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Meals & Drinks

Wedding Drinks Recommended : Personalized Rocks Glass

rocks-glass

Let’s get to know this  fun idea, it’s like a 2-for-1 deal.

I love these personalized rocks glasses – they’re fun and functional. And they’re somewhat economical if you order in bulk.

Imagine giving your guests a lovely personalized rocks glass filled with your signature cocktail! (This is the fun idea).

You and your spouse can choose your favorite on the rocks cocktail – or work with the bartender on a recipe – and then serve that drink in these glasses.

Of course the guests can take home their glasses along with a recipe for your signature wedding drink.

How fun is that?

You can choose from many different designs or monograms for the glasses.

You’ll find these personalized rocks glasses here.

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Meals & Drinks Wedding Ideas Wedding Planning

Introducing 8 Ways to Keep Your Wedding Guests Entertained at the Reception Table

Arranging a top-notch seating chart is only the first step to keeping your wedding guests happy at the reception table. Even if you’ve deliberately seated your friends and family near others with similar interests and compatible personalities, consider providing them with fun table entertainment too. It’s an unexpected, but appreciated addition that’ll be worth the small extra effort. We went to two pros—wedding planner Michael Russo and Guesterly cofounder Rachel Hofstetter—for fun ways to keep your guests entertained at the table.

Conversation Starters

When in doubt, simplicity never goes out of style. “Don’t underestimate the power of an ice breaker—even the cheesy ones get people talking and bonding!” says Hofstetter. There are so many little variations you can go with here. Think of easy, fun questions (like, “What’s the last Netflix show you binge watched?” or “How do you know the bride and groom?”) and write them directly on your table number card.

Put a guest-centric twist on interactive games too and only offer questions that aren’t about the newlyweds. “With everyone so into social media and their cell phones, why not embrace it?” says Russo, who recommends placing cards on the table with amusing questions, like:

  • What was the last text you sent?
  • Who’s the last person you called?
  • Who was the last person you FaceTimed?
  • Who’s number one in your contact favorites?

You could also give each guest a set of questions or topics at their seat and prompt them to ask the person sitting to their right or left, or even sitting directly across from them to open the conversation to everyone’s ears.

Drink Tickets

Add some flair to a classic ice breaker by creating conversation prompting drink tickets. “Hand guests a ticket when they enter the reception that says something like, ‘Find someone wearing red and ask them about their best vacation,'” Hofstetter says. Once they’ve mingled, they can take their ticket and new acquaintance to the bar to redeem it for a drink (a cocktail is usually good incentive!).

Fabulous Food

Nothing gets people “ooh-ing” and “ahh-ing” like unique food and drinks. Make a statement with your catering choices and opt for exotic flavors, signature dishes and unexpected packaging on edible favors.

Hands-On Hobbies

We love the idea of favors you can unwrap and toy with at the table, like rubik’s cubes, cube mazes, peg board games, mini checkers or tic-tac-toe. These are the perfect way to spark light-hearted competition between table mates for instant laughs and easy bonding. And don’t underestimate the value of hands-on activities if you have kids at the reception. Keep them occupied, smiling, and even bonding with the other guests—both kids and adults.

Guest Guide

Use Guesterly to create a completely customized photo guide of all your guests. Your Guesterly face books (either in print or digital format) are the ultimate who’s who party roster, like a yearbook for your wedding! Each includes a photo, bio and any other fun details for every person there, so everyone feels welcomed and instantly involved. It’s also a beautiful wedding day keepsake.

Word Games

Give each table a Mad Libs story booklet (either about the newlyweds or other fun subjects) and let your guests complete the stories together. You also can’t go wrong with wedding-themed crossword puzzles, riddles, word searches and trivia—have guests complete them as a group or in pairs.

Friendly Friends

Get your most lively, outgoing friends to act as, what Hofstetter calls, “table ambassadors.” We love this idea. Their task will be to ensure that everyone at the table is introduced, included and having a ball. “Your friend will feel like they have a VIP job and table conversation will flow,” Hofstetter says.

Table Art

For a less formal affair, take your attendees back to simpler times with various drawing utensils and paper table covers. Let them talk, scribble and draw while they’re sipping cocktails before the meal starts. Or, even better, provide paper placemats and collect them at the end of the evening (if they’re clean enough!) and save everyone’s doodles in one place as wedding day memorabilia.

 

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Meals & Drinks Wedding Planning

Tasty Appetizer Pairings & Cocktail We Love

We’re talking crowd favorite combos like sliders and beer or tacos and margaritas, so get ready to add some delicious personalization to your cocktail hour lineup. Below, a few of our favorite pairs to inspire your menu. Wow your wedding guests at cocktail hour with the perfect drink and appetizer pairings.

