Catering Ideas: What Your Guests Want You to Know About Wedding Food

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“A recipe has no soul. You, as the cook, must bring soul to the recipe.” –Thomas Keller

 

No question, one of the most important aspects of a wedding is where you decide to hold it. After all, your wedding venue often dictates the kind of wedding theme you might have—so it is pivotal that you choose well. Furthermore, your wedding venue tends to give your wedding guests that first impression of what they can expect to unfold during your event—a teaser for what is about to come, if you may.

However, regardless of whether you choose to have your wedding reception in the North Forbes Pavilion or no matter how lush and sophisticated it might be, maintaining the kind of impression you initially had on your wedding takes a lot more than beautiful, elaborate décor and elegant venues. In fact, one thing that stays with your guest well after the toasts are made or once they step out of your venue will not be how ornate your centerpieces are, but rather, the quality of food that they ate. Apart from ensuring you serve enough to feed all of them adequately, you need to consider including food that would fit everyone’s palate and not just yours and your partners.

Remember, if you wish your wedding guests to feel welcomed, then it is best you kept them in a celebratory mood all night long. In any case, here are some of the food-related guest secrets that are sure to wow them:

 

Consider the timing

While it is understandable to have a program flow, you should not keep your guests waiting to eat. If you and your guests normally take your dinner at around 7PM in the evening, they should not have to wait until 9PM to eat their food. However, if your dinner is not scheduled to be served until much later, consider adding more options to your cocktail bar. Apart from including drinks and juices, include some light finger food too such as sandwiches and chips. This will ensure that your guests would not be starving by the time dinner arrives. If you are in the initial phase of your planning, be sure to set your mealtime first and then work backward to your ceremony start time. Just be sure never to leave your guests starving.

Bedazzle your cocktail table

Impress your guests by having a large and bountiful table display filled with finger treats and food. You can take it up a notch by electing to have the food served to your guests by butlers. Be sure to include a variety of food so that your guests will have a lot to choose from. However, be careful not to add to have too much food on the cocktail table as your guests might overindulge—leaving them far too full to enjoy the evening wedding banquet.

Accommodate dietary restrictions/preferences

Be sure to account for food preferences, allergies as well as diet restrictions as well. Address this by talking to your caterer beforehand and ensuring that special dietary needs are met. Furthermore, it is best to communicate with your guests before the wedding so that they would have an idea of what to expect. After all, you cannot leave your vegan and vegetarian friends out just because they cannot enjoy the food. You also cannot realistically expect them to eat only bread and green beans. Be prepared ahead of time and ask your guests if they have special food needs.

Choose a menu that reflects your favorite items

In a way, the wedding menu reflects what you and your partner love to eat. If your favorite food in the whole world includes hamburgers, mashed potatoes, mac n cheese or the like, find a way to incorporate that into your menu. Customize your menu according to what you wish and ask your caterer if they can prepare it for you as well.

Include local food items

If you have wedding guests flying in just for the wedding, be sure to include local food that will be sure to impress them. Food items that are specific to a particular location are enjoyable as some of your guests might not even get another chance to try it apart from having them at your wedding. Feature some local dishes and be sure to get the best so as to give your wedding guests an appropriate experience.

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Beautiful Weddings: Four Indispensable Tips for the Summer Bride

 

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“Perspective: Without a doubt, it is the most important thing that every bride should hold on to with both hands.”-Author Unknown

Weddings during the summer season sound like an excellent idea.

Sure, a little extra heat and humidity will be involved but what are all those when you get a gorgeous sunset as the background of your wedding photos or even your very first kiss as husband and wife? Indeed, the summer season makes for some very picturesque and gorgeous weddings. You just need to know how to negotiate with the unbearable heat. If you can, it comes with a lot of benefits such as having most of your guests attend seeing as most kids are out of school and bosses are a lot more lenient with vacation leaves seeing as it is the summer after all. Furthermore, you do not need to do much to enhance the aesthetics as the season is almost in accord with you. Radiant sunshine, clear blue skies, lush greenery—these are all the things that make for a perfect wedding photo. Unfortunately, there is a very likely possibility that a heat wave will be in full effect that day of your wedding. This means that to mitigate the possibility of you suffering from a heat stroke, you need to wear a breathable and weather-appropriate wedding dress—which will effectively limit your options.

