Friday, May 30, 2008

Menu tasting! Exercising decourum!

Last night we met with the caterer to taste our proposed menu. It was delicious! And fun!

The biggest part about it, though, was that it made it real. Not only that we're getting married. But that we're having a wedding. And it's starting to be really really real.

Linen, china, death do us part, frou frou appetizers, sickness and health, forever and ever. Etc.

Somehow the formal part of it didn't really hit me till last night, when we were eating beautifully prepared little bits of food and talking tables.

I'm sure this sounds really silly. But it's true.

I have to say, neither of us had expected to particularly enjoy the tasting. It just seemed like something you have to do. You have to figure out your food. You have to pick linens and talk tables and whatever whatever.

And then we started out grumpy because we had to leave work early and Nick was late and I was annoyed and he was five kinds of stressed out about three different cases and trying to get across town in DC rush hour.


And then we got there and our caterer is so friendly and gracious and it was a delight to see him.

The first thing they did was to serve us mojitos, which is a great way to start an evening, and hell, sometimes would probably even be a fantastic way to start a really annoying workday. I mean if you weren't worried about what cocktails first thing in the morning might do to your life.

So we started with mojitos because that's how cocktail hour is going to start. At first when they asked us if we had a "signature cocktail" we sort of squinted at them in confusion.

"You know, like maybe you drank margaritas when you first started dating. Or you both love strawberry daiquiris."

Um. No. But we swilled a hell of a lot of beer in those first few weeks. Does that work?

But then a couple friends said they'd gone to weddings where they were given a mojito to start off, and they'd loved it. And who doesn't love a good mojito? Mint! Yum!

On a side bar: mint, we learned last night, is a weed, and if you don't plant it in pots, it will take over your garden. In case you're considering a mint fest.

We'd started out the planning process thinking we'd have a seated dinner. But then that got really spendy. And restricted the number of guests we could have, because space at our venue is tight.

We're now having more of a cocktail reception with tons of food.

If you've not done a tasting, they serve you as if it were the event. So we were given drinks, and then appetizers one by one.

Yummy cheese thingies and spinach thingies and prosciutto, which is one of my favorite products on the planet. For Nick there is going to be lamb on a rosemary skewer. Very pretty presentation. Even though I think lamb is gross.

Then there was a huge spread of beef tenderloin and salmon and these delicious chicken and mushroom "purses" wrapped up in soft pastry dough and tied with some kind of herb. We are having lots of veg options like spinach pastry and sauteed veggies and I can't remember what all else.

There was an extraordinary amount of food. And they sent us home with leftovers.

There will be seating for some percentage of guests, which is necessary, because as my dad keeps reminding me, he is old and so are his friends, and they need to sit down sometimes. But whoever wants to can be up milling around.

I like this idea. I'd always rather be able to get up than be stuck at some table.

When we were talking about beverages Nick said that we were thinking of getting a keg (of amazing beer from Rustico).

The caterer said, "I'm quite sure the house will be really, really opposed to it." And then went on to explain the complications of a keg. And how not a lot of people will drink beer.

He is right about this. The venue is a (an?) historic house museum. Kegs, I am sure, are verboten.

But the funniest thing was the look on his face - briefly, before he regained his composure - at the mention of "keg." Because he is so incredibly upbeat and diplomatic and charming.

We left and Nick said his face, in that brief instant, couldn't have been more horrified than if Nick had told him he'd taken a poo in one of the planters downstairs.

Which he did not.


  1. ha ha! my husband and i also "swilled a hell of a lot of beer" when we first met in 1982 . . . we had our reception at the Bethesda Cinema 'N Drafthouse, and after using the stage for a dance floor, we screened Casablanca. what a great day. sounds like yours will be too!


  2. Mmmmmm....mojitos!

    Cocktails and appetizers are perfect for a festive affair. There's more mingling which is, for me, the best part of going to such an event.

  3. The food sounds delicious! And cocktails refreshing. I love the gardening tip in the middle of the post - so helpful, you're always looking out for others.

  4. I LOVE Mojitos.

    Indeed, that mint will take over your yard. There is some growing in my yard like it's going out of style. And yes, I think the phrase "like it's going out of style" is going out of style.

    If I can't have a keg at my wedding reception (whenever the hell I get married), I don't want to get married. None of my family or friends would even come if there was no keg. Seriously.

  5. Well, now I have to ask. He didn't TELL him, or he didn't DO it?

    Kidding, of course. We all know which one you meant. :o)

    It sounds like it will be lovely, and that you're making wonderful decisions. I'm so excited for you!

  6. heh.


    always funny.

  7. The tasting is the best part of planning the wedding!

    We decided to have a short ceremony and *immediately* have cocktails and hors d'ouvres served (while the caterer was setting up the buffet in the next room) and not have a receiving line but just have everybody mingle at will. It worked well. Good luck and enjoy!

  8. Oh, and I have the name/# of a great pianist, too, if your venue has a piano (lots of historic mansions do) and you're into that sort of thing. Just let me know if you want it.

  9. LJ - I bet that was really, really fun. I lived up in Friendship Heights for a while and used to love that place!

    FreckledK - I agree. The more mingling the more fun. Seated was just too formal for us, even though the venue is rather formal.

    HKW - Thanks, I am glad to hear that! I like our menu!

    Valerie - I LOVE them too! I am going to plant mint, and only have a balcony, so it'll be in a pot for sure but I am so glad to know! As for the beer, I'm glad to not have the hassle of dealing with the keg, honestly.

    Dagny - Hahahaha! Right. Thank you! :)

    Slightly Disorganized - Yeah, it's endlessly funny to me. I'm glad you can appreciate. :)

    lacochran - Who knew? It was really great! And I think we will be very much along those lines. Cocktails and mingling immediately.

    As for piano - there is one, and we have a piano player. But thank you!

  10. Tasting is so fun, isn't it? And mojitos are a great idea! A couple nights before our wedding, my best friend took me out and we actually drank the bar OUT OF MINT because we had so many mojitos. Good times, and destressed me a lot in those last few days.

  11. it sounds like so much fun, the tasting :)

    im so happy the both of you can compromise on things (like the lamb!) and not go absolutely batshit crazy planning your wedding. It's supposed to be fun!

  12. In Brazil is common during the reception to give the guests flip-flops, specially the women, so that they can stand, dance around, etc, without their feet hurting. And when everyone has flip-flops on, no one makes a big deal about actually wearing them during a fancy event, the party lasts longer.

    Since your guests will be standing, that might be an idea so that no one's feet are killing them!

    (And your post made me very hungry.)


Tell me about it.