Wedding Cocktail Party

Wedding Guests with Special Dietary Needs

Thursday, November 29th, 2012 | Filed under: Party Planning, reception planning, Rehearsal Dinner, Wedding Cocktail Party, wedding dinner party, wedding menu, wedding planning | author: By Keith Sly,    
Special Dietary Needs

Wedding Menu

When thinking about your wedding menu – for your cocktail party, your wedding reception dinner, and your wedding cake and desserts, be sure to keep in mind your guests’ special dietary requirements.

It’s now become far more prevalent for our New Jersey and New York City wedding couples to customize their wedding catering choices with a large selection of food items that their gluten-free and vegetarian guests can enjoy. Brides and grooms have read horror stories on wedding websites, wedding blogs and wedding message boards about weddings at which dietary-restricted guests could only pick on a small number of foods. They certainly don’t want that for their own wedding guests, nor do we. Read more…

Top Dessert Trends for Weddings

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012 | Filed under: Party Planning, Wedding Cocktail Party, wedding dinner party, wedding ideas, wedding menu, wedding receptions | author: By Keith Sly,    
Top Dessert Trends for Weddings

Wedding Dessert

Wedding guests look forward to the dessert hour with great anticipation. Even as they savor your gourmet wedding menu, they’re looking forward to your spectacular wedding cake, decadent dessert buffet, and sweets stations.  Great desserts make a fabulous wedding unforgettable, as the last taste of your grand wedding impresses your guests tremendously.

Here are the top trends in wedding desserts to inspire you:

  • Individual dessert plates: Each guests receives his or her own plate arranged with a trio or collection of fresh-made desserts, such as a crème brûlée, amaretto cheesecake, flourless chocolate cake and a chocolate dipped berry. Another combination may be chocolate mousse, cheesecake with raspberry sauce, and berries. Read more…

Kids’ Wedding Menu Trends

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012 | Filed under: Bright Ideas, Bright Ideas for your wedding, Party Planning, reception planning, Wedding Cocktail Party, wedding dinner party, wedding menu, wedding receptions | author: By Keith Sly,    
Kids Wedding Menu Trends

Kids Wedding Menu

If you think that kids’ menus at weddings consist of just chicken fingers and mini pizzas, think again. Today’s kids actually enjoy more adventurous foods in their everyday lives, so they’re perfectly happy with most of the items on your fine cuisine wedding menu. Perhaps with the exception of the raw seafood bar, and of course with parental supervision over kids’ food allergies. (Which is why we suggest placing food ID cards by each of your cocktail party menu items and carving stations.)

Here are some of the top trends in kids’ wedding menu choices:

  • Sushi. Since many parents prefer cooked sushi choices over raw for their kids, arrange with your wedding caterer to provide displays of cooked-item sushi choices.
  • Crab cakes, salmon cakes, lobster cakes, cod cakes…in sizes big enough to require two bites, not small balls posing choking hazards for kids.
  • Hummus and pita bread
  • Pastas with classic or creative sauces
  • Meatballs
  • Sliders, either as burgers or pulled pork, and we’ve seen requests for veggie burger sliders for the kids’ choices as well as the adults.
  • Macaroni and cheese is always a hit with kids.
  • Mashed potato and mashed sweet potato bars let kids create their  own creamy ‘sundaes’ with their choices of toppings.
  • Chicken tenders with a trio of kid-friendly sauces.
  • French fries cut in spiral styles or with unique flavors.
  • Mini pizzas topped with a variety of combinations, from four-cheese to vegetables to tiny bits of sausage.
  • Crudites and cooked vegetables served with fun flair at cocktail party stations.
  • Fruits cut into kid-friendly shapes, such as smiles, stars, and cartoon characters. Read more…

Carving Station Trends

Thursday, November 15th, 2012 | Filed under: Party Planning, reception planning, Rehearsal Dinner, Wedding Cocktail Party, wedding dinner party, wedding menu, wedding planning, wedding receptions | author: By Keith Sly,    
Carving Station Trends

Carving Station

Your wedding cocktail party menu is one part of your Big Day that guests look forward to the most, and they have great expectations that the food will be excellent, the presentation elaborate, and the choices plentiful. Since guests travel so far to attend weddings, it’s smart to talk with your wedding caterer about creating a cocktail party menu that will surprise and delight your friend and family. Read more…

Second look for The Wedding Reception

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012 | Filed under: Party Planning, reception planning, wedding ceremony, Wedding Cocktail Party, Wedding Décor, Wedding etiquette, wedding ideas, wedding photography, wedding planning | author: By Keith Sly,    
Gown and Accessory Trends

Gown and Accessory Trends

Inspired by celebrity wedding trends, today’s brides wear not one wedding dress, but two or more, changing from a ceremony dress into a chic, stylish dress for the reception. At our wedding venue, we’ve seen brides wear cultural wedding dresses for the ceremony, then change into either a traditional wedding dress or shorter, sleeker dress for the reception.

Here are some additional 2nd-Looks for your wedding reception, garden wedding, or cocktail party wedding:

  • Go romantic and lacy with your first wedding dress, then change into a sparkly dress suitable for the nighttime reception lighting.
  • Wear a sleek, fitted wedding dress for the ceremony, then change into a dress that’s easier to dance in for the reception.
  • Wear a traditional white wedding dress for the ceremony, then change into a colorful dress for the reception.
  • Wear a traditional wedding headpiece and veil for the ceremony, then remove it and change into a tiara or jeweled hairclips for the reception Read more…

Your Wedding Bar: Top Wedding Trends for After-Dinner Drinks

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012 | Filed under: reception planning, Wedding Cocktail Party, Wedding Décor, Wedding etiquette, wedding menu | author: By Keith Sly,    
Wedding Bar

Wedding Bar

Put the perfect finishing touch on your wedding reception with an exquisite collection of after-dinner drinks. Our New Jersey and tri-state area wedding couples make it a high priority to treat their wedding guests to indulgent wedding drink menu offerings, and even budget wedding couples can enhance their wedding reception package with a list of excellent after-dinner drinks.

