Wedding Food/Cake Tasting & Table Settings!

Hello friends!

The whirlwind week of wedding planning/apartment hunting in DC (aka spring break) continues! Yesterday, Matt, his mom, my mom, and I spent the day doing wedding stuff. We had a meeting with the wedding planner from our site, who had organized a busy day for us — nice and efficient, just how I like it. Here’s what we did:

  • A tasting with the caterer (including reception food, appetizers, and rehearsal dinner food)
  • A tasting with the baker (CAKE!)
  • A review of 3 different possible table setting options from the florist our site works with, based on what we’d discussed
  • And while we tasted food, we discussed a billion other details. It was quite the day!

First up when we arrived was checking out the beautiful table settings they had arranged for us. Matt and I are going for a sort of rustic romantic sort of theme — not too fancy or fussy, and we didn’t want big flower centerpieces (too $$) — we had talked before about doing something romantic and earthy with a lot of candles, water, petals, etc.


This one was my absolute favorite — I loved it! Exactly what we were going for. They used a sort of gel to suspend the flowers in the glasses — isn’t that cool? Loved the candles and multi-level look, too.


Next up was this one which was a bit too traditional for our taste, but still lovely.



However — this is the type of look I want for the bridal bouquets! Fun, loose, colorful.


And lastly was another cool multi-level candle display:


We liked this one a lot too, but decided to go for circular glass instead of square so it matched the first one better. We’re going to do two different table settings because the team said it would be more visually appealing — sounds good to me! So we went with the first one (which is pretty tall), and this one, which is much lower. We’re going to do more colorful flowers inside the glasses instead of the ones coming out the top, too. I think it should be a fun comparison!


Next up was the food!

When Matt and I had our meeting with the caterer (that comes with our site) a few months ago, I surprised them by knowing exactly what I wanted — we planned a pretty awesome menu, so yesterday we were just tasting the specific things that we decided we wanted. The main goal, given that I’m going to be a Registered Dietitian and all, was delicious food, but also healthy-ish food — no cream sauces or fried food here! :) I also wanted food that would be creative and fresh and with a fall harvest theme, since we’d getting married in October.

First, we tasted the appetizers we’ll have passed around during our cocktail hour. Bacon wrapped scallops and Caribbean shrimp — both amazing:


We’ll also have some fun fresh Thai summer rolls, since Matt and I love them — first, one with shrimp and pork:


And a vegan one with veggies (we decided to add tofu to this to make it more fun):


For the reception, we’ll be having a plated seated salad, followed by a buffet for the actual dinner. Here’s our salad — mixed greens, carrots, cherry tomatoes, candied walnuts, and herbed goat cheese. We decided to do little dressing boats on the table instead of adding the dressing, so people can use however much they like, and the cheese is on the side so it can be avoided if necessary.


On the buffet, we’ll be having roasted herb chicken (this was AMAZING — super juicy) and a London Broil carving station:


A Spanish style tofu dish (vegan — and AMAZING) — with white beans, mushrooms, red pepper, lemon zest, oregano, smoked sweet paprika and sherry vinegar:


They served it with this yummy garlic herb bread — great combination:


We also tasted a vegan coconut curry tofu dish as an option, but decided on the tofu/bean dish — so good.

There will also be a quinoa dish (also vegan, so everyone can enjoy it) with dried cranberries, etc.:


And all sorts of veggies:


Roasted green beans, asparagus, potatoes, and butternut squash. All exactly how we hoped it would be — the veggies were crisp and not overcooked, and the potatoes and squash were great, too.

SO excited to eat all of this again at the wedding! I think we have a great mix of options, and I love that it’s a buffet so everyone can get exactly what they want!

Next, we tasted a couple items for the rehearsal dinner. We’re using the same caterer and we’re going to have a casual and fun BBQ with lawn games as a nod to North Carolina. :) We didn’t taste everything for the rehearsal (more just talked about other ideas/refined the menu since Matt’s mom was with us to give input), but we tried these pulled pork sliders:


They were delicious — and on whole wheat buns, too. :)

We also tasted some slaw options — we’re going to go for one of these and them maybe a red cabbage vinaigrette slaw.


There’s also talk of having collard greens, sweet potato wedges, chicken/veggie/fruit grilled kabobs, and veggie burgers for vegetarians/vegans. For dessert, pie and ice cream. :) And we’re bringing our own alcohol to save money and so that we can do some fun Pittsburgh beer and local VA wine. I’m so excited!

Last but not least was the cake!


The baker our site recommended brought a number of choices for us to sample.


I was into the lemon options, so I tried the regular lemon and the lemon raspberry.


Loved the lemon raspberry! We’re doing one cake (no grooms cake), but the baker said we could have two different flavors in it, so we decided to go for lemon raspberry as one and a Frangelico for the other flavor (also a white cake, just with Frangelico/chocolate filling), to mix things up.


