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The Bride's Guide Blog

Expert Advice: Design Cuisine

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This week we're sharing helpful information from Design Cuisine. The company has worked royal events for Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Diana of Wales and served as many as 10,000 dignitaries a day during inauguration week. Though Design Cuisine has grown over the years, their attention to detail and impeccable service hasn't wavered one bit. See for yourself on their blog! So without further ado, a gallery of some of their favorite offerings and some useful advice from this grand catering company. . .

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What are some fun and creative buffet stations I can offer my guests?
We love a Back to Your Roots station that includes foods based upon your family's background and history. For one of our recent brides, we created an "All-Tomato Station" reflecting her California heritage. The station included: heirloom-tomato and seafood margaritas; beefsteak-tomato tartare with avocado; rustic grape-tomato tart with Dungeness crab salad; oven-roasted Roma tomatoes with chevre and prosciutto.

How can I leave guests full and satisfied without throwing a traditional wedding reception?
The 1960s-style cocktail reception is definitely a growing trend, and it's a great way to maximize your budget. Offer guests a variety of appetizers or small plates that reflect your style. Get creative with food presentation, and provide themed food stations and signature cocktails.

What are the hot new colors for 2011 weddings?
Though we love crimson, industrial gray, and honeysuckle pink for spring, we encourage brides to choose colors that show off their personality and theme. Trends come and go. Your wedding day is a time to reflect who you are as a couple, so your palette should come from the heart.

What are some alternatives to a traditional bar that will appeal to both male and female guests?

Combine beer and champagne with a Bubble and Barley Bar. Include favorite beers or microbrews, and have flavored simple syrups and herbs on hand so guests can customize their champagne drinks. Or try a DIY: Mix and Muddle Bar, and provide guests with spirits, fruit, herbs, and garnishes to make their own drinks. Have an on-site mixologist to help guests concoct, and include recipe cards as well as mortar and pestles to encourage creativity.

Our reception ends several hours after dinner, and I'm concerned that guests will be hungry. Any ideas to help tide them over?
Offer them mini burgers, root beer float shooters, and fries served in a paper cone. Or, go the breakfast route by serving up bite-sized crepes, quiche cupcakes, and ham turnovers.

How do I handle guests with food allergies?
Having this information before your reception is important, but it's not always possible. What if your invited guest brings a date who can’t eat nuts? Let your caterer know your concerns in advance, and they can provide you selections for your guests with dietary requirements.

What is a fun specialty cocktail idea?
We love mini root beer floats for the whimsy and surprise they inject into a wedding! How about a root beer sorbet with bourbon and club soda? What about chocolate liquor, port foam, and vanilla-bean ice cream floats? For a summer feel, mix champagne sorbet with citrus vodka and lemon-lime seltzer water. Try setting up a station with a uniformed “soda jerk” to whip up these custom concoctions.

What does every caterer wish a bride would know?
We love it when our engaged couples have thought about their likes and dislikes so we can personalize our menus and decor from the initial consultation. It'll help us give you a comprehensive menu that matches your budget, style, and vision.

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