Over the past year, we’ve seen a real increase in the number of clients who ask us to ship their huppahs to restaurants. Restaurant weddings are a great idea because they simplify planning, and our hand-held huppahs work great for restaurant weddings because you can easily move them into the room for the ceremony and then out of the way for the party. And the appeal of restaurants goes beyond simplified planning: Matthew Yglesias at Vox explains why restaurants have an incentive to provide you with a wedding that’s cost effective, whether your budget is big or small:
Restaurants are great integrated service providers — a location, food, beverages, staff, and decor all in one nice package. And the great thing about restaurants is that people eat in them all the time.
Of course the restaurant wants to pluck your wallet for as much cash as possible. But they’d also like you to come back for dinner. And they’d like your friends to come back for dinner. Compared to most weddings, it’s a much more natural, normal business arrangement in which the incentives are aligned correctly. Money is made by providing good service at a reasonable cost. And the great thing about restaurants is that they exist at all kinds of different price points. Set your budget. Find a place you like that fits it.
(Photo: My sister-in-law Alanna and my brother Joe at their wedding reception at the East River Bar in Brooklyn. Photo by Jacob Arthur)
When Spain’s Crown Prince Felipe ascends to the throne tonight at midnight, the celebration is going to be low key and low cost. With Spain’s unemployment rate now at 26 percent, the current king taking heat over an expensive safari vacation, and public calls to abolish the monarchy altogether because of the cost, Felipe and his wife, Letizia, apparently decided that this season frugal=smart.
There will be no lavish parade, no fireworks, and no state dinner. The AP reports:
By royal standards, it’s humble: reception guests will be served hot and cold tapas-style nibbles, which they will eat while standing. There will be no champagne, just sparkling cava wine from Spain’s Catalonia region.
This could be the beginning of a tasty tapas reception trend. Everyone keep an eye out for the menu. If we find it, maybe we’ll try a kosher-fied version, like we did with Will and Kate‘s wedding morning reception.
And as a wedding planning blog, we still want to bring you the video of Felipe and Letizia’s 2004 wedding. Enjoy:
(Photo: Princess Letizia and Prince Felipe in 2003 by 20 Minutos newspaper via Wikimedia Commons | Video: Royal Wedding, Madrid 2004. Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia of Spain. May 22, La Almudena, via YouTube)
Cake and mason jars — two wedding staples that come together to create a lot of fun. You can find recipes for different flavors of jar cupcakes around, but Sarah Jill offers one of the most colorful and simple versions. Six-ounce mason jars would yield a nice serving size for a backyard wedding. Thanks, Sarah Jill!
We’re used to seeing signature cocktails at weddings. How about creating your own signature wedding punch? Food52’s Kenzi Wilbur lays out the surprisingly simple secret to making a great punch — combine ingredients in the following ratio:
2 parts booze : 2 parts wine : 2 parts juice (optional) : 1/2 to 1 part sweet
Create a punch based on your favorite flavors. Or the season. Local favorites. Venue. Wedding colors.
More details at Food52. Go on, get mixing!
Or see this Vintage Champagne Wedding Punch Recipe.
(Photo: Bowle Steinhude 2009 by Politikaner via Wikimedia Commons)
I’m not a wine expert, but last night our new sister site, Sew Jewish, co-hosted a wine and cheese tasting fundraiser for our local Chabad House, with a talk by painter and sculptor Tibor Spitz. For the wine tasting, the favorite by far of pretty much everyone at the event was a white wine: Herzog’s Orange Muscat. I’m not even an avid white wine drinker, but this I loved.
It’s ever so slightly sweet, and it’s orange tones would go great with a celebratory turkey dinner. Just in time for Thanksgivukkah and this year’s Thanksgiving-Hanukkah wedding weekend.
The wine is kosher, of course. The official program, written by someone who knows more about wines than I do, described it thusly:
This wine was grown in the California sun and harvested at peak ripeness. The result is a bold and aromatic orange muscat, offering a rich essence of grape, apricot, and orange peel. A smooth and full-bodied texture ushers in notes of fresh pineapple and passion fruit, softly finished by hints of toast.
For serving a crowd, it could get pricey, so to even things out couple it with Kedem Estates Classic Red, which is an easy drinking red wine that’s very easy on the wallet and makes a great house red.
Thanksgivukkah wedding menu options here.
Have you ever noticed that when you cut a strawberry in half it looks like a heart? That alone should earn strawberries a place in your Valentine’s Day or summer wedding menu. Then there’s the flavor. Infuse cupcakes with that sweet strawberry goodness by simply adding a cup of pureed fresh strawberries to boxed vanilla cake mix batter. Top with a strawberry glaze.
Take a look at that cupcake: perfect for a shabby chic, farm, or picnic theme, or any summer backyard wedding reception.
