We started by hunting down a hall. The Milwaukee Irish Cultural and Heritage Center has a nice, if genteely old, space, very cheap, and they were available. The Center staff recommended some bands (Irish music wasn't required, but both of us like it.) and we were able to retain Frogwater, a multi-talented duet. (www.frogwater.us)(Actually, band size varies, but a duet suited us.)Susan Jesky-Dermody, the group's leader is reputed to be one of the finest fiddlers in Wisconsin, and having heard them, I wouldn't disagree.
We hired one of our friends, Tim Kozinski, as private chef to assist us with food for the party. Georgie and I did some of the work, slicing cheese, pouring cider, and chopping veggies, and of course Georgie made the main cake, which was a reproduction of our orginal wedding cake,chocolate frosting and all. I contributed my deviled eggs. Tim made us roast beef, lamb en croute, stuffed mushrooms, spinakitopita, apple spice cake (for those who couldn't eat chocolate)and other goodies. Beer, ale, stout and Sprecher sodas were on us, and there was cash bar for anything else--which wasn't called for much.
Of the hundred plus people we invited, we ended up with a bit more than eighty guests--it was a busy time, many conflicts, some last minute, and some illnesses. However, there were certainly enough people to hit critical mass for a party and to make a serious dent in the refreshments. Everyone said they had a good time--including the band and the bartender! That's what I call a party.