Elements of wedding planning can be fun, they can be stressful and they can be downright delicious. Going through options for food, drink and cake for our wedding was definitely the most enjoyable part of the planning process. As major foodies we put big focus on what we were going to serve our guests on our wedding and every single detail was considered. Sharing here our journey from picking our caterer to putting on a real feast for our nearest and dearest.
Shortly after we got engaged, we dived head first in to the planning process. When it came to the food and drink extra special attention was taken as it was the one thing we could agree on – it was the most important part of the day for us (aside from of course from actually getting married bit!)
The photos in this blog post are by Brook Rose Photography
The food actually played a big part in the decision making process for us and had a knock on effect on other decisions. It was the food that dictated the venue – it had to be a venue that would allow us to bring our own caterer in. Once we had decided on a UK wedding we absolutely knew we wanted to have Chefs On The Move do our catering for us. A family friend of Freddie’s, we know Mark the owner well. We’d also attended parties and dinners where his food had been served and having already had a taste of the wonderful delights he can create, we knew we couldn’t have anyone else create such a feast for our special day.
We met with Mark on a number of occasions beforehand to discuss what type of food we wanted and of course the most fun part of wedding planning – the food tasting! We spent hours discussing how Mark could create a sharing board style feast for our guests incorporating a number of our favourite foods and also creating some of our all time favourite meals in miniature canapé form.
We both chose a favourite meal. Me – Nandos, Freddie – fillet steak and chips with Bernaise sauce. Mark so beautifully put them into canapé form. The steak and chip was a clear winner. Although having miniature Nandos served at my wedding was a real highlight for me. We also had four other canapé options for our guests to tuck into during the reception – spinach, mint and feta filo triangles, prawn cocktail baskets, Spanish tortilla with aioli and cajun spiced salmon fillets with lemon dressing. These canapés gave us a balanced selection of gluten free and vegetarian options in there as well. Don’t forget about your dietary requirements when planning the canapés.
The reception lasted an hour and a half so we wanted to make sure guests had plenty of food and drink before heading into the marquee for the main meal and speeches. Champagne and non alcoholic cocktails were being circulated on trays and it was a help yourself station for beers.
We love tapas and we love BBQ, so we wanted to incorporate an element of both into the main wedding meal if it didn’t complicate the flavours. We also wanted to add spice to the meal with Moroccan flavours infused. Mark designed mezze style sharing boards to start with seared chorizo, grilled halloumi, olive tapenade, chorizo and manchego croquettes and roasted vegetables.
Followed by a the option of spiced bbq pork tenderloin or tandoori spiced grilled salmon. The vegetarian option was a curried cauliflower with chick pea and minted yoghurt – it also managed to cater to all our guests with dietary requirements which consisted of vegetarian, gluten free and coeliac. (The vegan option was this meal too but without the yoghurt.)
The mains had sharing bowls of spiced slaw, roasted beetroot and cous cous, salad with roasted seeds and a sweet potato and red pepper salad. It sounds like a lot of food and actually looking back it definitely was. We wanted people to feel like they’d had a glorious feast but with the sharing boards on the tables they could have as little or as much as they wanted. It is such a sociable way of eating by having the sharing boards on the table. The boards alternated with different food on them so it got guests talking to each other as they passed the dishes along.
Bucking the trend of the classic lemon posset – which I think I’ve eaten at 90% of weddings I’ve been to, we opted for something a little more low key and a little more us. As delicious as lemon posset is, we wanted something that went down a little better with coffee. We served up a selection of tray bakes alongside the tea and coffee. A chilli chocolate gluten free brownie, a lemon and lime traybake with pineapple jam and a salted caramel and chocolate shortbread. Just enough sugar and sweet to perk everyone back up before the speeches began.
We decided to do a graze station for our evening food. Cheese boards, figs, charcuterie, mini toasts and salads. It was the perfect evening snack for those who wanted to graze well into the late hours of the evening.
The drinks also influenced where we got married. We had decided from the start that if we could afford to, we’d like to have an open bar all day and night. There was also a huge reluctance to pay any corkage fee for this. The venue we settled on was encouraging of making our day absolutely how we wanted it be so there was no additional corkage fees, as well as no set caterers.
I spent the first six months of the year in my cabin crew job bidding for Cape Town night stops to be able to pick up some lovely, and very reasonably priced South African Pinotage wine for the wedding. We bought the rest of the wine and champagne in Sainsburys whenever an offer was out. It meant the spend on the booze was spread across months of different pay cheques.
After the reception and meal there always seems to be a lull in the day, so we thought we’d do a fun cocktail hour to get everyone in lively spirits before the evening party began. We did a Freddie and a Jess cocktail. Guests had a choice of Freddie’s Rum Punch or Jess’ Rhubarb Ginger Gin Lemon Fizz cocktails. We were kindly gifted Edinburgh Gin for our wedding which dominated the bar. We served the rhubarb gin and lemon fizz cocktails well into the night as well as more classic gin and tonics all evening. We’d also bought a number of bottles of rum, whiskey and vodka at the cash and carry for any non gin lovers.
Our cake was actually a rush last minute order after sampling Foxwood Wedding Cakes at a friends wedding 1 month before our own. We both agreed it was the BEST wedding cake we’d ever tried and absolutely had to have it at our own wedding. Because it was a last minute order we didn’t even have time to do a cake sampling (cry), but we were willing to take the risk and just order flavours we like knowing whatever arrived on the day was going to be nothing less than phenomenal.
For everyone’s benefit here I’ve taken the liberty of outright copy pasting the descriptions straight from the website so you can really picture how damn amazing, sweet and tasty this cake was. It had four tiers and was coated in a thick white chocolate buttercream icing.
- Terrys Chocolate Orange – Rich Belgian chocolate mud cake, layered with smooth milk chocolate ganache made with real chocolate orange segments and sweet orange curd.
- Cherry Bakewell – Buttery vanilla sponge soaked with an almond sugar syrup and filled with a smooth frangipane buttercream. Morello cherry conserve and almond bresilienne.
- Raspberry & White Chocolate – Rich white chocolate mud cake. Filled with creamy white chocolate ganache and seedless raspberry conserve.
- Lemon – Zesty Sicilian lemon sponge soaked with lemon sugar syrup, filled with lemon meringue buttercream & sweet, tangy lemon curd.
I regularly dream about this cake – luckily we saved a chunk from each tier and popped it in our freezer. We are slowly making our way through the slabs. Two down and two to get us through this winter. Whoever said you should save the wedding cake for your one year anniversary has a level of self control me and my husband could only dream of having.
Hope you enjoyed this post! I’ve linked through out the suppliers we used if you are also planning a West Sussex wedding. Hope I’ve inspired other people’s wedding menus as well. What you serve on your wedding day can be 100% what you want to feed your guests. It doesn’t have to be traditional and it doesn’t have to be a la carte. It should be what good food with loved ones means to you.
Caterers: Chefs On The Move
Drinks: Edinburgh Gin
Cake: Foxwood Wedding Cakes
Photography in this blog post: Brook Rose Photography
Our wedding video:
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