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Looking Back at a Creative Outdoor Event with HMR Designs at Hudsonville Dahlia Farm



It all started with a bride’s quest for dahlias.


Which is how we found ourselves on a bus one day last fall with Brittanie Navarro and the team from Blue Plate’s longtime partner and collaborator, HMR Designs. Destination: Hudsonville Dahlia Farm in Michigan for a farm-to-table lunch and flower-picking getaway. Brittanie wanted to host an informal lunch with the wedding planner using the farm as the backdrop, so she reached out to our team for inspiration. A simple menu request soon turned into a fully produced event; when people who cater events co-host events themselves, no opportunity is lost on the chance to create a memorable experience.


Should You Get Married on the Most Romantic Day of the Year?


Valentines Day Wedding

If you’re recently engaged, first of all, congratulations! Secondly, you’re most likely trying to nail down the date for this extremely special day in your life.

As a wedding caterer, we’ve seen how popular the 14th of February is for both proposals and weddings. And we’re curious – is Valentine’s Day an option for your wedding day, or would you never even consider it?

Whichever side you’re currently on in the Valentine’s Day wedding debate, we’ve listed some pros and cons that come with tying the knot on the most romantic day of the year.

Reasons to Get Married on Valentine’s Day (Pros)

  1. Memorable Anniversary Date

It will be ridiculously easy for you and your significant other to always remember your anniversary! It is also the perfect anniversary date for hopeless romantics.


  1. Fun Theme Ideas

Don’t settle for generic Valentine’s Day themes such as hearts and cupid. Go with a theme centered around colors – think pink, red, blush, gold, ivory, and champagne colors. These colors are beautiful and would be stunning for a Valentine’s Day themed wedding. Try incorporating these colors in florals and decor, bridesmaid dresses, and groomsman ties and pocket squares.


  1. Pretty- and Easy-to-Find Decoration Options

Whichever theme you choose, you’re sure to find a bunch of wonderful décor items for Valentine’s Day in brick-and-mortar and online stores that will work perfectly for your reception decorations, as well as favors. Try keeping it simple by incorporating twinkle lights, floating tea candles, and blush florals.


Reasons to Avoid a Valentine’s Day Wedding (Cons)

  1.  Sharing Your Wedding Anniversary

Your wedding anniversary will be shared with everyone else celebrating their love on that day. And because of this, you may not be able to get a reservation at your favorite restaurant – and if you do, it will likely be packed. If the restaurant has seatings at different times, you may not be able to enjoy lingering over your meal.


  1.  Needing to Book Way in Advance

Typically, you’ll have to book your wedding venue even further in advance than usual since this holiday is such a popular day for weddings. People often need to book up to two years (or more!) in advance to ensure their wedding date is secured for this day. Yikes!


  1. More Expensive Flowers

The cost of flowers for your wedding day will likely be much more expensive than if you had a wedding on a different day. Floral prices are usually higher during this time of year to begin with. This means the prices of your wedding flowers will be inflated as well – and the price difference adds up quickly!

So did this pros and cons list change your opinion, or did it confirm your initial feelings on this subject?

Whether or not you plan to get married on Valentine’s Day,, we’d love to share our catering ideas with you for your special day! Learn more about our wedding catering services and contact us to discuss your wedding details.

How to Pick and Work with a Wedding Caterer


Catering food for outdoor wedding

Once the blissful chaos of engagement celebrations dies down, the reality of planning your wedding sets in. Seemingly overnight, questions from friends and family morph from, “So, when are you getting engaged?” to “Have you set a date?” If the answer is ‘yes,’ then chances are good that you also picked the venue. That’s two checkmarks off your wedding to-do list. Now what? Time to pick a caterer!


Wedding Catering Tip:

Your relationship with the caterer will be one of the longest out of all your wedding vendors. Choose someone that you connect with, as you’ll be working with them for the next several months or more.