However, weather concerns and inconveniences aside, summer is the perfect time to get married. So, if you are planning on being a radiant summer bride, here are some things you ought to know:

1.) Take the Party Inside

This one is a given, but it bears stressing—especially since some brides think it would be a good idea to brave the heat if it means having the best wedding photos. Should the heat be excessive, you want to protect yourself and your guests from heatstroke and reconsider your choices by opting to hold the reception indoors. Moreover, you do not want your guests to cook, sweat and feel icky underneath the heat so you might as well take it inside. Not to worry, you can still do some photo ops outside should you wish.

2.) Consider renting canopies and tents

If you absolutely insist on having an outdoor wedding, then at least offer your guests and yourself ample sun protection through tents and canopies. While it does not do much to add to the breeze, it does provide that much-needed relief to your reception attendees. Moreover, these can be particularly useful when the weather turns sour. Summer thunderstorms might happen, and when it does, you need to be prepared.

3.) Lather on the sunscreen

Regardless of what time during the day you are to celebrate your outdoor nuptials, you need to take extra care of your skin and give it some TLC. During the summer season, it can get particularly hot and if your ceremony would take place late in the day, the sun will be well past its peak damage potential. Do yourself and your guests a favor by providing ample sunscreen which they can apply and slather whenever needed. Make your wedding extra quirky and special by giving them loads of selections to choose from. Remember, you will most likely have a diverse set of guests and it is highly likely that their skin care needs would differ from one another. Be sure to include sunscreen lotion that is designed for sensitive skin, babies and children.

4.) Keep hydrated

No, liquor does not count. So consider crossing off the mobile war with the wine, cocktails, and beer off from your list. Be sure your guests are adequately hydrated—particularly if you have slated a time slot where the sun would be scorching. In this regard, you can ask servers to pass around bottles of water or other hydrating beverages to keep your guests happy and to keep them from overheating. Remember, you want your guests to remember your wedding for all the good memories they have experienced rather than the discomfort from the lack of adequate hydration.

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Wedding Gown Fittings: Six Things No One Tells You about Choosing a Wedding Dress

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“After all, there is something about a wedding gown prettier than in any other gown in the world.” –Douglas Jerrold

 

The wedding gown is the most iconic piece of garment a woman will ever wear in her life. Not only would she wear this on her most momentous day, but she would also be wearing it on an event that would have every single eye in the room trained on her. In this regard, it would be understandable why so many women would feel pressured to find the perfect gown.

However, unbeknownst to them, there is quite a myriad of things that occur when you do choose a gown—whether you are still in the process of selecting it or have already decided on one. In any case, here are the things you can expect when you are on a wedding gown or dress hunt:

 

Your childhood dreams are over

As a kid, you have probably envisioned what your wedding dress would look like and have run through it over and over your head ever since you said yes to your partner’s proposal. Unfortunately, unless you have an extremely talented designer who can customize the gown for you, it might be impossible to find in retail stores. Even if you do find it, it does not look the way you wish it had in your head and it is not definitely what you wish to wear while you walk down the aisle.

It takes a lot of tries before you find the one

Much like how you dated around to finally find that one true love of yours who you will be marrying soon, finding the perfect dress is just as elusive. Do not worry though; great things take time and an incredible amount of patience.

Sometimes nothing in the bridal boutique fits you perfectly

It might seem like an alien concept to you, but the truth is nothing will fit you perfectly in some boutique shops. Women do not come in a standard size so what might adequately fit you in other areas might feel a little snug or loose in some parts of the dress. Either everything is too tiny that the zip would not go up all the way or is too massive that it would need to be held back with a lot of pins.

