My Best Friend’s Wedding

Usually, writing about food is the toughest part of my job. Today, it’s the easiest.

At the house, in the hours before and during the wedding weekend, we made fresh and delicious grain salads:

And at the rehearsal barbecue and wedding ceremony both, I had local, seasonal, and fantastic vegan food like this:

A huge thanks to Tommy Carlucci for not only accommodating me, but giving me two delightful dinners. I’ve never feasted so well at a wedding!

What can I say about the rest of the weekend? I laughed. I cried. I wore a pink dress. I swayed to New Orleans brass music in a majestic carpeted tent. I saw friends whom I haven’t seen in years, and it was wonderful. I tried putting my feelings for Chloe–my oldest friend–into a three minute toast. It was a beautiful, emotional, and slightly overwhelming weekend, and I’m still recovering. So rather than try to articulate how I feel, I’ll let these images do the talking.

A few years back, when Chloe and I were roommates on 77th street, we were somehow lucky enough to snag a duplex apartment on the cheap. (I may never have it so easy as an NYC tenant again.) At night, before bed, it was not unheard of for us to be so lazy that, rather than my trotting upstairs to hug Chloe goodnight, or her trotting downstairs to hug me, we would text message each other “Love you, gnite” from our beds.

Last night, after a long and still nostalgic afternoon, I texted Chloe from bed to say, “I love you so much, it’s kind of silly.” A moment later, she replied, “Oh wait, me too.”

Some things never change.

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  2. I think happy people are the prettiest people, and that picture of you with a big wide smile looks so happy! You’re beautiful, and a big smile makes it even better 🙂
    And what a gorgeous place for a wedding!

  3. What a beautiful setting for a wedding and what a special friendship you both have. You are very photogenic, I’m so jealous! That pink dress is too cute!

    The food you were served looks really good, sometimes being vegan has it’s perks!

  4. What a beautiful wedding! (I want to get married in a barn, and New Orleans is top on my list of places to go.) Can’t even imagine what it will be like when my best friend gets married… your tribute to Chloe’s wedding is perfect.

    (Also, Duplex in NYC for early 20somethings? WHAT?!)

  5. The photo of you before the menu is just gorgeous – what an amazing smile!!!!

    Looks like a fabulous wedding 🙂

  6. What an amazing experience you had :D. I love the fact that old, true friends tend not to change a whole lot in your relationship with them over the years.

  7. OK, so I’d like to get married now. Or at least get invited to someone else’s:)
    Love how they included the top of the bell pepper on the plate–very pretty presentation!

  8. The salads look amazing and that is so nice that you got to eat delicious vegan meals!! The BM dresses are adorable and you looks fabulous. I love all of the wedding decorations and the bride looked lovely! Glad you had an amazing weekend with an amazing friend 🙂

  9. Your post brought tears to my eyes. It looked like such a beautiful day for everyone involved. 🙂 And I think your smile is so beautiful too!! It’s silly how we perceive ourselves sometimes…

  10. You are insanely gorgeous. I knew you were adorable, obviously, but I am just blown away at how beautiful you are in that pink dress.

  11. Gena, this post brought tears to my eyes. I’m a sucker for weddings, and an even bigger sucker for amazing friendships between two women. You and your beautiful friend are so incredibly lucky to have each other.

    And what a gorgeous wedding! It is pure magic! You are so happy and glowing and your dress (especially the flowers down the back) is just lovely. What a magical time you had!

  12. What a gorgeous country wedding. I saw your photo of your dress on twitter and had been dying to see more. The colours complemented all of you girls perfectly and the wedding style was simplistic chic. How lucky were you as well to have had such beautiful vegan food prepared for you. I understand how difficult that is at a wedding, especially when you don’t want to be a bother on your friends day. So lucky. You look so radiant as per usual Gena, a testament to your healthy lifestyle choices!

  13. You look soo beautiful Gena…you glow! Must be that fabulous raw diet you eat! =)
    It looks as if you had a really wonderful time. I’m so happy for you.

  14. First of all, so happy to see a big smile WITH TEETH of you in one of those pictures! Such a beautiful smile, but I’ve noticed you don’t often show your teeth. As someone with crooked teeth, I say…show those beautiful teeth off! 🙂

    And second, I used to live with my best friend, and we’d do the same thing, only we’d text each other from the next ROOM!

  15. looks like a beautiful day… i agree with someone who said above about your pearly whites. maybe it’s the addition of a little makeup or the lovely outdoor lighting or probably just the fact that you seem to be really genuinely happy in all the pictures, but you are GORGEOUS!!!! holy louise. i especially love this picture:×500.jpg


    the pictures of the grain salads, too, had me drooling, by the way. i think i’m just a photo nut.

    and yes!! guest blog from chloe!!!