Planner v. No Planner

If you have the budget for a coordinator or planner, he or she will become your new go-to person. If you’re taking more of a DIY approach, your mom, mother-in-law, best friend and maid of honor will surely play important roles. But sometimes it’s helpful to have a seasoned, objective opinion to serve as a sounding board and partner. Enter your caterer. If you’re not working with a wedding coordinator, in many ways the caterer also assumes the role of day-of planner. Here are a few ways your caterer can give you a hand with the planning:


  • Ask for a list of preferred vendors. While this might be your first time at the wedding rodeo, your caterer has likely helped with numerous nuptials and worked with a variety of vendors. The caterer’s preferred vendor list is a great starting place, especially if you’re new to the area or the first of friends and family to take the plunge.


  • Work through the caterer to book vendors. Create a mood or Pinterest board and share it with your caterer. Together, you can discuss ideas for any number of food- and beverage-related elements, such as cocktail hour, place settings, a dessert table, and late-night snack. Then, your caterer can leverage their contacts to reserve the right items and equipment to create the look and feel that you envision.


Wedding Catering Tip:

Blue Plate Sales Director, Missy Wright Scroggins, encourages couples to stay open to possibilities with food and beverage. Use mood and Pinterest boards as a source of inspiration rather than replication. There are lots of ways to use a general concept as a foundation; then incorporate personal touches that best reflect the style of the bride and groom.


  • Create an itinerary and day-of schedule. No matter what amount of organizing and planning you do leading up to your wedding, when the day arrives, it will inevitably be a bit chaotic. To minimize stress, work with your wedding caterer to create an itinerary for the rehearsal dinner, day-of, and day-after tasks. Since the majority of the day-of vendors are connected to the food and beverage components, your caterer can help you manage those contacts and oversee their activities.


Cocktail Hour-wedding


Elevating Food and Beverage

More and more, food and beverage at weddings have evolved from cookie-cutter meals and cash bars to highlights of the celebration. Now, brides and grooms might use the cocktail hour to highlight food from their first date or a special cocktail from their home town. Remember when the standard party favor was a spoonful of butter mints in a tulle bundle with a ribbon? Today, hotel welcome gifts and reception party favors have been upgraded to reflect the couple’s story and style, such as custom cookies, monogrammed wine keys, and samples from breweries and distilleries.


Food and Drink Pairings

Food and drink pairings are another fun way to tell your story and delight guests. If the groom’s favorite treat is cookies and milk, you could arrange these on a dessert table with interesting glassware and decorative straws. Or, maybe Mexican food holds special meaning for the two of you. In that case, serve mini al pastor tacos paired with margarita shooters at cocktail hour or for a late-night snack. If you’re from the South, think about a fried chicken and barbecue spread with all the fixings, accompanied by sweet tea and mint juleps.

However you choose to personalize your union with special cocktails and unique bites, your caterer can help you explore and execute these components. Remember to stay open to creative food and beverage ideas. And, if you’ve hired the right caterer, then sit back and let them do their thing!

Why You Should Get Married on New Years Eve


New Years Wedding | Blue Plate Catering

Not convinced a NYE wedding is for you? Read on to discover some of the best reasons for saying “I do” on this magical last night of the year.


Gorgeous Wedding Photos

The cold weather often provides plenty of gorgeous backdrops for photos. And with a New Year’s Eve wedding, you won’t have to suffer while taking your special pics in the summer heat! Instead, you can get nice and cozy with your loved one and actually enjoy the photo session without breaking a sweat.


Dress for Glitz and Glam

New Year’s Eve is all about glitz and glam. So, when you have a wedding on this special evening, you can make it a formal affair and ask your guests to get really dressed up. If you just love events where women arrive in long formal gowns and men are dressed in tuxedos, feel free to make your wedding a black tie affair – or a white tie one for the highest of formal dress codes.