Fried Chicken Bites & Mini Rum and Cokes

Fried Chicken Bites with Mini Rum and Cokes wedding cocktail and appetizer

Mouthfuls of crispy fried chicken spooned into edible cups (try Parmesan or lettuce cups) pair perfectly with an ice cold Coke—especially served in mini Coke bottles with a splash of rum.

Mini Tacos & Margaritas

Mini Tacos and Margaritas

There’s nothing like tequila and tacos to get a party going! Wash your taco down with a refreshing margarita, served in mini tequila bottles with a decorative straw.

Crispy Clams & Bloody Marys

Crispy Clams with Bloody Marys wedding cocktail and appetizer

Take your tastebuds to the shore with some crispy fried seafood, like clams or calamari, served alongside Bloody Marys for the ultimate summer pairing.

Burgers & Beer Stein Sippers

Slider appetizers with mini beer steins

Sometimes, you just have to give the people what they want: Juicy little burger bites with mini steins of your favorite brew will always steal the show (even at a formal wedding).

Grilled Cheese & Gazpacho Soup Shots

Substitute liquor with chilled soup or gazpacho shooters (tomato-based ones are usually crowd-pleasers) to chase gooey grilled cheese bites.

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Meals & Drinks Wedding Planning

Give You Summer Cocktails Your Guests Will Love

Infuse your wedding cocktails with muddled berries, aromatic herbs or a bright squeeze of citrus for a refreshing signature drink. Below, some of our favorite swizzled sips to inspire your guests’ preceremony fun or cocktail hour (and keep them cool).  Summer drinks call for fresh fruit, rosé spritzers and a whole lot of lemonade.

Boozy Arnold Palmer

Spiked Arnold Palmer signature wedding cocktail

Iced tea and lemonade marry beautifully—we all know it. But a splash (or two) of vodka makes this the perfect cocktail hour sip.

Mixed Berry Mojito

Mint and berry signature wedding reception cocktail

Crushed berries stain this classic rum-based cocktail a beautiful ruddy ombre, while fresh mint leaves add an earthy finish.

Lavender Lemonade with Pear Vodka

Lavender lemonade with pear vodka signature wedding cocktail

Nostalgia never tasted so chic. Not only is this drink lovely to look at, but lavender and pear add that “something extra” to the iconic, summertime favorite.

Rosé Sangria

Rosé champagne sangria signature wedding cocktail

Sangria and summer go together like, well, rosé and summer. Dress up your favorite fruity rosé with a mixture of berries (the classic), kiwi (the unexpected) and even a splash of rum or brandy if you’re feeling extra naughty.

Grilled Peach and Bourbon

Grilled peach and bourbon signature wedding cocktail

Grilled fruit means it’s finally summer. Bourbon gets a bright pick-me-up from grilled peaches and lemon juice for a drink that’s both vibrant and sophisticated.

Pimm’s Cup

Pimm's Cup passed reception cocktails

Mix citrusy, spicy Pimm’s with either lemonade or ginger ale, then add a healthy dose of fresh garnishes (think: cucumbers, apples, strawberries, oranges and mint) to recreate this English delight. Tip: Substitute lemonade or ginger ale for champagne and you’ve got yourself a “Pimm’s Royal Cup.” Cheerio!

Champagne Lemonade Spritzer

Lemonade Champagne spritzer signature wedding cocktail

This spritzer is tart, boozy and fizzy! Stick a cute straw in your champagne lemonade for endless refreshment, then add raspberries or blackberries for garnish and a bottom-of-the-glass treat.

Blushing White Sangria

White sangria with pink seasonal fruit signature wedding cocktail

Seasonal fruit like grapefruit, oranges, raspberries and strawberries make white wine blush with color and burst with flavor. Served over ice, there’s nothing better on a hot summer day.

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Meals & Drinks Wedding Planning

The Making Of A Grand Feast

The Making Of A Grand Feast

There’s a certain harmony that shines through even in the most crowded Kerala Hindu weddings. Notwithstanding the omnipresent glint of gold ornaments, traditional weddings are marked by a distinctive elegance and simplicity. The traditional Nair wedding is over in a flash – one bad traffic signal and you could miss the entire ceremony! When other communities across India are always tempted to compress their long drawn wedding rituals, Malayalees have a different sort of problem.

