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The ultimate foodie wedding: Top Houston restaurant owner gets married in crazy gourmet style

When is a wedding reception as much about the food as it is about the happy couple? When the groom owns the restaurant, which happens to be one of the city's top dining spots. Just ask the 250 guests who poured into Brennan's on a recent Saturday to celebrate the marriage of Alex Brennan-Martin and Robin Marie Sims.

We doubt that anyone anticipated a feast as grand or as bountiful as the one put on by the Brennan's staff. Surely, they expected good food following the high noon wedding in the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, but a lavish buffet that spread into every room of the restaurant's second floor? Fabulous.

The groom's mother, restaurant grande dame Ella Brennan in from of New Orleans, could not have asked for better as she surveyed the food offerings.

The reception began on Brennan's patio, where the Leo Polk combo played their New Orleans style jazz that entertains diners at the restaurant every Sunday. As soon as guests arrived, waiters began swirling through carrying trays of Milk Punches, Bloody Marys, Mimosas and champagne. Next came the parade of hors d'oeuvres — bacon-wrapped grilled quail, caramelized onion and goat cheese tarts with tawny port syrup and demitasse cups of Brennan's famous turtle soup laced with a dash of sherry.

If guests had known the edible bounty that awaited upstairs, they might have declined that second and third serving of the mouth-watering grilled quail.

Guests were invited to take over the second floor of the restaurant, reconfigured for open seating, open bars, various food stations and the dance band Dysfunkshun Junkshun

Food stations in the ballroom had guests in a quandary over what to try — the shrimp and grits Chippewa, the applewood smoked country ham with bourbon sweet potato pie and chive and cheddar biscuits, the grilled farmer's market vegetables or the buttermilk fried chicken with malted waffle and cane syrup. (The fried chicken had more than a few going back for seconds.)

Guests who made their way to the Courtyard Balcony room were rewarded with heaping platters of shrimp remoulade on ice with Zatarain's shrimp boil vegetables and oyster shooters served in Richard's Bloody Marys with pickled okra.

The Solarium was where sugar junkies found paradise with more calories and dessert offerings than most could imagine. Guests could have individual Banana's Foster made on the sport or choose from the Meyer lemon meringue tartlets, the coconut cream pie bites and the pecan pie diamonds. At the opposite end of the room, a vast array of wedding cupcakes and macarons tempted.

In the middle of it all was Tracey's Candy Bar, loaded with every imaginable confection, all in pastel colors. Party bags encouraged guests to load up for the trip home.

Making sure that every detail of the party was perfection were private dining director Kelly Helms, general manager Carl Walker and executive chef Danny Trace, assisted by the entire Brennan's staff.