Food is something that’s always been important to Mr. Jet and me—we both grew up with parents who could REALLY cook and love to try new recipes and funky restaurants in our area. (I even used to “mentor” some of my friends who were learning how to cook on their own—NO, you can not substitute vanilla pudding for plain yogurt.) Needless to say, we would not accept crap banquet wedding food.
One of the major reasons Mr. Jet and I chose Bittersweet Farm was for their menu. Since they’re a restaurant operating year round for the public as well as for private events, we were confident in their ability to help us create a really great menu for our wedding guests. For a per plate price, they offer:
In addition to that, Mr. Jet and I will be offering the following:
Sparky and I are foodies. We love to try new restaurants and, with a handful of exceptions, we rarely make the same recipe twice. Food is love and it’s an adventure that we will always choose to explore.
From Urban Dictionary
Food is part of how we bonded. When Sparky was new to Seattle, I offered to be his date to try new and interesting places. Food is how we first met BM Apple Pie and how we bonded so strongly with GM Bagel.
What this means is that food had to be a key factor in our decision to book a venue. Lucky us, Sodo Park is a total package and the food is fantastic.
Sodo Park has an open house a couple of times a year, and at each open house they sample the food for the coming season. The scheduling gods favored us and we were able to attend the open house for our wedding season.
There are a LOT of cool, fun things going on in weddings these days, and the candy bar or buffet is one of them. Sure, some folks are saying that this is one of the trends that’s dying out, but I bet we’ll be seeing them for a while. It’s not something that was going to fit in with our wedding plans, but that didn’t stop me from setting up something similar at last year’s Halloween party. (We also did the mashed potato bar at this party—I hope those never go out of style!)
Here are some things I learned that might help if you’re planning to include these sweet treats for your wedding.
That year’s theme was Toddlers & Tiaras—the mega Pixie Stix were a must! (personal photo)
1. Be creative with your color scheme.
We made our first reservation for our honeymoon. No, it wasn’t our plane tickets or a hotel. It was, as I’m sure you could tell from the title, a restaurant reservation.
Sparky and I both love food. One of our favorite things to do is explore a new restaurant. So, since we had sketched some broad strokes for ideas for the honeymoon, we knew pretty much where we’d be.
One of our honeymoon destinations happens to be San Sebastian, Spain. In San Sebastian there are many wonderful restaurants. One of those restaurants happens to be world renowned. That restaurant is Arzak.
I happened to read that dinner reservations were rather tricky to obtain, so I suggested we get in touch early about a dinner reservation. We did and we got it.
As tasty as the food will be at our reception (based on our recent tasting), I’m a little (OK, a lot) more excited for the food at our rehearsal dinner. For the reception, we had a choice of a few dishes, but for the rehearsal, the possibilities are endless! Which is both a gift and a curse…
I’ve mentioned that Mr. Plane works at a country club. (Hey! Did you hear Mr. Plane works at a country club?!) We considered having the wedding at his club for a hot second, but ultimately decided he’d have more fun if our wedding wasn’t at his place of employment (and I can’t blame him). But, we still wanted to take advantage of the great scenery (and the great deal!)—so we’re going to have the rehearsal dinner there.
Now to decide on the food. The club’s chef, Renee, has pretty much told Mr. Plane that she’ll do whatever we wanted for the rehearsal dinner. And Miss Airplane wants minis!
Minis! / Collage via My Wedding Reception Ideas Blog, individual credits at source
The beau and I did a pretty fun thing last week—we went to something called a “bridal event.” It was an event targeted toward those brides who have committed (down payment secured) with the caterer. It allowed us to taste appetizers, main entrees, desserts, and my favorite…FREE BOOOZES! OK OK OK. I am back and focused on the event itself. Our caterer is going to be Ritz Charles. I had my reservations on how good the food was going to be to serve approximately 200 of our close family and friends, but this event put some concerns to rest and raised others.
I am not a chocolate fan, but it was a cute touch.
