Written By:: Hayley Gustavson

Photos By :: Heatherly Photography

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Summertime is one of the most iconic seasons to have a wedding. It truly allows for the most flexibility when planning and lends itself to countless options for any budget. The abundant supply of fresh ingredients provides endless inspiration to create the perfect menu for a wedding.

When creating a summer wedding menu, it is best to choose food that matches the season. The menu should add to the feeling and theme of the wedding and most importantly, it should reflect your taste as a couple. After all, a wedding is

a celebration of the union between you two so it should also be a union of flavours and ingredients that you love.

It can be easy to get caught up in what your guests may want but don’t worry too much about them. The best way to personalize your wedding food is to pick what you love! You could include a mini version of your favorite comfort food as part of the cocktail reception or a perhaps a variation of your favorite dish at a restaurant. Your guests will be certain to appreciate the personal touches.

Here are a few ways to make your wedding and the events surrounding it light and fresh for summer:

Cocktails & Canapes

A stand up cocktail party is a great way to add variation to any wedding event. Small morsels of delicious ingredients allow for a plethora of flavours to be sampled. Pair these tiny tastes with a signature cocktail and the combination is dynamite! This style can work for an informal rehearsal dinner or welcoming party for out-of-towners. Some couples may even be so bold as to  try this instead of a sit down reception, a great way to cut down on costs while still enjoying high quality ingredients!

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Tips & Tricks

Always make sure there is enough food to go around. Nothing is worse than leaving guests feeling hungry and unsatisfied, especially when alcohol is involved!  Keep the party going by getting your caterer to estimate how much food you will need. For a pre dinner cocktail party 4-6 pieces per guest is recommended and if you are replacing dinner with canapés then 10-12 pieces per person is a safe bet. It’s always nice to include a charcuterie board loaded with local preserves, cured meats and a variety of Okanagan cheeses. This way guests can graze while  they wait for more waves of passed appetizers.

Try to be realistic and pick menu items that are in season, the fresher the ingredients the better the food will taste. Your caterer will thank you for this and so will your budget!

Provide a selection of hot and cold hors d’oeuvres. This is a nice way to have a bit of everything (vegetarian, seafood and meat selections). Pick your favorites and then round out your menu with items that please a crowd. When deciding on a menu, don’t be afraid to ask your caterer for samples. That’s the sure way you will know exactly what to expect on your special day.

Signature Cocktails

This is one of the easiest ways to add some personalized flair to your wedding reception. A “HIS” and “HERS” signature cocktail will showcase your personal taste and give guests a glimpse into your relationship.

The cocktails themselves are also a great opportunity to use fresh summer flavours. Try adding lavender infused syrup and Meyer lemon in your signature Lemon Drop. Garnish your Moscow Mule with a sprig of edible lavender or maybe some fresh mint and lime. The best part about having a signature summer drink is that it keeps people satisfied during the cocktail reception. It will quench their thirst and keep them from dipping into the bar too much before dinner!

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Freshen Up Your  Table Setting

This is a great way to have some fun and add a little whimsy to your fairytale event. Some of the greatest decorations for your wedding can be food! Try thinking of a fruit that compliments your decor and use that to add some additional summer touches.

A variety of citrus fruits such as lemons, limes and oranges can add a simple pop of colour to your table setting. They can even double as place card holders or centerpieces. Imagine how lovely it would be to have your guests’ senses enlightened with the fresh scent of citrus!   

Switch up the typical basket of bread for the aroma of a freshly baked individual baguettes, wrapped and twine tied at each place setting.

Incorporating the best of the season’s fresh ingredients in the décor of your wedding is a simple yet elegant way to embrace summer.

Watermelon &  Feta Lollipops

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What you’ll need:

ONE SEEDLESS WATERMELON

SOLID FETA CHEESE

FRESH MINT OR BASIL

AGED BALSAMIC REDUCTION

EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

SALT AND PEPPER

Directions:

Cut off the rind of the watermelon and discard. Cut watermelon into inch by inch cubes.

Drain feta and cube to match watermelon pieces.

Layer multiple leaves of either basil or mint together and roll lengthwise. Cut in thin strips (Try basil for a more peppery flavour or mint for a fresher twist). Stack the feta pieces on top of the watermelon and sprinkle with the fresh cut herbs and a touch of salt and pepper.

Finally, drizzle with the balsamic reduction and a bit of olive oil.

Serve cold in appetizer spoons or with a small skewer for a burst of freshness on a warm summers day!

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