The Best Part About Wedding Planning

Hands down, the best part about wedding planning was our tasting. It was the least stressful, most romantic thing ever. From the very beginning of our engagement, having good food at our reception was a high priority. It was very important to us to find a venue that allowed us the option of bringing in whatever caterer we wanted. When we found Lovely, who not only let us bring in any caterer we wanted, but let us do pretty much anything we wanted, we thought we were the luckiest people on the planet.

When it came down to food, we decided we wanted our menu to reflect our tastes, and settled on French food pretty early on. We met with Lovely to discuss some early preliminaries and also discussed having them cater our wedding. We decided to do a tasting with them, figuring that if we hated it or it wasn't what we had in mind, we could choose another caterer. They designed a menu for us which would probably best be described as rustic French cuisine, with Alsatian-specific fare. When I was very young, I studied abroad in France, specifically in a tiny little town in the Vosges mountains. I am obsessed with Alsatian cuisine, and one of the things we realized early on in talking to Brooke, one of the owners of Lovely, was that she and the other owner, Gina, both loved this particular Alsatian specialty that not everyone has always heard of: tarte flambée. Cheesy as it may sound, I'm a big believer in signs, and the fact that she knew about this dish was a sign. This was the dish I made for A.P. the night we got engaged, and it's one of my favorite things in the world. I might even put it on a last meal list! Suffice it to say, we were sufficiently pumped for our tasting.

Back in January, on a cold day, we went to Lovely after they had closed and had, basically, a private dinner for two, complete with champagne, which Lovely provided! It was so awesome, and by the end, it was decided that they would cater our wedding. And apparently we made a good decision, because everyone has told us how good the food was.

They set up the table to somewhat mimic the way it would look at the event itself. We decided we would cover the tables in this brown craft paper, that we would stamp with the images of the two birds from the front of the RSVP cards. Since we thrifted all the dinner plates, Lovely had us bring in a few so that we could properly see how our dinner would be plated. So really the only thing missing was a centerpiece.

A.P. was ready to eat before we even got there. We both starved ourselves all day in anticipation of the night's big meal.

Lovely's version of tarte flambée was prepared on a puff pastry, but was just as delicious!

The salad they put on the menu was composed of mixed greens, apples, gruyere, and brioche croutons, topped with a mustard vinaigrette. A.P. is not a fan of veggies, but he downed this salad with gusto.

The napkins were going to be a mix of white and blue cloth napkins held together with clothespins. So cute!

The main course was Coq au Riesling, served in individual crocks. The coq au riesling had a combination of leeks, celery, carrots, potatoes, and the chicken. It was so yummy...and hot! The glazed carrots plated here with the crock was the side dish we ended up picking, though they offered us several options.

They plated the main course on some of the thrifted china we had been collecting. It was nice to see how the dishes would look with the plated entree.

Finally, the meal concluded with dessert. Having a wedding in a bakery definitely puts some high expectations on the desserts, but Lovely exceeded our expectations with their spread. It included mini apple pies, mini peanut butter fluff pies with a meringue top, coconut macaroons, and vanilla macarons with a chocolate ganache filling.

They also brought us a plate of various cupcakes, including carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, red velvet, chocolate filled with raspberry and topped with chocolate buttercream, vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream, chocolate with vanilla buttercream, and my personal favorite, lemon cupcakes filled with lemon curd, and topped with a lemon buttercream. So yummy!

By the end, A.P. wasn't even sure that he could try a dessert, he was so full. We split a cupcake, had a cookie each, and called it a night. Lovely was kind enough to box the rest up for us.

All in all, it was one of the best moments of planning the wedding, and a night to remember. It also made us look forward to the wedding itself, and the slew of desserts we would have in our dessert buffet. Our final decision included: mini apple pies, mini peanut butter fluff pies, mini lemon meringue pies, the almond based macarons, and the coconut macaroons, vanilla/vanilla cupcakes, raspberry filled chocolate cupcakes, lemon curd filled lemon cupcakes, and the red velvet cupcakes. Plus, we had a small cake for cutting that we decided to make vanilla/vanilla. Too much, but sooooo good!!

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