Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.
June! Weddings! There was a time when women got married in June so they could get pregnant in summer, have a baby in spring and thus be ready to go back out and work the fields for harvest in the fall.
Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.
June is back on top. After dropping to second place (after September) in 2011, it is once again the most popular month for weddings. What surprises me, though, is that it’s not the most popular month for bankruptcies, given the average cost of a wedding these days is about $28,000. Love conquers all, it seems, even one’s bank account.
But the fact that you’re blowing nearly thirty grand on your nuptials doesn’t mean that you have to spend the bulk of it on wine. In fact, there are some terrific wine values out there that will please even the most critical of guests. Possibly even your new mother-in-law, though that might be asking too much.
One approach to choosing wedding reception wines that will add some fun to the process is to do a casual taste-off with your spouse-to-be. Find three or four whites and three or four reds that you think are good possibilities, then open them all and taste them together—that way you’ll end up with choices that you both like. (Some venues require you to use wines on their list; ask them for some samples, or find the same bottles in a nearby store using a site such as wine-searcher.com.)
Also, keep in mind that you’re choosing wines for a very broad range of people, everyone from your best friend to your weird uncle Morton (or whomever). You yourself may love bizarre organic wines from Slovenia, but a wedding is one instance where you might want to head toward choices that are a touch more familiar. Here, for example, are a few great values that would be ideal wedding reception pours.
Dearly beloved, we are gathered in this post to celebrate the union of love and barbecue.
With the summer wedding season in full swing, love is in the air - and it is increasingly followed by the perfume of burning wood and smoking meat. Once confined to the South, more and more wedding rehearsal dinners and receptions across the country feature a barbecue-laden feast. Recently, as I was leaving his son's wedding, a Colorado barbecue man - by way of Opelousas, Louisiana - gave me a parting gift of some alligator meat to smoke.
When it came time for Sivan Pardo, 31, to plan her wedding to her 28-year-old fiancé Scott Renwick, she knew she wanted a “big fat vegan wedding.”
“As Scott and I are both vegans for ethical reasons, it was very clear to us that we wanted our wedding, and everything around it, to reflect our ethics and values,” said Pardo, the founder and director of “The Vegan Woman” website.
Pardo has been vegan for one year and a vegetarian since she was 12. There will be no animal-derived products served at her reception on June 1.
Four and a half years ago, my husband Douglas and I plighted our troth with infinitely less fanfare, but arguably as much ardor as the couple slated to take the royal plunge on Friday.
Little of our ceremony was traditional. I wore 64 yards of red tulle with black flames climbing up it and our Irish Wolfhound escorted me down the aisle. My groom had drawn heavily upon his theater tech and direction background to light, score and choreograph the proceedings - not to mention spending well over a decade converting the deconsecrated Episcopal church itself into our home.
The ceremony was highly reflective of who we are as individuals and as a united force - all the way down to the readings. One dear friend selected a Frank O'Hara poem, my father gave a speech on the importance of ethics in a marriage, a friend and sister shared passages from Jane Eyre and then one of the finest food writers in the country instructed us eat cheese together.
When we posted a recent lunchtime poll on open vs cash bars vs booze-free weddings, little did we know how shaken, stirred and generally muddled-up our readers would be on the subject.
Over 37,000 votes and 330 comments later, a tippling majority toppled the teetotalers, demanding a reasonable level of libation. Most maintain that if guests are going to the time and expense of attending nuptials, the least the happy couple can do is make sure they don't have to peck their way through the Chicken Dance stone cold sober.
It's been our experience that many people get mighty shirty if there's not an open bar at a wedding, and others don't mind ponying up for a brewski. Where do you stand? (Or sit. Gently now...gently...)
Rumors are flying fast and furious that former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton's wedding menu is to be exclusively vegan and gluten-free. While that's not actually true - Ms. Clinton herself has a gluten allergy and has been known to follow a vegan diet, but is making a range of options available to her guests - commenters at websites like Serious Eats are engaging in some debates on the subject.
So, we're asking: