As the founder-owner of Alison Events, and author of “The Destination Wedding Planner: The Ultimate Guide to Planning a Wedding From Afar” (Chronicle Books), she’s produced stunning weddings all over the world. Whether you enlist the help of a planner or do it yourself, Alison’s tips on entertaining will help you make your bridal celebration picture perfect.
Bubbles add a festive, celebratory note to any bridal celebration. Cupcake Prosecco, a sparkling wine from Italy, is crisp and refreshing – an affordable alternative to pricey French champagne yet equally delicious.
Food needn’t be complicated to be remarkable. The finger foods here are varied and flavorful – but not hard to make. To satisfy all guest preferences, serve three to five appetizers, including chicken, beef and fish plus two veggie options (ideally, one vegan or dairy-free).
A signature drink is a fun way to welcome guests and get the party off to a spirited start. The prosecco ginger cocktail is delicious and memorable. Serve it in unconventional glassware and garnish with Persian cucumber “swizzle sticks” for greater impact.
A popular alternative to the traditional sit-down meal at engagement parties or showers are food stations offering an array of foods. Pair a wine with each station to create maximum variety.
Factor in overall ambiance and the vibe you want for your wedding or event. Lighting is key. And when it comes to candles, more is more.
Flavored vodka is another winner. Look for vodkas infused with exotic flavors such as vanilla frosting, devil’s food cake and more. And don’t be afraid to mix spirits with wine. Blend lemony Cupcake Chiffon Vodka with muddled blackberries, fresh mint, sparkling grapefruit water and a splash of cabernet sauvignon.
Bite-size cupcakes offer more variety and unexpected flavor combinations than a traditional cake.
Provide an assortment of non-alcoholic beverages plus bottled water and soft drinks to prevent dehydration and ensure that guests drink responsibly.
For more tips from Alison for creating a bridal event to remember, visit www.cupcakevineyards.com.
Prosecco ginger cocktail
1½ cups water
1 cup (6 ounces) crystallized ginger
½ cup sugar
2 bottles (750 ml) Cupcake Prosecco, chilled
Seedless Persian cucumber, cut into 24 thin diagonal slices
Combine water, ginger and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer on low heat, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let steep, covered, for 30 minutes. Cool. Purée until smooth. Add 1 tablespoon ginger purée to each champagne glass. Add chilled prosecco and stir well with a swizzle stick until blended. Garnish with a cucumber slice. Makes 12 servings (two glasses per serving).
Melted gruyere toasts with crisp frizzled prosciutto
Extra virgin olive oil
4 slices (about 3 ounces) prosciutto, cut into half-inch pieces
24 quarter-inch-thick slices Italian bread
4 ounces aged Gruyere, coarsely shredded (about 1¾ cups)
Heat half an inch of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat until hot enough to sizzle a piece of prosciutto. Stir half the prosciutto into hot oil and cook over medium heat for two to three minutes until prosciutto is crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon to a side dish. Add the remaining prosciutto and cook until crispy. Set aside. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray and arrange bread slices on tray. Top each slice with a rounded tablespoon of cheese. Bake until cheese is melted, about five minutes. Remove from oven. Stand a crispy piece of prosciutto in the center of each melted mound of hot cheese and serve immediately. Makes 12 servings (two pieces per serving).
– Courtesy of Family Features