Dustin and Loretta had perfect weather for their wedding day. All week was nice and sunny, which we were so grateful for.

We ended up withabout 450 here for the noon meal and 550 for the evening meal. We could seat 350 people in one setting. About 100 or more people eat before, such as the cooks, table waiters, special helpers, babysitters, some of the cooks’ children, and drivers that bring family and friends from farther away.

At 4:30 p.m., the tables were set for the cooks to eat supper and then at 5:30 p.m., the guests. At 7 p.m. the youth and Dustin and Loretta’s family ate.

We ended up having 600 pounds of chicken grilled. Although we had quite a bit leftover, I think we would’ve run out if we didn’t get another 100 pounds. A family in our church has a huge grill and grills for others, so we had them grill the chicken. We bought 400 pounds of potatoes but had 150 pounds left that didn’t get cooked for mashed potatoes.

Our goal was to have 75 pies, but we ended up with about 80. Sometimes there is extra pie filling that they just use up in a few extra pies. The pecan pies were eaten except a few pieces. We had a few pumpkin pies, and a dozen or more cherry pies left.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

Our menu consisted of barbequed chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, buttered noodles, dressing (40 loaves of bread were toasted for this and took 18 dozen eggs), green beans with cheese sauce, overnight salad, and homemade bread with grape jelly and butter.

Dessert was pecan, pumpkin and cherry pies, caramel pudding, fresh fruit (watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple and grapes), chocolate and white cupcakes, candy bars, and coffee.

It is tradition that the bride and groom furnish candy bars to serve after each meal. Dustin and Loretta bought 1,200 for the whole day. They had quite a few left. The parents buy all the other food for the day.

Dustin’s parents have their own chickens, so they brought over 40 dozen eggs for use in the food. That really helped out. We don’t have chickens right now.

Loretta did a fall theme for decorating the “Eck,” the corner reserved for the bride and groom and bridal party.

Her colors for the cooks and table waiters were all fall colors. Loretta chose a dark rose-colored dress for her wedding day. Dustin’s mother and I wore olive-colored dresses. The cooks wore rust. The table waiter girls wore orange dresses, and the boys wore black pants and vests with white shirts.

Daughter Verena and Dustin’s brother Willie were witnesses. Daughter Lovina and her special friend Daniel (also Dustin’s brother) were the other witnesses.

Without the help of friends and family it wouldn’t be possible for us to prepare for such a big event. Many hands make lighter work.

A special thank you to my great friend Ruth. She took me shopping and did a lot of the shopping herself on the final days because I didn’t have time to go after everything.

Our dear family members were missed very much during the wedding preparation and on the special day. Sisters Verena, Emma and our daughter Susan all did well to put their grief aside and be happy for the newlyweds.

Daughter Loretta now lives across the road with Dustin. Today we will go help her put away the many nice gifts they received. Dustin and Loretta thank those of you who sent gifts and well wishes.

Green Beans with Cheese Sauce

8 quarts green beans, cooked or canned

Cheese Sauce

1 cup butter

1 cup milk

2 pounds Velveeta cheese

3 teaspoons Greek seasoning

3 teaspoons black pepper

1 teaspoon seasoning salt

Heat sauce ingredients on low until cheese is melted, stirring occasionally. Place the beans in a roaster and pour the cheese sauce over them. Heat at 300 degrees until hot.

Cracker Crumb Topping

15 sleeves Ritz crackers

1 3/4 cup melted butter

Crush crackers in sleeves and mix with melted butter. Spread on cookie sheets and toast in oven until browned. Use 1/2 cup crumb topping per 2-quart bowl of beans.

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Readers can write to her at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope for a reply); or email LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org and your message will be passed on to her.