We had a first for our Mates - a Detroit “Dadchelor” party. Combining celebration and relaxation, it’s a weekend get-away for a Dad before the arrival of his new baby. Our local Mate in Detroit, Adrienne, coordinated to help Dad enjoy the weekend with friends before full-time Dad duty begins. For this particular Dad, it was about food, fun, and football at the Rutgers-Michigan game. Dadchelor bags welcomed the crew and included goodies sourced from local artisans and assembled by Adrienne.
September is a busy month for our Mates with so many couples tying the knot! Autumn weddings are unique in many ways as they embrace the slightly colder, crisp air and bring different colors and flavors to the table. Here are some of our favorite fall wedding trends:
BOLD & RICH COLORS
Draw inspiration from the changing leaves and incorporate rich hues of red, orange, and yellow into your wedding. Using bold colors is a great way to create an eye catching bouquet while saving a little bit of money. The base of the bouquet can include lots of greenery and less expensive flowers, then just a few bold colored statement flowers will make the bouquet pop.
THE NAKED CAKE
Scarce use of icing allows the shade of the cake to show through, creating a more organic look. The simplicity of this technique allows flowers or other cake toppers to become the main focus.
CRAFT BEER & CIDER BARS
Creative food and drink stations are a great way to personalize your wedding. Create a custom beer tap for your wedding with all of the bride and groom’s favorites. Make it even more personalized with signage explaining the significance of the chosen brews.
Sometimes there just isn’t enough space on the table for a centerpiece that wows. Utilize the space in between the table and the ceiling instead of taking up more square footage on the table. Fall weddings are the perfect place to incorporate tall centerpieces. For a rustic and organic wedding, use branches adorned with vibrant fall leaves. For a more elegant, use tall candles adorned with fairy lights.
Photo Credits: Bouquet: Flowers By Janie, Beer Bar: Pinterest, Cake: Blooming Expressions Flowers
The Rent the Runway “Ladies Who Celebrate” summer wedding kickoff event featured several startups from the wedding industry. We had a chance to catch up with one of our favorites - Bloomerent. Just like us, they are in the matchmaking business but for floral arrangements. They match two events close in proximity, with similar styles and allows them to “share” flowers at a discount up to 60% off (yes, 60%). Whether you are the first or second event using the flowers, you get a reduced price and a guarantee that your flowers will be delivered just as they were promised. We love the spirit of this female startup that’s helping make flowers more affordable, while making the world a greener place.
Photo Credits: Cassie Martin, Bloomerent Instagram and website
As far as themes go, the “Wild Wild West” and “Desert” theme is well suited for just about any event. With so many different options, it has been used for kid’s birthday parties, baby showers, and even weddings! From table decorations to the food you serve, this guide covers every detail down to the icing on your cake. No matter how casual or high-end the occasion, there's sure to be a fit for you.
SET THE STAGE
- For both formal and casual, use lanterns to spice up the ceiling of your event
- Colors like red, light orange, and white set the tone really nicely
- In a wedding setting, sticking to whites and greens especially in floral designs can create a simple and elegant look
- Wooden barns or ranch locations will make for a beautiful destination wedding
- For a more casual setting, incorporate bandanas and cowboy hats
- Use mason jars to serve drinks and add to the cowboy setting
FOOD & DESSERTS
Fun for Kids!
- Keep kids busy with a DIY box set up! Include a Saloon and Jail, great for playtime and pictures.
- Create a bin of ponies to double as both a toy and decoration
- Cow print paper goods make for a cute table setting. Brown bags and wanted signs serve as an adorable and easy to make placeholder.
- Rope can be used as an awesome decoration. Coil it into the birthday boy/girl’s name to add to the walls!
And more ...
- Sunflowers and daisies are great for western floral decorations and table displays
- Create your own "Saloon" for drinks (Soda Saloon for the kids!)
- Use checkered picnic tables with light blues and red to add color. Rope string tied around the napkins adds a quirky touch!
- Wooden and rustic colors presents an upscale feel to the wedding.
