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Caterer's Choice

Fall Wedding Menu: Windows Catering

Hosting an autumn wedding? Get inspired with mouth-watering menu ideas from a local catering company.

By Kim Forrest

The fall season has a style of cuisine all its own, and if you’re hosting a wedding during this time, it’s nice to incorporate autumn’s bounty into your menu. We asked Windows Catering, in Alexandria, to create the perfect fall wedding menu, and here’s what they came up with:

Cakes

More Sweet Treats: From S’mores to Macarons, Dessert Stations Are One Great Option

Windows Catering Company specializes in tasty treats that can be customized to the couple’s personalities or the setting

By Kim Forrest

Instead of just choosing one dessert, why not have an array of favorites? All photographs by Holland Photo Arts

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been showing you a variety of additions or alternatives to the traditional wedding cake or cupcakes. Brianna D’Amico, marketing manager at Windows Catering Company, based in Alexandria, showed us even more options in the form of unique dessert stations.

“Dessert stations are fun because they can incorporate different items and can be customized in all sorts of flavors and colors,” she said. “These stations can express the couple’s personalities, the setting, or the time of year—think a gourmet pie bar in the fall or a s’mores station in the summer.”

Other ideas include a milk and cookie station, French macaron bar, and of course, our beloved cake (or cheescake!) pops. We’re also loving WCC’s s’mores on a stick—how cute!

Visit Windows Catering Company’s Web site for even more great ideas.

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Food

Cooking with the Ladies

Here’s a low-key (and delicious) alternative to the traditional bridal tea or bachelorette night out: a cooking class

By Melissa Romero

Cookology offers a substitute for a bar-hopping bachelorette party. The bride and her family and friends can spend the day cooking and baking their own hand-crafted meals. Photographs courtesy of Cookology

If just reading the words “honey-glazed dates” and “chocolate-dipped French macaroons” is enough to make you drool, we’ve got you covered for your next wedding festivity. For a twist on the typical tea and sandwiches (or girls-night-on-the-town) gathering, head to Cookology for a bridal shower or bachelorette cooking class, where you’ll be able to cook, eat, drink, and be merry all at once.

At Cookology, a recreational culinary school in Sterling, the bride, family, and friends can create their own delicious meal and then enjoy their creations in Cookology’s dining room.

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Food

Centerpiece and Menu Ideas from the Mayflower

Marrying in a grand ballroom? Check out the florals and cuisine from one of DC’s most historic hotels.

By Kim Forrest

The Mayflower Renaissance's Grand Ballroom can hold up to 800 guests. Photograph courtesy of the Mayflower Renaissance

Last week, we paid a visit to the Mayflower Renaissance hotel to view some of their newest décor and menu ideas. The Mayflower’s ballroom (pictured above) is a huge, luxurious space with high ceilings, sparkling chandeliers, and balconies that have a vintage-theatre feel.

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Cakes

Eating the Invitation: A Wedding Cake We Love

Inspired by a couple’s wedding invitation, a McLean cake artist creates a grand and gorgeous confection

By Kim Forrest

The wedding took place at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Photograph by Greg Gibson

When we see a fabulous cake, like the one pictured above, we’re always curious about what inspired the design. So we tracked down the cake artist, Lara Stuckey of Fluffy Thoughts Cakes, in McLean, to get the inside scoop.

“When the bride came to us, she was unsure of the type of cake design she wanted,” says Stuckey. “At her tasting, I asked her to bring her invitation, color swatches, pictures of her gown, and photos of other cakes she liked. I was immediately drawn to her invitation.”

To create this dramatic cake Stuckey printed the invitation’s design on sugar paper, which was placed on fondant, and added to the bottom of each tier. Pearl white fondant covered the cake, and gumpaste cattelya orchids, edged in Egytptian gold, also adorned the confection.

And in case you’re curious, inside was a white cake featuring three tiers of passion fruit curd and vanilla filling, and one tier each of fresh blackberries, fresh strawberries, and fresh raspberries.

For more information on Stuckey’s cakes, visit Fluffy Thoughts’s Web site.