So you might eventually need a seamstress

Even if you bought your wedding gown from a bridal boutique shop, if there are customizations you wish to have incorporated (such as making it fit you a lot better or some intricate beadwork), you will inevitably need a seamstress. There is no need to worry though, they know what they are doing and they can make the gown as close to the one you have in your dreams.

There is nothing such as a timeless gown

Sure, you want to buy a gown that is both classic and timeless. However, bear in mind that everything would look dated after a while, so do not push it. Just find the gown that you like best and go with that. Do not worry about it being a timeless design and the like.

You are barraged with a string of doubts when you finally pick a dress

So, you have finally picked out a wedding gown…YAY YOU! Unfortunately, it does not stop there. Once you have paid the initial deposit, you are going to spend the next few months contemplating whether you should have gotten a different design instead. Quite the indecision, is it not? As the excitement and thrill of finding the perfect down wears down, you would soon begin to realize the impracticality of the situation: You bought an expensive dress which you are going to wear just once. Not to fear though, your daughter in the future could probably use its material for her own dress as well.

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Wedding Catering: Five Things Your Wedding Caterer Wish You Knew

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“Food, in the end, in our own tradition, is something holy. It is not about nutrients and calories. It is about sharing. It is about honestly. It is about identity.”-Louise Fresco

It is no question that one of the events a woman looks forward to all her life is her wedding day.

In fact, there is a very likely chance that she has meticulously planned every detail since they were little girls. With this in mind, a bride would most certainly want every detail in her wedding day from the minute aspects such as the décor to the big one like the catering. Catering is one of the integral elements of a wedding because it is one of the elements that would leave a lasting impression on your guests. Apart from wanting them to leave well-fed and satisfied, you would also want to give them a notable and exemplary gastronomic experience unlike no other. After all, you would not want to be that bride who leaves her guests starving throughout the night because there was not enough food or the food was not delectable enough.

Although you may always want the best for your wedding, your decisions may not always be sound and more often than not, it is best to trust your caterers—regardless of whether they offer expensive or affordable catering. In any case, here are some of the things your caterer wish you knew:

1.) Please listen to the pros

The reality is, there are a lot of ‘firsts’ when it comes to a wedding, and unless you have catered for a large scale of guests before, it is probably best if you listened to the seasoned professionals. Remember, you hired your caterers for a reason: their expertise and they have handled a lot of weddings prior to yours. Chances are, they already know what they are doing, so listen to them and their advice.

2.) Pinterest is not a catering menu

Inspiration is something Pinterest has a wealth of, and if you are tying the knot anytime soon, you might have probably pinned and saved some of your favorite creations. However, do know that Pinterest, albeit a terrific place for inspiration, is not always a practical tack for your wedding food. Do not expect your caterers to meticulously follow every detail on the food as more often than not, the things you see on the website have explicitly been photographed for an advertisement or blog post.

3.) It is possible to satisfy diet restrictions and your guests

Just because you cannot eat gluten does not mean the rest of your guests cannot have it too. Lucky for you, there is a myriad of catering companies out there that would cater to distinct food restrictions and specialize in every type of diet. For best results, do not simply look for specialty caterers who would accommodate your requests and food restrictions, but produce exemplary food creations as well.

4.) You need a lot of waiters

You might think that your caterer is dunking a lot of wait service staff on you just so they can bloat their asking price. But the truth is, your caterer is not trying to upsell you, they just know how many people it takes to make everything run seamlessly. However, if you do want to trim staff size, be prepared to make compromises and sacrifices. Talk to your caterer as regards your options first.

5.) Be careful who you invite to the tasting

Limit the individuals you invite to your tasting assembly. Apart from your partner and yourself, you should ideally invite only four other people who typically should be both sets of parents. Inviting too many people can potentially dilute the real assessment of the food tasting, and it can make the outcome confusing. Remember, you are not heading out to a dinner for 30 people. You are simply doing a tasting.

