Everyone is looking for ways to wow their guests at their wedding, so we have come up with a few fun ideas that may add an element of fun and surprise to your day! Have a special surprise you are planning? Share it with us!
Who doesn't like fireworks?!? Fireworks are a great way to end a very special day and it is always a great element of surprise. The tricky thing about fireworks on Cape Cod is the time of year and location, not to mention the cost. We typically work with Atlas, based in NH, and they can set off displays from barges or the beach depending on the requirements of the town.
Everyone also loves delicious and fun food! Why not surprise your guests with a sneaky treat during the wedding? We have seen ice cream trucks drive up at the end of the wedding while guests are leaving - Choco Taco anyone? - and Ben and Jerry's come with an ice cream sundae bar. Yum!
Want to keep the fun during the wedding? Rent a cotton candy machine or snow cone maker for your guests to enjoy - just check with your caterer or venue first to make sure they can man it for you!
Late night snacks for the dance floor are always a hit - but have fun with it! Change it up with donuts, mini milk shakes and cookies, mini ice cream cones or go savory with cones of fries, tater tots or mini lobster rolls! Your guests will thank you!
Beverages are also a fun way to add an element of surprise to your day! At cocktail hour, consider a specialty bar where guests can make their own version of your favorite alcohol - think prosecco bar, gin bar or whiskey bar. If you love beer, feature a beer bar of local favorites - we have so many great breweries on Cape Cod! Or after dinner, open up a coffee bar where guests can add in their favorite liquor.
Once the dance floor opens there are great ways to surprise your guests with more fun! If you or your groom love cigars, consider hiring a cigar roller to come to the event and roll fresh cigars for everyone to enjoy or take home. After kicking off the next big step in your future, think about a twist and feature a tarot card reader for your guests to see what their future may have in store!
For your after party, think of fun ways to surprise your guests with pops of WOW like a light up dance floor, gambling tables or karaoke! Think of ways to make your after party a totally different feel than the wedding so walking into the space will be like they just entered a whole new party.
There are so many other new and fun ideas of ways to surprise your guests, just think outside the box and bring in elements that you may not have even considered for your wedding day!
You have found the venue, you have found the dress. All of the details are coming together, but now you have to figure out what the heck to feed your guests! From a laid back BBQ to a 4 course lobster dinner, here are some things to consider when choosing your Cape Cod wedding menu.
First things first. If you are going to be serving alcohol, there has to be food served with it. So depending on the length of your cocktail hour - anywhere from 30-90 minutes - be sure that you have some sort of food available for your guests to enjoy while sipping on a cocktail. If you are trying to mind your budget, why not just go with simple cheese and crudite displays. You can skip the passed hors d’oeuvres. If you want to provide more than just cheese and vegetables, you can also consider doing a raw bar or an action station where the chef prepares something fun for your guests - like the Chowder Station from The Casual Gourmet. If you want to have food passed, we recommend that you choose at least 5-6 different hors d’oeuvres and you can count on one of each kind per person. It is always a good idea to feature meat, seafood and vegetarian options. Some Cape Cod favorites are scallops wrapped in bacon, mini lobster rolls and shrimp cocktail.
“If you and your fiance are true foodies for whom each meal is an adventure, but your family are very simple eaters, choose some exotic hors d’oeuvres and a more mainstream entree for dinner," says Olive Chase, President of The Casual Gourmet.
Station Style Dinner
Station styled dinners have become quite popular and are just a bit different than your typical buffet style dinner. Station style dinners are set-up around your reception space with different selections like a salad station, a carving station and a pasta station where chefs are usually right there preparing the food for your guests as they come up to the table. Some couples use stations as a way to turn their reception into more of a cocktail party, instead of a sitdown dinner.
A buffet styled dinner is just as you remember it - one or two long tables set-up where guests are called up table by table to serve themselves. Some couples think that buffet style dinners can be more affordable, but depending on your venue or caterer, they can sometimes be more costly due to the fact that they have to factor in for guests who take more than their share, or want seconds. So save time, it can be nice to start the meal with a served or pre-set salad so that guests do not have to get their salad at the buffet along with their dinner.
Plated meals are the most popular of choices for weddings. I highly recommend going with a three course meal - salad, entree and wedding cake. The appetizer course always seems like a waste to me, especially seeing that your guests just came off of a heavy cocktail hour and because it adds more time to the service of the food. I also recommend avoiding giving your guests a choice of a meal - like beef or fish. Why not offer a duet entree of beef and fish and if there are guests that do not like beef or fish, they can request to have just one or the other. And don’t worry - all venues and caterers will be prepared for any vegetarians and allergies, as long as you provide them with the count ahead of time.
Ask Your Caterer!
"Make your caterer your friend! Ask what their specialties are and how they will be preparing your food at the site you have chosen. Will they cook on-site even if the venue has no kitchen or bring in food already prepared? Make sure they are receptive to your food tastes and are able to produce the meal you have in mind," said Olive. If you don’t know, do not be afraid to ask! This is most likely the first and last wedding you will ever have, so be open about what you like and do not like!
Not every couple needs a caterer, but if you are having your wedding at a private home, under a tent, or at a location that does not provide the food, be sure to read on. The Cape has many fabulous caterers from Falmouth to Provincetown, but the question is - which one do you choose and why!
Reviews and Recommendations
When it comes to the food and service for your wedding, you are going to want to hear about each company through the voices of those couples that have used them in the past. Look for testimonials on the company’s website, on weddingwire.com and on theknot.com. Ask the company for references and reach out to past couples who have used them to get answers from a live person. Word of mouth is the best way to gather information about your prospective caterer, or any wedding vendor for that matter!
Most all caterers offer tastings, be sure you have one before you decide! I would recommend narrowing it down to 2-3 caterers based on your research and then plan to have tastings at your top choices. Most caterers charge a fee for tastings, around $30-$70 per person tasting, but if you book, that cost goes towards your deposit. Well worth it to be sure you are getting the type of food you want at your wedding!
Cost is a big factor when dealing with any vendor of course, but when dealing with your caterer it is going to come down to a couple of different things. What type of food do you want to serve? Do you want a buffet/station dinner or a plated reception? Do you want a raw bar or only passed hors d’oeuvres? Do you want the caterer to use only local ingredients? So many choices, but each one will affect the cost of your menu. For cocktail hour, I usually recommend that you have 4-5 passed hors d’oevures (1 piece per person) and at least 2 stationary items. If you are doing a buffet dinner, be sure to offer a beef and/or chicken, seafood (because we are on Cape Cod!) and vegetarian option as well as a starch and vegetable. You could do a salad on the buffet as well or do that preset. If you are doing a seated dinner, I recommend sticking to 3 courses, salad or soup, entree and cake. Remember that your guests just ate for an hour during cocktails!
Familiar with your wedding site
When researching your caterer, ask if they have done weddings at your location before. If it is a private home and this is the first event taking place there, then invite them to come and see the space. This way they can get an idea as to where they would want to prepare the food, where their staff will park and the best flow of the event for you. You want to be sure that they feel confident with the location and all of the moving pieces that come with having an at home event.
Plan. Relax. Enjoy.
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