Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tuscan Reception

So I planned my brother-in-law's wedding reception in Georgia. Since his grandmother is full Italian, I thought it would be fun to do a Tuscan-type theme. On a budget. And may I add that it went so very well.

Lots of pictures. Be prepared. The only hitch is that (someone who shall remain nameless but rhymes with PIE) took my external flash out of my camera bag, so these pictures are not very good and I could not capture the "mood" that was there with the dim lights and Italian opera playing. Oh, well. Just trust me. It was cool. And sorry about so many slanted pictures. They are making me a bit sea-sick. haha!

To me, details can make or break a party. So here they are:

-We used Italian tomato cans for the flower centerpieces on the eating tables.

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-We picked up some wine bottles at a local bar (since we don't drink) and then melted some colored drip candles on them the night before. Then we put another candle in them to melt some more that night.
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- I used some copper canisters that I had above my cupboards for the flower vases. They were old and spotted and perfect. Two of them even said "pasta" and "gourmet" on them. I made all the flower arrangements the night before. I was going for a "country" type look-- using her colors of red, orange and yellow and I think I achieved it.
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-We made signs to go in blocks of cheese and rustic bread that labeled each and every food item first in Italian, and then in English.
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-Fresh rosemary, basil, pears, grapes, and vine tomatoes were used as decor.
As well as lots and lots of baskets!
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-Our favors were the traditional Italian candy coated almonds, each one symbolic.

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and I just happened to have a really cool frame for the welcome sign. Add a sprig of fresh rosemary and voila!

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-Our serving platters consisted of a mix of stoneware, tarnished silver, and copper trays. To me, it was important to present everything in a way that felt like a group--or a family-- all brought something to eat (like a potluck), so everything was mismatched. A mix of old and new.
* the only decorating items purchased were the candles, the tomato cans (which we used for the meatball sauce), the flowers, the small baskets for the cheese straws and the red and white checked fabric. EVERYTHING else was either in my cabinet or someone else's. *

-The food was really really good. It was more important to me to have QUALITY food than quantity in variety, so we kept it simple and it was delish!

meatballs in marinara
artichoke dip
phyllo wrapped brie
mozzarella tomato and basil skewers
chocolate covered strawberries
Italian ice lemonade
seasoned olive oil and bread dipping station

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Many many thanks to all who helped make it so lovely. Just to name a few:

Thank you Carmella for spending TEN hours making so many cheese straws for those (tiny) baskets and for helping with the signs, candles, and everything.

Thank you Annette for paying for it all and letting me do whatever the HEdouble-hockey-sticks I wanted and trusting me.

Thank you Regina for being the extra set of hands that we so desperately needed, as well as a much needed support and kitchen crew.

And thanks to my husband, for watching the kids and making the best marinera sauce in the world.

Oh--and thanks Robby and McKenna for getting married so I could do this;)


more pics of them here


Erin said...

Carrie -- it all turned out so beautifully!!!

Angie said...

Carrie, you did such a great job! The reception was so pretty and the food was delish!!

wilkinson_fam said...

You SERIOUSLY put on that whole freakin' wedding! AND during a time of personal hardship.

You utterly amaze me.

Regina said...

I can attest that it was wonderful and very Italiano..

Those creative Carrie ideas were flowing for sure...

Laura said...

Holy cow. I'm salivating.

J.L Schofield, Independent Scentsy Consultant said...

Carrie, you are just AMAZING! I don't know how you do it all, but you DO. What a FUN reception! I bet everyone had a great time and felt like they were part of the family italiano.

Taste of Champaign said...

Carrie! I love it all! You are amazing. I can just feel the "mood" of it all. I am sure it was beautiful. Congratulations on a job well done--especially with all you have had going on. Wow! You are inspiring.

gkgirl said...

i LOVE this...

you are creativity queen.

Sarah in the Middle said...

WOW carrie! Amazing.
I can't believe I am just now seeing these pics. Blog world has not been part of my world these last couple weeks!
You did a greaat job, as always. Phyllo wrapped Brie? I would have eaten the whole tray. Good thing I wasn't there!
Absolutely beautiful!

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