Shiny and Extravagant Décor Allowed

A New Year’s Eve wedding makes it totally acceptable to go a little crazy with your décor. Use silvers, golds, pearls, diamonds – any shiny colors, sparkly jewels, and other accents you can think of to create a truly spectacular scene. Some décor ideas to consider include:


  • Deck tables out in glittered tablecloths and centerpieces with crystals hanging on branches.


  • Consider a black, gold, and silver color scheme – not only are these colors traditional for this holiday, they also serve as a great backdrop for a variety of wedding styles.


  • Create a festive and warm ambiance with mini lights strung all over the venue, providing a wonderful glow.


  • Pillar candles partially dipped in shiny glitter make glamorous centerpieces.


Celebrate You as You Ring in the New Year

A NYE wedding gives you license to have a blast celebrating your special day with loved ones while ringing in the new year together. Have your band or DJ get everyone to form a circle around you and your significant other on the dance floor as midnight approaches. You can arrange to have confetti fall over the entire dance floor, tons of silver and gold balloons released, or a combination of both! To make sure everyone is engaged and participating, have fun celebratory items handed out – think wacky glasses, top hats, tiaras, and a variety of fun noisemakers.

Although it can probably go without mention, an added bonus to having NYE as your wedding anniversary is that you’ll likely never have to worry about forgetting an anniversary!

Top Fall Wedding Ideas


Fall Wedding Ideas | Blue Plate Catering

With the weather often being more comfortable in the fall than in summer, and the beautiful fall foliage that provides the perfect backdrop for outdoor weddings and pictures, it’s no wonder that fall is increasingly becoming the season of choice for weddings.

If you’re planning a fall wedding, get some inspiration from the fall wedding ideas below:

  • Start with a menu that is seasonally inspired. Fall foods provide comfort while taking advantage of the bounty of garden fare that is available. Think of incorporating meats with paired sauces, creamy soups and bisques, and fresh, garden-inspired fare. Add popular fall pies to your dessert selection such as the classic apple pie or a pie featuring your favorite berry.


  • Feature a special autumn drinks menu that includes beverages like apple cider mimosas, maple bourbon cocktails, hot toddies, and hot spiked ciders, as well as an array of flavored coffees for after dinner. Our “My Favorite Godfather”  with amaro, scotch and chocolate bitters is the perfect example of creatively layering fall flavors into a unique cocktail experience.
Godfather Cocktail | Blue Plate Catering

Blue Plate Catering

  • Choose rich fall colors to use throughout your décor, such as brick, dark green, cranberry, and charcoal gray to add depth to your wedding décor. Deep jewel tones of amber, emerald, sapphire, and garnet create an exceptionally elegant atmosphere. And, if it suits your style or theme, don’t be afraid to incorporate unanticipated fall colors like light or hot pink.


  • Take advantage of the gorgeous scenery and use elements provided by nature in your décor, including twigs, leaves, and flowers. For a lovely color and texture contrast, add fall leaves to your bouquet. Or place a green garland in an entryway for the ceremony for guests to enjoy upon entering.
Tablescapes | Blue Plate Catering

Amy Aiello Photography

  • For a truly romantic fall setting, accent main colors like merlot and rust with shades of cream. Instead of trying to precisely match colors, experiment with different tones and shades within your palette to attain a more authentic look and feel.


  • Create an assorted floral tablescape by grouping flowers, such as mustard-yellow ranunculus and pink roses, in clusters. Displayed in clear vases of various heights and sizes, this visual arrangement is colorful, romantic, and dreamy.


  • Wheat is another fantastic fall themed wedding decoration option. Create bundles of wheat to use for centerpieces or incorporate wheat into your bouquet — or both! If using in a bouquet, stems of wheat look especially lovely when added to cream and soft pink colored roses. Wrap in burlap, and you have an ideal fall wedding bouquet.


When it comes to fall weddings, there is an abundance of creative ideas from seasonally-inspired menus to unique tablescapes to choose from. Using these ideas to spark your imagination, be sure that, in the end, your personal style, taste, and personality shines through!


Find more inspiration at our Wedding Inspiration Pinterest Board!