The short and sweet weddings are a complete contrast from the wedding feast. The Kerala Sadya is an elaborate meal with at least 20 different items and is almost always a vegetarian affair served for lunch. Until the latter half of the 20th century most weddings used to be held at the large tharavads (family homes) of the bride. The sadya used to be a community event with neighbours getting involved in the cooking process and pitching in with utensils. The dynamics have changed and the biggest challenge for contemporary wedding cooks is to cater to crowds that can exceed 1000 with assembly-line precision.

Almost every region in Kerala stakes a claim to the best Sadya but popular opinion usually points to the erstwhile South Malabar region – Palakkad, Thrissur and Ernakulam where some wedding cooks boast of hallowed reputations. The Sadya is not just served during weddings but also for other occasions like landmark birthdays while a slightly abridged version is standard fare during festivals like Onam and Vishu. Like most other traditional banana leaf meals in Southern India, the top half of the leaf is reserved for the accompaniments while the bottom half is for the staples and mains. The dishes are usually served from left to right. We give you a quick overview of the traditional Kerala Sadya:

The Making Of A Grand Feast

Pickles: There’s usually a choice of two pickles. The finely chopped raw mango pickle where the mango is not marinated for a long period of time and seasoned with chilli powder and mustard seeds. But the winner is the Puliyinchi, a unique hot and sweet ginger paste that is half chutney-half pickle.

Kerala (raw) banana chips: There’s the usual suspect – the mildly spicy variant with turmeric and chili powder and then the unique Sarkara Upperi where the chunky banana chips are cooled down and then tossed in a mixture of jaggery syrup, dried ginger powder, cardamom, rice flour, powdered sugar and cumin seeds. These chips are usually reserved for festive occasions and are not easy to come by in the ubiquitous Kerala chips stalls around the state. You might also be served raw Jackfruit chips during the monsoon season.

Thoran: A simple and regular accompaniment in typical home-style meals across Kerala. Finely chopped vegetables (the wedding feasts usually feature cabbage or beans) are stir fried at a high temperature with grated coconuts, mustard seeds, curry leaves and turmeric. It’s quite similar to the ‘Poriyal’ in Tamil Nadu except that the Kerala version uses a generous quantity of grated coconut.

The Making Of A Grand Feast

Kaalan: Often mistaken for another festive dish – the avial, this dish uses a completely different cooking process which is fairly uncomplicated. A tuber (mostly yam) or occasionally raw plantain is cooked with thick yoghurt and spices like fenugreek, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, black pepper, curry leaves and a few drops of ghee over a low flame.

Olan: The mild flavour of the milky white Olan might remind you of the more popular Kerala stew (usually served with Appams). At many weddings these dishes are interchanged. Usually made with Ash gourd (occasionally pumpkin too) and black eyed beans simmered in thick coconut milk with a hint of green chilli and curry leaf flavours. Sadyas in Southern Kerala occasionally serve a More kootan – vegetables cooked in that is similar to the more kuzhambu in Tamil Nadu or the Rajasthani Kadi.

Avial: One of the best known members of the Sadya family, this mishmash of vegetables is cooked in curd and ground coconut seasoned with curry leaves and coconut oil. A few communities in Tamil Nadu make their own version of the Avial.

The Making Of A Grand Feast

Erissery or Kootu Curry: One of these thick gravies is an integral part of a Sadya. The Erissery combines yellow pumpkins with a fried coconut gravy while the Kootu Curry is a mix of vegetables and Bengal gram (Chick pea).

Kerala Pappadam: More bubbly and fluffy compared to its flatter crunchier counterparts in other parts of Southern India, the Kerala version is made with rice flour, lentils and baking soda and always deep-fried in fragrant coconut oil.

Pachadi and Kichadi: Similar to the raitain other parts of India except that the mix is tempered with spices in coconut oil. While the pachadi uses a combination of grated coconut and yoghurt, the kichadi uses only curd. Sliced and sautéed cucumber or deep-fried okra are some of vegetables used in a pachadi or kichadi.

The mains: The Kerala-style par-boiled rice (choru) is normally the staple although the more conventional ‘white rice’ is quite commonplace at homes. The rice is served with paruppu (dal) and a spot of ghee. The first course is the sambar which uses more coconut than the sambar in Tamil Nadu. The sambar is almost always used to judge the quality of a sadya, a fact most seasoned cooks are well aware of. The sambar is followed by rasam and then a thick buttermilk (or curd in a few cases) that are all served with the rice.