Whew! We had quite the day, as you can tell. Lots of progress made!

Today’s adventure is to start looking at apartments here in DC since we’ll be moving back in early May. I loathe apartment hunting — so stressful. Especially when we currently have a massive and cheap 2 bedroom 2 bathroom in Chapel Hill — it’s looking like we’ll be downsizing to a 1 bedroom 1 bathroom for double the price here. :( Fail. Why must this area be so expensive?!

Wish us luck!


  1. 1

    Um white velvet?!?! That looks amazing!!

    Good luck with apartment hunting!! We ended up with a studio in DC which is almost like a one bedroom. The only difference is there is a 5 inch crack at the top of our bedroom wall (into the living area) and our “bedroom” has french doors. The best part is we saved over $300 a month compaired to the one bedroom in our building that only has as extra 150 sq feet.

  2. 2

    Everything looks so elegant and classy!

  3. 3

    I feel your pain on the DC apartment hunting! Do you have particular neighborhoods in mind? I LOVE my current building in upper NW (newly renovated, gym, laundry on every floor, parking garage, easy walk to Metro). Shoot me an email if you’re interested in details!

  4. 4

    Just wondering if you guys have to move back or if you just want to? My husband lived in NC for awhile when we were dating and we recently moved to the DC area — and whew down the road we’d like to be back in NC again!

    • 5

      It just makes sense for us to move back right now – Matt’s job is up here, there will be better job prospects for me here, etc. We’ve talked about moving back to NC in the future, though!

  5. 6

    I feel your pain on the apartment hunting! When I was applying for grad school I was choosing between Wake Forest and George Washington. I have to admit that the cost of living helped sway my decision ;). Your food and samples look amazing!! Lucky wedding go-ers!! Hope you’re having a great time planning!

  6. 7

    Is it sad that food/cake tasting it something I’m looking most forward to doing while planning my wedding? It looks so fun! I love that you have so many veg options. :)

  7. 9
    Suzanne C. says:

    Not sure where you are looking, but my fiance lives in a decently priced ($1500 per month) two bedroom apartment in Ballston in Arlington. It is definitely a great find! Email me if you want more info!

  8. 12

    So fun! And don’t you love DC prices :) I lived in a roach infested apartment by my school (where pretty much all students lived) and it was ridiculously priced!

  9. 14
    Jen Robinson says:

    I love your optimism that you’ll get to enjoy the food at your reception… heehee. well for your sake i hope you do get to eat it again because it all looks tasty- the veg options look AMAZING so thank you for looking out for us non-carnivores :) SO excited. good luck with the apt hunt!! stick the near the redline so i can come visit easier!

    • 15

      Oh there’s no way I’m NOT eating this delicious stuff again! We get to hit the buffet first and will eat before doing table rounds. :) And you will LOVE the tofu/bean dish!

  10. 16


  11. 17

    So exciting :D Its going so be sooo amazing! Good luck with the apt hunt — Heidi just finished one and I was flabbergasted by how much places are going for around DC. But hopefully you’ll find one easily with little fuss and can get to the fun part of envisioning your new space.

    We’ll miss you down here in NC! I’d love to see you at least once more before you head up north for good!

  12. 19

    Hi Anne,

    Congrats on your wedding. I am so excited for you and your soon-to-be hubbie :)

    I have a random question related to restaurants in DC. I will be running the National Half Marathon on the 17th and am wondering if you have any suggestions for post-run fare! I’m a vegetarian, and my kid brother will be coming along, so the restaurant would ideally be veggie/kid-friendly. I’ve been trying to scope out some places near the finish line, which is as you know, near the Armory, but can’t really find any. So, I am wondering if you, as a National Half-Marathon finisher yourself, have any restaurant suggestions, and easy directions on how to get to the restaurants (public transportation, car, etc). I’m not sure how traffic/public transportation will be after the half-marathon, so I’m a little worried about driving and taking the metro.


    • 20

      If you check out my FAQ page I have a bunch of DC restaurant recs, including some vegan/veg. I think your best bet could probably be Java Green – it’s casual, kid friendly, vegetarian, and easy to get to via metro – just take the Orange or Blue Line and get off at Farrugut West. The metro will probably be packed but driving would be even more complicated. Good luck with the race!

  13. 21

    So many decisions! It’s hard to plan a wedding with all those dietary restrictions! I feel bad when I go places because I’m afraid people go to too much trouble for me, I can’t have gluten, soy, white sugar or pasteurized milk! Haha thank goodness I’m not also vegetarian or vegan!

  14. 22

    Looks amazing!! I love the candles and flowers suspended in water/gel, that is going to be so cool!!!