  16. Ah, what a great wedding and trip you had!!! that area looks absolutely beautiful! and your look gorgeous in both your dresses! i’m so glad you had such a great time on your trip and were able to enjoy the company of your bestie, even with everything going on. so beautiful.

    <3 you!

  17. Ah, best friendships…they make the world go round don’t they? You text to Chloe this past weekend is almost exactly the same as one I sent my best friend last week. What would we do without them?
    You look stunning Gena and it looks like a wonderful celebration! xo

  18. What a beautiful, lovely, weekend! Seriously, what is better than old friends and fabulous food?

    I was so emotional at my best friend’s wedding. My entire family considers her an honorary member and we were so excited to watch her marry a wonderful man who loves her like crazy, honors her independence and who is also her biggest cheerleader in her multiple pursuits. I can’t lie though – I was nervous about losing my sleepover buddy of the last 20 years!

    I’m going to be the first to request a guest blog from Chloe! I’m sure I’m not the only one who wants to hear from the best friend of fabulous Gena! 😉

    Oh, and, you look stunning.

    • I second the request for a guest blog post from Chloe!

      I know you’re reading, bun, so please oblige my readers…you’re in popular demand!

  19. What a lovely wedding. I love all the dresses and the food!

    I have a friend that I call and leave musical voicemail messaged for, as she does me. I like having that special something between us, like the texting you and Chloe do. Never stop showing how much you care!

    Have a great evening!

  20. You have such a lovely smile and beautiful teeth! You should show them off more often 🙂 I am going to have to try those recipes. I have been experimenting with raw nuts and creating different meat like variations to top all my dinners!

    Oh I am slowly converting my family 🙂 I found an amazing video you should totally check out. I sent it to all of them and they are SHOCKED to say the least. I bet you have already seen it, but wow, I cannot believe that this video was made in 1993!

    Have a great day and as always love your blog! You are an inspiration my dear 🙂

  21. You old softie! You aren’t losing a friend you are gaining another one? Ew. Sorry. But you look just lovely, if it’s any consolation!

  22. thank you for sharing with us. yes weddings can be really emotional. thanks for acknowledging that. they are a lot of work too! glad you got the food you needed. it’s nice when you don’t have to worry about that part of it.

  23. What is the designer for the bridesmaid dresses? I love them and getting married next summer, looking for inspiration. 🙂

  24. In response to the previous comment about your close-mouthed smile….

    You have a GORGEOUS smile, Gena!! Since I’ve met you in person, I feel qualified to say that you have quite the contagious smile and you should do it more often 🙂

    What a lovely wedding!

  25. it all looks so beautiful! you looked SO pretty too, gena! very flattering bridesmaid’s dresses. aw, i cannot imagine what my best friend’s wedding will be like 🙂

  26. Beautiful wedding and beautiful friendship! Where did you find those bridesmaids’ dresses… they are so lovely!


  27. Beautiful pictures, beautiful bride, beautiful dresses, beautiful you!!! Gorgeous. Lovely. So happy for Chloe and I don’t even know her!

  28. The wedding looks beautiful, and you look stunning! Love that dress. Glad you had such a great weekend!

  29. …andddd I’m tearing up.

    You are gorgeous Gena, and the bride and groom are too! I love that the wedding paired a rustic look with an elegant one. very creative!

    And please smile more with your teeth! You are so stunning, why hide it? 😉

  30. Gorgeous wedding, gorgeous bride, gorgeous Gena! I’m happy you had such a wonderful time. 🙂 Weddings can definitely be very emotional!

    P.S. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a picture of you smiling with your teeth! You have pretty pearly whites. 😉

    • Jess,

      Good observation. The embarrassing truth is that it’s force of habit to smile with closed lips; I used to be VERY self conscious about my mouth. It’s wide and big, and I think I’ve always felt odd about the way I look when I smile with my lips open. It’s lame, but true. There are very few photos of me smiling with teeth — but I’m getting better at it!


      • Your “big” mouth is gorgeous, and so is your recap of your best friend’s wedding. Memories like these are for keeps, you know? Keep smiling big smiles, Gena. 😀

        xo Aletheia

  31. it’s ok to be emotional, especially when it comes to the people we love girlie!!! i can feel how big your heart is…you truly are a genuine soul…don’t ever change…

    love and friendship makes the world go round.

    i felt all of the love and happiness you felt in your heart looking at all of the beautiful pics!!! thanks for sharing this beautiful part of your life with us…AND…you are totally meant for pink dresses!!! you’re beautiful darling!


    have a beautiful day!

  32. What a beautiful outdoor wedding. And that pink dress looks so pretty on you, so fresh and summery. Seriously, you look stunning Gena!

    Congrats to your bestie!

  33. Omg what a LOVELY spread of photos…wow! Such a beautiful day and beautiful people 🙂 I love everyone’s dresses, what can I say, Im a sucker for some great dresses on “food” blogs! xox