Wedding Tips - Wedding Lush » Food and Drinks Wedding Ideas Thu, 09 Dec 2010 11:53:59 +0000 en hourly 1 The Best of the Different Wedding Desserts Wed, 08 Dec 2010 15:38:59 +0000 galleca The wedding cake may not be your thing, or maybe you want to offer your guests an alternative treat on your big day. If you're trying to figure out what desserts to have, it's time to start making a list and choosing your favorites.

How to Come Up with Desserts

The first thing to think about is what you like and that are recognized as a treat that may be associated with 'you'. This may include:

  • Is there a particular cultural dessert that you enjoy' Or is there a dessert that speaks true to the region of the world you live in?
  • What desserts do you order when you go out to eat' Does one place have a particular dessert that another establishment has that you are just dying to share with your guests?
  • Think back to your childhood years. What sorts of candies and other sweet treats were you favorite' Salt water taffy, favorite candy bars, and even sour gummy candies are all top favorites amongst brides and grooms (and the guests!).
  • If you're into comfort food, think about what sorts of food you enjoy. Are sundaes your gig' Or maybe a delectable brownie with nuts is your absolute favorite. Even something as simple as milk and cookies is a fun idea to have as a wedding day dessert.
  • For the globe trotters out there, this is the time where you can incorporate some of your favorite treats from abroad! Think about what sorts of treats you really enjoyed throughout your worldly travels and see if there are any local establishments who will be able to make these for you. Or if your favorite dessert on the road was something from a national convenience store, you can add those to your dessert menu too.

How to Serve the Desserts

Everyone knows how a wedding cake is served at a wedding, but how do you serve a chocolate bar' Or a sundae' One of the favorite ways to serve dessert are on little trays that are passed through the crowd, just as you would expect hors d'oeuvres to be served during cocktail hour.

Another option is to have a 'dessert table'. You can easily add some fancy decorations and set up the table so that it matches the theme of your wedding day, and so that it also tastefully displays your sweet treats.

For the ice cream lovers out there, you can either choose to have an ice cream station where people can stop buy and choose their own toppings and flavor of ice cream, or you can have an ice cream cart similar to those you see during the summer for sidewalk vendors. Get creative! Choosing an alternative dessert affords you that right.

Do I Need a Wedding Cake?

As weddings become more and more modern, wedding cakes are becoming increasingly pass. Don't feel as if you have to have a wedding cake simply because everyone else does; do your wedding your way!

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Stocking up your Own Bar at your Wedding Reception Wed, 08 Dec 2010 15:30:31 +0000 galleca If you are thinking of hosting your own bar at your reception, congratulations! You are well on your way to saving potentially hundreds of dollars that you can otherwise spend elsewhere. Before you tempt the idea of hosting your own bar, you will have to consider these things:

  • Will the venue allow for you to have your own open bar' Or do they have one that you must use?
  • You will probably need to obtain a liquor license in order to serve alcohol in a reception venue. Will you be able to obtain one?
  • Unless someone you know of is a bartender, you will have to hire one on yourself. There are a lot of 'freelance' bartenders on there, check out local ads in newspapers, online, or even visit a few bars and see if any of their bartenders are interested.

If you have all of those things covered, then it's time to start thinking about how much alcohol you will need for your guests. Experienced wedding bartenders will be able to give you a pretty good idea of how much you'll need of what, but it's still a good idea to prepare yourself mentally and financially for the costs. What you will generally need are as follows:

  • Beer: 5-6 Cases
  • Red wine: 2 cases
  • White wine: 3.5 cases
  • Gin: 2-3 liters
  • Scotch: 2 liters
  • Tequila: 1 liter
  • Rum: 1 liter
  • Whiskey: 1 liter
  • Bourbon: 1 liter
  • Dry vermouth: 1 bottle
  • Sweet vermouth: 1 bottle
  • OPTIONAL: Champagne: 1-2 cases

The amount of liquor listed above is an average need for a 100 guest reception. Different factors should be taken into consideration, such as how many people actually drink alcohol. There are some families who do not drink, or who may only have a glass of wine or champagne for your toast. Then there are other families who are reputable drinkers who you know will probably well exceed the alcohol listed above. For instance, if your side of the family just can't seem to get enough of scotch, consider adding on an extra liter or two.

