Fall is finally here and with it comes a ton of tasty things many of us wait all year to enjoy! Here are some easy and delicious ways to incorporate a touch of autumn into your wedding day dishes.
Salad Flavors: Cranberry & Pumpkin Seeds
Nothing says fall more than cranberry and pumpkin! These items are the perfect addition to hearty greens like kale and spinach. Take a classic spinach and almond salad and add some fresh cranberries for a fall accent, or take it a step further and try our favorite Autumn Kale Salad! For this delicious salad favorite, take fresh kale tossed in olive oil and lemon juice then top with shredded carrots and cucumber. For the finish, drizzle a semi-sweet dressing, such as champagne vinaigrette, and top it off with dried cranberries and roasted pumpkin seeds to add just the right amount of fall flair!
Entrée Flavors: Fig & Honey
Throwing in the sweetness of fig and honey will instantly transform your meal into a fall favorite! We love fig and honey glazed chicken accompanied by a quinoa and squash side. If you are looking for something a little less traditional, this dish can easily be converted into sliders which pair great with sweet potato fries. Whether you choose a plated or buffet style reception, you can easily work these fall flavors into your menu and your guests will love them!
Dessert Flavors: Cinnamon & Nutmeg
Whether you are looking for a second dessert option or something in lieu of cake entirely, choose something with cinnamon and nutmeg. These spices are the go-to addition to any autumn sweets recipe. A dessert we can’t stop dreaming about is Gingerbread S’mores! Simply substitute gingerbread cookies for the graham cracker, then get the marshmallows and chocolate ready! Since this involves high temperatures, your caterer will typically have an attendant at the station to assist guests, but it is well worth it, guests of all ages will be going crazy over this delicious dessert!
It is no secret that the fall season and weddings go hand-in-hand. Not only is autumn the perfect wedding season but it is also amazing for planning a menu, the most delicious flavors and treats are in full swing during the fall months so be sure to take advantage of them. Happy wedding planning!
The time has come for you to plan the menu for your wedding reception. You may be wondering if it is worth spending the extra money to serve hors d’oeuvres at your cocktail hour. When advising clients, I always say “Absolutely!” to this question. There are plenty of reasons giving your guests something to nibble on before the reception and dinner begin is money well spent, and here are the top two!
- No Need to Rush
If you know your guests are not going to be starving waiting for dinner, you can feel free to take your time with post-ceremony pictures. Providing your guests with something to enjoy alongside their cocktails will assure you have no need to rush. Not feeling rushed during photos will make it a less stressful experience and allow it to be much more enjoyable! Your guests will be happy nibbling on something delicious like Bacon and Bleu Cheese Risotto Cakes or Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese Pinwheels and you will be relaxed knowing they are taken care of.
- Enjoy Your Alone Time
Another great way to use cocktail hour to your advantage is to enjoy a private dinner for you and your new spouse in the Bridal or Groom Suite. This may sound a little crazy at first, but hear me out. At the reception you are going to be bombarded with all of your guests coming to say their congratulations, you may not get the opportunity to really sit and enjoy your meal. Cocktail hour is a great time to take 15-20 minutes to yourselves and just enjoy the moment together. Not to mention, eating beforehand will allow you to avoid any crankiness and make all of your upcoming socializing much more enjoyable!
These top two reasons to have hors d’oeuvres during cocktail hour are often overlooked. I know planning a wedding is stressful, especially when it comes to your budget. Even so, in the end, the most important thing is being able to enjoy your day to the fullest. Keep in mind, hors d’oeuvres do not have to be expensive! You can do something like a fruit and cheese display for $3/guest and peace of mind is priceless. Happy wedding planning!
If you are considering having a buffet style dinner service at your reception, one of the concerns you may have is how to manage your guests to ensure there won’t be a long line of hungry people! There are a few ways to handle this task while keeping things interesting and a bit more interactive for your guests rather than just calling them up by a table number. Here are some fun ways to keep your buffet running smoothly and get your guests fed in a timely manner.
1. Play Your Favorite Tunes
On each table, instead of a number, put one of your favorite tunes. Have the DJ announce to the guests to listen for the song on their table to be played and when they hear it to “dance” over to the buffet line. This keeps your guests engaged, plus who doesn’t like music while they wait.
2. Centerpiece Specifics
Instead of having the same floral centerpiece at each table, try mixing it up by featuring a different flower at each table. Have your DJ call out the names of the different flowers and whichever table has those on it gets to go. If you go this route, remember to keep it limited to flowers that most people will recognize; some good ones would be: roses, daisies, carnations, sunflowers, lilies, and tulips. If you really doubt your guest’s ability to recognize flowers, you could always go by color, maybe different colored roses, or whichever flower is your favorite, on each table.
