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My Big Fat Ethnic Wedding

A few food shots, and a bit extra from my special day
A few food shots, and a bit extra from my special dayAspen Rebecca Kipling and William Albanese Sr.

Nope, you don’t have to be from a particular ethnic background to have a multi-ethnic wedding. As a mutt who has spent her whole life not knowing her full ethnic background, I have embraced many cultures. My wedding on April 2nd was no exception.

Chicken parm, crab soup, kielbasa, oh my!
Chicken parm, crab soup, kielbasa, oh my!Aspen Rebecca Kipling 2011

The location: The Other Barn in Oakland Mills (Columbia, MD). The theme: Miami. Miami is a melting pot of various cultures, as was the wedding. Bright colors, bright lights, and Cuban and Caribbean-style paintings set the mood for the evening. The dress: red! Red is my favorite color, but did you know that it’s also the wedding dress color for many Eastern cultures? The food: international. There was Italian pasta from Lil Tony's, Greek souvlaki from Sunshine Grille, Chinese chicken and shrimp from the Orient Restaurant, Polish kielbasa, Indian chicken from Jasa Kabob, (Tex) Mexican fajitas from Gecko's, and of course, sides and desserts from each culture. And let’s not forget a Baltimore culture staple: crab soup.

All of the meals, sans the Polish food, made by my amazing new mother-in-law, came from various local restaurants, and I was able to coordinate all of them through the third-party catering business (that I usually use for corporate catering at my job), Vmeals. Vmeals made this whole thing incredibly easy. You mean I can order food from many of my favorite restaurants all at once? Yes! And it’s so affordable. I won’t get into specifics, but let’s just say we had over 100 guests, and we spent less than $25 per person for a FULL buffet (there were even leftovers!) including serve ware, servers, tax and gratuity. The average plated dinner at a venue, I discovered in earlier research, is about $40, not including tax and gratuity (so tack on an extra $5-7).

And my local Sales Rep, Eric Bonardi, was amazing. He offered to coordinate all of the caterers the day of since I am a regular Vmeals customer. The main caterer, Chesapeake Food Works, donated all of the chafing dishes and one of the owners, Darren Samuels, was on-site to make sure everything went smoothly with the servers (yes, you can order servers online, too!) That is what I call excellent customer service! I would definitely recommend Vmeals to any other DIY brides (or corporate event planners!

There was some worry about whether or not people would touch ethnic food, but we are still getting calls from people raving about it. And some of these are caterers themselves, or people who wouldn’t dare set foot in an Indian restaurant by themselves. Surprisingly, most people took a little bit of everything. It was a very “I don’t know what this is, but I’m eating it because it’s here!” mentality. This is what happens when you order real food, and not a plated dinner where you are pretty much paying for a fancy plate with a sauce design on it.

Hearing “best food ever” and “best wedding ever” has warmed this DIY Examiner’s heart. I put a lot of work and all of myself into this, and I am proud to say that it was a success!

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