Nontraditional Cakes

Even though apparently English and American weddings are all the rage in France these days, I’m still totally in love with traditional French desserts at weddings.  French weddings, until recently, didn’t include the usual tiered wedding cake.  Instead, they had croquembouche, an amazing tiered confection of creme-filled pastry puffs, sometimes dipped in chocolate, and piled high, held together by caramel.  I’ve never been a huge cake person, so croquembouche has always seemed like a divine way to buck American tradition.  Plus, no frantic kitchen cake-cutting by the caterer after the ceremonial cake cutting – guests can just grab what they want!

When I was in Paris a few years back, I was introduced to the French macaron.  They’re all the rage now in NYC and elsewhere (seriously, go to Bouchon Bakery and get one if you ever get the chance) but they’re just now starting to crop up at weddings.  I absolutely LOVE the idea of a French macaron cake.  It’s like a croquembouche, but a little more whimsical and a little less sticky:

Again, guests can dig in as soon as you’ve done a cake cutting (or in this case, a grab-a-macaron-and-feed-it-to-each-other) and it looks soooo pretty, and not at all expected.  It’s sort of the same idea as a cupcake tree, but fresher and (in my personal opinion) way more delicious. There are a ton of amazing bakeries in NYC that make them, including kosher bakeries!  So go forth, and serve nontraditional desserts at your wedding – trust me, your guests will love it.

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While vintage themes and items are nothing new in the wedding world, mismatched china is still a welcome and beautiful surprise at a wedding.  The average caterer and rental company will give you basic restaurant white dishes, sometimes with a colored band around the edge or even odd shapes or textures.  But it’s very difficult to find a conventional rental company that can provide the homey, personalized look of mismatched china on a formal dining table.

Achieving this look by yourself can be a fun and enjoyable DIY project! Couples will find many china options at flea markets and thrift stores for next to nothing.  This can be rewarding, and gives the couple the opportunity to personalize their dish options.  For those couples that don’t have the time, energy or interest to assemble hundreds of plates on their own time can turn to new vintage china rental companies.  These small businesses have capitalized on the growing vintage trend and have taken the hard work and hassle out of mismatched china and vintage stemware for weddings.  Check out companies like Rent Vintage China or Something Borrowed Vintage in the tri-state area for more details!

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Summer Camp Weddings!

As fall weddings start to wind down, I’ve been reflecting on some of the great weddings I’ve been a part of this year.  One of my absolute favorites was a wedding weekend that took place at a summer camp in New Jersey.  As the NY Times notes, summer camp extravaganzas are great way to get friends and family together to pitch in to help out at the wedding and of course enjoy the party all weekend long!

The wedding I worked at included a late night bonfire the night before the wedding, a beautiful outdoor ceremony under the trees, cocktail hour at the lodge and a reception in the main dining hall.  We used bright, autumnal colors and burlap runners for table decor and amazing homemade centerpieces with sunflowers in giant mason jars.  The best part of a camp wedding is that the party can rage all night and everyone gets to retire to a nearby cabin rather than traveling home!  I’ll be sure to post all the awesome pictures as soon as they’re available…stay tuned!

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Let’s Talk Decor: Thursday Edition

Last summer I posted about using potted plants and succulents as centerpieces.  While I still wholeheartedly approve of doing that, a new trend has taken the Brooklyn wedding world by storm: terrariums.  Terrariums have started gaining popularity in recent years, with local vendors selling them at the Brooklyn Flea for the past few years.  But it’s only in the last year or so that couples have begun seeing them as an amazing and intricate replacement for a more traditional centerpiece.

Some florists will make terrariums as part of a general wedding flower package, but if you’re in New York, why not go to a professional? Shops like Sprout Home in Williamsburg and Twig Terrariums (sold at numerous Brooklyn shops) specialize in stunning and creative terrariums that are sure to delight your guests.  Plus, they make really amazing party favors at the end of the night.

Sprout Home also provides classes on DIY terrariums, so you and your partner can go and learn how to make them for your wedding (or just for your home)!

Happy planting!

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Delicious Twist on Wedding Food

I was at a wedding this weekend (as a guest, for once!) and the couple did something really wonderful and awesome for dinner: they ordered catering from Pies ‘n Thighs, an amazing restaurant based in Williamsburg.  The food was served family-style, which was perfect for the rustic nature of the of meal.  We munched on smoked beef brisket, black eyed peas, brussel sprouts and some of the best biscuits I’ve ever eaten!  It was true comfort food, that made all of their guests comfy and happy!  Definitely an interesting twist on traditional wedding fare.

Williamsbrides was a Hit!

Williamsbrides was amazing – it was a truly unique event that showcased some of Brooklyn’s best wedding industry professionals in a calm and relaxing environment (for those of you who have been to trade show “extravaganzas”, you know how rare it is for them to be relaxing!).  Couples sampled delicious cocktails courtesy of Heights Chateau, P&H Soda, NY Distilling Company and Breuckelen Distilling; tasted delicious treats from Naturally Delicious Caterers, Elegantly Iced and Sugar Flower Cake Shop and took shelter from the cold in the various lounges available at The Space at Fifty North Third.

Yours truly was also there, and although the lighting in this pictures isn’t ideal (I was put directly under a spotlight – go figure!) I got tons of compliments on my table and the tandem bike logo.  Thanks are in order to foodcakeflowers (a new catering/bakery/floral design company launching this spring) for providing simple and beautiful floral decor for the table!

If you want to check out more photos from the event (thanks to the wonderfully talented and friendly folks over at Photomuse), check out the Naturally Delicious Facebook page.  I have an inside tip that pictures will be posted within the next few days!

Thanks to all of the vendors that participated – you guys did a phenomenal job helping to make couples feel relaxed about the planning process!

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