I think one of the more important elements of a wedding is food, but that’s because, well, I love it. You probably won’t get much of a chance to eat it, but that’s besides the point. There’s a good amount of time during the reception when you’re so busy talking to everyone and seeing people and having a good time, you don’t think about what everyone else is doing at that moment. Aside from drinking, they’re probably eating, and that’s a great time to continue on whatever theme you’ve got going for your wedding. Aside from colors, the only “theme” that I had going was to make it as personalized as possible. I looked at lots of caterers, lots of whom had pretty appetizing fare, but it all seemed very “wedding” to me. Then I had a stroke of genius. There is a local Thai restaurant where I grew up that is a favorite of the family’s. We’ve been going there for years, dragging other people there, and I liked the food so much, I had their phone number on my speed dial. What a better way to a) have a unique food experience, b) share my favorite restaurant with all my family and friends, c) give one of my favorite local restaurants a good deal of business and d) save some money in the mean time?
1. There ended up being some additional planing that needed to take place, like renting dishes and silverware and all of that, but I think that it worked out really well in the end. The restaurant had never catered an event before, but it was so successful I hope that they will do it again! And the guests all thought the food was amazing, so that never hurts. Plus, I got to eat my favorite Pad Thai on my wedding day, so that made it all the more special. If anyone is in the Denver area, I highly suggest checking out Wild Ginger or their sister restaurant, Tommy Thai.
2. Drinks obviously fall into the food category. Played around with the idea of having a dry wedding, but I decided that I didn’t want everyone to leave after an hour. Drinks can get very expensive very fast, and there’s some ways that you can avoid the bill constantly escalating. The first big mistake is the open bar/mixed drinks idea. First of all, most people view an open bar as an invitation to get as drunk as possible, as quickly as possible. If you’re doing mixed drinks, same goes. You also have the added expense of a bartender, which doesn’t help matters at all. In addition to that, having a properly stocked bar requires buying lots of weird small items, like vermouth, that you’ll probably never use again, and you run the risk of ending up with 3 bottles of whatever it is you don’t particularly like.
3. We stocked wine, beers and 3 varieties of “punch”, specially chosen to match the color theme. The wine was fun, as we could choose interesting things to go with Thai food. One way to save money is buying it buy the case, which will usually get you at least a 10% discount, or an even better way to save money is to befriend your local wine merchant. They can usually get insider deals that they will pass along to people they like. We also used cava for the toast instead of champagne. In case you don’t know, cava is basically Spanish champagne. It’s a little more dry than a traditional champagne or sparkling wine, but you can get into a good bottle for much less than you would champagne. Plus, it’s more fun! I made sure to get something I liked in case there was tons left over. We’re definitely beer people, so we just picked up a couple of cases of things that we liked. A warning: if your friends like beer, make sure to get more than you think you’ll need. It’ll go really fast. The only thing we did for spirits was 3 brightly-colored punches that could be mixed ahead of time to save time and money. They were the Garden of Eden Martini (from our favorite bar in Vancouver), Night of Passion, and Wedding Bliss (what terrible names!). If you’d like the recipes, just let me know!
4. To me, desert was the best part! We’re not particularly cake people, and as much as I love the way that gorgeous wedding cakes look, I wanted to do something a little different. So we made a desert stand! The tables were lovingly crafted by my mom and her best friends to match the theme – they are all stackable, so I got to keep them and use them for lots of things around the house! We got bite-sized deserts (key lime tarts, small brownies, etc) from local bakeries and arranged them on the tables. It looked fun, it was really unique, and I got to have my own little key lime tart!
5. The cost of wedding cakes gets so out of hand so easily, and this really cuts down on costs. Plus the mini deserts are colorful and fun, and the guests can have something that’s more their taste then just a basic cake. I don’t like chocolate, and I wouldn’t want to force everyone else at the wedding to eat vanilla cake, but what a shame it would be to not be able to eat my own wedding cake!
6. I’d like to say that we got around the cake entirely, but my mom would have none of that. She had a special mini cake made just so we would have something to eat during the ceremony. I just loved the little polka dots on the cake (it was part of the “theme”) and it was a nice compromise between traditional and fun.
So that’s what I did for the eating portion of the evening. It was really unique and really reflected our styles, and the guests seemed to love it. If you have any questions, need any tips, please contact me! I love doing what I can to help out with weddings and since this was only last year, everything is still pretty fresh in my mind!