Multicultural weddings are an opportunity to weave a couple's cultures into their wedding celebration. And that might involve a special ceremony, the dress, or even a menu with a nod to your background. Whitney and Josh from Blend Catering shared with us their experience creating food for a multicultural wedding and how they create special menus to represent a couple's cultural background.
What elements need to come together to create a multicultural wedding come to life?
Usually, the couple is really forthcoming with what they need. Whether it's something their grandmothers used to make or something else representing their heritage, we want to know and translate that into the wedding. It always starts with a conversation and really getting to know a couple, what is important to them, and being able to pull elements from those conversations and ideas that will add something special to the couple and their families.
I bet you have seen many beautiful multicultural weddings. Can you describe some of those for us?
Yes, we have! We've done so many before including an Indian and Jewish wedding, Israeli and Russian, and recently an Italian and Spanish wedding, too. It's amazing to see all of the elements of a multicultural wedding come together from the design and ceremony to the music and, of course, food. The Indian and Jewish wedding we did was a traditional Jewish wedding with the vibrancy and style of an Indian wedding with amazing choreographed dancing afterward.
What part does food play in a multicultural wedding?
The food helps bring the whole wedding together and let the guests really feel the couple and family, rather than just being at a wedding with a standard menu. Eating together, especially foods that represent a couple, is a really intimate experience and takes the experience a step further.
What kind of catering challenges come up when bringing together a multicultural wedding?
I would say that we steer clear of using the word "traditional." We interpret and are inspired by different cultures, but never want to claim that we are traditional or authentic. We always want to do heritage recipes justice, and never want to insult. We love tasting family recipes and getting inspired by those, too!
We recently did a Croatian dinner because the late father of the bride was Croatian. It was very important that her dad was represented the whole weekend. Each dish was inspired by family recipes and we spent time tasting each one to make sure it was just right. We like to incorporate techniques and flavors but will never promise that we do, for example, kosher catering or traditional Indian food.
How do you plan the perfect catering menu to fit the story of both the bride and groom?
Conversations! We want to know our clients and talk to them. Sometimes it's not even set out from the beginning to do specific food that represents the couple. It's when we start to learn more than those things come to fruition. Some people don't even know its an option. We want to get to know our couples, who they are, what they love and what they see for their day.
Our menus are really extensive and customizable and with the conversation, it just comes out. For example, we recently had a bride and groom who wanted a late-night snack option but weren't sure what they wanted so we asked them, "What do you eat on the way home from a night out drinking?" And at the same time, they both said "McDonald's McMuffins." So we did our Blend take on the McMuffin or, as it's known among their friends, "late night bacon".
What advice would you give to a couple getting ready to plan a multicultural wedding?
Well just coming from our own experience, we would say to always have open and honest conversations. Josh is Jewish and I'm not. To plan our wedding, we laid out our negotiables and non-negotiables and always talk about it with your vendors. Make sure that you have a team that supports you and can accommodate your day to make it special for you. Start with the important elements and go from there!
We are honored that Josh and Whitney shared with us their great advice and allowed us a peak into how they create their amazing menus. If you are interested in learning more about Blend Catering head on over to their vendor profile on Tahoe Unveiled.