I can't believe it's already November.  I thought 2010 flew by, but 2011 proved to move much faster.  Only 60 days until the New Year! I digress...

When I think of November the usual things come to mind:  Thanksgiving, the Fall, turkey, food.  LOTS of food.  I also thought about how easy it is to have a fall-inspired wedding, but how do you make sure that when your wedding takes place in one of these celebratory months that it doesn't fall victim to cliches and gimmicks?  Well here's some food for thought (pun intended).

Idea #1- Hors d'oeuvres Inspired by the Holiday (not main course)
Butternut squash shooters
Turkey meatballs
Twice-baked potato canape
Roasted vegetable mini quiche
Sweet potato skewer with marshmallow dipping sauce

The reason why I don't think the main course should reflect holiday fare is because it will scream "THIS IS A THANKSGIVING WEDDING".  I don't like things that scream, only things that suggest.

Idea #2- Seating
The usual 10-12 person rounds can always be expected.  Try something more rustic.  I love farm tables. Long, rectangular, communal farm tables. They can be of various sizes and accommodate different numbers of people.

PERSONAL FAVORITE:  Bella Figura Villie-Marie 

Idea #3- Family Style Eating 
I've never been to a Thanksgiving where I was served a plate.  I've always had my food passed to me by the person to my right or left.  I love this style of eating.  It's very much in the spirit of giving and receiving and always being thankful.

I know what you're thinking.  Do I really want to wait for lots of dishes to be passed around the table?  Is it too informal?  Will it make the tables look cluttered and distract from the centerpieces?  What happens when/if the food runs out?

At large tables, request that each side of the table be treated like a separate group.  They should each receive their own sets of all of the dishes.  Your catering manager will be able to assist in portions.  If you are plating meat, typically there will be only one portion per guest which is easily seen, so no one should take more than their fair share.  If they do, slap their hand.

Family style for the most part is less expensive than a formal dinner service, but I still consider a sit-down meal.   There is a way to incorporate individual service to your guests through dessert.  Individual slices of wedding cake is always a great presentation along with coffee or cider service. Learn where you can save your pennies, and where it still counts to have that extra attention to detail.

Idea #4- Use of Natural Materials
I beg of you- please DON'T place a cornucopia in the middle of your table and call it a day.  Bring natural elements into your decor such as trees, twigs, reeds, and wood.  Flowers should be warm and inviting, and rich in color.  Play up your candlelight by using cream or brown wax.  If you want to add an industrial or metallic element, consider copper or rust colored accents.

Oh yeah, let me mention my personal favorite.  As always, it's a Bella Figura letterpress invitation.  I love how subtle it is.  Extremely appropriate and is just enough to say "join us for an autumnal holiday affair".