I am getting married next summer and since I am on a budget the only way I can have an outdoor wedding is at my parents farm. Do you have any ideas of what we can do to spice things up. Setting up a bunch of grills and cooking hamburgs isn’t my idea of fun. Help!
Congratulations on your engagement! I think a Hawaiian Luau or a Country Barbecue would be lots of fun. For both ideas I would suggest you have a catered pig roast.
A pig roast is always a treat for an outdoor get-together, and what better way to make your outdoor wedding stand out than combining the two together? Whether you go with a traditional catered barbecue or Hawaiian luau, the reception will be fun, the food great, and guests will remember it for years to come. The pig will become the point of interest and a great conversation starter amongst your guests.
The pig is the guest of honor behind the wedding party at this type of reception. A traditionally roasted pig is no different at a barbecue type function than a luau, the difference will be the food that goes with it.
A country-themed wedding calls for traditional soul foods and Southern fare. Treat guests to side dishes like fritters, biscuits, cornbread and garden vegetables. Green beans, fried tomatoes and corn on the cob are also traditional country dishes. Use, applesauce, baked beans and potato dishes to complete the spread. Large bowls of tossed salad are welcome at any meal.
In addition to the hog spit roast you can offer barbecued ribs, fried chicken or another classic Southern dish. Pot roast and roast chicken are also popular country meat dishes. Include a seafood dish, like fried oysters and battered fish, for guests who may not eat red meat. Egg salad and pasta salad, when made without bacon or meat products, are both classic country dishes and perfect vegetarian options. Remember to offer sauces like brown gravy and barbecue sauce, because no country feast would be complete without them.
For desserts incorporate traditional farm flavors into the wedding cake (spice, carrot and pumpkin are all good choices) and decorate it with edible flowers to create a nature-based look. To celebrate the outdoors and the country theme, include classic fruit pies on the dessert menu. Place self-serve jars of honey and jelly on each guest table to pay homage to the theme.
Fill washtubs and barrels with ice and use them to hold beverages in glass and plastic bottles, such as lemonade, soda and water. Include large pitchers of iced tea and apple cider, two must-have country beverages, and coolers full of ice. If you plan to offer alcoholic beverages, maintain a separate, supervised washtub for distribution.
As the guests arrive offer them finger foods with an island twist such as ”Hawaiian” pizza squares topped with ham and pineapple, or taro chips instead of potato chips.
In addition to the hog spit roast you can offer alternatives such as roasted citrus chicken stuffed with oranges, lemons and limes as a simple yet tropical alternative for the guests who don’t eat pork.
For sides you can add a tropical fruit salad, and fresh veggie trays. Tropical rice is a popular luau side that pairs well with chicken and pork dishes. For simple island rice, cook white or jasmine rice in coconut milk instead of water, and add mandarin orange slices, pineapple chunks, and cashews once cooked.
No luau party would be complete without tropical drinks. Serve fruit punch with pineapple wedges to kids, and offer adults popular tropical cocktails such as banana daiquiris, sangria or mai tais. For tropical, non-alcoholic beverages for guests of all ages, serve pineapple soda or virgin pina coladas.
Melon chunks are a light, sweet, tropical treat perfect for a simple luau party dessert. Ambrosia salad made with shredded coconut, mango sorbet and grilled pineapple slices are also tasty luau dessert options. Traditional desserts like pineapple upside down cake and coconut cream pie satisfy most pallets and bring that tropical island flare to everyone’s favorite part of the meal.
Feeding a vegetarian does not need to be a dilema. Offer an assortment of foods that most people generally enjoy such as vegetable lasagna, and sandwich platters. The vegetarian will also be able to enjoy many side dishes you offer the other guests.
A backyard dressed up with a festive white tent fits either pig roast theme. Decorate the tent and yard with fresh flowers, ribbons, white string lights and netting.
Country Barbecue Decor
Decorating can be a lot of fun. For a country barbecue crisp red-and-white checked table cloths with a beautiful arrangement of fresh daisies would make a great table setting. Casual seating at round tables makes the event comfortable, and dressing up the chairs with ribbons adds a festive flair. If red isn’t going to blend with your colors, use the accent color of your wedding. Use bales of hay, cowboy hats, barrels of flowers and horse shoes for luck.
For the luau, tropical leaves and birds of paradise on a table set with grass mats, and colorful table clothes to match your wedding colors would be a hit. For a casual dress reception, go with the Hawaiian shirt theme. Add coconuts, grass skirts to tables, and large banana plants in pots to add the island feel. Hang Hawaiian lanterns over your porch lights and other light fixtures in your party area. Torches or candles along the path ways are great additions.
And of course, don’t forget to greet your guests with Hawaiian leis or flower bracelets as they come in.
As your party rocks into the night you can set up a small bonfire and place logs or short benches around it with buckets of marshmallows and some skewers.
* I would like to give a special thanks to my friend Phil the owner of Hog Spit Roast Catering and Barbecue Caterer for his advice on how to plan a wedding pig roast. If your located in the UK, please be sure to visit Phil’s sites for more information. He can help you cater the wedding of your dreams all on a budget.
*Photo Credits: BarbecueCaterer.com