A "Small Plates" Wedding Menu with Something for Everyone

Food & Drink, Real Weddings
Bacon Wrapped Date Wedding Appetizer Idea - The Terrace Club NYC Mac and Cheese Wedding Appetizer Idea - The Terrace Club NYC

Photo: Courtesy of Courtney Kern

What do real brides have to say about the wedding planning experience? Newlywed Courtney Kern is the owner of Events Beyond, a wedding and event design company. Engaged since 2007—yes, she's heard every Five Year Engagement joke—she knew exactly how her dream day would unfold, but that doesn't mean the process was always a cake walk.

Though I consider our style to be classic, my husband Ben and I in no way wanted a cookie cutter wedding. Let's not forget we waited five years to tie the knot! We've had a little time to get creative and nail down the specifics. When it came to choosing our venue, The Terrace Club in midtown Manhattan's Rockefeller Center rose to the top of our list. It has an easy-going vibe in a vibrant city and a fabulous event manager in Miriam Mueller, who has been in the hospitality business for more than 25 years.

But the clincher was that The Terrace Club was more than willing to adapt to our special needs. Before signing our contact, I was diagnosed with a severe wheat allergy and gluten-intolerance. Much to my frustration (I subsisted on pasta, vegetables, fruit, and sweet treats!), I was suddenly on a very strict diet. There is a misconception that the bride and groom never eat at their own wedding—for us foodies that was not cool and definitely not happening.

New York City Wedding Venue - The Terrace Club

Photo: Courtesy of Turnquist Photography

Over the past seven years Ben and I have enjoyed our time together in the city. We love visiting new restaurants as well as cooking at home. (We have the luxury of both a full-size stove and an outdoor grill—nearly unheard of in these parts.) So when we decided to have our wedding in the heart of the city, we knew we wanted our guests to experience the things that mean a lot to us both as dedicated city dwellers and aspiring gourmands. Unfortunately, most wedding venues prefer to show potential clients what they do best catering-wise, and then ask you to select from preset service packages at varying price points. Given my gluten issue and our love of fine food, it was not only important that our venue let us create our own wedding day menu (read my post about our amazing cocktail party reception, here!) but we also wanted to make sure the cuisine wasn't so avant-garde that those with less adventurous palettes would be stuck with crackers and the cheese platter. (As delicious as our spread was!)

New York City Wedding Venue and Catering - The Terrace Club

Photo: Courtesy of Turnquist Photography

With the help of our venue, Ben and I designed a menu that would show guests our taste and style, while still accommodating the pickiest of palettes. We decided on three themes: Mexican (Ben's family's favorite), Italian (which my family loves), and fall comfort foods, like chicken pot pie and hearty short ribs.

Mini Chicken Quesadilla Wedding Appetizer Idea - The Terrace Club NYC Mini Caprese Salad Skewer Wedding Appetizer Idea - The Terrace Club NYC

Photo: Courtesy of Turnquist Photography

The Terrace Club's executive chef Francis Lauria impressed us with his enthusiasm for our ideas. When the petite chicken pot pies were brought out at our tasting, I noticed that he had even sculpted the pastry crust look like two wedding bands! Granted, I couldn't eat it, but I appreciated the artistic gesture nonetheless. (And fear not, true to his dedication and attention to detail, the chef quickly produced a crust-less, gluten-free pot pie for me.)

Mini Chicken Pot Pie Wedding Appetizer Idea - The Terrace Club NYC

Photo: Courtesy of Courtney Kern

—Courtney Kern

Check back throughout the week to read more about Courtney's wedding planning process.

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