{Newlyweds Cook} Annie + Oliver

{images courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings}

Wedding season is upon us, and since my sweet brother and his long-time girlfriend, Karen, are recently engaged, we're all abuzz around here about wedding details once again, something I hadn't thought a lot about since my own magical day. And, since we're having a Martha moment over here, I thought it was a perfect time to share with you one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever seen, which was featured in the pages of Martha Stewart Weddings. The betrothed, Annie and her sweet groom Olly, are the sister and brother-in-law of my friend Katie, of Mom's Kitchen Handbook. When I saw their wedding, my jaw literally dropped. Annie is a couture dress designer, and her utterly romantic line Annie Sullivan | Couture Bridal,  recently launched. So it's not surprising that there were so many elegant details applied to her own wedding day. On the eve of Annie and Olly's first year anniversary, I asked Annie to recall their sweet story.

Annie says...

I have always had a fixation on all things French. I moved to France in my twenties, sure that I would fall in love with a French man and have French-speaking children who would drink hot chocolate out of little bowls and call me “maman.”  

Instead, after a couple of years on French soil, I returned to New York City and fell head-over-heels for Oliver Cobb, a hunky Englishman who was kinder than anyone I'd ever dated, French or otherwise, and had an accent that made me swoon.   

On our first date, while throwing back copious amounts of oysters and Sancerre, Olly casually mentioned his family's house in the south of France. As if I wasn't already hooked by his entirely charming self, this little tidbit was the icing on the cake. We have been together ever since.

On our first trip to Paris together, after a boozy lunch in Saint Germain, I led Olly through the teensy, twisted streets to Rue Bonaparte so he could sample what I considered pure heaven: an olive oil and vanilla macaron from the pastry shop, Pierre Hermé. We ordered several other flavors -- caramel with fleur de sel, rose, lemon, chocolate -- and stood in the square in front Saint Sulpice church with our waxed paper bag, nibbling our way through each one, warmed by Paris' afternoon sun. We were in love. 

Fast forward to our wedding. I wanted the day to feel like a spectacular European dinner party set in a far gone era.  The dessert had to be just right, and I am not a fan of English sweets. The likes of  Battenberg cake, fruit cake, bakewell tart, and something called “spotted dick," are not for me. Sticky toffee pudding is the one exception, but lacks the elegance I had envisioned. Going with French desserts seemed like a no-brainer.

We decided we would have a dessert table laden with classic French sweets, something the likes of which Marie Antoinette would have approved. Making the traditional French wedding cake, croquembouche, the centerpiece, would be the crowning touch. 

Croquembouche is essentially a tower of crème puffs or profiteroles, shaped into a tall cone, bound with spindly ribbons of spun sugar. Since pastry chef Francois Payard makes them magnificently, we asked him to do ours, along with all of the wedding desserts. 

Aside from the croquembouche, the table was laid with assorted diminutive goodies, everything from macarons to miniature lemon tarts, madelines, and petite éclairs. It was whimsical and decadent and the perfect end to the day. 

Lucky for us, Payard Pastry is a subway ride away, where we can go and reminisce about our first macaron together in Paris, and our first one as a married couple.

In the end I got what I wanted: the love of my life. I figure I can just teach our children to call me "maman."



sponge cake press said...

oh my goodness, i loved every minute of this story. every last detail is just perfection a by the way, can we all come to your family's summer home in france? =)

momskitchenhandbook said...

having been lucky enough to be there for the event...it was even more gorgeous live than in the pages of the magazine. glad to walk down memory lane.

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Sarah Copeland is a food and lifestyle expert, and the author of Feast: Generous Vegetarian Meals for Any Eater and Every Appetite, and The Newlywed Cookbook. She is the Food Director at Real Simple magazine, and has appeared in numerous national publications including Saveur, Health, Fitness, Shape, Martha Stewart Living and Food & Wine magazines. As a passionate gardener, Sarah's Edible Living philosophy aims to inspire good living through growing, cooking and enjoying delicious, irresistible whole foods. She thrives on homegrown veggies, stinky cheese and chocolate cake. Sarah lives in New York with her husband and their young daughter.