The Making Of A Grand Feast

The grand finale: Aside from the sambarthe other acid test for any cook is the Paal Ada Pradaman. This delicate milk kheer cooked with rice flakes (ada) tastes best at large functions where hours of cooking in large vessels and the wood fired ovens lend this dish a gorgeous pink hue. Aside from this signature Payasam/Pradaman, sadyas feature one more kheer in brown. This could be the Paruppu Payasam (lentils) or the Wheat Payasam.

The meal usually ends with a sweet banana.

Disclaimer:

The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. NDTV is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

The Making Of A Grand Feast

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Gay & Lesbian Weddings Meals & Drinks Wedding Planning

Watch My Lesbian Girlfriend Marry A Gay Man

Watch My Lesbian Girlfriend Marry A Gay Man

Probably the headline sounds like clickbait. Thing is, it’s true.

On last Friday night at Melbourne venue Max Watt’s, I stood on stage and surveyed a very odd scene. My partner, the comedian Zoë Coombs Marr, and her father, ambling up the aisle as she scrambled into an ill-fitting white gown; her mother sitting beside the groom’s parents in the front row; the groom, comedian Rhys Nicholson, looking resplendent under spotlights to my left; and his boyfriend Kyran in running shorts standing behind him, scowling. Hannah Gadsby, in a three piece suit, had taken her place as the emcee, and Judith Lucy, Denise Scott, and Celia Pacquola were the flower girls.

After an eight-month engagement, this was really happening – replete with a riot, fake blood and a bit of vomit. You know, traditional.

There are very definite wedding trends emerging this decade, and none of them were present that night. The Baby’s Breath crowns of my youth have gone the way of Lana Del Ray, croquembouches have been replaced with artisanal ice-cream cakes, and Midori is now served in mason jars, for that classic speak-easy look. Trends also include: an official hashtag on the invitation, and straight friends who actually do support marriage equality but believe that adding in a disclaimer about it during the vows makes up for them doing something that we’re not allowed to choose to do.

My feelings about weddings are … complicated. I love a wedding, I do – I just won’t ever say that particular phrase during one. I enjoy seeing friends making googlies at each other, and dancing and drinking with their relatives I’ll never see again. But growing up gay, weddings weren’t in my wheelhouse; they weren’t something I could select in my particular queer pick’n’mix. Besides, I was schooled in feminism via riot grrrl culture, thus unless it was going to be a radical act that challenged the deeply conservative history of the ritual, probably not for me.

I’ve been to some lovely weddings over the years, that I wouldn’t have missed for the world. Right now although, with the marriage equality debate at its peak in Australia, receiving a save-the-date feels bittersweet. I can’t help but think of the message still being sent out to young queer kids: your relationships are not equal, you are not equal. As Gadsby said in her speech on Friday night, that message is reaching an even broader audience than that: “What we are doing in this country is saying to ALL of the children that it is OK to exclude a minority. It is OK to be a bully.”

The general consensus among marriage equality-supportive friends seems to be that it’s fine to get hitched, because “gay marriage” is inevitable. But, is it? I know gay couples who have been saving that date for three decades now. And so it was with a lot of mixed emotions that I took a weird phone call last August.

My girlfriend was in Edinburgh, performing at the Fringe Festival largely dressed as a man named Dave, and I was in Sydney, about to head to the airport to meet her. It was late at night in the UK, and she was tipsy. “I have something to tell you …” is never a great start to a phone call from your girlfriend, particularly before a long-haul flight. It’s even worse when it’s followed with: “I’m engaged!”

Zoë and I have been together for six or so years – about as long as it took us to get through the entire series of Xena: Warrior Princess. Of course we’ve talked about what we’d do should marriage equality ever come to town. The quick answer: It’s not for us, but it would be nice to have a choice. We’ll settle for an elaborate Brigadoon-themed anniversary booze-up at some point.

And yet here she was, wanting to wed fellow comedian and friend Rhys, who was also in Edinburgh, and more importantly a man. It was to be a protest wedding; a wedding just because they could; a farce, a really good party, and best of all – given their genders – legal. Despite the ridiculousness of it all, I was surprisingly affected. Here was the big day we didn’t want, that one of us was going to get – and now I had a good 26-plus hours to stew on a long-haul flight. Thank god for sleeping tablets.

The engagement was kept a secret until last week, but we’d all had to break the news to our parents. Zoë and I told my parents on Christmas Day, over lunch. They took the idea in good grace, but my dad grew misty at some point between the trifle and the pudding, when the statement behind the event really hit him. That would turn out to be a common response from our straight, marriage equality allies, who hadn’t ever really had to think about how weddings could actually make gay people feel – a persistent, nagging reminder that you can’t access the same simple rights; that your capacity for love is not deemed the same as theirs.