Here's something else to consider: What kind of bar are you going to have' While the 'open bar' is still the most popular form, as expenses rise, brides and grooms are looking at other alternatives. Some alternatives include:

  • The Limited Bar: This usually includes all you can drink beer and wine, and maybe one mixed drink or a signature cocktail. You can also limit the time in which this alcohol is served, such as offering it only during cocktail hour, during toasts, and for an hour after dinner. Another option that many brides and grooms are choosing is to have servers serve the drinks to people directly so they can't simply go up to the bar and get as much as they want
  • The Ticket Bar: You can hand out a set number of tickets to each guest per night, with each ticket representing one drink. Two to three tickets is usually a fair quantity. If anyone wants any more than that, then the expense is on them.
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How to Personalize your Wedding Food Tue, 07 Dec 2010 19:36:48 +0000 galleca When a lot of brides and grooms start out seeking a caterer, they tend to stick to what ever the caterer is offering on their 'recommended' menu and stay with what ever it is that they recommend should be served. This doesn't always have to be the case. All brides and grooms can definitely personalize the foods that they serve, however they do have to know how to do it right. So how can you?

The Catering Company

When you approach a caterer, a bride and groom has to be prepared for the fact that a caterer may simply serve just what he or she serves, and that's that. Some will only be buffet style; some will only serve 3 course dinners. But then again, there are some caterers who will serve just what you want ' all you have to do is request it! A lot of caterers will come to a bride and groom with a 'recommended' menu, simply because they know that the bride and groom really do not know what they want at that point in time. If you are thinking of recommending any specific foods, however, definitely do ask the caterer before even signing on with them and have it written into the contract.

The Potluck Dinner

An easy way to ensure that you will get most of what you want at your wedding is to arrange for a potluck wedding. More and more couples are hosting 'potluck' dinners as the costs of hosting a wedding increases, and the added benefit is that you will probably get the foods that you want! When you sent out the invitation and RSVP card, you can include what food that the guest will be bringing (if any). Once the guests confirm that they are bringing a certain food, take note. Make sure that you sent out a reminder note to them within 4 weeks of the wedding (an email reminder will do) otherwise you may very well have half of your guests forgetting to provide the food!

TIP: If a guest does not offer to bring something to you dinner, be sure to call them and clarify that they aren't actually bringing anything. Some guests leave it blank as they are unsure of what they are bringing, or they are still thinking about what they could bring.

The Self-Hosted Dinner

So you know what you want, and you know where to get it. This is often where a bride and groom will set about arranging their own dinner, as well as providing their own foods for the guests. If this is the case, then you will certainly want to consider hiring on some serving staff so as to relieve those responsibilities from yourself. Remember, a bride and groom is there to have fun and enjoy the day, not to run around and try to serve chicken and beef to guests.

TIP: Looking for foods in bulk' Go out to wholesale supermarkets and see what they have. Monitor the sales for the next 3-6 months, and if any sales come up on items you are interested in, start saving your freezer space or ask friends of you can stow things away in their own freezer.

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To Open Bar, or Not to Open Bar Sun, 05 Dec 2010 14:58:59 +0000 galleca Weddings are a celebration of your new life as husband and wife. As with most adult celebrations, there is usually some amount of alcohol involved. The question is, should you have an open bar' Or should you forego the open bar and stick to a cash bar' Or what other alternatives are there?

Why Couples choose the Open Bar

Though open bars do definitely cost a whole lot more than if you chose not to have one, most couples feel obligated to have an open bar simply because it is an expectation for most people who attend a wedding. Fact of the matter is, it probably isn't necessary for you to have a bartender or two available with every type of alcohol on hand, but guests appreciate the effort. Brides and grooms these days are also worried about guests leaving the wedding, muttering about how they were 'too cheap' to have a full blown open bar.

Open bars can easily cost any where from $3000 to $10 000, though they usually cost around $5000 for your typical 120 person wedding (depending on where you live). If you want to have all of the drink options available to your guests but you don't want to pay the typical 'open bar' price, what a lot of brides and grooms are doing now is giving out 'drink tickets'. Usually 1-3 drink tickets are allotted to each adult guest, and after that they will have to pay for their own drinks.

Why Couples choose Wine and Beer

Almost everyone who will be in attendance at your wedding will be more than satisfied with a selection of beer, red wine, and white wine. Beer and wine also tends to be considerably less expensive than the typical open bar wedding. If you choose to do a beer and wine wedding, you may want to consider hiring a bar tender and providing the beer and wine yourself. You can either buy it from the liquor store, or you can even make your own beer and wine to really save on money. If you make your own beer, it should be ready to go after 16-20 days typically. If you make your own wine, you will need to age it for another 6 to 12 months prior to having it be even palatable. If you are planning on making your own beer and wine, plan far in advance for your wedding day and make sure you have room to store it for those many months.

