Wedding Season is upon us…Cater to your personality!

I’ve recently celebrated my first wedding anniversary and I still get a warm glow every time I think of our big day but for many happy couples the wedding day is a minefield of stress and worries over the catering, so just how important is the food served to the overall enjoyment of the day and how best to cater??

I have to confess that when I first start thinking back to all the weddings I’ve attended over the years I can barely remember the food I ate at most of them. Instead I remember the other  details such as the dress! the dodgy speeches! the embarassing uncle / aunty who made a fool of themself on the dancefloor! the who’s who of drunks at the end of the night! and the list goes on…

Then on further reflection I pull out a few examples of wedding fare and how the catering can play a huge part in the day not only for the enjoyment of the guests but also as a means to communicate something about the happy couple.

The “Do it yourself” catering

One of my first friends to marry did so whilst we were still at university and so our average budgetary worry was how to make £10 stretch to a pint, a packet of ciggies, a take away curry and a few packs of noodles for the rest of the week. Fast forward to her wedding day and we applied the same ingenuity to her catering with a core group of friends and family recruited to whip up a wedding feast to fill tums and keep us dancing all night. I was on salads and poached salmon and I fondly remember the wedding day for the journey to the wedding with bowls and plates precariously balanced in the back of my car. We dined on comfort food of Lasagne & Chilli con carne with a table full of salads and puds and the food was indicative of the whole day; relaxed and comfortable, as were the happy couple.

The “Pick and mix” caterer

When I got married I was initially undecided how to approach the whole catering question especially as I had an italian restaurateur as a mother-in-law not to mention 60 travelling italian guests who’d no doubt be critiquing the English cuisine on offer. The solution? Keep it simple. We decided that as we were one half Italian and one half English, the best solution was to celebrate both with a mixed anglo-italian menu. We used a caterer friend for half of our menu and plucked out the best of british with Pimms and lemonade, english canape’s of smoked salmon and mini yorkshire puds,  locally sourced british beef fillet for the BBQ and best of all a buffet of desserts (made by my mum and aunty) of gooseberry fool, grape syllabub, champagne rhubarb jellies and of course the cake! We married this with pots of basil on each table, an aperitivo of Italian prosecco, Italian wines, an antipasta of parma ham and mozzarella (sourced from Phil at The Parma Ham company, Borough market) and to finish limoncello and my mother-in-laws famous chocolate torte. For us the catering was a celebration of our best bits; England and Italy, and was a great way for our guests to celebrate both cultures.

My wedding cake, made by mum and decorated by friend Susan Gregory @ Susan loves cakes.

The “gourmet food” lovers catering

One of my close friends and a fellow foodie recently got married to a fanfare of gourmet food corners serving flambee’d prawns, porchetta and fried sage leaves followed by a sit down of lobster risotto and sea bream and finished with an amazing buffet of desserts and cheeses supplied by noted producers the Martesana and DeGust Cheese. As a food lover and someone who works in the industry it was important to him to serve great food and wine from favoured producers and to use his love of food as a declaration of his love and offering to his new bride. The gourmet corners gave the wedding a distinct festival atmosphere with guests meandering around to see what was being served at the next food station and the food was undoubtedly a talking point which was the perfect solution for the groom who talks food for a living!

Buffet of desserts supplied by the Martesana, Milan, Italy.

The more I think, the more examples I find of friends weddings where the catering reflects the personality, from the “can’t cook, won’t cook friends” who let the top chef do the talking to the “country couple” who gave us a hog roast and barn dance, to the civil partnership where they served up vegetarian ethnic. Whatever your budget the best way to cater for a wedding is to stay true to yourselves and serve up a little something that will remind your guests of you, the happy couple.

Links

http://susanlovescakes.blogspot.com/

http://www.boroughmarket.org.uk

http://www.boroughmarket.org.uk/page/3034/The+Parma+Ham+and+Mozzarella+stall+/124

http://www.degust.com

http://www.pasticceriamartesana.com


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