Strawberry Cupcake Glaze Recipe
Enough for 24 cupcakes
1¼ cup (2 ½ sticks) butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
¼ cup strawberry puree
5 cups powdered sugar
Blend the first three ingredients together in a large bowl. Gradually add the sugar while mixing the glaze.
Here’s another cupcake recipe: Chili Chocolate Cupcakes to Spice up Your Dessert Buffet
(Cupcake: Agnes and Clara. Photo: Clara)
A slice of flourless chocolate cake. And yeah, it was really good.
Having a small guest list means that the people who made the cut must be pretty special. It also enables you to be adventurous with your wedding menu. Flourless chocolate cake is a non-traditional but certain-to-be-appreciated wedding cake. Bonappetit.com serves up a recipe for this bête noire topped with chocolate ganache. It’s not only sophisticated and decadently delicious, but if you’re catering the wedding yourself, it’s one of the easiest cakes to make.
The only fiddly part of the preparation is covering the outside of the baking pan with three layers of foil. The first time I tried the recipe, I managed to put small, unseen tears in all three layers, apparently, because water seeped into the batter during baking. Not good. Here’s a tip that solved the problem on my second try: Handle the foil as little as possible to avoid tearing it. The recipe…
And take a look at our previous post: 10 Scrumptious Wedding Cake Dessert Pairings
Small weddings don’t need big dessert buffets. Simple can be celebratory. Start by choosing a wedding cake with personality. Then add a second, complimentary dessert to the plate. Think seasonal fruits, home made ice-creams, sherbert, refined cookies, and the many manifestations of chocolate.
Consider these wedding dessert matches made in heaven:
- Coconut Chiffon Cake & Sour Cherry Compote
Chili Chocolate Cupcakes & Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Chocolate cupcakes with chili chocolate frosting.
- Croquembouche & Honey Lavender Ice Cream
- Hazelnut Cake & Chocolate Mousse (Both parve)
- Flourless Chocolate Cake with Fresh Whipped Cream & Fresh Raspberries
- Angel Food Cake & Spring Berry Compote (Both parve)
- Vanilla Pound Cake & Ginger and Lemon Sherbert
- Orange Almond Cake & Chocolate Almond Truffles
- Ricotta Cake & Broiled Honey-Glazed Spiced Figs
- Lilikoi Layer Cake with Fresh Passionfruit & Ginger-Macadamia Nut Snowballs
Thinking of another great pairing? Share it in the comment section!
And you might want to take a look at these:
Source: Martha Stewart Weddings on The Huffington Post
It feels like the earth just shifted. Martha Stewart has endorsed
jello shots for weddings. Either Martha Stewart Omnimedia is finally starting to run out of content, or this could be a signal that we as an industry are outgrowing the candy buffet. Either possibility would be a shame.
Still, we’re not talking about the jello shots you’re probably used to seeing. These shots are very Martha Stewart. Very Pinterest. In fact, they look like they could have been created by sushi master Jiro Ono.
David Tutera might not be on board yet, but if I was planning a small cocktail or hors d’oeuvres reception, I’d consider serving one of these jello shots, especially if the flavor matched the sophisticated visual punch. But I wouldn’t serve more than one kind.
Yes, I lifted the photo from the article at The Huffington Post, because there’s no way to tell the story without a visual. Will trade traffic for image. You really should take a look.
Walk-in ice bar at Damenti’s Restaurant, Mountain Top, Pennsylvania. Photo: Bill Bywater.
Summer Bliss Wedding Punch. Source: Huppahs.com. (Photographer: Jason Weil)
This week, Bridal Guide published a great list of 5 budget-friendly alternatives to an open bar
. The options involve finding inspired ways to narrow down the types of alcohol you serve at your wedding so that you can avoid the cost of stocking a full bar. Examples: Team up with a local microbrewery or serve a signature cocktail.
Here’s another option along those same lines: a wedding punch. A wedding punch isn’t just for a vintage wedding with white gloves and hats; you can also find great modern options for contemporary tastes.
Some of our favorite wedding punch recipes:
Any other suggestions? Please share in the Comment section!
This gorgeous, sweet sauce can be made with fresh blueberries in the summer and frozen berries year round.
We post this sauce to accompany our baked pears for an autumn or winter celebration, but can’t you imagine it with something lemony? Let us know how you use it.
The recipe comes from one of my go-to cookbooks, Marlene Sorosky’s Fast & Festive Meals for the Jewish Holidays. Not all of the recipes in the book are kosher, but sticking to the kosher recipes, I’ve found them to be not only delicious, but fast and foolproof.
Ingredients for Blueberry Sauce
Maked 5 cups of sauce
- 1 quart (4 cups) fresh or frozen blueberries
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup water
Instructions for Blueberry Sauce
In a medium saucepan, stir all ingredients together. Bring to a boil over moderate heat and cook, stirring often, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until sauce thickens slightly and sugar is dissolved. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.
Sauce can be refrigerated, covered, up to 2 weeks.