Will You Marry Me?

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Index: Tulips and Maple

Marry Me's Engage Event

Marry Me’s Engage Event

As the days grow longer, the weather warmer, the attention of engaged couples might be turning to the planning of their weddings. The myriad of decisions to be made is daunting: where to hold the event, whom to invite, whom to sit next to that quirky old aunt, what to wear…

At foodiePrints, our interests are, as you know, varied…but we’re really interested in wine and food!

Last week, Don and I braved the storm and attended Marry Me Production’s Engage wedding cocktail event at Lago. As advertised, there was not a bridezilla nor butt bow to be found. The event was organized as a cocktail party with a few carefully chosen providers: linen and dish rentals, photographers, makeup artists and, of course, caterers and other providers of food and drink.

The largest expense for weddings, I was told, was food and beverages. And, it seems that the biggest decision (other than deciding to say “yes”) is whether to host a sit-down or cocktail- style reception. Both Tulips and Maple and Thyme and Again caterers told us that the cocktail-style reception is quite popular; it allows for mingling and socializing with some tables for older guests or guests with children.

Tulips and Maples
This type of reception calls for small dishes, and foods that can be eaten with few or no utensils. Both caterers and Lago had small plates or hors d’oeuvres on offer. A musk ox small plate from Tulips and Maple was both unusual and tasty, definitely not the usual rubber reception chicken.

Tulips and Maple's Musk ox small plate

Tulips and Maple’s Musk ox small plate

Braised sirloin of musk ox in a molasses-bourbon sauce with curry and blood orange aioli and an arctic shrimp and fennel salsa in an edible spoon.

Thyme and Again Catering also prepares cocktail or small plate dishes, the spicy tuna on a nacho was their example offering (I think we both enjoyed the contrast between the crunchy chip and the tender fish).

Thyme and Again's Spicy Tuna appetizer

Thyme and Again’s Spicy Tuna appetizer

Seared Tuna with Avocado & Corn Salsa on a Corn Chip with Lime Wasabi.

The decision to hold a sit-down or cocktail reception is a personal one, sometimes related to culture or family, but both caterers made the point that, traditional or contemporary, the food need not be boring.

I learned a lot at this event, not the least was that the old wedding fruitcake is more or less dead and gone (I grant you that I may be the last person alive who truly enjoys it). In fact, if the The Flour Shoppe’s display of cupcakes and mini cupcakes was anything to go by, the trend seems to be towards more individualized desserts with perhaps a small cake for the cutting ceremony.

The Flour Shoppe's Cupcakes

The Flour Shoppe’s Cupcakes

However, for the couple looking for traditional, The Girl with the Most Cake makes the most exquisite cakes with butter-cream icing…who knew you could make such gorgeous decorations without fondant? And with a moist carrot cake one of their four flavours, Don declared that even he would eat wedding cake!

The Girl with the Most Cake's Carrot Cake Wedding Cake Sampler

The Girl with the Most Cake’s Carrot Cake Wedding Cake Sampler

Another revelation for me was the Candy Bar! The Candy Store had a gorgeous display of all pink candies (and you know how I feel about pink).

The Candy Store's Candy Bar catering solution

The Candy Store’s Candy Bar catering solution

While they create the more traditional candy favours, brides and grooms today can choose to have an entire table of different candies for guests to enjoy. Trust me, if I had known such a thing existed, I would have accepted a lot more “be my plus one” invitations!

And, as this post is being written by me, the wine lover, I spent considerable time chatting with Roger Linton of Vintners’ Selection. Once you have decided on the menu, a good selection of wines to complement the meal is vitally important, IMHO. Roger represents a number of wonderful Ontario wineries, including the lovely Angel’s Gate Pinot Noir Rosé, a bubbly Rosé that pairs well with food (we had it with risotto at the Celebrity Chef Event) but is also a nice change from the traditional bubbly for toasting. Working with someone like Roger to ensure that your wines suit both your dishes and your personality can add the finishing touch to the reception.

Although I was disappointed not to be able to squeeze my fellow blogger, Don, into a cream-puff dress, Engage by Marry-Me Productions seemed to me to be a very relaxing way for prospective brides and grooms to interact with wedding suppliers in an intimate, stress-free manner. Ottawa clearly has everything you need to host and cater the wedding of your dreams.

PS: If anyone is planning a wedding that includes Thyme and Again’s marshmallows, I’m free that day!

Here is a slide show with additional photos of exhibitors from the event.

Marry Me Productions
191 Preston Street

Lago Bar-Grill-View
1001 Queen Elizabeth Driveway
LAGO Bar|Grill|View on Urbanspoon

Although trained as a sommelier, I pay my bills working as an IT consultant. I love what I do for a living and keep wine as my hobby. As it looks bad if you only drink, I have occasionally been known to eat as well. Growing up on four different continents, I love to cook and appreciate the cuisines of the world. But wine is my passion. With a well-stocked cellar, I am always on the hunt for new wines and love hearing from people about their latest find or interesting pairing. My approach to wine: Drink what you like. Wine reviews need not be stuffy. Numerical ratings are meaningless. If it tastes good, drink it! If you don’t like it, then it’s not the wine for you.