The Unexpected Detail that Will Truly Wow Your Guests

DAB2080-james-erick-may-2012Photo by James Erick Photography submitted exclusively to Mountainside Bride

I want to share a little secret with you: I love food. LOVE it. Most of all I love cooking, especially baking I come from an Italian-American family that prides itself on home cooking. My brother worked as a chef for 10 years. The first thing I cooked as a child was custard filled cream puffs. I was 12 years old. Growing up, the first and only word I learned in Italian was manji, which means eat. It's a directive. I'd sit down at the dinner table with my family and my mother would demand, manji, manji. If I was pushing my pasta around my plate at the end of dinner, unable to finish, manji, my mother would insist. Eating well and enjoying every aspect of food and it's preparation is important to me and my family.

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Photo by Jean Moree Photography submitted exclusively to Mountainside Bride

In fact, here's another secret: most people enjoy good food. LOL, are you shocked?

Thats why when I stopped by Brunettes Boards, one of my favorite blogs, and read her post on How To Story Board Your Wedding I was thrilled to see her sophisticated approach to styling weddings.

You may be thinking it's the same old hash about organizing Pinterest boards. Nope. The gist is this:

When styling your wedding, think of the five senses and how you want your guests to experience your wedding. What do you want them to see, taste, smell, hear, and feel (touch)?

Go check it out right now. This link will open in a new window so you can come right back :-)

So here's the tie in: your guests will appreciate good food at your wedding. Let me say that again: your guests will appreciate good food at your wedding. We all expect that tired old piece of chicken (and you may or may not want to keep it) but there are so many other ways to liven up this detail at your wedding and elevate your guests' experiences.

Hinsdight Bride  (70)IYQ-oct-2012Photo by IYQ Photography submitted exclusively to Mountainside Bride

Here are a few tips to get you started.

Consider When and Where You're Getting Married

The location and time of year will have a huge impact on your food selection. If you are getting married in Asheville in the middle of summer, you will have hundreds of options to eat farm-fresh foods from the area. The same goes for the Berkshires, and Vermont. Seasonality will trump locale. You can get fresh fruits and vegetables anywhere in the country in the middle of summer. It just may come in on a Sysco or US Foods truck :-)

Also, different regions have different food ways. Think maple syrup and chowder in New England; honey and BBQ in the South; Beef out west. Ask your local planner what foods and treats the region is known for and springboard off of that.

Think About What You Love to Eat

The best details, whether food, flowers, or favors, hold deeper meaning for you, your fiance, and your family. If you love pizza, consider mini pizza slices as an appetizer. In fact, appetizers are a perfect way to serve off beat foods and non-weddingy fare to your guests. However, if you want to serve pizza as the main course, go for it. I've seen a number of gourmet pizza weddings. It's uncommon, but you can make it work by elevating all the other details, such as place settings, dinnerware, and favors. But remember the seasonality rule. If your getting married in the dead of winter, caprese salad shouldn't be in the cards, even if it's your favorite. At best your guests will be eating mealy tomatoes with wilted, tasteless basil. Plus, who wants cold salads in the dead of winter?

What is Realistic for your Budget and Guest List?

On a budget with a huge guest list? Spend your money on amazing appetizers. Appetizers are the first thing your guests will eat, and many inadvertently fill up on them. Again, when selecting your appetizers, go beyond the Crudités and get creative. Select regional and seasonal foods, and foods you love. Bring a stack of recipe clippings to your caterer meeting and ask if they can make what you want. Hint: Martha Steward Weddings always has yummy recipes :-)

What were you planning to serve guests at your wedding? Leave a comment below and tell us about your wedding and your food selection process :-)