- Use a venue like a barn or ranch for breathtaking photos with a very western feel
- To avoid looking too casual, use lots of greens in floral arrangements. Adding a touch of light pink is subtle and looks great.
- Depending on your location, wooden furniture adds a nice touch and set the tone very nicely, even with nice glassware and table settings
We recently caught up with Lauren Egdahl, catering chef at Comparti Catering and were treated to delightful dishes and discussion. It’s no surprise that her advice is just as delectable as her food. Enjoy!
EventMates: Tell us about Comparti
Lauren: We are a young catering company inspired by the energy, flavors, and different cultures of New York City. Comparti is magnetic to the vast talent around us. The city is rich with resources. From our purveyors that help us build chef driven menus to our sleek professional team members that embody the spirit and hustle of this great city we call home. We are continuously curating: getting lost at the market or at vintage consignment shops looking for design pieces. We use this energy to shake the catering world and provide fresh ideas to bring people together and create events truly worth sharing.
EventMates: We'd love to hear about one of your favorite Comparti catered events
Lauren: One of my favorite events was actually my first wedding ever with Comparti. I was a little overwhelmed and nervous to be running the show and was faced with the challenge of cooking for 150 people at a house in the woods of upstate New York, grilling on a fire pit that we had built within a rock enclosure on the premises. For the grand finale, we had made one large Baked Alaska (torched meringue frosted ice cream cake) as the wedding cake, complete with a highly flammable rim, that was torched by the Grooms, in lieu of the typical cake cutting ceremony. While they were torching, we were sending out 150 individual Baked Alaskas for the guests, which was very dramatic and theatrical. There's nothing like successfully working with 1 large fire pit, 1 giant and 150 individual flaming ice cream cakes on a hot September's night to prepare you for the challenges and rewarding work that comes with catering!
EventMates: What food trend should we be paying attention to?
Lauren: Vegetables focused entrees are definitely a thing that I am excited about. Continuing with the growing trend of farm to table, a lot of dishes are now putting vegetables front and center, instead of just an accompaniment to meat. Delicious and nutritious.
On a less healthy note, I am also very excited about whoopie pies. They have been trying to make a breakthrough for years and I am determined to help them on their way to success. Tahini in everything savory and sweet- that nutty flavor is just subtle enough to work almost anywhere!
EventMates: What's the most important catering tip for an event host?
Lauren: I would tell an event host to really think about the guests who will be in attendance. What kind of crowd are they? What vibe are you going for? I think catering to your guests (no pun intended), is the best way to make an event successful and feel organic. Throwing a group of introverts into a room and blasting 90s hip hop with futuristic themed servers passing outrageous canapes may result in an extremely awkward event. Knowing the crowd and working with vendors on the type of event you want to achieve is a great way to make sure that the ambiance, food, and overall flow of the event feels natural and makes people feel at ease to enjoy themselves.
EventMates: Any catering hack you wish to share?
Grills at events. I trust fire always, I do not always trust electricity. Blowing fuses and working with less than desirable rental equipment often times leaves caterers with thinking on their feet and really getting resourceful when it comes to heating food for large crowds. Having a grill (through rentals or the venue) allows you to cook and/or reheat in a predictable and reliable way – aside from when it POURS rain and your grill gets flooded. Always have a backup for the backup.
EventMates: With holiday season quickly approaching, what are some favorite holiday treats?
Lauren: Brazilian Brigadieros are a Comparti obsession – these are chewy, caramel-like bon bons that can be rolled in any variety of toppings. Super delicious and playful.
I also love anything smoked. Sweet or savory. We have an incredible smoked whipped cream that we use for our chocolate bread pudding (tastes like s’mores) and with our sticky toffee date cake with BACON toffee – smokey sweet heaven.
EventMates: Any closing advice for event hosts?
Lauren: I would say working with vendors in their area of expertise is a great way to throw a seamless party. There are a lot of details that the average Joe does not think of when it comes to events – like rental orders, set up feng shui, common food allergy considerations. Talking through the event, discussing what you are looking for and being transparent on budget and expectations, is a way to give vendors a great starting point for helping you plan a successful event.