November 2018

November 16, 2018

Photo: Kelly Benvenuto

If you’re looking to create a wedding menu that’s deliciously sophisticated and in vogue, plant-based is a hot food trend, according to New York restaurant consultancy group Baum + Whiteman.

In Somerville, Kristen Campbell, director of event sales and planning at Forklift Catering, confirms a shift here as well. “We are seeing more demand for vegetarian and vegan catering.”

Vegetarian Wedding Appetizer

Cole + Kiera

In Boston, Emma Roberts, the owner of Capers Catering, says, “I think you’re always going to have that stodgy New England person who is a meat-and-potato person, but I think that’s getting less and less prevalent, and more people are open to new things and creativity.”

Vegetarian Wedding Ravioli

Capers Catering

The huge popularity of plant-based dishes is definitely something to keep in mind as you’re working out your wedding menu. Whether you and your partner embrace this dietary choice yourselves or just want to include beautiful vegetable dishes alongside meat proteins, it’s an exciting era. Across New England today, savvy caterers and chefs are elevating plant-based cuisine to a whole new level of dazzle.

New Mindset

Do you want to get onboard with this trend? If the answer is yes, then the first thing to note is that there’s a whole new mindset emerging. We used to think of vegetarians and vegans as on the fringe, and catering was mostly geared towards covering the bases. As Campbell says, “For a long time it was, ‘That’s okay if that’s what you want to do, and we’ll make sure there’s something you can have. But you know, Mom wants to serve beef and it’s her wedding too.’”

Cauliflower Wedding Tacos

Kelly Benvenuto

Today, besides considering what guests and parents want, Campbell says more couples are crafting menus that reflect their preferences as well. “People have begun to include food as part of the personalization of their wedding.” The other big change is the food quality. Rather than adding a pallid vegetarian lasagne to your menu as an afterthought, Campbell says, plant-based dishes have become sophisticated, chef-driven fare.

Choosing a Caterer

Obviously, choosing the right caterer is pretty important here. Roberts advises looking for caterers who customize their menus versus those who offer set packages. “You really need people who are very interested in vegetables, interested in farm-to-table, interested in the cutting-edge...I think if you pick the right partner, then it’s easy to come up with something that’s fun and interesting.”

Capers Wedding Vegetarian Catering

Allegro Photography

How far you take the plant-based thing depends on you. While most weddings continue to include both plant- and meat-based dishes, it’s not uncommon today, says Campbell, to see all-vegetarian or all-vegan wedding menus. “We’ve found that with couples who are vegetarian or vegan, where both members are making that dietary choice, they tend to lean towards making the choice for the whole group.”

If you go meatless, buffets work really well versus plated meals, adds Campbell. “For couples who choose to do a fully vegetarian or vegan wedding, I find they’re leaning towards buffets because they want to offer guests those choices.”

Serving Suggestions

As for how to wow your guests with vegetables, legumes, and grains, you’ll want to have lots of discussions with your caterer. The caterers we talked to did, however, have some great guidelines. Campbell, for example, suggests designing your buffet to include both familiar dishes and some that invite guests to explore. “Both of the vegan weddings we did last year had some sort of pasta component, and I think that’s a really accessible vegan entree for people...But maybe also give them the opportunity to try something that they haven’t had before like lentils or curried cauliflower.”

Mushroom Wedding Toasts

Cole + Kiera

Interesting flavors also help woo a crowd, she adds. “People have a much more diverse palate than they used to, so things like samosas and Indian dishes lend themselves really easily to vegetarian flavors.” Finally, Campbell says opting for a late summer or early fall wedding, when there’s lots of gorgeous local produce, really helps you deliver pizzazz. “When you look at a beautiful tomato bar or peaches or beets or anything like that, you don’t think about missing that meat, because there’s so much amazing fresh food.”

And ultimately, whether there’s meat or not is really not the point. As Roberts says, “I think the goal is to try to make beautiful things so that people don’t even realize that they’re vegan, because they’re so good and so hearty and so filling and so pretty that no one is missing the meat!”

