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Your Happiest Day Should be Delicious

When Suzy Thomas-Kuperschmidt was planning her wedding last summer, instead of a traditional wedding cake, she went another route.

“Being an older bride, I didn’t want a traditional wedding cake, so I went in search of something different. I had a caterer tell me that mini pies were the new trend, but I don’t like pie.”

She kept looking and found a new concept on the Internet – cake pops.

When it came time to cut the cake, the couple fed each other these tasty little bites of cake in the shape of lollipops, one white for the bride and one black for the groom. The rest of the cake pops for the guests were in the color theme of the wedding.

“Delish!” she said.

These days, couples are looking for new ways to make memories at their wedding and they want their guests to remember their special day, too.

Those in the wedding food business, whether they provide cake or reception meals, agree that there is no such thing as “traditional” anymore. Brides and grooms care more how it tastes than how it looks.

Many have opted not to have a sit down dinner but rather offer several food stations so that guests can decide for themselves what they want eat. These stations can offer sushi or baked potatoes with a variety of toppings, seafood or salads – anything a couple could want.

Even catering trucks are finding their way into wedding receptions.

“It’s all over the board,” said Dave DeGraff, owner of Main Street Catering in Flagstaff, which caters a lot of weddings.

“We customize our menu to the event. There are times when we do ethnic foods. We had a South African menu with a bobotie, a lamb dish. Some give us family recipes they want us to duplicate.”

He says they have done Mexican, Italian, Moroccan and Iranian.

“We like to do these dishes because it increases our repertoire.”

Other couples like to go the down home route and offer a tasty barbecue menu to their guests.

“We cater weddings all the time,” said Angie Crim, owner of Big John’s Texas Barbecue in Flagstaff. “I think it’s really popular to have a country wedding and quite frankly, the economy has been bad and barbecue seems to be more economical than a sit-down, fancy dinner.”

She says one couple that got married last year was so fond of the restaurant’s barbecue nachos that they had an honored place at the reception, which was catered by Big John’s.

“They had a plate of them at the head wedding table. There she was wearing her white wedding dress…” Crim said, chuckling at the thought of all that barbecue sauce and the white dress.

But it seems the dress and the marriage survived.

She says on their first anniversary, the couple came back for a plate of the barbecue nachos.

Crim said on several occasions, couples who have their weddings on houseboats at Lake Powell stop in and pick up Big John’s food for the after party before they head out on the lake for the ceremony.

And when it comes to wedding cake, tastes are changing on that front, too.

Lisa Born, who owns Sugar Mamas along with Nancy Dorffi and Lexi Striker, says the trend is a lot less traditional.

”We are going with a lot of cupcakes. We are doing a lot of gourmet cupcakes filled with mocha and pastry creams.”

She says traditional wedding cakes are labor intensive and expensive, with the cost of a piece of it running between $4.25 to $5.25 a serving, depending on the intricacy of the design.

According to Born, individual cupcakes are more economical and give the bakers more opportunity to be creative.

“Last spring,” she said, “we did a wedding with strawberry cupcakes with a basil frosting. They were amazing.” FBN




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