Wedding cakes’ setting

All about bridal feast

Origins

Bridal feast has ever been an important occasion in which the festive reasons only gastronomic interweave with other grounds such as power and wealth ostentation, social success stress and ritual and symbolic elements. Still now when we sit down at the table during a bridal feast we take part in a real rite. Obviously this was more evident during past ages, when differences between various classes were more marked: near bridal feasts between Royal families power and wealth showing there were farmers that sealed their bridal deal with modest feasts kept away from luxury and opulence.  A lot of the traditions that we observe still today during bridal feast date back to Middle Age and Renaissance, periods of allegories and symbolism; for example the idea that guests’ number can’t be odd and the presence of desserts and snacks as a symbol of a sweet and glad future. In addition bridal feast can’t come without fruits like apple, symbol of bride’s devotion, and pomegranate, symbol of fertility and hot and aphrodisiac foods to propitiate the physical union. Moreover bridal feast has a meaning of thank to the guests for their presence.

Instructions for use

Wedding feast has to take place in restaurants or mansions with large and roomy halls to receive the guests at best. The married couple can choose between:

–          Lunch or dinner stand on the table: the guests sit down at the table respecting the assigned seats to be comfortable and to chat with the other guests without leave off to take foods.

–          Buffet: all the foods and drinks are served on more tables and every guest can help himself freely.

–          Cocktail or happy hour: it can be a solution for a ceremony late in the afternoon. It’s typical under a gazebo accompanied on soft music.

Bridal feast needs to be in keeping with scenography of location and needs attention in the seats’ distribution and in the choice of menu. The bride goes before the guests, that will be welcomed firstly by her mother and then by the couple.  It’s a good idea to place a tableau with the assigned seats on the entrance if the guests are numerous.  It could be nice to display also a big book in which the guests can shout good wishes to the couple and signal their presence.

The tables can be arranged in different ways:

–          Traditional solution: a table horseshoe-shaped or E-shaped, where the bride occupies the central seat on the short side with the groom on the left and the father-in-law on the right near his wife. The bride’s mother sits near the groom and her husband. Then follow the witnesses, alternating a man and a woman, the more closed relations, the high regarded guests and all the others ordered from the oldest to the youngest, ever respecting the alternation between males and females.   

–          More tables, round or rectangular , with 6 or 8 seats, in front of the table of honor.

–          A French tradition: a table with the married couple and the youngest in the centre of the room, then a table with the bride’s closed relations and a table with the groom’s closed relations. All the other guests sit down at the other tables and a special one is assigned to the children.

It’s essential to help the guests to find their seats:

–  place holders with the guest’s name set on the table;

–  tableau;

–  personalized place cards delivered to every guest.

To complete the table’s equipment, embellished by beautiful tablecloths embroidered, shining crystal, porcelain and silver tableware, it’s possible to think about some details such as the binding of placeholders with a colored ribbon, small bouquets, fruits, candlesticks, and little menus. It’s important to keep attention to the time between the courses: not too much and not too little.

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