The food itself was halfway decent. I think we have one of our four appetizers. I am not going to tell you until after the event. I want those reading this post who will be at our event to be impressed with the food (and presentation). It is safe to say that the beau and I agreed on one. Although we sampled three…we agreed on one. I see that I have a long road ahead of me, but that is another post. As far as the main entrees goes, I am glad that we will have multiple items to choose from. What they gave us that evening was not so hot. We agreed that of the seven, we enjoyed one and could tolerate another. So…we have room to make on that! The drinks were standard, but the red wines were quite delicious! I don’t think people really care about the liquor unless they pay for it (at least my friends don’t—that is why I call them friends), and that is the beauty of having an open bar.
I currently hold down a part-time second job with a local catering company—we’ll call it ABC Co. for the purposes of this post (so original, right?). ABC Co. is contracted for events throughout the city, even though it’s exclusive to some main large venues.
I don’t really have a title at this job—I kind of do everything. Setup, tear-down, bartend, serve, clean, labor…the works. This company is fierce and I freaking love it.
I was really excited to start this job as a bride-to-be because I knew it’d allow to me to witness firsthand a ton of behind-the-scenes goodies. The planning, the execution, the delivery, all of it. This might sound a little Captain Obvious, but folks, so.much.work goes into even a basic happy-hour-style networking event. Weddings, as you might imagine, are a whole other ballgame.
Maybe I’m the only one who borderline obsessively ponders the behind-the-scenes action? (Like, are they touching my food with their bare hands right now? Are they cursing me for my specific instructions or are they thanking me for being so thorough?) But working on the other side of events has provided me with a wealth of clarity and knowledge. Granted, I am event and planning minded, so I’m sure that helps keep my interest piqued. Also, prior to my first big girl job post-college, I had put in about seven years of experience within the food service industry, so I’m sure that’s a factor, too. Regardless, I figured it couldn’t hurt to share a few tips…of course, these are my personal tips and in no way am I speaking on behalf of ABC Co. And of course, every event, company, individual, etc. is different. These are just general things I’ve picked up on during my time as a catering assistant. (Has a nice ring to it, right?)
Personal photo / I’m super proud of my skillz as a dessert arranger (another hat I wear at this job), so I’ll show these pictures throughout the post. Although I do not bake the desserts, I work ze magic and get them to look this awesome.
Last night Mr. Plane and I were invited to our venue to do a tasting of the food we will ultimately serve at our reception. Instead of picking a few of things we think we want to try and doing a private tasting, the venue has one evening in the spring where they invite all of the couples getting married that year to try almost everything on their catering menu.
We tasted a lot of food. Ready for gratuitous food pictures? (All photos personal.)
First, the hors d’oeuvre and salad options:
Hors d’oeuvre options (clockwise from bottom): spanokopita; quiche lorraine; panko breaded shrimp; mini chicken wellington; and grilled batard with boursin cheese and tomato cilantro salsa
As you recall from my last post, I will be making a large percentage of the wedding using my own two beautiful, craft-tastic hands. This has resulted in making personalized Mason jars, signage, etc.
My lovely future husband asked what the favors would be. I responded with “Um, the Mason jars with chalkboard stickers on them.” His reply was, so poignantly put: “Who’s gonna want to take that home?”
My answer would have been “DUH. EVERYONE.” But he did have a point. Most people give out little individual bags of personalized M&Ms, or wine glasses with the couple’s name and date. Those are all well and good, but just don’t fit the vibe our wedding is sending off (in my mind).
We thought and thought, and Googled and Bing’d, and finally it hit me. Our wedding site has an option for renting a cast iron fire pit. End of summer? Party by the river? Fire pit?
It was so obvious—s’mores!
I’m in the wrong business. Here I was all these years thinking healthcare was a solid foundation with good opportunities for growth.
What I should’ve done was start a wedding catering company, because they are making BANK.
I started my quest to book a caterer a few months ago—it’s the biggest expense by far. And jeez louise are there a lot of options—buffet, heavy hors d’ouevres, sit-down dinner, food stations.
Back in the olden days of the 1990s and 2000s, people had their standard chicken/fish, vegetable, and starch buffet with a roll or two. Their guests ate it, didn’t make a fuss, and didn’t have any strong opinions toward it either way. It was easily forgotten, and as such not a big deal.
These days, there are a ridiculous amount of options out there. I’ve gotten information about sushi bars, make-your-own bruschetta stations, sliders, mini grilled cheese sandwiches, and the list goes on and on. The downside to this is the cost. Boy has it skyrocketed.
