Hey Foodies, today’s guest post from Jyl Deering of Chancey Charm is for you! We’ve got some scrumptious recipes courtesy of Forklift Catering, while Jyl shares some excellent tips for a perfect cocktail hour, a delectable sample menu and artfully some styled food photography. Enjoy:

7 Tips for a Perfect Wedding Cocktail Hour

  • Make sure the food isn’t messy. Nothing is worse than needing the photographer to dodge the giant stain on your husband’s white button-down shirt.
  • Keep it light + refreshing! Cocktail hour sets the mood for the rest of the evening. Don’t serve heavy foods, as you want your guests wanting more rather than leaving them feeling stuffed and unable to eat dinner or dance!
  • If you’re thinking of serving something a little different, like venison or lamb, try it during cocktail hour. A different protein can be hard to please at dinnertime, but one bite of it at cocktail hour might just be the perfect opportunity for your guests to try something different!
  • Stick with your theme. Consider your wedding theme when choosing, serving or displaying your food throughout the event. Remember, your theme should be present during cocktail hour. A beautiful garden wedding will best be remembered not only by the breathtaking scenery, but also by the fresh, light and seasonal food profiles that accompany it.

Read the full post after the cut!

  • Finger food and skewers will be everyone’s go to. No one likes a double-dipper, and also your guest most likely will have a cocktail in hand.
  • Keep your food fun and personal! Maybe tying in your favorite appetizer to order on date night or a sample of your first date meal.
  • Remember to keep your guest’s preferences or restrictions in mind.  Include a few vegetarian options, as well as some nut free and gluten free options for common allergy restrictions.

Roasted King Oyster Mushrooms

Sample Menu

Roasted King Oyster Mushooms with Pistachio-Mint Salsa Verde on Celeriac Purée

  • King Oyster Mushrooms
    Heat a heavy cast-iron skillet on high until hot, lower heat to medium high and add olive oil. Cut mushrooms in half lengthwise and season with salt. Sear cut side down until brown, then transfer skillet to a 400 degree oven and roast until easily pierced with a knife.
  • Salsa Verde
    Roughly chop a handful of raw pistachios, and combine with a bunch of chopped mint and two minced cloves of garlic. Toss in a bowl with olive oil and season with salt, sumac and a splash of sherry vinegar.
  • Celeriac Purée 
    Cube and roast celeriac with salt, freshly ground pepper and olive oil until browned and soft. Transfer to a blender and puree with roasted garlic, olive oil and water or vegetable stock.

Assemble by spooning celeriac puree on a platter and placing mushrooms cut side up. Sprinkle liberally with Salsa Verde.

Dukkah Spiced Carrots with Pistachio-Mint Salsa Verde and Yogurt 

  • Dukkah
    Heat a skillet on medium heat, and toast hazelnuts, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and black pepper until fragrant. Pulse in a spice grinder and add sea salt.
  • Salsa Verde
    Roughly chop a handful of raw pistachios, and combine with a bunch of chopped mint and two minced cloves of garlic. Toss in a bowl with olive oil and season with salt, sumac and a splash of sherry vinegar.
  • Carrots
    Heat a heavy cast iron skillet on high until hot, lower temperature to medium high and add olive oil. Halve carrots, season with salt and sear in skillet until charred. Sprinkle with dukkah and roast in oven until tender. Spoon on Salsa Verde. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, garnish with Maldon sea salt, Sumac, and dollops of plain Greek yogurt.

Tuna Tartare on Rosemary Gaufrette 

  • Rosemary Gaufrette
    Using the waffle bade on a mandolin, slice potatoes about 1/16th of an inch thick. Deep fry in hot oil until slightly brown, and toss with rosemary salt.
  • Tuna Tartare
    Dice sushi grade raw tuna and mix in a bowl with small dice of Asian pear, pine nuts, lemon zest, Maldon sea salt, extra virgin olive oil and diced chive. Place on a homemade gaufrette, and garnish with a dollop of Kewpie mayo.

Jyl Deering, Chancey Charm Boston Wedding Planner, has over a decade of experience in the wedding and event industries. She began her career selling high-end bridal gowns in Boston during college before later opening her own wedding planning business. Wanting to further her luxury hospitality portfolio, she moved to Orlando and worked for year at the Grand Floridian Resort at Walt Disney World. She then took an opportunity with Old Edwards Inn, a Relais and Chateaux Hotel, and fell in love with the venues and the staff. It’s this background and her work with some of the nation’s top luxury event talent that makes Jyl so successful in her wedding planning career. To learn more about Chancey Charm, please visit their WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile or head straight to their website.

Concept + Planning: Jyl Deering of Chancey Charm Boston
Photography: Kelly Benvenuto
Catering: Forklift Catering