I see a lot of weddings in my job, as you can imagine, but ever...
This afternoon we welcome back Cary’s to Diary of a Boho Bride. Carys is getting married in September on the beautiful Greek Island of Cephalonia. Last time Carys told us all about her Wedding Dress hunt, and today it is all about my favorite subject………..The Food! Choosing your wedding breakfast menu can be tricky at times, trying to make sure all of your guests are catered for, however when you are doing it in a different country and choosing dishes that are traditional to that country it can become a lot harder!
During my last diary entry I updated you all on our Greek wedding plans and talked about the stress and pressure that I felt when it came to finding the dress. Today I’m going to tell you about something much more enjoyable for us both…choosing the food glorious food for our wedding menu! Oh, and a little bit about the dreaded wedding seating plan!!
As you know Aaron and I are jetting off to sunny Cephalonia, Greece for our September wedding with around twenty-five of our family and friends. For our wedding reception we have already chosen a Greek taverna beside the Ionian Sea run by a local fisherman Odysseus. Aaron and I adore sitting side by side in a little taverna in some peaceful corner of Greece tasting the local fresh produce washed down with an ouzo, or two! As loyal fans of Greek cuisine, and as someone who cooks it a lot, choosing the food for our wedding day was a little harder than we thought…why can’t we just have it all?!
As many of our wedding guests have never been to Greece before we would like them to experience an authentic taste of this wonderful country. We want our guests to see why this stunning corner of the Ionian is so special and we really want our family and friends to feel as relaxed and as happy as we do when we are in Greece. Beautiful food can help to create a wonderful atmosphere, but the difficulty for us in selecting our wedding food is that we cannot just pop along to the taverna and have a tasting session, sadly! This is where the knowledge and support of our wedding planner Rachael, who is based on the island, was a great help.
When Aaron and I travel around Greece we especially love sampling the little Greek meze dishes in local tavernas like spanakopita (spinach and cheese pies), dolmades (stuffed vine leaves), keftedes (Greek meatballs), homemade hummus and tzatziki dips, and not forgetting of course the perfect Greek salad – yum yum. So we decided that we really wanted a selection of those at our reception as little appetisers.
When it came to choosing the main meal we were torn between showcasing Greece’s traditional oven baked dishes like lamb kleftico, beef stifado, moussaka, the island’s speciality – Cephalonian Meat Pie, or going for a traditional Greek spit roast. After much debating, we decided that a spit roast with lemon and herb potatoes and salad would be a very relaxed and informal option; perfect for unwinding by the sea, with each guest having as little or as much as they want. For our spit-roasted meat we have decided to have lamb as a little nod to our Welsh roots. For vegetarian guests there is the option of having Gemista (beautiful stuffed peppers and tomatoes) or an endless supply of fresh fish thanks to Odysseus and his fishing boat.
As an extra, we have decided to place a small bottle of ouzo at each place setting for our guests to enjoy as a traditional toast with their meal, or for them to take home and open as they look through their holiday snaps.
When it came to selecting the wedding cake we were as equally spoilt for choice! Rachael sent us some mouth watering pictures of the options available ranging from a traditional fruit cake to victoria sponge, rich chocolate cake, fresh fruit pavlova or a simple cheesecake – it was all too much to cope with for my extremely sweet tooth! I have heard of people spending a huge part of their budget on their wedding cake, and whilst those who know me well understand that cake is the centre of my universe, all we want for our day is something simple, something delicious and something that will be as understatedly beautiful as the setting.
We have chosen a plain white two tiered victoria sponge cake (my personal favourite!) decorated with natural fuchsia pink bougainvillea, just like the whitewashed Greek houses by the harbour that are adorned with this shock of pure pink beauty. To top our cake will be a bright royal blue Forever After cake topper passed down from my big brother’s wedding last year. Here’s hoping that our day will be as magical as Simon and Elspeth’s Cardiff wedding day was.
So to eat all this gorgeous food where are our guests going to sit? Talking to a handful of people I soon realised just how stressful the seating plan is. Whether you have 5 or 500 guests, who exactly do you sit next to who? We have all been to weddings where you are sat on a table with people you don’t know; sometimes it works, sometimes it really doesn’t. Being sat on a table with your friends can be great fun, but then often you don’t really engage with any of the other guests, which is something we want to avoid happening. This isn’t just our wedding day, these are our guest’s holidays, and we want them to fly home with some truly beautiful memories.
If we’re honest the thought of a ‘top table’ has always slightly intimidated us. The formality and the expectation of it all. When you Google ‘wedding seating arrangements’ you find words like ‘etiquette’ and ‘proper’ and given that we are avoiding the traditional, formal wedding ourselves by jumping on a plane to Greece, why then have a seating plan? Odysseus’ taverna has lots of little tables and chairs for four-six set out alongside the beach. Originally we thought it would be nice for everyone to just choose a table that they wanted when they arrived at the taverna. But then we really want everyone to mix rather than separate family from friends and we have the luxury of smaller numbers to ensure that we can do that without it being total chaos!
Everybody’s contribution to our day is equal so to have a ‘top table’ wouldn’t feel right for us. Everyone is making it special just by being there with us. So we are now looking to have one long table with people either side, or all of the tables moved into a large square with everyone facing each other. The nature of our wedding menu means that people will be passing dishes to one another and sharing out the food, which will help to keep the atmosphere very relaxed. By avoiding the formality of seating arrangements and creating table plans I get to spend much more time on the creative, DIY elements involved in creating a beautiful looking table. We really want our wedding reception to be a fun, natural, noisy affair, with everyone chatting, eating, laughing and toasting like one big loud happy Welsh-Greek family – Iechyd Da/Yamas!