December 5, 2023

Life is getting back to normal after an eventful April, a month highlighted by a wonderful wedding and honeymoon to Canada — the best experiences of my life.

But there’s lots to talk about regarding the wedding itself. As I noted in my last post, it was my first one, ha! The wedding-planning experience, while my first go at it, wasn’t terribly unfamiliar insomuch as it involves a lot of project management. Our first decision was to select a venue, and we chose an all-in-one wedding provider close to our house, ‘Rose Briar’ in northwest Oklahoma City.

The facility is beautiful with both indoor and outdoor ceremony accommodations, and we liked the idea of an all-in-one wedding provider so that we didn’t have to search and search for vendors. My overall review of ‘Rose Briar’ as a wedding provider is pretty simple: if you have a no-frills wedding, they’re solid albeit pretty inflexible and humorless. I can’t imagine a more elaborate wedding with customization being a good fit for them. For us, ‘Rose Briar’ was a-ok, and they executed adequately. It turned out though that we liked their vendors better than we did ‘Rose Briar’ itself, and in this post, I’m going to tell you about one of those vendors: Ned Shadid Sr.

Ned is apparently an Oklahoma City fixture, and we completely understand why. His business is called Ned’s Catering, and he’s been in food service for a long while, having been an on-the-road caterer for a bevy of rock-and-roll bands and country acts. He told us some amazing stories about how awesome some stars are (Jon Bon Jovi) and how not-awesome others are (their band name rhymes with “The Beagles.”)

Ned has this signed photo from the band Chicago in his Oklahoma City office.

Apparently, as part of the whole wedding preparation effort, you get invited to a free lunch where you sample the food for the event.

“Do not threaten me with a good time,” as my friend Patrick is fond of saying.

My understanding is that Rose Briar’s regular caterer flaked out on them, and so Ned was available for us. I’m glad he was! While the food was fantastic, getting to know Ned as part of the pre-wedding food tasting was the real treat. He was also there for the wedding, and he even helped fix my Windsor knot.

“Before I was a caterer, I was in the clothing business,” he told me.

Ned even packed Kristi and I a to-go box in case were were still hungry after the event.

During our initial meeting with him, he told us about his latest restaurant venture, “Ned’s Starlite Lounge.” It’s also in northwest Oklahoma City along May Avenue, and it’s got this retro 1960s vibe about it.

“Our Old Fashioneds are killer,” the waitress told me upon first visit.

The decor was straight out of ‘Mad Men,’ even with the playoff hockey and basketball on the big screens. Kristi opted for Ned’s chop house steak special, which I think was a Filet Mignon, and I got the chicken fried steak with poblano reduction. I joked with Kristi that I thought our wedding enchiladas also had Ned’s poblano reduction, and maybe that was just his thing – poblano reduction.

Nevertheless, it was delicious on a chicken fry.

And the Old Fashioned was indeed killer, and oh by the way, priced a lot cheaper than most places.

Not that my Rolodex is teeming with caterers, but I couldn’t recommend Ned more highly. The food was fantastic, both for the wedding and at Ned’s Starlite Lounge — and he’s even a neater guy.

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