Watch My Lesbian Girlfriend Marry A Gay ManIt was a strange scene backstage last Friday, as the audience filtered in – friends and family scattered throughout the ticket-holders. There were the usual pre-show jitters of course, but on that night they were amplified by an electric energy about what we were about to take part in.

Essentially, all weddings are variety shows, but this one took the fruitcake – all carefully curated by the bride and groom. Hot Brown Honey and Brendan Maclean kicked off the evening in song and a black power salute, Peter and Bambi Heaven gave a bloody good performance; Father Geraldine Hickey created a sacred space with incense; the flower girls mesmerised with a knicker-flashing ribbon dance, and Aunty Tina Del Twist read a lovely piece from the bible. There were objectors of course: first in the form of a feminist take by Adrienne Truscott, and then a full brawl broke out, with the True Australian Patriots chanting, “Leftie scum!”.

In other words, the best wedding I’ve ever been to.

Throughout the nuptials, I played the dutiful role of “reluctant partner”, a character that came quite naturally. But I cracked during Gadsby’s wedding speech, a piercing take on inclusivity and queerness. She has since published it online, and I keep revisiting it, each time misting up like my dad on Christmas Day: “Exclusion is not a simple act. When you say to a person, ‘No, you can not join in, you do not belong in this community,’ the end of that sentence is not the end of the story. The ramifications are traumatic to the individual. To actively isolate a fellow human being is nothing short of structural violence.” Between the performances and the speech, it could well have been the only wedding in history with neither a dry eye or seat in the house.
Watch My Lesbian Girlfriend Marry A Gay Man

Vows and rings were exchanged, papers signed; when it was announced their wills would need updating, Wil Anderson appeared from side of stage to have his arms signed. The only thing left was the ceremonial kiss. Groom and bride – both covered in fake blood and fake vomit at this point – wrinkled their noses and turned, respectively, to Kyran and me, for what turned out to be quite an embarrassingly lengthy public pash.

The rest was a blur, but the flashy fun of it all paled the next day when one of the young attendees, a stranger, sent through a message, saying the wedding had given him the courage to eventually come out to his friends and family. Marriage equality isn’t everything. In fact, it’s pretty boring. However it’s a start.

Frankly speaking, I wish Rhys and Zoë the best of luck in their new union. Bless ‘em. Kyran, give me a call.

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Meals & Drinks Wedding Ideas Wedding Planning

Give 5 Wedding Ideas For Bride

Give 5 wedding ideas for bride. Therefore there is no denying the fact that it is good for bride.

1. The Accessories

Think monogrammed cufflinks and colorful team socks for the guys. As for the bride, not many people will actually see your garter so if you want to have one that’s in your favorite team’s colors, go for it, urges wedding planner Kelli Corn of Kelli Corn Weddings & Events.

Wedding Ideas For Bride

2. The Photo Booth

Take one for the team, and turn your photo booth into a game…well, sort of! Celebrity event designer Brett Galley of Hollywood POP recommends stocking your photo booth full of fun sports-themed props and/or having each guest create their own sports magazine cover as their photo favor.

3. The Wedding Monogram

If you both root for the same team, why not consider a subtle use of the logo for your wedding monogram? “While it’s true that team logos are predominantly made up of thick block letters and wedding monograms are typically swirly and romantic, a combination of both design elements can successfully be achieved by a talented graphic designer,” says Florida-based wedding planner Aviva Samuels of Kiss The Planner. And the applications for it are literally endless! “It can be utilized as a light projection on the dance floor or walls, on stationary items such as menus and seating cards, as well as beverage napkins and signage.”

Wedding Ideas For Bride

4. The Favors, Table Numbers, and Escort Cards

Mini basketballs, footballs, etc. branded with your team’s name are always a fun idea for favors. As for escort cards, these can actually be designed to look like tickets to the big game. Get creative with your tables and use the jersey numbers of your favorite players to label them.

5. The Signature Drinks

In the south, wedding planner Tracie Domino, founder of Tracie Domino Events, tells us that rarely does a wedding go by without an alma mater somehow incorporated into it. One idea she’s a big fan of is either naming your signature drinks after your favorite teams or having them served in your team colors, something your guests can definitely enjoy!

