Throughout the planning process, the three words I used to describe my vision for our wedding day were Romantic, Chic & Fun. I wanted the day to include plenty of special details that were unique enough for a wedding, but still felt laid back to create a great party atmosphere for our friends & family. For me, the food and drink decisions were some of the most important considerations. Today I’m sharing my top food & drink tips can apply to your own big day!
Planning a wedding is incredibly personal. I can give you all of the advice in the world, but ultimately you should choose details that are reflective of you and your future Mr. or Mrs. For Ben and I, we wanted food that was simultaneously indulgent, fun, delicious and laid back. From appetizers to booze to cutting the cake, here are my six top tips we implemented for our day.
Menus Personalized menus added a more sentimental touch to dinner time. A calligraphy mirror (that I admit didn’t turn out exactly as I’d envisioned, you can’t win them all!) showed guests their table assignment and personalized menus guided them to their specific seats. I loved seeing “Mrs. Jenzen” at my place setting for the first time. I was also happy guests knew details of the meal they were about to enjoy. An olive leaf stem that matched my bouquet added a sweet touch and extra color to the white on white linens we selected.
Appetizers If you are anything like me, I could live off of appetizers, dips and bite-sized fill-in-the-blank. So picking out hors d’oeuvres for our wedding was hands down one of the easiest things we planned! Based on the space and number of guests, we kept it simple with passed mini-versions of some of our favorite foods. Mac & cheese has no question been near and dear to my heart my entire life, and neither of us has met a piece of bacon we didn’t like. We went with an adult spin one of our mutual childhood favorites, i.e. Tuscan Mac & cheese in Parmesan cups. We also had bacon-wrapped water chestnuts, Ohio Spicy Chicken Meatballs (an ode to my home state and where we got married!) and Risotto balls with fresh crab. The recipe for the meatballs, which was featured on Food Network and supplied by our catering company is below. You could easily make a big batch of these and keep them in a crockpot next to some mini skewers for an upcoming casual gathering at your place!
Table Arrangement One of my girlfriends who calls NYC home got married the summer of 2017. It was one of the first weddings Ben and I went to together as a couple, and I was a bridesmaid. Ben met nearly everyone there that weekend for the first time and I more or less assumed we’d be split up during dinner. However, my friend had a ‘Kings Table’ for her now husband and bridal party + their significant others. I LOVED it, and was happy to be able to sit next to my then boyfriend. When it came time for our own wedding, I knew immediately I too wanted a Kings Table. Ben and I sat at the head in green velvet chairs alongside our entire bridal party. It was awesome having them and their loved ones by their side throughout the evening!
Champagne I didn’t used to be a big champagne/prosecco person, but once we got engaged I wondered what I had been thinking all my life?? Champagne, in my humble opinion is truly the MOST celebratory beverage on the planet. Due to my newfound obsession with all things bubbles, I really wanted it to play a fun part on our wedding day. Sure, there is the traditional champagne toast poured during dinner, but I thought why not do something a little different? We had wine service throughout our dinner and no signature cocktail, so I thought it made the most sense to incorporate into our cocktail hour. There is a rental company in Columbus, Aiden & Grace where we rented a few things for our day, including the velvet chairs Ben & I sat on during our dinner and the calligraphy mirror. I saw during our engagement that they acquired a champagne cart, and I knew immediately that it was the fun touch I was envisioning. Our wedding planner, Natasha from Aisle & Co. was sweet enough to rent it on our behalf. Guests were greeted after our ceremony with a glass which I thought helped kick off the rest of the evening with a fun, cheery tone. It also fit perfectly with our colors – white and green with gold and grey accents.
One other bubble-related detail were the glasses I purchased from Crate & Barrel, you can find them here! They were one of our first “Mr. and Mrs.” accents. enough to make sure they were filled throughout the evening. We have them sitting out on our bar at home today, and at $9.95 each, they are a pretty little affordable momentum from our day.
Cake We have all seen the most creative dessert tables, from doughnut walls to ice cream carts to assorted pies. But I wanted to keep dessert traditional with a simple, pretty white cake that we could cut for photos. However, I knew without a doubt that I wanted to actually sheet cake from Costco. I actually feel so passionately about it I wrote a little article for MyRecipes on the topic, you can find it here! No one knew the difference, in fact a few of our guests said it was some of their favorite wedding cake. We used the money we saved not buying enough bakery-made cake for late-night pizza.
Late Night Pizza Last but definitely not least, pizza! From the money we saved serving sheet cake, we reallocated on late night pizza. We kept this part of the evening casual and stacked boxes of Donatos pepperoni & cheese ‘za on a side table with paper plates and napkins. Most of our guests ended up grabbing a box and bringing it back to their table to share! Pizza is our absolute favorite food, so it felt like the perfect way to incorporate it into our wedding day. I would highly recommend serving late night food in some capacity to refuel guests after hours of drinking, dancing & celebrating.
Those are my top tips as it pertained to food on our wedding day! What were your favorite details, or are you planning a wedding now yourself? Comment or email me anytime, I’d love to hear from you!
1 large egg
2 tablespoons bottled teriyaki glaze
2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce (see Cook’s Note)
1 pound ground chicken
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons minced fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons minced green onion
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 1/3 cups sweet chili sauce
1 cup bottled teriyaki glaze
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds (see Cook’s Note)
1/8 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Lightly whisk the egg in a medium bowl. Add the teriyaki glaze and sweet chili sauce, and whisk until incorporated.
Place the ground chicken in a large bowl. Add the egg mixture, then sprinkle in the ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch of black pepper. Add the cilantro and green onions. Gently mix together by hand to avoid slopping over the side of the bowl. (Using kitchen gloves is more sanitary and less freaky.) Add the breadcrumbs and gently fold in by hand just until thoroughly incorporated; don’t overmix (see Cook’s Note).
Using a small squeeze-handle scoop (see Cook’s Note), scoop out meatballs and place them on a nonstick or parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, about 8 minutes.
Serve with warm Sesame-Ginger Sauce as a party snack, an entree or on a sandwich.
Add the sweet chili sauce, teriyaki glaze, lime juice, sesame oil, sesame seeds, granulated garlic and ground ginger to a bowl; blend with a stick blender until thoroughly combined. Add a pinch of salt. (If you don’t have a stick blender, whisk aggressively until the ingredients are well blended.)
You can find sweet chili sauce in the Asian foods section of larger grocery stores or at an Asian grocer. Don’t overmix the meatball batter after adding the breadcrumbs. An overmixed meatball will be dense rather than light and airy. I like a 1/2-ounce scoop for mini meatballs. If you use a larger scoop, the meatballs will take a bit longer to cook. If you can’t find toasted sesame seeds and don’t want to toast them yourself, substitute black sesame seeds.