Planning an outdoor wedding reception? For a tablescape that celebrates the outdoors while delivering major style, take this Top Chef table for inspiration. It’s built on a sophisticated layering of color, pattern, and texture:
- Tablecloth with a large leafy botanical print.
- Wide table runner in a natural hue with unfinished and slightly frayed edges (You could DIY this with a length of plain weave natural fabric, like hemp)
- Rafia placemats.
- Dark amber water glasses.
- Sideways glass vases holding pink flowers to give the setting a modern lift.
This screenshot, by the way, is from Top Chef’s 14th season, in South Carolina, at an estate that housed the restaurant and home of Edna Lewis, a luminary of traditional Southern cooking.
Maria Bywater is the designer behind Huppahs.com and author of Sew Jewish: The 18 Projects You Need for Jewish Holidays, Weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvah Celebrations, and Home.
As I write this, most of the northeastern U.S. is stuck at home because of a January icepocalypse. Which makes this the perfect time to start musing about warm summer weddings. Some of our favorite summer backyard wedding pins:
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 summer wedding menu. Then there’s the flavor. Kudos to my daughters for figuring out that you can infuse cupcakes with that sweet summery goodness by simply adding a cup of pureed fresh strawberries to boxed vanilla cake mix batter. Then they adapted another recipe to come up with the 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)
The craft of bartending has come into its own, and Martha Stewart endorsed jello shots for weddings. It’s shaping up to be the summer of love and the summer of serious libations. So let’s get this wedding reception started. What we need: ice carvings. Like the Trojans flanking the ice bar in the photo. My brother Bill carved them for a charity event last year. The helmets are shot luges.
(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!
Another late summer fruit pie inspired by our fruit picking trip and the popularity of pie dessert buffets for weddings: Raspberry Pie. This recipe comes from canida at Instructables.com.
Ingredients for Fresh Raspberry Pie
- 5-6 cups fresh berries
- 1 pie crust (homemade or store-bought) [parve pie crust recipe]
- 1/4-1/2 cup sugar (for tart berries, use the larger amount)
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 cup water
- Pinch salt
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- Dash allspice (optional)
Instructions for Raspberry Pie
Visit Instructables.com for canida’s photos of the steps.
- Sort and gently wash berries. Set them aside to dry on a towel or in a colander.
- Meanwhile, make or buy your pie crust, then bake it. Use the package directions for baking a store-bought pie crust, or just bake at 350 until lightly golden-brown, 10-15 minutes depending on the recipe you’ve chosen. Homemade pie crusts may require weights to toast evenly without slipping down the sides (line with foil and add dry beans for weight if you don’t have pie-specific tools), but this isn’t absolutely necessary if aesthetics aren’t your thing.
- When pie crust is cool, fill with raspberries (reserve 1/4 cup berries for the glaze). Spread evenly, and mound them a bit in the center as shown below.
- Place in a small pot the reserved 1/4 cup raspberries, water, sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
- Cook and stir with a wire whisk over low heat until the sugar has dissolved and the berries have turned to mush. When sauce begins to thicken, add lemon juice and allspice (if using). Stir until glaze becomes thick, and remove from heat.
- Pour the glaze over your berries, spreading gently to cover the entire top surface. Allow the pie to set up for at least 30 minutes in a cool room or in the refrigerator.
- Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Raspberry pie can be stored covered in the refrigerator for two days.
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And while you’re on our new Facebook page get the recipe for our delish Summer Bliss Wedding Punch made with cool watermelon and Catoctin Creek Distillery’s kosher, organic Watershed Gin.
Get the recipe and enter for your chance to win…