Friday, October 17, 2008

#403: a picnic wedding.

sorry to mislead you.

i'm not really featuring a picnic wedding. though i will say that i've seen a good number of them (most of them budget-friendly, all of them fab) around the blog world lately. too bad i didn't see one in the past 5 minutes, otherwise i would have linked to it. to show you. how awesome they can be.


if i were going to have a picnic in a park, i think i'd want to serve jazzed up boxed lunches with finger-friendly foods as opposed to setting up a fancy buffet or hiring sit-down service. there's something about a park that screams 'cool casual'.

but...'boxed lunch' reminds me of 'brown bag'. which in turn reminds me of those ham and cheese sandwiches my mom would so lovingly make and pack along with some ritz crackers and a capri-sun for my elementary school field trips. as a kid, i wasn't too picky about food. but i do remember that the sandwiches were always totally soggy by lunchtime.

i don't remember anyone mentioning exactly what was served to the guests at these picnic or park weddings, in those boxes or prettied up brown bags. and i just really want to know. i'm a self-proclaimed MAYJAH foodie and all of our guests put good food rather high on their 'list of happy things'. and good food doesn't always mean expensive (hello, in-n-out = good sh*t!). but good food needs to be...good. aka not a soggy sandwich.

so, in your capacity as a picnic or park wedding guest, or bride, or caterer...or a reader who just wants to share a few palatable ideas, please shed some light on my curiosity.

via city of fullerton. (for fees, click here.)

other lovely city spots:

santa monica

la mountains


Broke-ass Bride said...

How about...
Grilled veggies and fresh mozzerella panini with a side of sweet potato chips?

Roast beef and cheddar on ciabatta with horseradish spread and heirloom tomatoes and a side of german potato salad with cornichons?

Hungry yet? :)

Skeeta25 said...

Im haveing a beach picnic for the welcome dinner. I think I'm going to use Boston Market to cater because my family is going to want some food to stick to their bones! They catered a recent event that was DELICIOUS.
Sliced turke, baked chicken, sweet potatoe souflee (sp?), cream spinich, mac and cheese, mixed veggies, corn bread muffins.

If I were doing a picnic wedding, I'd servee the same!

amanda said...

for our picnic wedding, we served lunch boxes from corner bakery cafe, which everyone raved about! i was also worried about the soggy-ham-and-cheese syndrome, so we made a conscious effort to pick gourmet-type flavors. we interviewed a number of caterers, and honestly, corner bakery's sandwiches were among the best we tasted, at HALF the price of most other places. around $10 a box! we ended up designing our own wrappings because most of the stuff they use has corner bakery logos all over it, but they were TOTALLY fine with that. here's what was in our boxes:

-choice of sandwich: tomato/mozzarella on ciabatta, pesto chicken on ciabatta, or southwest roast beef on poblano cheese bread.
-side salad: caprese pasta salad w/ fresh mozzarella and grape tomatoes (for chicken or beef sandwich) or mixed green salad (for tomato/mozzarella to avoid redundance)
-kettle cooked potato chips
-granny smith apple

the boxes generally come with a sweet (cookie, brownie, etc.) but we elected to have a dessert buffet as well as a traditional cake, so left that out of the boxes. the buffet consisted of some costco-bought options (brownie bites, madelines, mini-cannolis, etc), some homemade (by me, or friends/family) stuff (homemade marshmallows, rainbow cookies - my husband's favorite, peach pie), and a couple items from the corner bakery (lemon bars and maple pecan bars).

if i had it to do all over again, i would do it exactly the same way! as i said, people raved about the food, which was my main goal. just concentrate on using breads that don't get soggy and sad, and making sure that you use some gourmet flavors rather than the standard ham-and-cheese, and you'll be good.

hope this helps! if you have any other questions or want more specifics, comment back!

PurpleLime said...

After reading those other comments I'm totally craving a tomato and fresh mozzarella sandwich. Too bad I don't have any tomatoes. Or fresh mozzarella. Blast.

I love the box lunch idea, so perfect for a casual affair! I think as long as you use hearty bread and good ingredients without too much sauce or mayo they shouldn't get soggy. Especially if you use a bakery or deli that caters they should have it down to a science so that the food will be delicious.

Another sandwich I like that would work for this idea would be fresh sweet peppers, tomatoes, sprouts and hummus on ciabatta or some other crunchy-crusted bread. Yummm. Would be nice with some fruity cocktails and fresh lemonade and iced tea to drink.

Tafe said...

I'm considering a picnic lunch as well and am debating between buffet and box lunches. I was thinking Whole Foods' deli could probably do a fantastic job on buffet picnic foods (love their cranberry couscous salad). Given that, I don't know why they couldn't do a box lunch as well. What about getting away from sandwiches and doing a trio of cold salads, cured meats, cheese, bread, apple.... sort of Euro style. If people WANTED to put the meats and cheeses on the bread they could, or they could eat it separately.

SmallgoodBride said...

For our picnic wedding, we had a deli make roast beef and cheese on a croissant roll. Pasta salad, fruit salad, and candied walnuts were our side items.

Heather from the bar said...

Boudin also does boxed lunches for a really good price :)

jen said...

I am getting married at my parents' house in Fullerton- we looked at that site at Hillcrest Park! It is beautiful (and cheap)- the only downside is that the park does not allow any alcoholic beverages. We had to sadly cross it off our list b/c of that.

Heather M said...

We are renting a Minneapolis park pavilion and having a laid-back, catered meal
Cocktail hour -- wine, beer and cider along with crackers, cheese and grapes for appetizers.
Dinner -- Casual buffet dinner with chicken & veggie kabobs, corn on the cob, green field salad, sun-dried tomato pasta salad, pulgogi (traditional korean dish), kimchi (also korean) and rice.
Dessert -- Cake (not sure which kind yet)

I think the whole thing will just feel like a summer day in the park and yet it will also feel special having everyone together in the same space, enjoying the loveliness of the celebration...

Marina said...

Before I discovered that my favorite Lebanese restaurant does catering for practically nothing, I was thinking picnic. I was thinking mostly finger foods, stuffed mushrooms/peppers/tomatoes, fruit, bruchetta, sliced veggies and dip, kabobs, etc.

You could also do a sandwich buffet, so the bread would be separate from the sauces/fillings and people could put whatever they wanted on their sandwiches.