Matt and I decided that our favorite part of this whole wedding planning thing is the wedding food! We made the choice together early on that music, décor, and flowers were things we wanted but weren’t terribly enthusiastic about. Food and drinks were high on the priority list for us as we began our preparations. We were very happy to find a venue that included our food, drinks, and cake. This made wedding planning and payments easy peasy.
First, we knew we wanted alcohol. A dry wedding is just not our style. One of our favorite dates is going to different local breweries to try out their beers. We decided that incorporating some of these local flavors into the bar at our reception would be awesome! What made it even better is that our venue does not charge extra to bring in requested microbrews. We simply tell the manager what we would like and she makes sure it is available at the bar. I chose Phoenix Ale Brewery’s Watermelon Ale and Matt picked Four Peaks’ Kilt Lifter. We are so excited! This suits us way better than the signature cocktail idea.
To save some cash we ended up altering the bar a bit. We took out the hard alcohol and closed the bar during the dinner hour. Guests can have a beverage during cocktail hour and make sure their drinks are topped off going into dinner. Then there will be champagne with dinner for toasts and the bar will open back up when the hour is up. We save about $2,000 by serving only beer and wine and by closing the bar for the dinner hour. Sweet, sweet savings! Plus, guests have to work a bit harder to over drink when they can’t have Irish car bombs and Kamakazis flowing all night.
Unlike with beverages, we had no idea what we wanted when it came to the food. Luckily, our venue has had tastings and we’ve gotten to try out the delicious menu twice. They set up the reception area like they would for a wedding and invite brides and grooms getting married in the next few months. I appreciated getting to see all the set-up options. It is also nice to see how the venue handles large groups. Anyone can cook for two people, but this proves that they can cook and serve a full reception.
We have narrowed down our menu choices and think we will be able to accommodate the wide variety of dietary needs of our guests. The part of the menu I am most stoked about is the late night snack! We were able to trade an entrée to have sliders at the end of the night. I’m always hungry after dancing my socks off, so I think this will be a great way to finish up the evening.
Our latest adventure in edibles was cake tasting. Holy gods of all things sweet. So. Good. We went in after work to sample different cakes and to choose a cake design. They were wonderful at the bakery! We had no idea what we wanted (again). While the manager prepared samples for us we were left with binders full of cake pictures to look through. We marked ideas we liked and shared them with the manager when she came back in. She combined shapes and colors and made recommendations for details. I’m super happy with our choice.
After the design came the tasting. I will never see cake the same way again. Vanilla almond cake with strawberry rum filling? Chocolate with creamy chocolate mousse? Spice cake with apricot filling? Yes, please! We chose a different flavor for each of four layers. We serve the bottom three and take the top home. We have no desire to freeze the top of the cake for a year, so we’ll probably have it when we get back from our honeymoon. On our one year anniversary the bakery will replicate the top layer for us for $20.00. We’ll definitely take them up on it! We are soaking up this delicious part of planning and highly suggest doing the same to any couple getting hitched.