  15. 23
    Pat Elsberry says:

    Anne, I so loved reading your post today!! Thanks for taking us all along on your journey!! I loved the centerpieces you selected!! Simple elegance is my middle name! :) And, the food – OMG!!! A host of deliciousness (is that a word?! LOL). As it should be, it will be one of the most memorable days of your life and hopefully after the actual ceremony, a bit relaxed and just F-U-N!! Thinking of you both and the apartment hunting!!! As you know, my son lives in DC (and I came to both you and your Mom for suggestions). Even coming from Boston, DC is ridiculous! He ended up on the upper NW area and although a very nice apartment building – a 1 bdrm /1 ba with fitness center etc., balcony is $1750!! After 2 yrs at this location he’s looking for another place in May also so please let me know if you find anything out there worth checking into. Enjoy the rest of your break!

  16. 25

    OMG SALIVATING!!! everything looks incredibly delicious :D :D

  17. 26

    Oh god that all looks and sounds incredible! Love the fact that you’re including vegan options on the menu for the day…even the veggies look so inviting!

  18. 28

    Love the centerpieces! We also did submerged flowers (DIY with silk flowers actually!). I posted the pics at

    Wedding planning is such a whirlwind–but an amazing, wonderful time, before that amazing wonderful time when you’re finally married!

    PS–just voted for you at Fitness magazines blog awards!!

  19. 30

    I love the flowers in the gel.. it looks very earthy while romantic. Your menu sounds amazing…. I think bad food drops a wedding down a bit.. it’s a celebration! Good food is mandatory!! I like that there’s healthy food, so that your guests have the energy to dance instead of crashing :)

  20. 32

    I love the square vases with the callo lillies!

  21. 33
    Adventurer says:

    Wow, looks awesome. That clearly will be a great wedding and reception. Congrats again! And good luck hunting for that 1BR, 1Bath place in DC. Tough finding something affordable, but bet you can do it! Look fwd to hearing about it!

  22. 34

    Ah, the menu looks and sounds awesome! Sadly, I don’t remember a single food item at my wedding but I didn’t hear any complaints so I’m sure it was good. Glad things are moving along for you.

  23. 35

    This was the perfect post to read just before dinner… made me so hungry!!! Also, I love the rehearsal dinner BBQ idea… so casual and laid back… just what you’ll need before your Big Day! :)

  24. 36

    Anne, I loved your post and that food looks Oh my, wonderful. You have to remember that a lot of people are highly allergic to shrimp but surely they will be able to tell. I’m not allergic to anything. The center pieces are magnificent. Are there any apartments on the outskirts of DC as Va,Md that would be cheaper. Anne, we have a woman’s magazine in Fayette County, Georgia that notices women in the area. This month’s issue was about wedding tips. After reading the article I noticed that you and Matt have done just about everyone of them. I can’t wait till the wedding. Hey, this is March already, so it Oct. will be here before you know it.

  25. 37

    i love all the table setting. For my wedding, I didn floating candle in square tall glasses just like the ones in your picture, with my favorite flower, orchids.. It was very pretty and elegant!! :D all the food and summer roll look so yummy!!!

  26. 39

    Ahhhh all that food sampling / cake-picking sounds like a dream! Can’t wait for the wedding :)

  27. 40

    We were living at The Wellington on Columbia Pike in Arlington and were really happy with it. I think we were paying about $1,600/month for a HUGE 2 bedroom apartment, after utilities? (The kitchen was tiny though, but the rooms and living area were huge.) They also had a small gym and a outdoor lap pool, which came really handy in the summer. One mile from the Pentagon and metro, 1 mile from the entrance to the trail by the Pentagon, free shuttle to/from metro during rush hour but the bus stop was right in front of the buildings too, 5 minute drive to Crystal/Pentagon City (where we used to park for free to hop on the metro on nights/weekends).

  28. 41

    Your vegan food options look DELICIOUS!

  29. 42

    Your food looks delicious! My husband and I had a huge buffet set up and the food was phenomenal. We also got married in October and for our cake we had apricot spice as the small cake we cut into, and then chocolate mousse with fresh raspberries for the sheet cake. Delicious! :-)

  30. 43

    Anne – I had to comment on the Pittsburgh beer…please tell me it’s Iron City or I.C. Light! Haha, very classy! I love it!

  31. 44

    All of the food looks so yummy! I’ll be watching for my invitation in the mail. ;-)

    Seriously, your guests are going to enjoy all the wonderful options!

  32. 45

    My boyfriend and I (who aren’t even engaged yet) spent our entire dinner last night discussing the foods and cake that will be at our wedding. Is it pathetic that we’re already excited for that part of the planning? Because I’m kind of ok with it! Looks like you guys are off to a great start!

  33. 47

    SUCH FUN! I loved my catering tasting. And did you know I did EIGHT cake tastings? Just because I could – had to fine the best around!


  1. […] fall inspired, with nuts and dried cranberries. They said they would see what they could do, and at our wedding food tasting back in March we got our first taste of what they had come up with for […]

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