How to Host a Food-Focused Wedding

How to Host a Food-Focused Wedding

Food & Drink

How to Host a Food-Focused Wedding


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Prince William and Kate Middleton may have had the “wedding of the century,” but that doesn’t mean others can’t pull off the fun, food and, yes, fantasy that says WEDDING. And, just as the royals put their individual stamp on their nuptials, anyone can do the same.

And, when you are a food fan, at some point even the wedding becomes about the food.

(Scroll down to view a music/montage video showcasing the wedding and, especially, the food.)

At The Food Channel, we got a chance to see behind the scenes of a destination wedding and thought we would bring you the tips and food ideas learned along the way.

In this wedding, the bride was a foodie and the groom a willing participant in the food fun. So, after the dress, the flowers, and the venue were chosen, it was definitely all about the food. And, since it was a destination wedding, there were a lot of meals to plan.

The family found a private venue on the island of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, and rented it for the weekend. The chef, on loan from a local restaurant, prepared a light breakfast and lunch for a come and go crowd, allowing them plenty of time to tour the island. Beyond that, the primary meals were:

  • Thursday night family dinner with the bride and groom and her parents. This was held at a local restaurant, The Black Dog.
  • Friday night family dinner with the bride and groom, their parents, siblings, grandparents. The bride’s family chose to make this a clambake—wisely held a short distance away from the sandy beach to make sure sand didn’t become the main course on the menu. They set up the wide veranda of one of the buildings with huge pots of New England clam chowder, large Maine lobsters, steamed clams and mussels, Red Bliss potatoes, corn on the cob, linguica sausage, fresh bread . . . and lots of butter for dipping.
  • Saturday night rehearsal dinner with the whole wedding party, hosted by the groom’s family at a beautiful local restaurant, Atria. At an outdoor tent they served drinks and passed savory appetizers, then went inside for a choice of chicken or steak dinner and lots of toasts.
  • Sunday night wedding reception. For this, the bride’s family chose to start with a lovely cheese torta and fruit selection that was available while guests were waiting for photos on the beach to be completed. The menu for the sit-down dinner then included:

Soup Course

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup (gluten free)

Main Course


Gorgonzola Whipped Potatoes (gluten free)

Green Beans



Cheesecake Bar (from Cakes by Liz)

Toppings: Praline, Chocolate, Raspberry


Iced tea


Hot Apple Cider


In addition, the bride chose to use a Martha’s Vineyard cookbook as her guest book, choosing one with plenty of white space for guests to leave notes and signatures.

Here are just a few of the things that had to be taken care of prior to leaving for the destination, in addition to dresses, facilities and invitations:

  • Schedule of events for the guests, designed and printed
  • Items purchased for guest bags, including bags, tissue paper, ribbon
  • Program designed and printed
  • Wedding menu cards designed and printed
  • Rental of chairs, sound system, table covers
  • Flowers, from Flowers on the Vineyard 
  • Photography by Jenn Anibal

Our guest gift bags included:

  • A welcome card with a schedule of all events, including time & location
  • Maple and oak leaf cookie cutters, with three of the bride’s favorite cookie recipes attached with raffia
  • Pashmina shawls for the women, since the beach air could be cool
  • Scented soaps from Martha’s Vineyard
  • Saltwater taffy
  • Maps of the island
  • Bottles of water
  • Flip flops in the attendants bag, for wearing in the sand

For more, see our series of wedding planning checklists:

Wedding Checklist (general tips and ideas)

Wedding Destination Packing Checklist

Wedding Budget Checklist

Also, read our mother-of-the-bride blog. 

Photos by Jenn Anibal

Music Video/Photo Montage


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