It’s become a top 2012 wedding trend to offer guests top-shelf liquors and liqueurs, in addition to coffees, and our wedding bar menus offer some of the top choices in after-dinner drinks. Here are just of the top-trending wedding drinks that can end your perfect wedding reception:

  • Espresso
  • Cappuccino
  • Cognac
  • Brandy
  • Sambuca
  • Ouzo
  • Sabra
  • Kahlua
  • Jameson
  • Frangelico
  • Anisette
  • Bailey’s Irish Crème
  • White and Milk Chocolate Liqueur Read more…

2012 Wedding Trend: The After Party

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012 | Filed under: Party Planning, reception planning, Wedding Cocktail Party, wedding dinner party, Wedding etiquette, wedding ideas, wedding menu | author: By Keith Sly,    
Wedding After Party

Wedding After Party

One of the top wedding trends is continuing the wedding celebration even after the reception is done, by planning a fun and festive after-party. In the past, the bride, groom and their friends would simply go to the hotel bar to keep the party going, and now there are new party plans that our New Jersey and New York City wedding couples are making to turn their after-party into unforgettable celebrations. Here are some after-party plans to inspire you:

  • Arrange for the hotel shuttle to take you and your friends to your favorite nearby nightclub or bar, then return everyone to the hotel safe and sound.
  • Invite your closest friends to your hotel suite for a small-group celebration.
  • Invite guests to join you in an outing to a great local New Jersey jazz club or other specialty spot.
  • Parents are inviting their friends and close relatives back to their homes or hotel suites for a champagne and dessert party. Read more…

Wedding Cocktail Party Menu: Hand-Passed Hors D’oeuvre Trends

Thursday, October 13th, 2011 | Filed under: Wedding Cocktail Party, wedding ideas, wedding menu | author: By Keith Sly,    

Your wedding makes a fabulous first impression when guests are approached by smiling, white-gloved waiters presenting them with spectacular hors d’oeuvres on silver platters. As sensational as it is to welcome guests in VIP-manner, the true measure of a successful wedding cocktail party is the variety and pleasing gourmet tastes of hand-passed hors d’oeuvres.

Here at the Pleasantdale Chateau in West Orange, as well as at our sister wedding venues the The Manor, the Highlawn Pavilion and the  Ram’s Head Inn (the latter located in Galloway, New Jersey), we finesse our cocktail party fare to include the top appetizer menu trends originating from the world’s best regional and cultural fare, organic and imported food trends, and our own chefs’ sophisticated palates and advice on which tastes pair perfectly with others. Any fan of Top Chef knows that dishes need to coordinate, to pair well with one another, to make sense in a presentation. Our New Jersey wedding couples come to us with impressive culinary wishes and experience, and we hear equally from bride and groom about their preferences for their wedding cocktail party hors d’doeuvres list.

Here are the top wedding hors d’oeuvre trends for your wedding’s sensational start:

Hot Hors D’oeuvres

  • Offer five or six hot hors d’oeuvres at the cocktail party, no matter the season.
  • Offer exotic flavors such as Moroccan chopped chicken salad on garlic toast and Thai curry samosas with tamarind dip.
  • Offer unique twists on meat appetizers, such as hangar steak on brioche crouton with a shallot marmalade or an andouille sausage en croute.
  • Offer unique twists on non-meat choices such as fontina cheese, asparagus tips and mushroom Panini.
  • Include gourmet cheese options such as hors d’oeuvres made with Camembert, Fontina, and Brie, since wedding guests adore palate-pleasing bites of tasty cheeses they might not buy for their own meals and parties.
  • Seafood appetizers are a top trend, including wedding classics such as Maryland crab cake, scallop Rockefeller and sautéed shrimp – again, crowd-pleasers to guests who may not prepare gourmet seafoods for themselves.
  • Risotto dishes are also a top trend right now, with lobster risotto requested often by our New Jersey wedding couples.

Cold Hors D’oeuvres

  • Offer tasty cold bites served on ceramic spoons, such as our red snapper ceviche with pink grapefruit and cilantro.
  • Offer creative seafood salad spoonfuls or toast-toppings, such as a crab salad with apple and chive.
  • Tartlets are easy-to-enjoy appetizers, with guests enjoying cheese flavors such as our artichoke, goat cheese and black olive tartlet.
  • Hand rolls and vegetable sushi hors d’oeuvres please guests who enjoy fresh and healthy appetizers, and the trend is for unique twists on hand rolls – such as our smoked salmon and avocado cream cheese hand roll.
  • Gourmet meats such as tuna tartars and beef Carpaccio give guests an upscale raw  appetizer to enjoy (and again calls to the dishes our New Jersey couples see prepared on Top Chef.)

Presentation Points:

  • Pair your hot and cold hors d’oeuvres with gourmet dipping sauces, such as creamy ginger sauce or mango dipping sauce.
  • Make it easy for guests to help themselves to appetizers, offering them on ceramic spoons or with appetizer spears or picks.
  • Choose colorful dishes, such as those topped with bright green herbs or dots of sauces.
  • Have wait staff offer cocktail napkins printed with your married initial monogram as a fine, personal touch to your cocktail party menu presentation.

Bon Appetit!

Chef Robert Albers, Executive Chef, Pleasantdale Chateau

To make an appointment with a banquet manager, please contact us at 973-731-3100.