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Food

Where & When: Bridal Edition

Discounted bridesmaid dresses, cake sampling, and a Hugh & Crye open house for the guys

By Mollie Reilly

Now through Sunday, July 31
Take your bridesmaids to Love Couture Bridal (12500-B Park Potomac Ave., Potomac), where they can save up to 15 percent on dresses by Jenny Yoo. The modern, elegant frocks come in a variety of colors. Call 301-610-5683 to make an appointment.

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Food

Something Old, Something New

Planning a wedding? We asked caterers, florists, DJs, and wedding planners what trends are hot—and what’s not.

By Lynne Shallcross
Tiffany Jackson choreographed her first dance with Chad Quinn at their wedding in Upper Marlboro. (Photograph by Jennifer Smoose)

What’s In

■ Bright colors. Brides are making bolder choices when it comes to flowers and bridesmaid dresses, choosing such hues as tangerine, mango, and pomegranate.

■ Mini foods. Small passed appetizers like whipped potatoes in a sherry glass and one-bite desserts—tiramisu in a demitasse or Key-lime pie on a stick—give guests a taste of something delicious without having to sit down.

■ Celebrating ethnicity. More menus and song playlists are honoring couples’ family backgrounds. At one recent wedding, Occasions Caterers set up a buffet that included both Chinese food and a Jewish deli station.

■ Signature drinks. Caterers and couples are concocting cocktails that match wedding colors or mirror the event’s theme—such as a sake martini for Asian-themed nuptials.

Going green. From serving organic and local foods to using biodegradable containers for centerpieces, couples are throwing more ecoconscious celebrations.

■ New first-dance favorites. Think less Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight” and more Nina Simone’s “My Baby Just Cares for Me.” DJ Chris Laich of DC says that for first dances, couples are choosing everything from Kenny Chesney to Paul Anka remixes to punk rock by the Suicide Machines. One couple recently walked down the aisle to Coldplay.

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Fashion

Where & When Bridal: What to Do This Weekend

Let them eat cake! Two free tasting events and more this weekend.

By Marissa Conrad
A Badgley Mischka gown. Photo courtesy of Badgley Mischka Bride.
Thursday, May 15: Summer Sample Sale Begins  
Starting Thursday, get sample gowns at Promise (4931A St. Elmo Ave., Bethesda; 301-215-9232) at up to 60 percent off. The sale goes through August 2, but looking at the store’s gallery of gorgeous dresses (we’ve got our eye on the Lea-Ann Belter number in the top row of photos), we’d mark it with a “while supplies last” tag. Schedule an appointment (required) by calling the salon or e-mailing info@promisedc.com. Tuesday through Friday 11 AM to 7 PM; call for Saturday hours.

Friday, May 16: Badgley Mischka Trunk Show

Through Sunday, view Badgley Mischka’s complete 2008 collection at Harriet Kassman Bridal Salon (5300 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-363-1870). Appointments are recommended, but not required. Friday and Saturday 10 AM to 6 PM, Sunday noon to 5 PM. Keep Reading ...

Bridesmaids

Sweet Talk: Wedding Dress 30-Minute Cookies

A little behind on baking duty? Whip up these cookies right before your best friend/sister/college roommate’s shower.

By Marissa Conrad
Dye a tub of white frosting to turn this cookie into a bridesmaid dress.
To make Wedding Dress Cookies, you’ll need the following ingredients:
• 1 bag white chocolate chips
• 1 package Twizzlers Pull-n-Peel licorice
• Supplies for your favorite sugar cookie or snickerdoodle recipe (I like
these)

I’m not going to lie—I was a little behind on baking duty last night when I got home at 11 and realized I had never decided what I was making to celebrate a co-worker’s last day in the office before her wedding. I surveyed my candy cupboard—white chocolate chips, Twizzlers, and strawberry fruit leather. I looked at the clock. I set the oven to 375.

To make these strapless (always in fashion) snacks, throw together some cookie batter (anything you can flatten with a rolling pin, like sugar cookies or snickerdoodles), roll it out a quarter-inch thick on a floured surface, and use a butter knife to cut out cookies in the shape pictured. Because the dough will expand while baking, make sure to cut the waist extra narrow—otherwise, your finished product will look like The Blob. Warning: These cookies are thin, so they will take significantly less time to bake than the traditional fat, round snickerdoodle. My recipe called for 12 minutes in the oven, but the edges of each cookie were nicely browned in five.
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