Sadly, as we say start to say goodbye to summer it also means (for most of us) saying goodbye to the local farmers' markets. Perusing the produce stands while sipping some delicious iced tea has certainly been one of my favorite ways to enjoy the season. Especially if you are having a spring or summer wedding, why not bring the joys of local bounty directly to your event? A farmers' market wedding (also called "farm-to-table") is an event filled with fresh flowers, organic produce, and delicious offerings from local artisans.
It doesn't need to be complicated. Whether you buy specific blooms and herbs or collect wildflowers, keep the arrangements simple and sweet. Or you can use flower alternatives like fruits and vegetables (above) to decorate your tables (and serve as a healthy nosh while waiting for the salad course). Make sure to send the produce home with friends and family afterward, or donate it to a local food bank.
You can use chalkboard painted plant tags inside of potted herbs to designate table numbers. Not only will these centerpieces last long after the wedding, they will also make your reception smell amazing.
The key to a farmers' market wedding is using ingredients that are local and in season. Contact local farms to find out their schedule for produce crops so that you can plan your menu accordingly. Again, a farm-to-table wedding is all about the simplicity and eschews stuffy formality. Skip a fondant creation for a cake that celebrates regional products like blackberries or honey.
Artisanal cheeses and gourmet olives make for excellent, easy small bites. Serve alongside "condiments" like fig preserves, herbed honey, and olive oil--whatever your area has in abundance.
Simple doesn't necessarily mean sparse. Farm-to-table is all about thoughtful details that add to the atmosphere. This lovely invite (below) is enclosed inside of a tiny bag made of flour sack. And if you are in a really creative mood, lightly scent your invitation with your favorite herbal essential oil.
Can you believe this wedding menu (above, left)?! First of all, what a selection. It's a virtual harvest o' plenty. But the style is also perfect for a farmers' market wedding--informal and stylishly straightforward. Tie sprigs of your favorite herbs to greet each guest at their place (above, right). Incorporate wooden crates filled with flowers or produce. If you love biking to your local market, why not use your beach cruiser as decor at your wedding?
Contact local makers to produce your farmers' market favors, or just have a berry farm send you a few crates of their current crop. The morning after your celebration all of your guests will be savoring their little gift with their tea and coffee!