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Aesthetic Weddings: What Your Wedding Dress Says About You

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“Choose the gown you feel most confident in—your dress should reflect ‘you’.” –Rachel Gilbert

A wedding gown is perhaps the most important sartorial piece of garment a woman will ever wear in her life. Not only does it symbolize her transition from a single woman to that of a couple, but it is also an iconic dress that has not lost its true essence and beauty over the years. Moreover, not only is the wedding dress a woman chooses an epitome of her style and preference—it is also incredibly telling of who she is as a person. To some, the wedding gown is nothing but a mere dress you wear for only one day in your life, but to brides it might just be one of the integral elements on her wedding day.

In this regard, the dress should make a woman feel confident and beautiful. But she should also take care to remember that she should be comfortable in it as well. In any case, if you are planning to select or have already selected your wedding gown, here are some of the things it might say about you:

1.) Ball Gown

As a kid, you have probably dreamt what your wedding would look like and alongside that, you have envisioned yourself countless times in a wedding gown. You might probably have been into Disney princesses at one point in your life and wanted to look like them and on your wedding day, you have endeavored to make it come true. Your outward façade might suggest conservativeness and you may, seem traditional, but you are a romantic at heart. You believe in happy endings, love and romance itself.

2.) Jumpsuit

You are a rebel. You do not want to conform to traditional tastes and would rather be spotted getting married in something more unique. Furthermore, you are warm and laid-back which makes people feel comfortable around you. You are pretty chill when it comes to wedding preparations. In fact, what matters most to you is that by the end of the day, you do end up with the person you wish to spend the rest of your life with.

3.) Naked Dress

You are a performer and you always love putting on a show. However, your flesh dress is not about putting on a show or showing off. It is about being as dramatic as you can on the most important day in your life. To you, it would seem like your wedding is that much-awaited concert wherein you are the star everything is waiting for. Do not forget to wear nipple tapes though. You may want to put on a show but you definitely do not want to show everything!

4.) Non-White

You are an absolute non-conformist and you believe that weddings are all about what you want to happen instead of simply just tradition. In fact, you may even be a total pop-culture media junkie and you love making statements. Going with a color other than white is definitely a way to create interest in your wedding and it certainly makes ripples in terms of making a statement.

5.) Drama at the back

You love having the limelight on you, and you positively thrive in being the center of attention—so much so that even when your back is turned, you want to ensure that every single eye in the room is on you. After all, this is your wedding day, and it is probably the only chance you will ever get to be the star of the day. So, the least you can do is not only wear a stunning gown but a gown that creates drama at the back as well to keep guests talking about it even weeks after the wedding.

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Smart Weddings: Four Hidden Wedding Expenses You Should Not Overlook

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“A low-budget, elegant wedding is within the reach of every couple” -Polly Clements

No matter how hard you try to execute your wedding according to budget, you can never adequately plan for every contingency. In this regard, there may be some expenses that would inevitably crop up–these costs and expenses are usually the ones a couple would overlook. Once the bill arrives, the couple would naturally be taken by surprise at how they accumulated so much simply for their wedding bill.

Do remember that throwing a wedding is expensive and that the costs extend beyond how much your wedding gown or wedding catering costs. Before striking a deal with any of your vendors or signing any contracts, remember to ask what the costs would entail and be meticulous as regards the detail such as overtime, cleanup and delivery. If you have been drawing out a budget plan for your wedding, here are some of the common charges you should never overlook:

1.) Wedding Band Equipment

If you have elected to hire a band to play at your wedding venue, you would not only be paying for the band themselves. The fees would invariably include their time and of course, the minimum equipment needed to ensure optimal sound quality. Of course, if you have chosen a reception area that is rather large, the band members would need to install additional speakers and microphones to project the best sound quality possible. To avoid this, talk to the band or your DJ and give them a layout of how your reception venue looks like. Alternatively, you can have them check it out themselves when they have the time. If they tell you additional equipment would be necessary, have them explain why you would need to be paying for it before signing and agreeing to pay anything else.

