends are for Weddings: The Lowcountry Boil

Weekends are for weddings!  If you’re like me, with 9 weddings each year, the weekends are, quite literally, for weddings (attending them, that is).  Also if you’re like me, the weekend is a time to think about planning your own wedding.  Lots of people carve out a certain time each week for  to wedding planning (Wedding Wednesday seems to be very popular).  It ensures the wedding doesn’t take over their whole lives; however, I find that confining wedding planning to a specific time is too pressure-filled and bicker-prone.   I plan my wedding when inspiration strikes.  Weekends, in particular, offer the time to let my mind roam and plan my own wedding in a stress-free environment.  In this series, I’ll take you through some of my major planning steps – hopefully this will help you plan your own wedding!

As we got close to our wedding, I realized we had a bunch of events, increasing in intensity.  We started of chill and wound up with the KAPLOWEE of the wedding itself.  The first event that kicked off our weekend was a lowcountry boil at my house on Thursday night.  This was for close family and anybody who was already in town and was by no means a mandatory event.  If you could make it, great; if not, no big.  I just really wanted to opportunity to share a fun meal with close friends and family before the big day.  Also, since the wedding itself wasn’t the following day, this was an event I could fully enjoy.  I didn’t have to worry about a professional photographer snapping pics of me with food in my teeth or censor how much I was drinking to avoid a wedding day hangover.

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We classed it up a bit and poured it into pans instead of on newspaper…it was the wedding weekend, after all.

HOT TIP #1: I highly recommend doing something like this to start your wedding weekend.  It’s way easier than going straight from work into wedding mode.  Allow yourself to have a cocktail or five so you can start the wedding weekend in a relaxed mindset.

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My brother picked up a pony keg, my Mom and I made a triple recipe of her famous artichoke heart dip, a family friend brought over homemade desserts, and then, of course, we had the lowcountry boil.  For the unfamiliar, lowcountry boil is shrimp, potatoes, onions, corn, and sausage (and crabs when we throw the net off our dock).  It’s all boiled up together and poured out on top of newspaper covered picnic tables.  It’s delicious.

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My father is the king of Lowcountry boils but – for the first time – allowed for a little assistance and hired some of the guys from his office to help cook and clean.  My parents really wanted to relax and enter the wedding in zen mode.  That meant they didn’t want to be stressed about breaking down picnic tables at the end of the night.  They went to bed and woke up on the official start of the wedding weekend to a clean, stress-free home.

HOT TIP #2: Having this help was huge.  The guys got a free meal and some cash so it was a win win situation.  If you’re not from the Lowcountry, you probably won’t be doing a lowcountry boil, but maybe consider inviting friends over for sheet pans of lasagna from your favorite Italian restaurant or Chinese takeout and a movie.  And if you can make the whole mess go away by slipping somebody $100 under the table?  Do it.

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It was a great, low key way to get the festivities started and for our close friends and family to start getting to know each other.  I also loved that it was in the comfort of my own home.  I didn’t need to wear anything fancy, could kick my shoes off (literally), and at the end of the night went to sleep in my own bed.  It turns out I decided to turn up and actually went out downtown before crashing in my own bed.  But that was the beauty of this casual evening – nothing was formal and we could do whatever we wanted.

Photo Credits: Justin Gaines for the shot of the food; Sharon Sand for all other photos