I don’t know if you’ve been outside lately, but fall is definitely on its way! From pumpkin spice lattes (yes, they’re here!) to sweet potato pie and all that yummy comfort food that happens as soon as the air chills and bonfires start popping up every Friday night, ’tis the season. Ashley’s Bride Guide’s got the expert seasonal food advice from Chef’s Market! See excerpt below!

Tablescaping and Design:

Wanting their guests to feel at home, couples have long been breaking free of the tendency to think that a fall wedding reception has to be formal or traditional. The trick is to make it comfortable and elegant at the same time. A stylish look for table tops and food presentation for the autumn 2011 season is what I call “rustic bohemian”. The look is clean and earthy, incorporating farm house tables, antique baskets, wooden cutting boards and using roughly torn brown butcher paper as under-liner for food. In the past, this style might have been accented with an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables on the tables for a farmers’ market look — no more. Cleaner lines are in. A look of abundance is a must, but it should come from the prepared food, not the props or randomly thrown fodder. Decor should have function (i.e. fresh herbs in rustic pots with silver scissors for guests to snip and add to their food).


I love the warm, comfortable colors of fall — ivory, taupe, black, eggplant, marigold, browns, and copper. These hues are classics that have long been on autumn wedding inspiration boards and are still popular. The surprising color I am seeing this fall is red, a bright red, and it makes sense. What color is your eye drawn to when seeing a hillside of trees with turning leaves? Vibrant red. In the past, I have played it safe with a rusty red, but this year I’m taking a clue from Mother Nature and throwing in cherry red.


Because couples really want a comfortable environment that’s not stuffy or pretentious for their guests, comfort food continues to be on trend. But there are new trends in comfort food, such as grits, boneless beef ribs, savory cupcakes, and home-style desserts.

Grits: Shrimp and grits have been around receptions for a while…for so long now that it was just added to Shoney’s menu. In other words: Bye, bye shrimp and grits; it was fun while it lasted. However, we’re not ready to give up on grits just yet. A grits station where guests pick from a smorgasbord of grit features can make the whole concept a fresh idea again. Maybe Lobster and Brie Stone Ground Grits, Smoked Gouda Grits, or Wild Mushroom and Gruyère Grits, with an awesome display of toppings like apple wood bacon, caper berries, and fire roasted corn for guests to garnish however they’d like to the reception site.

To see the rest, click here!

~ Kelly