Keep in mind, you can make this idea work with any type of centerpieces you choose to have, straying away from the traditional florals is never a bad thing either!
3. Sing For Your Supper
Have your DJ pick a secret song with “Love” in the title then go from table to table and ask your guests to sing a few bars of a song that they think it might be. Whichever table has the guest that guesses the correct song gets to hit the buffet line first!
4. Relationship Trivia
This idea has a similar set-up to the previous but this time, instead of singing, the DJ will ask a question about you and your significant other. The first person to get the question correct earns their table the right to head to the buffet!
These are just a few ideas that will keep your guests engaged and entertained. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and have fun with it. Make your wedding so much fun that your guests will even enjoy waiting for their food (now that’s impressive). Happy wedding planning!
When you start tossing around decorating ideas for your big day, you will come to find that centerpieces are a must for your reception. Even if you are not into over-the-top décor, centerpieces are almost required for added ambiance on your tables. The most common, and often stunning, centerpiece is the classic floral arrangement. Today, however, I would like to offer up some alternative ideas that I have seen in the past in case flowers aren’t your thing or you are looking for a unique and creative replacement for your tabletop!
- Edible Centerpieces – This one is my new favorite trend. It offers not only an inviting and original look for the table, but also an hors d’oeuvres option for your guests. This could be something like an antipasto platter, which if done correctly by a great caterer, can be both artistic and a great pre-dinner snack. Another option is fresh sliced fruit to provide great color for the table as well as an appealing spring and summer treat. Desserts can also be created as centerpieces, think a cupcake tower for a neat display done in your wedding colors. Also, a great rustic or holiday tabletop idea can be cookie jars, pies or tarts.
- Potted Herbs– This option is great for the spring and summer months when you and your guests are feeling the fresh summer vibe. This centerpiece idea comes off very sweet and shabby chic or rustic. Not to mention, this is a budget friendly option as well. These can be in pots, rustic jars, crates, the list goes on. Often they give off a pleasant aroma and you can even opt for herbs that compliment the dinner if you really want to take things to the next level.
- Vintage Lanterns and Candles– Lanterns are a great base to work with. You can fill them up with candles from large to small, flowers, or succulents. These can save you on flowers and aren’t too difficult to play with if making your own DIY centerpieces. Floating candles or twinkle lights also give off the same cozy atmosphere.
- Special Touches– Don’t forget you can also jazz up your table with all kinds of odds and ends. Think branches, pinecones, pumpkins, cinnamon sticks, cranberries, feathers and baby’s breath.
So while floral centerpieces are always timeless, there are also chic ways to change it up. The above are just a few ideas to get your creative mind thinking of ways to make your day even more distinguishable and memorable for you by adding your own touch and style. Happy wedding planning!
Are you considering having a signature cocktail on your wedding day? Whether you are thinking of creating one on your own or just looking for something delicious, here are some great recipes that will be sure to please your guests and beat the heat!
Sullivan Street Sour
This is a twist on the Disarrono Sour that uses cherry juice to pull out the sweet notes in the Disarrono.
– 5oz Disaronno Liqueur
– 2oz Fresh-pressed lemon juice
– 1oz Simple syrup
– .5oz Cherry juice
This drink is the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. The mild spice of the jalapeno compliments the sweetness of the agave and the fruitiness of the watermelon.
– 5oz Jalapeno- Infused Tequila
– 2oz of watermelon puree
– .5oz Fresh Lime Juice
– .75oz Simple syrup
– Lime garnish
Blackberry Mint Julep
This is a nice twist on a classic drink. The addition of the blackberries makes this drink extremely refreshing and tasty!
– 2oz Bourbon
– .5oz Chambord
– .75oz Fresh Lime Juice
– .5oz muddled blackberries6 mint leaves
Lemonade is a summer staple. Try sprucing it up a bit with your favorite vodka, some bubbles for extra zest , and lovely garnish!
– 2oz vodka
– 2oz lemon juice
– 2 oz club soda
– 2 Rosemary Sprigs for garnish
This drink is super feminine and light. Its blush color pleases the eye while the sweet- sour taste pleases your taste buds!
– 1oz citrus flavored vodka
– 1oz grapefruit juice
– .5oz Amontillado Sherry
– .5oz honey syrup
– Grapefruit wedge for garnish
Don’t be afraid to stray away from the traditional mixed drinks and create something completely your own. Having a signature drink at your wedding will give your guests another way to remember your special day and keep them talking about it for months to come. Even if you aren’t big on alcohol, or maybe you have a lot of younger guests attending, you can also create a signature “Mocktail” for all of those non-alcohol drinkers to still enjoy the experience of your unique beverage creation! Alcohol or not, your guests are sure to enjoy your special day and all the deliciousness that comes with it. As always, happy wedding planning!