Why Couples choose a Special Cocktail or Drink

The new trend is for couples to create their very own cocktail or drink that they think is all about 'them' as a couple. These drinks may feature a certain taste, a different color, or any other number of characteristics that the couple feels defines them. Finding your very own cocktail mix is fun, but it will also be costly, especially if you couple it up with a free open bar. Consider having your signature drink available for free all night while having a pay open bar or beer and wine available to your guests.

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How do I Negotiate with Wedding Vendors? Mon, 29 Nov 2010 06:16:48 +0000 galleca 'I got this price for my caterer!'

'Oh yeah' Well I got this price for the same catering company and even more food!'

We all hate to be taken for our hard earned dollars, which makes it exceptionally hard to hear that someone else got a better deal on the exact same package as us. Do not be fooled into thinking that wedding vendors have a price that is not negotiable; it's very much negotiable, just like the sticker price on a brand new car. No matter if they are a new company without much credit or a vendor that is in high demand, there is always some 'wiggle room' when it comes to costs. Here are some tips on how you can help negotiate a fair price with your wedding vendors:

Study the Wedding Vendor Market

Whatever you want that particular vendor for, do your research beforehand. Check out a few different companies and see what they offer. What prices to they have' What do their packages include' How long do they stay at your wedding' Find out what you need to know, and make notes. This is how you will be able to best leverage a deal with another vendor.

Another important thing to consider is how much the 'extras' cost with one particular vendor when compared to another. When a vendor usually hears that another similar vender has a better deal, they'll match their price just so that they can guarantee your business. Be sure to ask if any costs can be waived as well, such as taking out certain 'features' that they may offer in their package.

Don't Go Above your Limit

Why should you pay more for what you want' Vendors are salesmen. Though they may seem to have your best interest at heart, the bottom line is that they are working this job to make money. Stick with exactly what you want unless they are willing to cut you a fantastic deal on something that you have always dreamed about and wanted for your wedding.

Having a limit will also help you maintain that 'indifferent' demeanor. If a wedding vendor sees that look of excitement flash across your face, they know they have your interest and they will try to exploit that for their own profit. If you shrug and hum and haw and say that you are willing to walk away if you don't get what you want, they will be far more likely to negotiate a better price. Understand that they should be making a profit on your day, so if you do go too low you may very well lose out on a vendor that you really like.

Practice your Haggling Skills

If you weren't any good at buying a car before, it's time to start practicing those negotiating skills. A good way to do this is to visit a local flea market and try to negotiate a deal on a $10 item. Hey, maybe you could even try to buy some decorations for your wedding while you're there! It's a win-win situation.

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Who should Cater my Wedding? Sun, 28 Nov 2010 15:14:05 +0000 galleca Food is a large element to any wedding. Most guests come to celebrate the union between you and your partner, but they also come for the food. For this reason alone, it's important that you put a lot of thought and research into the caterer that you choose to feed everyone at your event.

With so many caterers out there, there is no way that you will have time to go and sample foods from them all. So just how can you choose who should cater you wedding?

Ask Recently Married Couples

If you have gone to a wedding recently, or if you know of a couple who has gotten married lately, ask them who they used as a caterer if you or they liked the food! Take down the name and number of the caterer, and then call them up and see what they have to offer on the menu.

Ask Caterers

If a caterer you know and enjoy is not available to host your event, why not ask them who they would recommend' People in the profession know who's good, who's worth passing on, and who you should definitely avoid. They will be able to recommend people who are easy to work with and who serve up quality foods for a good price.

TIP: Another good way to find a caterer for your wedding is to go to your favorite restaurant and ask if they would be willing to cater your event. Though this is usually not standard practice, some restaurants will cater, especially if you are a loyal customer.

The Interviewing Process

No matter who recommended the caterer to you, it's still always a good idea for you to ask a few questions yourself. You want to know answers to the following:

  • How long have you been in the catering business?
  • How does the caterer decide just how much food to serve?
  • Are plates, flatware and linens provided' If not, do they know someone who they could employ for this job?
  • Does the caterer clean up after the reception is over?
  • Will the catering company be able to accommodate specialized needs (i.e. vegetarians, those who have a nut allergy, or anyone who is lactose intolerant)?
  • What is the deposit?
  • What is their cancellation policy?

Be sure that you also ask for references. When you receive the references, call those references and see how they enjoyed the service.

You also need to sample the food before you sign on the dotted line. If the catering company doesn't allow you to sample their food, pass on them and move right on along to the next one.

Hiring the Caterer

So the references have checked out and you like how the company operates. Now what' Now it's time to sign that contract! This is where a lot of couples get weak the knees and they often neglect to 'seal the deal'. Sign the contract as soon as possible, otherwise there's a good chance that your caterer will be occupied on the day of your wedding. Also make sure that everything that both you and the caterer agreed upon is in that contract.

