As I mentioned in my last post, B and I recently married overseas and carried on our foodie wedding celebrations with an after party, or second reception if you will, with our extended family and friends. Yep, slightly indulgent but we didn’t have an engagement party so we figured this would kind of combine the two.
We wanted this event to be super chilled and something a little bit different from your usual sit-down dinner, so we planned a Sunday, daytime, cocktail party affair. A.K.A. a cocktail-style ‘brunch reception’. This style of event isn’t something I’ve seen a lot of online so google searching ‘foodie wedding + Sunday + daytime + cocktail’ and variations thereof didn’t send back a lot of hits. This meant I was pretty much on my own to plan something that was exactly what we wanted. Lucky for me, I love this stuff!
Here’s a wrap up of how it all went, but before we start – huge shout out and a BIG thank you to the wonderful Jane from Jane Allen Photography. Jane is an absolutely incredible photographer and such a delight. She captured so many amazing moments, some very happy smiling faces and also took great care to photograph all the details we spent so much time planning. All the photos you’ll see here in this post were taken by Jane, so you can see for yourself how talented she is.
When we set out to find a venue for our foodie wedding party, our criteria went something like this:
- A delicious menu (obviously)
- Preferably near the water with great views
- A flexible space that provided various options since it was a cocktail party and we didn’t want it to just be a room
- Available for a daytime event
I did a lot of searching online, but we only ended up actually visiting two venues. The second place we visited was Gunners Barracks and after being impressed with how professional they were at our initial meeting (plus those views), we knew we’d found the right place. Gunners checked all our boxes, and the flexibility of the actual space and what the team let us do played a big part in why we chose them and made for a day that ran even better than we were hoping. Thanks to everyone at Gunners – especially Carmen and Adele!
Ultimately, the vibe I was going for was a ‘French-style Farmers Market’, or Farmers Market meets Kate Spade, since both of us love food so much. This involved a lot of DIY decor, props sourced from all over Sydney, and a lot of hands on deck to make sure everything came together on the day. I was acutely aware that sometimes ideas in your head don’t come to fruition but it all looked so much better than I’d imagined it thanks to everyone who got on board.
Our theme details included:
- handmade black and white stripe tablecloths (thanks mum)
- handmade crates (thanks brother and cousin) and some vintage-style market crates we found at an antique shop in Alexandria
- DIY flowers presented in jam jars, tin cans and various other vessels that we collected and decorated with teal hessian fabric, ribbons and the paper we featured on our invitations (thanks mum and friends – this was a MASSIVE task)
- “Sunday crosswords” for that Sunday-brunch feel (Which also doubled as a menu, since it was cocktail-style and there wasn’t going to be any menus on the tables. Just in case there are other people out there like me who
likeneed to know what food is coming)
- Lawn games hired from The Vintage Way, also just for fun
But, the real reason you’re here is the food so let’s move straight onto that.
THE FOOD (A.K.A. THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF A FOODIE WEDDING)
The menu options offered by Gunners were great – and super tough to narrow down. B and I spent a lot of time picking our canapes and planning a carefully curated menu that ran in stages:
Stage 1: Breakfast
First of all, we had a breakfast/morning tea station waiting on arrival that included fresh fruit supplied by Gunners. Keep reading to find out more about this below.
Stage 2: Brunch
We then moved on to ‘brunch-style’ canapes, including:
- Smoked salmon blini with horseradish cream
- Mini croque monsieur
- Chorizo, piquillo pepper and olive frittata
- Tartlet of Binnoire feta, beetroot and mint
The mini ham and cheese toasties were a hit – I’ve had a whole bunch of people mention how good they were. Perfect for a Sunday morning, right?
Stage 3: Lunch
We then moved in to more lunch-style canapes which included:
- Crispy peking duck and shallot dumplings with hoisin sauce
- Portabella mushroom, thyme and pecorino arancini
- Taleggio and caramelised onion tortellini
- Thai fish cakes with nahm jim
- Sesame crumbed prawns with burnt chilli aioli
- Pork and apple rolls with black garlic aioli
- Hervey Bay scallops with romesco sauce
And finally some substantial canapes:
- Beer battered fish and chips with caper mayonnaise
- Pulled beef sliders with slaw and barbeque sauce
Stage 4: Dessert
We DIYed dessert – featuring a serve-yourself dessert cart and the most incredible cake. Keep scrolling to find out more about these.
We also had a Gunners Barracks-provided cheese station, which featured some ridiculously delicious cheese and consequently got demolished.
OUR ADDED EXTRAS (A.K.A. TAKING THE FOODIE WEDDING TO THE NEXT LEVEL)
In addition to the food provided by Gunners, we arranged a few of our own things to make sure people kept well-fed and to add our own touch to the day.
Here’s what we did…
As I’ve already mentioned, the fruit on our breakfast station was provided by Gunners Barracks, and we amplified it with delicious pastries from Bourke Street Bakery and jams we bought on a trip to Berry. We also brought in some food-inspired decor including vintage scales, food crates, pineapples, lemons and limes, and fresh herbs in tin cans.
Also ready for guests on arrival was our Mimosa Bar. We hired a little turquoise table from The Vintage Way, and decked it out with three types of juice and fruit that people could add to their champagne. And some watermelon cocktail straws, just because.
We also hired the coolest cart from Tee’s Candy Cart Hire with a plan to deck it out with our cake and some mini doughnuts. But then our doughnut supplier of choice closed up shop and we had to reassess with just a few weeks to go. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise because how good does this look:
We ended up with a whole array of delicious sweet treats our guests could help themselves to. With some take-home bags in case anyone wanted to save something for later.
The treats you see here on our foodie wedding dessert bar are:
- Twix and Snickers to complement our cake (more on this below)
- Mint Slice bites because that’s our favourite biscuit
- Lamingtons, chocolate caramel slice (B’s favourite) and gluten free orange cake from Rustique Bakery Patisserie Cafe in Mosman
- Coconut macarons made by my talented mum to ensure that the gluten and dairy-free guests had something sweet if they wanted it
- Salted caramel and choc-caramel popcorn from SweetAz Popcorn. This turned out to be even more popular (and delicious) than I’d expected and was polished off entirely
- And finally, chocolate-covered Oreos by the incredibly lovely, accommodating and talented Kerry from SugarLily Cakes. We picked chocolate-covered Oreos because we had some gifted to us by our caterer at the wedding in Florida and they were so delicious, we thought it’d be nice to add these to the dessert table for our friends and family to enjoy. I did a lot of searching to find someone in Australia who would make these for us, and eventually came across SugarLily. Kerry bent over backwards to make sure these arrived in Sydney safe and sound all the way from the Gold Coast. She also suggested mini ones (best idea) and made them for us in milk, dark and white chocolate (after some testing). They were so delicious and looked so cute!
ANDY BOWDY CAKE
If there’s one thing I knew I had to have for this second wedding, it was an Andy Bowdy cake. We were lucky enough to lock him in and were ecstatic with how our cake turned out. Our ‘brief’ was simply Snickers and Twix, two chocolate bars the two of us love, and Andy came up with this:
It was “Choc cookie crumb base, chocolate mousse, roasted peanuts, salted caramel, shortbread biscuit chunks, chocolate fudge cake, torched meringue, mini twix and snickers” and oh my god, it was delicious.
Finally, to keep our guests hydrated, we set up a water station on a vintage tea trolley. Cute!
All in all, it was a really fun and very delicious day that, I hope, was worth all the effort!
Are you planning a foodie wedding? I’d love to hear all your ideas! Or have you had one already? Let me know how it went!