Vintage Bride Sophie is here this week to talk about Afternoon Tea, who doesn’t love it!
If you’re opting for a vintage-themed wedding you’ll be pleased to hear that food is the easy part :-)
There are ways to tie in your era of choice to your wedding menu; hot dogs for a 50s rock n roll theme, 1000 course taster menu for a 20s theme… but one way to keep costs down, offer variety and provide something for everyone while maintaining a vintage theme is through ~ perhaps the greatest invention of all time ~ afternoon (or high) tea!
I mean, really, what could possibly be better than having someone plonk a beautiful cake stand in front of you, filled to the brim with sandwiches containing the fanciest fancy things you would probably treat yourself to at Christmas, miniature pies, tarts, cakes, buns, quiches, scones… and on that note I’m off to the kitchen to raid the cupboards and I’ll be back to finish writing shortly…
… Okay back to business. Let’s start with the cake stand. If you have a number of tables to serve you are going to need a fair few of these. There are plenty of local businesses in and around Wales with vintage cake stands and china available to hire at a fraction of the cost of having to buy them and this is definitely the route I would (and did) go down. If you want to pick up a few to use after the wedding, or for sentimental purposes, try charity shops, eBay, your local vintage market or even ask your family!
Fancy Vintage China based in Swansea provide vintage fine bone crockery
La de Da…Vintage China Hire in Porthcawl offer china along with other vintage props
The China Library in New Tredegar have been collecting vintage china, glassware and accessories for almost a decade
Vintage Green has a selection of English Bone China available to hire throughout South Wales
Sipping Pretty just on the edge of Hay-on-Wye have a collection of vintage crockery, glassware and other accessories including eiderdowns and candlesticks as well as picnic blankets!
Filling the cake stand with delights is something you will need to discuss with your caterer. Most caterers are used to preparing food for buffets but you will need to express that you need some finesse. This is, after all, an alternative to a traditional wedding dinner and needs to be special. It needs to fill your guests up to guarantee smiling faces in your wedding photos. No one likes to party on an empty stomach! Caterers should be able to provide food to suit your budget so sit down beforehand and establish what you can afford.
When deciding on sandwich fillings, pastries and the like, try to offer as much variety as possible. You may need to cater for vegetarians, vegans and guests with allergies so don’t forget to take any dietary requirements into consideration. As long as you have enough food and offer choice you’re on to a winner, trust me. Although it’s breaking tradition, another way to bulk up your menu is by serving bowls of salad and potatoes. These will accompany the savoury elements of your afternoon tea beautifully and will help to fill those bellies :-)
Oh, to heck with tradition! Have a giant basket of fresh welsh cakes on each table too!
I’m always one for a bit of sentimentality so let’s make this meal personal. If you’re lucky enough to have some of grandma’s or your mother’s hand-written cake recipes you could frame and display these as alternatives to table numbers and if you really want to get nostalgic, why not treat your guests by adding the finished cakes to the cake stand. How proud would they be?
I’ve been a busy bee sourcing era-specific recipes, presentation ideas and menus to whet your appetites. Pop over to Pinterest and have a little gander to get inspiration on food, drink and all areas of your vintage wedding.
Are any of our readers planning a real vintage wedding? Who is going with afternoon tea in lieu of a traditional wedding breakfast? Drop us a comment below.