Finding the perfect meal for your guests is always tricky. You desire something tasty without breaking the bank. And we are all familiar with the budgets we have for our weddings.
For years I personally attended weddings which served 1-3 choices from the hotels menu. They usually included a chicken option. But if the bride could afford it, a meat or seafood choice was added. Of course, there was a veggie, salad, and roll included. I never thought these were terrible options but I certainly did not get too excited about them.
Then back in 2016, my oldest daughter got engaged. Her precious fiancé decided to plan the entire engagement day around everything that may daughter held dear to her. So he called me to a private meeting and asked me to plan the evening portion, including the party. He would spend the entire afternoon with Haley taking her to special places and giving her unique gifts of the heart. Then after getting down on one knee and asking for her hand in marriage, he would bring her to the party location. I was thrilled at his enthusiasm and so we sat down to brainstorm what Haley would love to be included in their Engagement Party.
Approximately 100 people were being invited to the party. Wow! That's a lot of people to feed and we still had the wedding reception to allocate money to. I promptly came home and went to work. My first thought was a chef friend of mine. I called her up and asked for some suggestions. She immediately said, "charcuterie!" "Charcuterie, what's that?," I asked. She explained that it was a spread of deli meats, cheese, crackers, hummus, a variety of breads, fruit, fresh veggies, olives, nuts, dips, deviled eggs, and specialty jellies. That sounded doable to me and quite versatile. It would be easy to transport; there was enough variety to satisfy everyone; and the cost would be considerably lower than ordering in 100 plates of food. We added small desserts and a cold & hot coffee bar to complete our evening of yummy goodness!
The engagement party was a hit! And 8 months later when my 2nd daughter planned her wedding she asked that we duplicate the charcuterie spread for her reception. Years later we received compliments on that very uncommon dinner. Apparently no one expected to be filled with finger foods only!
I have continued this tradition in my own home, pulling out multiple charcuterie boards and filling them with my family's favorites in between our Christmas breakfast and our Christmas dinner. And now that I have 2 vegan children in the family we have found that charcuterie also works for them. There are of course already included, all fresh fruit, veggies, and nuts. But now many stores offer vegan cheese which is a treat to add for them.
I have seen this trend emerging more and more at wedding receptions. In fact, I've had the pleasure of meeting 2 different vendors who specialize in charcuterie presentation. Recently I worked with Star Graze Boards who created a long thin line of rolled meats, cheese, decoratively sliced fruit, olives, breads, honey, crackers, vegetables, and nuts, down the middle of the table. On either side of this charcuterie line was our elegant place settings including our largest wine glasses. (Did I mention how wonderful a glass of wine is with this?) With this set up, each table of 6 had their own personal charcuterie spread.
It was a masterpiece of all of these individual items becoming one.
Whether you are planning a small gathering of friends, or a large wedding party, charcuterie is the way to go! It's a feast for the eye and a delight to your pallet. Your guests will be thrilled.
Let us know if we can help! We have a variety of table settings and decor to help you DIY this yourself. But if you need a little extra guidance, we'd be more than happy helping you style your tables. And as I've already mentioned, we can recommend some vendors who create these tables daily. I guarantee this will be a hit for your event!
(A special thank you to Elysian Bloom photography & Star Grazer Boards)