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These are the times of personalization in wedding world, a time where brides and grooms never cease to amaze me with ways of incorporating their names, favorite memories, colors and just about anything else into their special days. A growing trend is incorporating your culinary heritage (and favorites) into the food you serve at your reception. This could include everything from just the hors d’ourves to an entire sit down dinner. This infuses a punch of personality to what could be a boring or run-of-the-mill menu.

A unique way of incorporating this trend into your reception could also be highlighting the culinary heritage of the city you met or where you’re from. Some chili from Cincinnati please? A pizza bar full of deep-dish pizza from Chicago? Yum! We’ve collected some inspiration to get you started on highlighting your locales yummiest traditions!

There are numerous places in the Mid-west known for their scrumptious BBQ, say Kansas City? These hors d’ourves look like a great way to incorporate them into your reception.
kansas-city-bbq-wedding-food Rebecca of Birds of a Feather via SMP | Steve Steinhardt Photography via SMP

What about those award winning pies at state fair’s throughout the region? Here’s a great way to incorporate them in!

Harwell Photography via SMP | Heather Kincaid via SMP

asian-inspired-wedding-menu First Comes Love Photo via SMP | Christian Oth Studios via SMP

And don’t skimp on the beverages! This lovely little concoction of margaritas in mini Patron bottles.
culturally-inspired-wedding-cocktails Braedon Photography via SMP | onelove photography via SMP

What would you want to use as inspiration for you and your guests’ palletes? The city you met in college? Your cultural heritage?

This is probably my most favorite and least favorite post in quite some time. Why? Well, the heart and soul of this post is all about food. Writing this post was like researching Pinterest for recipes – everything looks so delicious, but then you want to eat. it. all.

Kelly Dillon Photography via SMP | Beaux Arts Photographie via Santa Barbara Chic | Perez Photography via SMP

It’s no secret that a true foodie wouldn’t skimp on the food for their nuptials. But, that doesn’t mean you, as a “non-foodie” should skimp on food. Let’s be honest, if the food at your reception is bad, guests will remember. So, as you plan your menu and work with your caterer, remember that food is part of the overall experience – just like your gown, the flowers, and the venue.

So, how do you make your menu memorable? It’s easier than you think:

Helene DuJardin via Inspired By This | Heather Roth Fine Art Photography via SMP

Think seasonally.
When produce is in season, it’s fresher and more full of flavor. Not to mention, choosing in-season foods means your food bill could be lower.

Elizabeth Messina via Kiss the Groom | The Schultzes via Southern Weddings | Forte Catering & Events via Polka Dot Bride

Lean on your caterers + chefs.
Much like a florist would love for you to give them full creative reign, a chef would to. Use them as a resource to help create a menu that is seasonally inspired, unique and memorable.

Tapenade via Bridal Musings | The Nichols via Southern Weddings | Justin Marantz via SMP

It’s easy to get wrapped up in “this all tastes good so let’s just go with it” mentality. But, you want to ensure that everything from the appetizers to the salad to the entree pair well together. Think if it much in the same way a sommelier would plan a meal around a bottle of wine – you want everything to cohesively work and taste great.

Jackie Wonders via Inspired By This | Cameron Ingalls via Inspired By This

Taste test.
This one should be a given, but make sure you TASTE your proposed menu. Not only is it an opportunity to try everything before the big day, but it also gives you an opportunity to tweak the meal. From the sauce, to the vegetables or main entree. Plus, most caterers allow at least one complementary tasting when you work with them.

How important was food on your big day?

I love details that are functional as well as beautiful. These escort card beverages are practical in several ways: they serve as a welcome drink upon entrance to the reception, they obviously serve as escort cards, they help people to keep track of their drinks, and in some cases they can serve as favors. The drink containers themselves can be etched or printed with names and table numbers, the beverages can be tied with escort tags or contain drink stirrers with table numbers, or regular or chalkboard labels can be applied to to the containers.

Top Left: Creative Media Print; Top Right: Aneta Mak via Martha Stewart Weddings; Bottom: Mika 78 via 100 Layer Cake

Top: Scarlet Petal; Bottom Left: Matt Johnson via SMP; Bottom Middle: Lane Ditto, Joyful Weddings and Events via SMP; Bottom Right: Yunhee Kim Photography via Martha Stewart Weddings

Don’t forget the adorable candy-striped straws!

Love, love, love this reception set-up.

rustic-barn-wedding-reception-hanging-lights-fabric-bunting-red-white-pink-wedding-3 Elizabeth Messina via The Sweetest Occasion

Not only does this reception have a great atmosphere thanks to those lovely hanging candles, but the room is filled with chiavari chairs.  Anyone else out there love these chairs as much as I do?

I recently found this post on Style Me Pretty about a week ago and wanted to share.  I’m not one for tradition or going over board on design elements, so I immediately fell in love with the classic simplicity of the decor at this wedding.  Plus, the fact that they used virtually all white and candlelight just really makes the loft space come alive.  Enjoy!

It’s good to note that most of the design elements used by the bride and groom can be easily recreated yourself (woot!).  The table numbers can be printed at home and placed on cardstock.  For the centerpieces, you would just need to find some tall vases and floating candles.  And the candles along the aisle for their ceremony?  That’s an easy one.  Just stop by your local Hobby Lobby or Michael’s to buy large hurricane vases and pillar candles.

All photographs courtesy of Heather Waraska via Style Me Pretty.

The space just really comes to life, which I love. And, all it took was some simple modern decor.

Are you planning your Denver wedding or know of anyone planning a wedding in Denver? Here is some great news!

The Oxford Hotel, in downtown Denver, which is a lovely boutique hotel, is now waiving their room rental/site fee for all brides and grooms.

The Oxford Hotel

Be sure to give the hotel a call and let them know you found out about their special offer on Wedding Wire via the Landlocked Bride!

Gotta love a good deal!

I hope my paper lanterns glow this much (see bottom image).


I have a new blog to add to my list of favorites.

the head of the table

She’s a local gal, featuring fantastic entertaining ideas (which the Landlocked Bride is a huge fan of).  Plus, you can get some great wedding centerpiece and candy buffet ideas, like this one.

Grace Ormonde via head of the table

And, this one.

Colin Cowie via head of the table

Plus, she rents out some great table and dinnerware for your entertaining purposes!

As much as I love a cute escort card table, I also love the idea of a seating chart for your wedding guests, like this one featured recently on 100 Layer Cake.

100 Layer Cake

There have been a lot of creative ideas featured recently on a lot of wedding blogs out there, with different variations.  This particular one would probably work best with a smaller guest list, so not everyone was crowding around it.  BUT, I guess at that point it doesn’t matter, seeing as you would have guests crowding around a table to find their name on a card.

Anyhoo, I think this is a fun and alternative way to show your guests where they will be seated, and this way you don’t have to print out a ton of little table-tended cards!

How will you be seating your guests?  Or can your guests choose their table?

Who doesn’t love a little creativity?

If you’re looking for a creative way to incorporate menus into your place settings, try this idea.


The menu card is wrapped around the napkin, with the silverware tucked into the “pocket.”  It’s a cute idea, and definitely fits well with that striped feel the bride and groom were looking for.

There are so many unique ways to place the menu at the tables, from putting one at each place setting to using a chalkboard on each table.

Rowan’s Room

The chalkboard is great for school-themed or outdoor wedding.  It has great lines and pulls in a bit of nostalgia.

We have yet to decide what we plan on doing about menu cards, but we have a few ideas (which we will gladly share, once we actually get around to crafting them).

Are you going to use menus on your tables or another idea to display what’s for dinner?