Written by: Connie Jeske Crane

November 2, 2018

Steven Gittelman and Elaine Trimarchi met in 1981 and became engaged in April 2015, when they were visiting property they had purchased in Connecticut the year before. Steve’s plan was to take Elaine for a walk to the far end of the lake and propose to her there. Unbeknownst to Steve, Elaine put her purse on the back seat, thinking she wouldn’t need it. Steve was a bit nervous, and when he shut the door of the truck, he realized immediately that he had locked the keys inside. Not wanting to spoil the moment, he took her on a romantic walk, and on bended knee, he asked his beloved for her hand. Then, with a smile, he asked her for her keys. She responded that they were safe in the truck. The property is in a very remote area, so they had a long wait before help arrived, but they managed to keep warm by building a fire.

The couple had always loved the barn at their Long Island home. It has a huge cupola and plenty of happy memories. Elaine was considering holding their nuptials there, but the deal was sealed when Steve’s younger daughter got engaged and wanted to be married at home. Since Elaine and Steve would have their wedding before hers, she made them promise that they would get married in the barn, and she would be the first to get married in the house. They planned for one year, non-stop. Elaine was in charge of taking care of the traditional wedding arrangements, and Steve was responsible for making sure the grounds and barn were up to snuff.

Not long after that, Steve retired and totally immersed himself in working on the wedding and all that it involved. “Each day felt as if I was building a huge love note to Elaine,” he said. He would be up at sunrise and back after dark. Elaine would meet him after work in the barn to see my progress. When he finally laid down the wood floor, Elaine walked in after a long day at work and her jaw dropped. They decided to have their first dance together on the floor they had built. Steve said that he knew then that they were going to make it. “My stroke and all the fear that had accompanied it just a few months before seemed very far away.”

Steve and Elaine were married on June 19, 2016, under a pergola decorated with flowers that Steve built just outside the barn. Usually used to store and repair equipment, the barn had a dirt floor, and the mixture of dust and grime made it impossible for any bride to comfortably appear in white. Many of the grimy plows and engine parts found new life on the walls of the barn. Even a piece of driftwood made an intriguing corner decoration. A beautiful touch was added with the twenty-six window frames, each with a half dozen or so panes, that were filled with photographs of everyone who was invited to the wedding. Each frame was softly highlighted by a battery driven LED light. A parent who had passed away was featured there, with angels placed next to the frame. The lake in Connecticut they both love so much appeared in a dozen or so happy pictures, and their new grandchild was there to look back at them through her baby eyes. It added a special dimension that seemed to make everyone feel at home.

Two highlights were the first dance and the first look. Steve was not expecting the first look to be so moving while he waited for Elaine in the garden. She came down and he burst into tears when he saw her. The photographer caught it all. The first dance was a waltz to “All of Me” by John Legend. Because Steve is not a natural dancer, they both took lessons on Friday nights, and on the night of the wedding it was like magic. They seemed to glide over the floor as if in a dream.

If you’re planning a wedding in your own barn, Steve and Elaine advise you to keep in mind that you’ll have plenty to do, so give yourself plenty of time. Unlike booking a wedding venue, when you’re envisioning an event in your own barn, you’ll probably want to change quite a bit. Life on a farm may seem romantic, but it leaves something be desired when it comes to having a formal party: The roof might leak, the floor may not be good for dancing, and all the equipment that was stored there has to go if you want to fit in all of those tables. Steve added encouragingly, “If you have a barn and you’re brave, go for it. You will never forget it. It takes quite a bit of effort, but it’s worth it; in fact, that’s the case with any good marriage.”

Photographer: Michael O’Neil Fine Arts Inc.

Read Our Current Issue

Stay Updated

Sign up to receive info about giveaways, upcoming Wedding Expos, and Issues of Bride & Groom!



Follow Bride & Groom Magazine

Site Sponsors

Show Sponsors