Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Menu (Final Part)

OK, so much has been discussed about our casual, family focused wedding, and the inspiration for our menu. Also, I think I have made it pretty well known that our caterer, Donna Marie, is an absolute dream to work with, who, when I told her about troubles we were having with our venue, told me that "if worse comes to worse, I have a barn that we can put some tables up in, and we can do your wedding there!"... unheard of right??

So the bottom line is, to stick with our casual feel, while trying to avoid a 'typical wedding meal' of dry hotel chicken, we have come up with a cajun themed menu. My mom and step-dad have thrown cajun parties ever since they went to New Orleans, probably ten years ago now. Ian first had it when they put one on for my going away party, a couple of months before we got engaged... he loved it, and so did his parents. It is a tasty menu, in which diners get their hands dirty, and I hope it will give our guests something to talk about. The other really exciting component is the fact that we are serving family style. We definitely did NOT want buffet (it seems to take wayyyy too long, and we want our evening to have momentum!), and plated just didn't seem the best way to set-up the cajun menu. Family style service is essentially how you would serve a meal to your family... each menu item is served at the table, from large serving dishes. This means guests will be passing the ribs, getting to know eachother, and hopefully enjoying themselves!
Here is what our menu looks like now:

Cajun BBQ'd ribs and Chicken, Cornbread, Sweet potatoe pie, Cajun Veggies. Delicious right??

We decided that we wanted to self cater our appetizers during the cocktail hour (we will move right from ceremony into cocktail hour into reception). So of course sticking with the cajun theme, or ideas right now for appetizers are:
Peel-and-eat shrimp (except we are serving already-peeled-just-eat-shrimp... yes, that means shrimp rings!), stuffed artichoke, crabmeat cheesecake (totally different, but totally cajun!), and cajun nuts... but I am still looking for 1-2 easily eaten appies to serve... any suggestions??

The music during the dinner will match the food... cajun of course! It won't be the really twangy cajun tunes (think banjo), but will range from bluegrass, to blues, to big band... New Orleans baby!! To round off the theme of the food, in our napkin assembly, we will include a rib-bib (hopefully custom printed) and wet naps!

(images from

We really do want our guests to take this meal for what it is, a fun, messy, tasty menu! We hope everyone will have fun with it, and that it will break the barriers of the stuffy-wedding meal with assigned seating, where people are just looking forward to getting up and mingling (and drinking!). We want this dinner to be an absolute highlight!! And as for dessert, more details will follow, but rest-assured, key lime pie will be served!!

How are you guys using food to create atmosphere or to get the party started??

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