The aromas emerging from the kitchen end of the long house, deep behind the wide verandah, were now too insistent to ignore. Down on the lawn, people were taking photos and the children from the wedding party were running around waving their birds a little less reverently than they did during the serious part of the ceremony.
Then an announcement was made to proceed to the house where dinner - a great buffet - would now be served.
It was the biggest feast I have ever seen.
There were cold dishes - terrines and platters of antipasti and cold meats of every kind. There were steaming casseroles - pastas in all shapes and in all sauces, lasagnes, cannellonis, timbales; there were curries, hot and mild and in between - lamb curries and Thai chicken curries and vindaloos and tandoori baked meats and parathas and chapatis and naans and jasmine rice and basmati rice and wild rice and red rice and brown rice and saffron rice. I love saffron rice. There were cold salads and warm salads and there were tarts and quiches and frittatas and pies. There were breads and rolls and there were tureens of soup and there were ...
Tables had been set up on the huge verandah that ran the full length of the house and most stayed there and ate and drank and watched the sun disappear altogether and watched the moon rise and ate and drank some more. And just when nobody could eat any more and speeches had been made and the children were darting in and out of the shadows on the lawn below and shrieking with the joy of being allowed to run around at a wedding, someone announced dessert.
The massive groaning tables inside had been magically cleared, probably by fairies, and were now laid with a pile of desserts and sweet things as big as the mountain behind the trees. There was a chocolate cake large enough to feed a small nation, scattered with shards of chocolate the size of broken dinner plates; a cheesecake of similar dimensions drowning in passionfruit syrup and a giant orange almond cake. A tiered hummingbird cake was the centrepiece - the wedding cake itself. Around all of these were scatterings of other delights - plates of delicate little meringues, cupcakes decorated in all colours; there were lamingtons, of course, and neenish tarts and yoyos and rum balls and little hand made chocolates and those fancy biscuits they call biscotti.
So everyone decided they could eat some more after all.
And they did.