This is the blog post where our wedding hashtag #beansorgravy will finally make sense to those of you who have not already worked it out!
The wedding breakfast menu has a notorious reputation as one of the most critiqued aspect of anyone’s day, making it rather intimidating to say the least! However, one of the easiest decisions we made throughout the whole wedding planning process (so far) was the food. You would think that this is something that people spend absolutely ages agonising over due to polarising tastes in food but it was pretty simple for us as we kept to what matters most.. OUR favourites! We are also lucky enough to have The George and Dragon basically at the end of Callum’s Parent’s driveway, which we knew from those long weekends spent working in the garden getting it marquee ready had amazing food! After speaking to Sam who runs the catering side of the business, it was clear that she was the perfect person to make our crazy ideas a reality and meant choosing a caterer was a simple decision.
We wanted our wedding to be as personal to us as possible and we saw the food choices as a massive opportunity to do this. Lets just say that when I went to university, my culinary skills left much to be desired. Callum on the other hand absolutely LOVED cooking and the very first meal he ever cooked for me was ‘Wood sausage and mash.’ Now it was definitely not the first time that I had ever has sausage and mash, but it was the first time that I had it with deliciously sweet caramelised onions and… BEANS!!??? Now being from Lancashire, beans never ever ever featured on the same plate with sausage and mash. They usually complimented the likes of toast, jacket potatoes or a full english breakfast. Gravy on the other hand was destined for a plate of sausage and mash. Alas, Callum (and the rest of the Wood family) disagree with me. It became a running joke whenever Callum’s mum would cook sausage and mash, I would request a lovely jug of ‘Ahhhh Bisto’ gravy- which she ALWAYS conveniently forgot! Naturally, when it came to picking our wedding food, sausage and mash immediately sprang to mind. Initially it was a joke, “Haha imagine eating sausage and mash in a bridal gown!” but then the more we thought about it and shared our idea with our families, the more we realised people loved it.
Question: What do you want after hours of standing around watching two people say their vows, have pictures taken, speeches etc etc? (Note- I hope our wedding isn’t THAT painful!)
Answer: A good hearty meal that will fill you up and line your stomach for an evening full of drinking, dancing and celebrating!
So that was settled, our main was to be sausage, mash and caramelised onions- with the guests opting (via their RSVP) to be Team Bride or Team Groom… aka Team Gravy or Team Beans!
After deciding upon our main, we then just had to work out what else we wanted to offer. A lot of people offer three course sit down meals, others offer a buffet but neither option really appealed to us so again we made it up as we went along. As a ‘starter’ we wanted something that would break the ice at the table and help people get to know eachother. We went for a sharing cheese and charcuterie board with bread and olives as well as homemade chilli jam (another one of mine and Callum’s favourites.) In terms of dessert, I had my heart set on Eton Mess but after seeing how much this increased the bill by, we opted to have a dessert table. This was inspired by my childhood memories of family parties at the Premium Bonds club where Auntie Theresa and Granny Angela made dozens of desserts and I obviously had to try them all! I had also read a sweet article where a couple asked all their family members to bring their favourite homemade dish to their wedding along with a recipe card. That way the couple would have a whole collection of family recipes to cherish. This solution pleased both my sentimental self as well as our budget (ever important!)
Being the type of wedding guest that is constantly on the dance floor, by 9pm I am absolutely starving! One of the best weddings I went to, brought out bacon butties and cake in the evening which was an absolute dream. For us, we wanted to bring an aspect of the Caribbean to our day, as that is where we got engaged after all and unfortunately for our guests, our budget didn’t quite stretch to flying them all out their to experience the sun, sea and steel drums! Therefore we have decided to serve jerk chicken, potato salad and corn on the cob.. I am getting hungry just thinking about it.
After food comes alcohol. Now this was actually the cause of our biggest wedding argument to date. I wanted a free bar seeing as we were getting married at Callum’s parents house and Callum insisted that it was not necessary.. Guests don’t hate him! In the end, after lengthy discussions with Sam with regards to staff costs etc, we decided that the happy medium for both parties was to provide certain beverages and not others. As Sam most wisely advised us, we don’t want to essentially leave a blank cheque behind the bar on our special day but we do want our guests to have a good time!
Here is how we divvied it up (as it currently stands) to try and help those of you who are going through similar discussions..
- Welcome drinks for the guests
- Wine on the table at dinner
- A glass of fizz to toast (Yipee!)
- A specified amount of Beer available on tap
- A specified amount of wine available by the glass
- A Bride’s cocktail which will be gin based (YUM!) When it’s gone it is gone
- A Groom’s cocktail which will be rum based (obviously!) Again, when it’s gone it is gone.
This way we can pre determine the amount we are spending, prevent people from setting their drink down, forgetting about it and subsequently going to get a fresh one and also puts a stop to prosecco guzzling which will no doubt drain your funds in no time. It also prevents shouts of ‘Shots Shots Shots!’ sending you running over to the bar in a blind panic. Saying this, we are not the fun police and the bar will be fully stocked with all sorts of fizz, spirits and shots for our guests to order to their hearts content providing that they foot the bill.
Hopefully our guests are looking forward to the food and festivities as much as we are!
Thanks to Sam for pulling together our initial ideas and making them special enough for our Big Day, as well as all the advice along the way- you have prevented a lot of disasters so far and I’m sure will continue to do so!
We will keep you all updated on the Beans Vs Gravy tally as the RSVPs come in..
Team Bride’s Gravy- 26
Team Groom’s Beans- 16
Shout out to Roy (Callum’s Grandad) and William (My adorable nephew) who refused to choose so asked for both! There is always one (or two..!)