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What Type of Meal should I Have for my Wedding Reception? Sun, 28 Nov 2010 14:13:10 +0000 galleca Weddings are a time of joy, celebration, and happiness. But weddings are also a time of choices, headaches, and a whole lot of stress. One of the most pressing questions that crosses the minds of all brides is just what sort of meal to have for their wedding. There are a lot of different 'meal' reception options out there, such as:

  • Buffet style
  • Sit down multi-course style
  • Cocktail hour style
  • Brunch style

We will go over why one of these different styles may suit your wedding better than the other.

Buffet Style

Some people have a big problem with buffet style wedding receptions. It is thought of to be rather 'tacky' by some to not have a multi-course meal served to them as they sit at the table, and some argue that feel embarrassed to go up for second or third helpings of food even if they didn't take enough food the first time.

Flip the coin, and you will have people who absolutely love buffet weddings! You aren't forced to choose from one to three meals, and you can eat all you want! Buffet weddings can be formal style, barbeque style, Asian cuisine ' you name it, and you can have it as a buffet!

Multi-Course Meal

Having a three course, five course, or even ten course meal is arguably the most classy and elegant of the dinner options. People who attend a sit-down dinner and are served food feel as if they are being treated like royalty, and they appreciate the fact that the bride and groom are treating them to such service.

The problem can be two things: budget, and whether the guests like your food choices. Sit down meals tend to be more expensive than a buffet, despite them also having fewer food options. Some guests, especially those with special dietary requirements that a bride and groom may not be aware of, may have difficulties eating your food, or they may refuse to eat it all together.

Cocktail Hour

Cocktail hour receptions are becoming all the rage as everyone is trying to cut back on their wedding expenses. Cocktail hour is a great way to save some money on your reception. You can still have alcoholic beverages, and some light fare, but you aren't actually providing a full meal for people after your wedding. This is particularly a great option for anyone with a later evening wedding. Just make sure that you advise all of your guests that you will not be serving dinner! Otherwise you will have some hungry, grumpy guests.

Brunch Reception

This is somewhat the same as a cocktail hour reception, only it is earlier in the day. This is often referred to as a 'champagne' reception, as champagne is typically served along with the standard brunch fare: small sandwiches, cheeses, vegetables, and other snack foods. Brunch is another great way to help cut back on the expenses of your wedding. You can even purchase all of these foods yourself beforehand if the venue allows it to further cut back on costs.

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A Wedding Isn’t Complete Without Wedding Catering Sat, 10 Apr 2010 11:06:27 +0000 admin In many ways wedding catering ends up being one of the most influential and memorable parts of an excellent wedding. If the food is delicious and there is more than enough to go around guests are sure to have a good time and enjoy themselves to the fullest. The last thing you want to do is choose a wedding caterer that is inexperienced or that is unaware of how much food needs to be prepared in order to sustain everyone’s appetites. There are countless amounts of weddings that are perfectly planned yet deemed as disasters when the caterer runs out of food leaving guests hungry and uncomfortable into the wee hours of the night.

That is why it is so important to plan ahead and ensure that you make the correct decision when it comes to wedding catering.

One of the best ways to find that perfect wedding catering service is to attend wedding festivals or trade shows. Here is where you will find caterers that specialize in weddings and are dedicated to making the most out of your special day. Most of these caterers will also have solid reputations that precede them, rave reviews, and a whole host of sample menus and past wedding displays that you can peruse in order to make the right decision.

Aside from attending these events one of the best ways to choose your wedding catering is to talk to family and friends and see who they chose as caterers for their special days. You will be able to get first hand information on a number of caterers and discuss how pleased or unpleased the people you care about were with the service provided. You can also ask for reviews from other vendors such as your wedding planner or florist to see which kinds of options they suggest from their experience.

When you have narrowed down your choices you always want to make sure that you interview potential caterers in order to make sure that they can satisfy your needs and your style, as well as fit into your wedding budget. Ask them questions on how they prepare food and how they decide how much food is going to be needed as well as any additional costs that may not be factored into their estimate at first.

If your wedding catering service offers up a whole list of references, be sure to follow up rather than just being overwhelmed by the fact that they have an actual list. It is common for caterers to think that their customers were pleased yet be unaware of how displeased a bride and groom may have been about the service. Do not be afraid to check in with references and get their honest opinion about the services offered.

Wedding catering may not be the first thing on your mind when planning a wedding, but in many ways it can end up being the most important piece of planning there is.

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