Wedding Ideas For Bride

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Meals & Drinks Wedding Ideas Wedding Planning

Tell You How To Be A Better Wedding Guest

A Better Wedding Guest

Frankly speaking, I don’t know about you, whereas 2015 was full of smacks and punches for me and I am glad it’s over. Don’t get me wrong, there were amazing moments and I had the pleasure of planning with some phenomenal couples. Certainly, I also had some not so easy couples, and some difficult moments while planning a few weddings. As 2015 was my busiest year to date, I can rattle off plenty of Top 6 lists. If you’re going to a wedding or weddings this year and haven’t a clue what to declare as your “New Year’s Resolution,” then let this be it: how to be a better wedding guest.

Going to a wedding should be easy, right? I mean, a wedding is a celebration of love followed by a multi-hour party with an open bar and dancing. However damn it if some people don’t make it out to be a challenge every time they go. As a planner, I can spot the difficult guests right as they walk in the door, and sometimes sooner than that. If the guest is a true pain in the ass, my couple has already told me about them, and I have yet to have a couple exaggerate about just how difficult a certain guest is being.

Hence be honest with yourself and listen up. Since every wedding has at least one guest that is sucking the soul out of the day, and if you don’t hear about this person, it just might be you.

1. Don’t Bitch About Your Seat

The seating chart is easily one of the most stressful things for any couple to complete. Believe me when I tell you that they take into account the people that don’t like each other, the ones that need to be within spitting distance of the bar, and those that refuse to sit anywhere near the entrance to the kitchen/bathroom/hallway/whatever. But there are those guests that even before they receive an invite that get all cutesy with the couple and mention… casually… where they want or do not want to sit. Usually the request is phrased in the following way, “So cannot wait to be at your wedding, don’t forget to sit me as close to the bar as possible”. Certainly, those requests are now simply text messages so the inevitable and passive “LOL” follows the sentence. You know, to cover up the fact that the request is bitchy and unnecessary. If you don’t give your seating requests in advance then do not give them at the wedding upon realizing that *gasp* you’re sitting next to someone that you just simply do not care for. I don’t care if it’s your ex that ran over your puppy with a tractor. You only sit to eat, so get up and mingle and dance the rest of the time. Sheesh. This isn’t musical chairs.

A Better Wedding Guest
2. Don’t Complain About the Location

Too far? Don’t go. It’s really that easy! Odds are, you will know the location of the wedding in advance of receiving the invitation, because you’ll hear about it from another invited guest or directly from the couple at an engagement party, or shower or whatever. If, at that moment, you realize that it’s a whole 30 minutes to an hour away or even a “guests be damned” destination wedding, do not comment. Selecting a venue is not as simple as just picking one out from a wedding magazine. It takes loads of research and then visits to these venues to actually decide on one and then pray that the one you want has your date available. When you come down on a couple about the location, it makes them feel bad. Very few couples will have the attitude of “those that really want to be there, will be there,” and even those that do will get a twinge of guilt if you mention how far it is for you. What you’re basically saying is that their wedding, their once in a lifetime day, is inconvenient for you. This doesn’t mean that you can then vent about the location to the parents of the couple either in hopes that it will then get back to the couple even though you “totally didn’t mean for that to happen”. Just stop. If “too far” is really an issue, then you perhaps would be a boring guest at a wedding anyway. Hence stay home and pout. No backhanded post-wedding comments on the couple’s social media pictures either about how it “looked like so much fun” and you just “wish it could’ve been closer” so you could’ve gone. Flag. Unsportsmanlike conduct.

A Better Wedding Guest
3. Don’t Whine About the Day

Friday. Sunday. Thursday. Monday. These are acceptable days to have a wedding, and you just might get an invitation utilizing one of these dates. While they all have their negative elements, there are reasons that couples pick these days. The top of the list is that the couple probably saved money by picking any of the four days listed above. Have you ever shopped a sale? Do you list things from “lowest price” to “highest price” when shopping online? Then guess what? You’re in a glass house, my friend. Put down the stones. Frankly, it doesn’t matter why the date was chosen, and you passive people that like to ask the couple “So, why’d you choose a Friday?” are the worst. You don’t care. If it is logistically too difficult to make the day work for you, then you can decline the invitation. Most couples don’t follow up on the rejections they receive because they are busy with other stuff like planning their wedding. Therefore, you don’t have to fear about having an answer. In case the couple does ask you, you can then be truthful about the date just not being convenient.