If you and your fiancé do not have children, the decision whether or not to have kids attend your wedding can be a delicate one. It’s best to be clear on the save-the-dates or actual invites if children are invited or not. Addressing the envelope to the whole family, for example, The Smith Family, versus addressing it to Mr. and Mrs. Smith helps clear up some confusion and is the most polite and subtle way to approach the issue. Since today’s blog is about those who do wish for kids to take part in the festivities I will leave out the best ways to say “No Children Please” and continue on to how to make kids a sweet and fun addition to your celebration!
If you don’t want restless children at your event you will need to provide some entertainment options for them. Here are 3 helpful trends I have been seeing:
Unfortunately, during the time the children are expected to sit still and be quiet is when they seem to experience the most restlessness. Ask your caterer to make the kid’s small individual bags of popcorn, or something similar, to keep them occupied during this time.
- Kid’s Meal Options
Don’t be afraid to ask your caterer for kid’s meals. Young children don’t typically like the adult food served at receptions and a group of cranky, hungry little ones is the opposite of what you want. Most caterers are happy to provide a kid’s buffet or boxed meal option, this can even save you a couple bucks!
- The Tot’s Table
If the children are old enough to be at their own table (think kindergarten and up), a Kids Only Table is the best way to keep them entertained throughout dinner and can be really fun. Don’t shy away from asking one of your closest mommy or daddy friends to help you get creative with this and even help you decorate it on the big day. Close friends, for the most part, like to be involved in the wedding planning in some shape or form so now is your chance to make them feel included, it’s a win-win!
Some ideas for the kids table include bubbles, glow sticks, crayons, coloring books, and play dough. The Crayola website, along with quite of few other free websites, provides downloadable coloring printables. I have even seen wedding themed coloring printables at receptions before. Don’t forget snacks and possibly juice boxes. Centerpieces should be interactive, so swap that floral arrangement for pinwheels for example. Stay away from glitter, paint, or confetti to avoid any venue restrictions and possible clean up fees if it gets all over. Also, be sure to put signage on the kid’s area so parents can easily find it.
In the end, parents will also bring the items needed to help entertain their children so don’t feel too much pressure. However, providing a few kid-friendly options definitely doesn’t hurt. If all else fails, hire a babysitter to watch the children in the Kids Only Space at your wedding. This is an especially good option if your venue has a space that can be used as a kid’s lounge. I hope these kid-friendly wedding ideas come in handy, happy wedding planning!
Choosing what style food service you want at your wedding reception is no easy task, there are a lot of different factors that play a part in this decision.
Choosing what style food service you want at your wedding reception is no easy task, there are a lot of different factors that play a part in this decision. Plated and buffet style events are both very popular for weddings, it all depends on your preference and the style of your big day. Knowing a little bit more about each type of food service will help you discover which type is right for you, this is why I have decided to provide you with a list of pros and cons for both a plated meal style event and a buffet style event. I hope this breakdown of the two will help make your decision easier and allow you to find which option best suits your needs!
Buffet Style Reception:
Buffets are great for more casual events because they promote more mingling and interaction among guests. If you are looking to keep your costs low, buffets are a great choice. They do not require servers to serve your guests which will save you money on catering staff, and you are also able to provide a larger variety of food options. If you choose a buffet style meal, your guests will serve themselves from food stations set up on long tables. While guests serving themselves will save you money on staffing costs it may cause a line to form and take a while for everyone to get their food. Some guests will take a bit longer to finish their meal depending on when they get back from the food line so if you are on a tight schedule for doing dances, toasts, etc. this may not be the right option for you. Buffets require a bit more food since people tend to eat more when serving themselves, it is also a small possibility you may run out of some items because there is no exact amount that each guest may take.
Plated Style Reception:
Plated meals are the most traditional and formal option for events, they usually consist of three to four courses that are served while your guests remain seated. Having your guests served while being seated is a lot less chaotic, there will be no lines and everyone will be served at the same time. An advantage of doing this type of meal service is that you can spread out activities such as dances and toasts in-between courses to keep guests engaged and maintain a nice energy throughout the event. Another nice aspect of having a plated style meal is that you do not have to worry about running out of food since each guest is being served the same set amount, one thing to keep in mind, though, is the extra cost of servers required for this style. Also, be aware that having a plated dinner will require a bit more planning and organization on your end. You will need to send out response cards so your guests can select their meal preference, you will also need to have escort cards and place cards so the servers know which dish each guest ordered.
Both options have positive and negative aspects to them, but your guests will have a great time either way! If you are more relaxed, want to encourage your guests to mingle and not on a strict schedule, a buffet style might be best for you. If you are a planner and like to keep things very organized and traditional, a plated style reception is what you should go for. At the end of the day, it really just depends on what style you like best and what your budget allows. Happy Wedding Planning!