Hey hive! Just got back from a fabulous weekend in Montreal and spent the past few days crossing off a number of items on our to-do list! It was so great to get out of town for a few days and start seeing the wedding details come together. After the family guest list drama from a few weeks ago, this trip really helped me release the stress and get SUPER excited again for the wedding!
Mr. M and I decided to drive up to Montreal since it’s only about a five or six hour drive from where we live. As soon as we got to town, we checked into the hotel where the wedding will be and immediately met with the event manager and chef for an incredible food tasting.
We started off by tasting the canapes that will be served during cocktail hour.
*All images are personal unless otherwise noted.
Starting from the left and going clockwise: mushroom arancini, smoked salmon blinis, crouton w/ blue cheese and honey, chorizo arancini, chicken satay w/ dipping sauce, crab served with cherry tomatoes (in the shot glasses) and in the middle, prosciutto w/ melon
So when we left off, we had just left Gastro Catering and I hated myself.
This tasting today with Circa Events could go one of three ways.
A) Excellent food, service, and attention to detail.
B) Poor/average food, service, and attention to detail.
C) Above average food, service, and attention to detail.
We wanted options A or B. A would mean it was the clear winner. Great food, great service, and great detail at a very good price. We’d really be on to a winner.
Option B would mean that Gastro was the absolute no-contest winner and would make choosing the more expensive catering an easy decision to make.
I have gone with my gut for 90% of my vendors. I’ve had a quick look online, decided if I liked the look of them, met them, and just booked them straight away.
I couldn’t do that with caterers. The food is a big deal to me.
When we first started planning we threw around all kinds of ideas to keep costs down. We talked about afternoon tea, buffets, canapes for 75% of guests—that kind of thing. I wanted something nice but not something ridiculously expensive, and in the end I settled on two caterers—Gastro Catering and Circa Events.
They both stood out to me. Gastro looked like great quality at a price within our budget, and Circa had been recommended by both a friend and by our venue. I had contacted some other companies, but I was laughed at by one of them because my budget was “too low,” and another, although apparently good, charged a hefty price for what was, essentially, pie and mash.
Last time we talked about catering, I mentioned my dilemma regarding my idea of a true “brunch” reception—including both breakfast and lunch items. You guys were super encouraging!
Reactions from those I told outside of the hive were a little mixed. Some of my closer family members said they thought it was a great idea while others said it was weird and I should stick to one or the other. Ultimately, though, they encouraged me that it’s my wedding and I should do whatever I want—quirky or not!
I don’t always subscribe to the “do whatever you want, it’s your wedding” doctrine. I think input is important and you shouldn’t always do something just because it’s what you selfishly want! That being said, I don’t think the items you put on the menu fall under this category. In designing the menu I was focusing on a variety of items where everyone would have something to eat (including the health conscious and vegetarians). All that to say—I decided to move ahead with my brunch plan!
I did take a few things into consideration. First of all, I want the menu to stay portable and casual. This means no pancakes or steaks!
Before we decided on a venue, I looked around at caterers in the area and got majorly discouraged. Either the prices were way too high for our budget, or the sites were hard to navigate and uninformative. I didn’t know if I could find anything to fit our vision, which has slowly evolved into…
A casual morning wedding and brunch reception celebrating family and love.
Then we finally found our venue. *cue sigh of relief*
Along with the venue came the options to use the venue’s caterer, do our own catering (although we would have to pay for the use of the kitchen), or bring in an outside caterer. Here’s where I need to make a confession: food is not a big deal to me. We like simple food. We eat cereal for breakfast, a salad with chicken for lunch, and pasta for dinner—with extra veggies. But at the same time, we want to provide our guests with plenty of healthy (ish), good-tasting food.
I finally got in contact with the venue’s caterer (a mix-up that was partly my fault and partly our venue’s fault…let’s just say I either need to answer my phone more often or set up my voicemail) about three weeks after first touring our venue. I talked to her on the phone and walked away from our conversation feeling SO good about it! She was a sweet older lady with a southern accent and a willingness to do whatever, but she also had her own ideas and direction, which was great since we still didn’t know exactly what we wanted.