7 Ways to Incorporate Local Foods, Items, and Vendors in Your Big Day

Show your local pride at your wedding

Updated 08/16/18

Photo by Katie Dessin Photography

Soon-to-be wed couples are often looking for unique ways to make their wedding stand out among others and want feature extra added details that are sure to please.

In the age of farm to table and a love of shopping small, it’s easier than ever before for brides and grooms to incorporate local fare into their big day. Many are opting to ditch standard menus, big box retailers, and outsourcing of ingredients, and instead turn to local purveyors to pull the big day together. Here’s how to keep your wedding filled with lots of local love.

Ingredients

While working with your caterer to make your cocktail hour or dinner menu, focus on dishes that highlight ingredients that can be found locally for a fresh and authentic feel. Live in New Jersey? How about some fresh Jersey tomatoes to pair with yummy mozzarella and basil. California? Avocados do the trick.

Stock the Bar

Thanks to the craft beer and cocktail craze, it won’t be too difficult to find a local brewery, or distillery to provide local libations that are sure to please. As an added bonus, perhaps feature them, or drinks made with them as your signature cocktail to make it extra special.

Vendors

One of the best, and more obvious ways to support local businesses and industries is to hire vendors from within the area. But this doesn’t mean you can’t get creative. Local food trucks are a great way to go, while performance artists, live event painters, sommeliers, cigar makers or other specialty vendors will add a truly unique aspect to your celebration.

Local Music

Have a favorite local band or musician? Why not hire them to perform either instead of or in addition to your DJ or wedding band? We’ve even heard of couples who have hired their favorite subway performers to provide some entertainment during their reception. Not only will it add some flare, but you’ll likely be supporting someone’s hard earned side hustle, or perhaps a struggling artist. It’s a win/win.

Apparel

Don’t get us wrong, we LOVE designer wedding gowns. Yet, handmade or custom gowns are often just as gorgeous and can even be more special to the bride. If you have a favorite dressmaker or seamstress you grew up using, ask if they’ve ever crafted gowns before. If not, we don’t necessarily suggest being the first guinea pig — but you could always seek their expert skills for alterations. Often times, doing so can result in discounted rates for your bridal party, groomsmen and other tailoring needs, too.

Rings & Things

Similar to apparel — shopping at your local jewelry is a fantastic way to support local business. While it’s always important to do your research on cut, class, and clarity (if you're going the traditional diamond ring route, that is) smaller jewelry businesses are often more inclined to work with custom design requests, and can really help to make the process a bit more intimate and personal.

Why stop at rings? Local jewelers, artisans and even vintage shops may also be the perfect places to find your something blue, something old, or thank you gifts for your bridal party and/or parents!

Florals and Decor

Nearly every geographic region has a native flower or other natural element that can be incorporated into your decor. Whether it's roses or sunflowers, sea glass or driftwood, you can request your florist or decorator add these components for an extra special touch. For some fun, grab your fiancé and head out on a hunt together to find special elements that will add that “wow” factor.

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