More and more these days interesting grains are making their way onto menus. Dishes like polenta, bulgar, farro, and quinoa are starting to show up everywhere from the corporate break station to the bridal luncheon. Not only are many of these grains highly nutritious and high in protein, a number, such as wild rice or buckwheat, do not contain gluten. Many also have the benefit of a low glycemic index, therefore avoiding the spike in blood sugar that causes grogginess after eating, making them perfect for a mid-day meal or snack in between meetings. These grains also make a great vegetarian meal for your guests. Instead of serving your vegetarian guests a simple vegetable stack or plain pasta with marinara sauce, imagine if they were presented “Curried Couscous with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Chickpeas.” In addition, weddings and other social events are a great opportunity to try these grains because of the presentation of the menu. What better way is there to create anticipation and conversation than seeing “Forbidden Rice” or “Amaranth” on a menu? (Incidentally, “amaranthine” means “eternal, unfading, and everlasting. How’s that for the perfect wedding grain?) Sure, potatoes will never go out of style, but for an alternative, give these great grains a try.
Will you have a large amount of children attending your wedding or event? You might consider setting up a kids’ room. Once the party gets started in the main room, invite your younger guests to their own room. You can set up TVs with movies or a gaming system, have crafts or coloring available, and set out some board games and toys. If you really want to go all out, consider having a sundae buffet just for them! Hiring a professional babysitter to watch the kids and supervise their activities will ensure a fun night for all. Not only will the parents appreciate you welcoming their children (while giving them a night "off"), the kids will love getting to play with cousins and friends they may not get to see very often. And they don't have to hang out with the grownups!
Instead of giving individual favors to each guest, many couples are choosing alternate ways to thank their guests for coming to their wedding. A donation to a charity of the couple’s choosing has been very popular lately, and is a lovely way to spend the extra cost you would have spent on favors. If you do choose to give favors, think about items that are meaningful to you as a couple, such as huckleberry jam from your family’s huckleberry bushes or coffee beans from Starbucks where she first caught his eye. Anything that reminds your guests of you as a couple will be cherished and taken home, rather than discarded by the end of the night.
With spring upon us and summer right around the corner, wedding season is officially in full swing. And what will be inspiring weddings all season? The Great Gatsby! With a new movie inspired by the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald coming out, along with our continued nostalgia for the glitz and glamour of the 1920s, this season will be filled with images, customs, and décor from this vibrant time period. Here are a few ideas:
The Champagne Coupe: Whether you fill it with champagne or your signature cocktail (made with gin of course), this retro glassware is the perfect choice for a Gatsby inspired event.
Jazz: No 1920s party would have been complete without this classic American art form. Have a jazz trio perform during cocktails and then add a full band to get the dancing started later in the evening.
Period Inspired Hors d’Oevres: Nothing made Gatsby’s parties more glitzy than a spread of lavish passed hors d’eouvres. Take your culinary inspiration from era favorites or you choose a more modern take, either way make sure your hors d’eouvres are passed on silver trays with white glove butler service.
A wedding item we are seeing less and less of these days is the guest book. Many couples feel the traditional guest book will be set out on the day of the wedding and then unfortunately end up on a shelf for years to come. Why not think outside the “book” and try some of these fun and inventive ideas for a register of your guests that will surely be enjoyed for years to come:
All of these ideas can be used for inspiration and modified for the couple's tastes and personalities. What’s important is that youregister your guests in a way that will be meaningful to you as a couple and helps you to remember their presence at your wedding in the future. The only thing required? DON’T FORGET A PEN!
- A framed poster of a tree; each guest signs a leaf – Any framed picture that somehow commemorates your wedding and is meaningful has a much better chance of making it up on a wall and therefore admired through the years.
- The continuing popularity of photo booths is the perfect way to commemorate your wedding. Ask the photo booth attendant to make two copies of every picture your guests take - one for the guest to take home and one for you. Imagine going through those pictures 25 years from now!
- 11 bottles of wine you love and label them 1, 5, 10, 15, etc. and ask your guests to sign the bottles of wine. Then, for each corresponding anniversary, you can open that year’s bottle of wine and remember the guests that help make your wedding day special. Ask a wine specialist to help you choose wine that will age appropriately. And don’t forget to save that special bottle of Champagne for your 50th!