2.) Wedding Dress Alterations and Steaming

Unless you have adopted a very strict diet regime, there is a likely chance that you may need to have your wedding dress altered–especially when you had your first gown fitting a long time ago. Unfortunately, alterations and steaming are not included by most designers and wedding boutiques (and they are highly unlikely to do it for you free). Most brides think that wedding dress alterations would only take a jiffy, but depending on how complicated your dress is, it may take anywhere from a couple of hours to days just to have a dress altered. In this regard, be sure to ask how much the store charges for every alteration you may need before purchasing the gown.

3.) Overtime Fees

You must take into consideration that your DJ, wedding photographers, videographers and band are only book for a specific amount of time. If you require their services longer than necessary, they will charge you a little extra (per hour in most cases) after they have reached the time they have indicated in the contract. To avoid this, keep in mind to factor additional time you will spend in getting dressed and taking photos. With this in mind, you would be able to come up with a more realistic time frame to give your wedding vendors.

4.) Cakes and Corkage Fees

If you have used and consumed the cake and liquor provided to you by your wedding venue, you normally would not have to worry about this additional cost. However, if you chose another cake baker or caterer or have brought your own crates of wine to the reception venue, you might be charged corkage fees. Corkage is what goes into the service the staff will render you as they will be the ones to serve your guests all the food and beverages you have brought from outside. Furthermore, they would be the one doing the cleaning for it which means additional work for their staff.

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The Worst Wedding Tips Brides Should Steer Clear From

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“A talented wedding planner is a gift you give yourself…and then you wonder how you ever thought you could manage without one.” –Author Unknown

Planning a wedding is in by no means a cakewalk regardless of how simple or how elaborate it would be. There is quite a lot of aspects to consider and just like there how two brides are not the same, the logistics of their weddings are never straightforward nor are they quite same. For this reason, people who have already been engaged and tied the knot will often come to you in droves—giving you pieces of advice (solicited or otherwise) about what you should and should not do for your wedding day. Although they are well-intended, they are not always precise and some of them can be quite impractical. Furthermore, what used to work for them might not exactly work for you when it is your turn to walk down the aisle.

In this regard, it would be important to be a little shrewd and meticulous when it comes to following the innumerable unwarranted advice you will inevitably get. Recognize which ones are helpful and which ones could be detrimental. Remember, from something as major as your wedding gown to something as insignificant as which flowers to use, you have the final say. So, do not let anyone’s ability of persuasion overpower you.

In any case, here are some of the worst advice you should avoid and ignore:

1.) Skimp on catering costs

Some brides who have tied the knot two decades ago would probably be the first to tell you to skimp on the food costs and splurge on the other elements instead. They would tell you that no one really goes to the wedding to eat anyhow so do not go above and beyond when it comes to food packages. However, this might come as a shock to you but some wedding guests go to the wedding precisely for the food. After all, in these days, nothing is considered better than wedding food. Furthermore, it is one of the things that make your wedding memorable and really, you do not want to be remembered as the cheap bride who let her guests go hungry just so she can have stellar wedding decorations.

2.) Going impromptu for your wedding vows

Your wedding vows should have meaning and should originate from the heart. Spend a good time contemplating about what you should say and write it down—even if you are a good speaker. Remember, when we are all choked up and overwhelmed by emotion, we tend to forget what we are about to say—and that is a scenario you would not want at your wedding.

3.) Wait for your wedding dress to go on sale

Sure, you might be constrained to a budget and it might be nice to get your dream wedding gown at a fraction of its original price. However, you should also consider that you are not the only bride looking around for a gown and there is a likely chance that there is another bride whose eyes are on the same dress you have been waiting to go on sale. Do not wait for flash sales and buy it as is or risk having it being sold to another or spend more on expensive alterations should you need it in a rush.

4.) DIY as much as you can

Personal aspects and elements make a wedding more charming and endearing. However, there is also such a thing as overdoing the DIY. Yes, you might be saving a lot more cash on wedding decors, favors, and all other whatnots but you are also spending a lot more time–time that could have been spent doing other things that would contribute to your wedding. Moreover, you may even end up spending more than you initially thought on craft materials which would be counterintuitive if you are working on a budget.

 

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