It's not just an American thing....
It's always been the tradition in the US, and now it is definitely becoming a more popular part of the wedding here too. When I first heard about this, I did initally feel, 'Oh no - but isn't that just another expense? Does it really need to be done?' And the answer is, no, of course not. It's one of those optional extras. However the more I've read about it, the more I get it. The whole point of it is to gather the people who have been involved in the planning of the wedding so they can meet each other before the big day. And it gives the bride and groom an opportunity to show their appreciation for the things they have done - in an informal way. So this is normally restricted to the imediate family, the bestman and the bridesmaids and close friends.
It can be held up to a week before the wedding, but it usually takes place the evening before. I actually think it's a lovely way to spend the night before the wedding. It can be as relaxed as you like, and doesn't even have to be dinner - canapes and cocktails would be very nice too...as long as you don't get absolutely trashed. Not a good look to have a hangover on your wedding day.
I adore cheese - there isn’t really one I don’t like: hard cheese, soft cheese, blue cheese, washed rind cheese...in fact I decided long ago that on my fantasy desert island, I’d have an endless supply of cheese and biscuits as my luxury - I’d obviously get vastly fat, but no one would see me, so who cares? Plus the fat might keep me warm at night because I’d certainly be rubbish at making a shelter....
Anyway, it’s a fantasy and never going to happen. And nor do I intend to get married again (very happy with the husband I’ve got) but if I were to, I’d have a cheese cake. Not a cheesecake but a tower of cheeses instead of a cake cake. There is the most wonderful shop called Paxton and Whitfield in Jermyn Street (quite famous but for those who don’t know it, I will elaborate). It’s been in business for over 200 years, 100 of those at this shop. They sell a huge range of British and Continental European Cheeses (over 200!) plus delicious hams, biscuits, wine and real ale. And they produce these mouth watering delicious towers of cheeses and call them ‘celebration cakes.’
Adding flavour to your wedding!
A few weeks ago we met Robin Dunlop, aka Oyster Boy, who offers an experimental and alternative eating experience at your wedding. Wearing a kilt, he serves fine oysters straight from a traditional wicker basket. He was a delightful man to meet and would add a wonderful atmosphere to any wedding party. The oysters were completely delicious - he can even offer you tabasco and lemon to boot! Oyster Boy is part of a bigger company called Tempe and Shian who "strive to push the boundaries of food design". They combine creative food solutions with a boutique and entertaining edge so alongside Oyster Boy there is Mussel Man and Gastronomy Guys (lovin' the tags, guys!)
Afternoon Tea and Vintage China for your Wedding!
At a Most Curious Wedding Fair we met the lovely Christina from Vintage Feast and had a cup cake and a mini savoury tart - both were delicious! Vintage Feast can do a traditional afternoon-tea for your wedding including (as they put it) a nice cup of tea, a home-made scone with the most delicious strawberry jam you'll ever taste. And a dainty finger sandwich or two. This is perfect for weddings, we think (as long as you thrown in the odd glass of champage!). But they do lots of other menus too so worth checking out their website http://www.feast-food.com/