Thank you everyone for your kind advice over the weekend about my dinner party!
The final headcount was actually 28 (expected 35) and it went perfectly! I even had time to run to the store an hour or so before guests came to pick up some flowers for a few small centerpieces to scatter among the tables. I had 15 pounds of meat that was completely finished after a few people went back for more, I had extra of everything except green beans (should have bought just a half pound more, ugh!), and my man said the food was flawless. I did the julia childs green beans like someone suggested (delicious and the only way I will make them from now on!), blanched early on in the day and sauteed with butter lemon juice and salt 10 minutes before serving, had three crock pots of chuck roast going all day and took out the bones and fat around two hours before serving to consolidate and shred the meat into one crock pot on low, made the rice casserole the day before and had it warming in a 250 oven for 45 minutes before serving, cubed 10 pounds of potatoes the night before, and boiled them 30 minutes before serving, drained, and seasoned with fresh rosemary and thyme simmering in a cup of butter, salt, and a splash of cream a few minutes before serving, had prepped the romaine earlier and tossed the salad a few minutes before serving (6 heads of romaine and an entire jar of caesar and fresh parm) and made my great grandmother's rolls from scratch the day before (48!). Throughout the last half hour or so I was also simmering the chuck drippings with red wine, skimming the fat off, and whisking corn starch. Chopped some chives for garnish at the very last second and bing! The dinner bell rang.
I didn't really have appetizers, but no one seemed to mind, and people were happily sipping on wine and mingling until dinner was ready, had a great playlist of old 40s music, and the house was full of laughter. Someone else made dessert, which I began passing out as I cleared peoples plates, and then had to start the clean up so I wouldn't get behind, but I had lovely company in the kitchen all night so I didn't mind at all.
You guys, I don't know how to explain how proud I was, and my man was so impressed with me and bragging all night to his guys, said the sweetest thing to me in his toast, kept whispering to me how good I looked in my apron that he bought me last year over my cocktail dress, and couldn't take his hands off me after the party. He told me he didn't know a single other woman he would have trusted to be able to pull it off, with half the grace, and told me how excited he was to be throwing lots more parties throughout our lives together (squealing!).
The night flew by, and I do wish I had been able to socialize more and get to know the people in his organization better, but all in all it was just a perfect evening, and something I'm sure we will remember for years.
Thank you guys so much, for the support and the advice. Being a host is a beautiful art form, and I learned so much from this experience and hope the next one goes even better!