A Better Wedding Guest
4. RSVP When You Are Supposed To

Snail mail. It’s hard. You have to write something in, put it into a provided envelope, and then get it to an actual mailbox to send it back. Frequently, you only have a month to do this. Life is unfair. How cruel is it for these people to expect you to just drop everything to send back their RSVP? Bridezilla much? I mean, you have shows to binge watch, you do not have time for this garbage. See what I’m doing here? Listen, I get it, people are busy. In fact, people love to talk about how busy they are. However, if the couple catches you playing Candy Crush on Facebook  still you don’t have the time to RSVP, then you are in the wrong. It shouldn’t have to be explained, nonetheless I’m going to anyway: The caterer or venue needs a headcount by a certain date or there is the risk of not enough food or a higher bill for the couple to pay. If they are renting things like tables and chairs, then they need that headcount as well so that everyone has a place to actually sit and eat. If you RSVP late there might be no food for you, no drinks for you, no seat for you, no room on the shuttle, no hotel room for you, no nothing. I advise my couples to send out their invites even earlier than they are supposed to because we live in a world of procrastinators. I then tell them to start calling people a full week prior to the RSVP. I, personally, have walked a guest through filling out the RSVP and putting it in the mail. Seriously. I was on the phone with them to make sure they actually did it. No one has time to hold your hand like that. We’re all screwing around on Pinterest. Thus just send it out as soon as you receive it. Please…er…..s’il vous plait.

A Better Wedding Guest
5. RSVP Correctly and Stop Adding People On

This isn’t creative writing, people. Read the envelope. How many people is it addressed to? That’s how many people get to RSVP. You and a guest doesn’t mean you and an entourage. I have seen this happen at over 50% of the weddings I have planned. That’s too much folks! Way too much! It happened at my own. What is this garbage? Another one I see is “swap-sies”. You’re invited with a certain person, but yet you respond that you and random person will be coming. Then when the couple gets your RSVP  and they are like “who the hell is Gertrude?”, what are they supposed to do? They won’t call you out on it thanks to that’s considered the “wrong” thing to do. In my opinion, two wrongs make a right here and I tell my couples to find out who the person is or I will do it for them if they are not comfortable. If you are in the situation where your partner cannot come, but you don’t want to go alone, it is perfectly fine to decline the invitation. According to how close you are to the couple, this is an opportunity to then ask them if you can bring someone else. But that someone else either needs to be someone that they know or someone they don’t know but is a best and close friend of yours and isn’t an offensive wedding guest. At the end of the day, they have a minimum headcount they have to reach and if they don’t have a “B” list, you might actually help them out by RSVP’ing for 2, though it’s not the original 2. If they tell you “no”, be gracious and accept the answer. And yes, you still have to go, because you look bitter if you don’t.

A Better Wedding Guest
6. No Guilt Trips for the Couple

Before, during and after the wedding, some guests like to focus on the negative. I tell my couples that their guests will always find something to complain about. The reason I say this is because many couples want the day to be perfect and they tend to worry about the details. You can’t please everyone and you will die trying. Worse than that, the couple will not enjoy their wedding day. As a guest, you need to understand the work that goes into planning a wedding and the pressure that couples have to make sure everyone enjoys themselves and has a great time. Frankly, you don’t know every stressful detail that went on during the planning process, so don’t pile on here. Leading up to the wedding, do not guilt the couple about how you “so hope there isn’t a blizzard” for their January wedding or that the “traffic isn’t God awful” for their Memorial Day Weekend wedding. During the wedding, the couple does not want to hear about how you “barely made it” because the line for valet was just awful. They also don’t need to hear about how “bummed out” you are because you didn’t get to try their signature drink since the bar ran out. And after the wedding, please do not whine to the couple about how packed the dance floor was and it’s “just a shame there wasn’t more room to dance, but the venue was lovely”. These are all passive statements and people that guilt trip tend to be just that: passive. Here’s your script, Before the Wedding: So excited to celebrate!, During the Wedding: Everything is amazing and gorgeous!, After the Wedding: Best Wedding Ever! You’re done.

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The Making of A Grand Feast In Kerala Wedding By Sadhya

The Making of A Grand Feast In Kerala Wedding By Sadhya

There’s a certain harmony that shines by even in the most crowded Kerala Hindu weddings. In spite of the omnipresent glint of gold ornaments, traditional weddings are marked by a distinctive elegance and simplicity. The traditional Nair wedding is over in a flash – one bad traffic signal and you could miss the entire ceremony! When other communities across India are usually tempted to compress their long drawn wedding rituals, Malayalees have a various sort of problem.

The short and sweet weddings are a complete contrast from the wedding feast. The Kerala Sadya is an elaborate meal with at least 20 different items and is almost always a vegetarian affair served for lunch. Until the latter half of the 20th century most weddings used to be held at the large tharavads of the bride. The sadya used to be a community event with neighbours getting involved in the cooking process and pitching in with utensils. The dynamics have changed and the biggest challenge for contemporary wedding cooks is to cater to crowds that can exceed 1000 with assembly-line precision.

