As one of the final segments of my wedding planning series, I contemplated whether or not to share our experience and how we chose the food and drink at our wedding. After much consideration, Jonas urged me to share it just in case it is helpful to anyone else trying to choose what to serve at their celebration, especially if they’re based in Lithuania or are considering a canapé reception.
Now, this blogpost will not be a guide with a list of tips or tricks as my other posts from this series per se, however, I will share my process of choosing our menu and how we decided on what to serve. Not just the canapés, but also the beautiful selection of drinks, desserts and the amazing cake that I still dream of some evenings when craving something sweet.
As I mentioned in my previous posts, Jonas and I decided on having a shorter, more cocktail-style reception for our wedding, rather than a sit-down dinner. We wanted everyone to feel more casual, talk with who they want to and feel free to wander where and when they wanted. It was originally Jonas’ idea and although at first I was reluctant to go with it, I am so happy that we did! There are many reasons I am so happy about this decision now, and if you want- I can do a whole post about that. One thing’s for sure- when it came to food and drinks, it made things so much easier!
After our ceremony, as traditional in most Lithuanian weddings nowadays, we had a champagne reception in the courtyard of the church. This allowed us and our guests to enjoy the initial moment after our vows and raise a glass to our marriage. It also enabled us to say hi to those, who came just for the ceremony or arrived as a surprise. There we enjoyed some bubbly as well as sweets. Our choice was the traditional, simple Raffaelo candy as it was individually wrapped, looked quite pretty and also was rather mess-free (meaning no chocolate will be getting on mine or anyone else’s dresses that day). I have to be honest, I didn’t even look over at the sweets table at the courtyard, and unfortunately I don’t have a photo of it to share simply because we were filled with glee when we walked out of the church and were taking in every moment together.
After that, we went off to our photo session which lasted about 40 minutes as our guests made their way to the hotel reception. There we had a standing bar with a menu we hand selected drinks for. Our guests were able to enjoy a drink of their choice whilst walking around and chatting with each other, looking at our childhood photos, taking some silly polaroids and writing a greeting in our wedding book while we were outside snapping some gorgeous photos with our photographer.
The drinks we chose included: Red wine, white wine, sparkling wine, non-alcoholic sparkling wine, Balvenie Doublewood 12 Year-old Whiskey, Aperol Spritz, Virgin Aperol Spritz, Gin Rickey, Guns my Roses (Gin and Tonic with Rose) and a traditional G&T. We decided to stick to the classics as well as choose some of Jonas’s and my favorite drinks. I absolutely love my Sparkling wine, G&T and Aperol Spritz and Jonas always goes for a good-old smoky Whiskey neat or a Gin Rickey.
When we got to the reception ourselves, we had canapés going around for us and the guests to enjoy as well as a beautiful dessert table.
For the canapés, Jonas, my mom and I went to the Shakespeare hotel in Vilnius before our wedding to have a tasting session. We had already narrowed down their menu to about 15 different items to try out and ended up choosing 11 to be served on the day. We wanted to ensure that there was something for everyone and that the canapés were mess-free and easy to eat. Some of the items we chose were prosciutto wrapped asparagus, turkey paté, prosciutto wrapped melon, mini steaks with tomato chutney, foie gras with orange, seared scallops, tiger prawns with mango chilli salsa as well as some mozarella, tomato and aubergine sticks.
My favorite part and by far the most memorable, was the dessert table. I think everyone thinks of a wedding cake, when they think about weddings. I always knew I wanted a classic, 3-tiered cake for my wedding and I wanted it to look simple, yet beautiful… but most importantly delicious! We also wanted to make sure we had other little desserts for our guests to indulge on if they wanted them before we sliced the cake, so we also got a selection of mini desserts such as macarons, panna cottas, lemon cheesecakes, marzipan-pops and cake-pops from a local bakery shop called Tie Kepejai.
We had the option of getting desserts from the hotel we had the reception at, but they did not offer small bite-size desserts or wedding cakes, so we decided to go with a different vendor just for the desserts. I had looked at some of the more popular dessert shops in Vilnius such as Pinavija, Ali & Sugamour…. but ended up picking desserts from a tiny cafe in old-town Vilnius called Tie Kepejai. We picked them because we loved how hand-made everything was, the fact that they were more than happy to customise anything we wanted (even the mini-desserts) and make everything look beautiful together following the same color scheme. Their prices were also very good compared to some other places we looked at.
When we picked them as the place we wanted to get our sweets from, Jonas and I went there for a cake-tasting session. We tried all of the ones they had and picked 3 different flavours, making each layer of the cake different. The top layer was a Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Apricots, the middle layer was a Chocolate Cake with Coconut, Passionfruit Frosting and the bottom layer (which we also enjoyed on the second day of our wedding) was a Pistachio Cake with Raspberries, White Chocolate and a Crispy Granola Filling. They were all absolutely divine and we loved how each layer was so different. As for the decor of the cake, we opted for a classic white cake with white flowers and greenery to match the rest of the florals of the venue and my wedding bouquet.
Our coordinator also decorated the entire place including our dessert table and I am so happy our photographer and our friend Juste snapped some photos of it for us to admire. So many people told me there will be details of the wedding you will wish you captured to have forever and the dessert table, wedding cake and us cutting into the cake was definitely one of them!
I hope this long foodie post will be informative and helpful to any of you planning your weddings in the near future. If you decide to go with a similar cocktail-style reception, hopefully this will give you some inspiration 🙂