Our wedding is going to be at 11 am on a Saturday morning. I hope all our guests can enjoy a warm and lazy summer Saturday while witnessing and celebrating with us. To that end, I didn’t want a fussy, sit down meal for our reception. My goal was a light and refreshing luncheon.
I began by asking around about caterers and thinking about what kind of food we enjoy. I also wanted a wedding caterer I could trust and who could do the setup, service and cleanup without supervision. I arrange many work meetings and lunches, so I wanted something more elegant than a box-style or BBQ buffet. But light sandwiches and fresh fruit fit our taste and tone of the event.
I was thrilled to come across The Sweetery and Luxe Catering. I found this local vendor online and in regional bridal magazine so I worried their fare would be beyond my budget. However, Bettina worked with me to create a menu that was charming and filling (my groom wants his friends to be satisfied) and she has the experience to pull it off without glitches. When I went for our tasting, I was more than impressed. She treated my small-ish event with the same professionalism as the larger events she has handled. I really appreciate that. I discovered that when I am up front about my needs, others respond with what they can do within my budget and size parameters.
To save money, we opted for disposable dishes, cups and plastic ware. Through photos and testimonials, I have seen these used with style. Our caterer is providing turn-key meal service in a buffet style. I won’t have to worry about set up, clean up or making sure we have enough dishes. I did warn her our friends and family surely do enjoy our sweet tea. The menu includes cheese and fruit, two salad choices, three sandwiches and two additional sides. We’re serving sweet tea and lemonade on what I’m sure will be a hot Saturday in July.
Both my groom and I knew we wouldn’t be picky about our cake. And even though this is a second wedding, and not super traditional, I still wanted one. But I opted for chocolate. Mmmm. We both love chocolate. I got quotes from local bakers and ultimately decided that Publix offered the simple, traditional style we liked at the best price. Their event coordinator was wonderful to work with and helped me as I considered our options.
Then we were approached by family friends who have a baker in the family. She subtly gave us a photo catalog and asked if they could provide our cake as a gift…I was so surprised, but thrilled! I hadn’t placed our Publix order, so we opted to take the help offered and our cake will be made (and served) by our friends. We still chose chocolate with ivory buttercream – three layers of ruffles. The baker suggested we “Order Up” and so the cake will be large enough to feed 100 people. That’s more than we will have in attendance, but perhaps we’ll save the top layer, or people can have seconds. Either way, I’m not worried about it!
This was an unexpected blessing for us and I’m very grateful. As a side note, brides may choose different flavors for the different layers of their cakes. But be cautious, guests sometimes then want to taste each layer! So we opted to keep it uniform and simple.
Editor's note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more resources for planning a pandemic wedding here.