Almost every region in Kerala stakes a claim to the best Sadya but popular opinion usually points to the erstwhile South Malabar region – Palakkad, Thrissur and Ernakulam where some wedding cooks boast of hallowed reputations. The Sadya is not just served during weddings but also for other occasions like landmark birthdays while a slightly abridged version is standard fare during festivals like Onam and Vishu. Such as most other traditional banana leaf meals in Southern India, the top half of the leaf is reserved for the accompaniments while the bottom half is for the staples and mains. The dishes are usually served from left to right. We give you a quick overview of the traditional Kerala Sadya:

The Making of A Grand Feast In Kerala Wedding By Sadhya

Pickles: There’s normally a choice of two pickles. The finely chopped raw mango pickle where the mango is not marinated for a long period of time and seasoned with chilli powder and mustard seeds. But the winner is the Puliyinchi, a unique hot and sweet ginger paste that is half chutney-half pickle.

Kerala (raw) banana chips: There’s the usual suspect – the mildly spicy variant with turmeric and chili powder and then the unique Sarkara Upperi where the chunky banana chips are cooled down and then tossed in a mixture of jaggery syrup, dried ginger powder, cardamom, rice flour, powdered sugar and cumin seeds. These chips are usually reserved for festive occasions and are not easy to come by in the ubiquitous Kerala chips stalls around the state. You might also be served raw Jackfruit chips during the monsoon season.

Thoran: A simple and regular accompaniment in typical home-style meals across Kerala. Finely chopped vegetables are stir fried at a high temperature with grated coconuts, mustard seeds, curry leaves and turmeric. It’s quite similar to the ‘Poriyal’ in Tamil Nadu except that the Kerala version uses a generous quantity of grated coconut.

Kaalan: Often mistaken for another festive dish – the avial, this dish uses a completely different cooking process which is fairly uncomplicated. A tuber or occasionally raw plantain is cooked with thick yoghurt and spices like fenugreek, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, black pepper, curry leaves and a few drops of ghee over a low flame.

The Making of A Grand Feast In Kerala Wedding By Sadhya

Olan: The mild flavour of the milky white Olan might remind you of the more popular Kerala stew. At many weddings these dishes are interchanged. Usually made with Ash gourd and black eyed beans simmered in thick coconut milk with a hint of green chilli and curry leaf flavours. Sadyas in Southern Kerala occasionally serve a More kootan – vegetables cooked in that is similar to the more kuzhambu in Tamil Nadu or the Rajasthani Kadi.

Avial: One of the best known members of the Sadya family, this mishmash of vegetables is cooked in curd and ground coconut seasoned with curry leaves and coconut oil. A few communities in Tamil Nadu make their own version of the Avial.

Erissery or Kootu Curry: One of these thick gravies is an integral part of a Sadya. The Erissery combines yellow pumpkins with a fried coconut gravy while the Kootu Curry is a mix of vegetables and Bengal gram.

Kerala Pappadam: More bubbly and fluffy compared to its flatter crunchier counterparts in other parts of Southern India, the Kerala version is made with rice flour, lentils and baking soda and always deep-fried in fragrant coconut oil.

Pachadi and Kichadi: Similar to the raitain other parts of India except that the mix is tempered with spices in coconut oil. While the pachadi uses a combination of grated coconut and yoghurt, the kichadi uses only curd. Sliced and sautéed cucumber or deep-fried okra are some of vegetables used in a pachadi or kichadi.
The Making of A Grand Feast In Kerala Wedding By Sadhya

The mains: The Kerala-style par-boiled rice (choru) is normally the staple although the more conventional ‘white rice’ is quite commonplace at homes. The rice is served with paruppu (dal) and a spot of ghee. The first course is the sambar which uses more coconut than the sambar in Tamil Nadu. The sambar is almost always used to judge the quality of a sadya, a fact most seasoned cooks are well aware of. The sambar is followed by rasam and then a thick buttermilk that are all served with the rice.

The grand finale: Aside from the sambarthe other acid test for any cook is the Paal Ada Pradaman. This delicate milk kheer cooked with rice flakes (ada) tastes best at large functions where hours of cooking in large vessels and the wood fired ovens lend this dish a gorgeous pink hue. Aside from this signature Payasam/Pradaman, sadyas feature one more kheer in brown. This could be the Paruppu Payasam (lentils) or the Wheat Payasam.

The Making of A Grand Feast In Kerala Wedding By Sadhya

The meal usually ends with a sweet banana.