Serve up festive fall wedding food

Amidst a shifting autumn tableau of rich and colorful landscapes, autumn can provide a wealth of satisfying cuisine options for weddings during the season of plenty.

A catering and event provision veteran, Kim James has served up a wealth of harvest-ripe plates while operating Six Star Events out of Winchester.

She said couples always seem to get that Thanksgiving feel for what to put on the menu. Autumn cuisine trends on the hot and hearty side as a reflection of a fall wedding’s traditionally warm and familial atmosphere.

Fall fruits and vegetables like gourds, pumpkins, beets and apples can provide a robust selection of soups and salads to satisfy any wedding guest. Wielding the trusty tool of Pinterest, brides and other clients buzz James with bizarre new ideas for event cuisine.

“People will always come up with some funky pumpkin something or another,” she said laughingly.

Although James tells her brides that they can get almost anything despite being out of season, she tries to steer them toward what’s in season so that she can use more local products and keep the price down a bit.

“I really like to buy local, do things that are in season, work with farmers,” she said.

Within the last five years, weddings have started frequently adding bar-like options that fit even the pickiest diets while sticking to that hearty theme. Recently, James has provided fall weddings with a warm and comforting biscuit bar option that gives guests their choice between seasonal country hams and different jams, marmalades and butters.

“They’re just starting to rear their head, and they’re exciting … I love stuff like that,” she said.

Even options like brick oven pizza stations bring a touch of warmth for events that carry into the cooler evenings.

“Anything that’s bringing heat onto the site, I’m thinking fall,” she said.

Wedding parties can get a comforting sip of a warm drink, too: Other “bar” options include selections of espresso, tea and coffee, and apple ciders served cool at the beginning of a wedding can shift into roasted and mulled hot cider as it gets dark. Mulled wine can spice things up with toasty cinnamon and clove flavors, and James said she sees autumn events getting creative with rich dark beers.

Also, James and her team cover more than just the catering: As a full service option, Six Star forms the foundation for the reception with linens, table settings and flatware.

“Once they contract somebody like me … I take a lot of the layers that they’re thinking they have to deal with and I take them off them and I wear them,” she said.

Table and place settings lend a lot to the overall atmosphere of the event, and the variety of linens to choose from at Six Star provide a lot of creative freedom for clients to “play.” The popular barn-worn option of burlap now has a few new variants in different colors and softer textures, and couples have frequently opted for Six Star’s natural bamboo utensils and flatware.

To throw contrasting elements into the seasonally popular rustic themes, decorative elements can include things like wrought iron pieces or white pumpkins for a touch of elegance.

A veteran of catering and event provisions, James knows the importance of planning ahead and only leaving threads to tie off later on. As a vendor that lays the foundation for several other elements at a wedding, she recommends couples start planning their spreads a year or longer in advance.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com