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June 1, 2022

10 Tips for How to Make Any Space a Wedding Venue

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forest kiss, outdoor wedding, bride in the forest, Utah outdoor wedding, unique wedding venues, Culinary Crafts wedding, trees, gorgeous wedding photo, picturesque wedding, ivy covered trees As traditional wedding venues book up, many couples are converting ordinary spaces into exciting, unique places to get married. We’re seeing beautiful weddings staged beside a forest stream, in a rustic horse stable, or on top of a mountain! If you like the idea of doing something original, here are 10 tips for how to make practically any space into a magical, one-of-a-kind wedding venue.

1. Think Big

A museum or art gallery. The beach. An aquarium, aviary, or greenhouse. Any place that has special meaning to you as a couple may be a fantastic stage for a celebration that’s both personal and poignant. A favorite camp site or national park. A nightclub, ski resort, or skating rink. Even the gym where you met. Or maybe what represents you best is a Beatles-like concert on a rooftop or skeet shooting at your favorite hunting club. What we’re saying is, free your imagination. mountain wedding rocky mountain bride, lake, secluded, luxury, picturesque wedding, high end unique, waterfall, photos, pristine, outdoor wedding, unique Utah wedding destinations

2. Be Practical

As you dream big, bear in mind that when you create your own wedding venue, you’ll need to supply everything that a traditional venue would generally provide. That includes water, electricity, restrooms, transportation, parking, accessibility, permits…the list is longer than you think. But if you’re willing to work with your planner and address each aspect of the event thoughtfully, creating your own wedding venue can be pure magic! Salt Flat light, wedding on Utah Salt Flats, microwedding, micro-wedding, Utah outdoor wedding, wedding party on Salt Flats, white lights, night, draped lights, curtain of lights, special catering, catering events in Utah, outstanding events in Utah, picturesque wedding, Utah catered events

3. Prioritize

Assuming that you and your chosen one have agreed on your wedding priorities and budget (you have had that talk, right?), think about how well those priorities line up with the venue you have in mind. Are stunning photos at the top of your list of must-haves? Is your priority to make sure the whole clan can be there? To treat your guests to an amazing sit-down dinner and then party and dance the night away? Whatever your top priorities are, make sure the space you’ve chosen lends itself to those things. You may not be able to afford everything you dream, but you’ll get what’s most important to you if you prioritize. flower swing, the Hallows, wedding venue at Sundance Utah, couple in swing, swing of flowers, wedding in forest, bride on groom's lap, Culinary Crafts wedding, specialty wedding, unique wedding venue, married in the forest, trees, Utah outdoor weddings

4. Size Matters

If the space you’re considering is huge (like, say, a horse pasture, or the Bonneville Salt Flats), there are tricks to make a venue feel smaller and more intimate. However, if a space is too small to handle your guest count, there’s no way to fix that except to trim your list.

As a rough rule of thumb, for a seated dinner you’ll need about 12-14 square feet per guest, or 8-9 feet if you’re serving cocktail style with some people sitting and some standing. Add another 4-5 feet per guest if you want dancing. You’ll also need room for your caterer, a head table, cake table, bar, gift table, etc., but the measurements really depend on the particular venue. That’s why the eye of an experienced planner is crucial. Do a walkthrough together and make sure your space can handle everything you have in mind. forest table, wedding in the woods, forest wedding in Utah, table setting in forest, outdoors wedding venue in Utah, Utah County catered wedding, beautiful outdoor wedding, intimate outdoor event, candles, plates, glasses, trees, chairs, canopy, forest canopy

5. Amenities

At a minimum, you’ll need to provide the basics: food, water, electricity, and restrooms. (Nothing can turn a dream wedding into a nightmare faster than a problem with restrooms.) If the space you’ve chosen doesn’t already have restroom access—and enough access to avoid long lines—it’s worth hiring professionals. Electricity can be supplied by a generator, but remember that ordinary generators are way too loud; you’ll need a whisper generator or two. If your site doesn’t have clean water, you’ll have to pack in enough for drinking, washing, and on-site food prep. Consult your caterer about water, food, and beverage issues. grilling outdoors, flames at night, catering event in Utah, Utah outdoor wedding, Culinary Crafts chefs, cooking over open flame, bbq, barbeque cooking, firing a grill, wedding catering in Utah

6. Protect Your Guests from the Elements

If some of the festivities will be outside, you’ll need to protect your guests from too much sun, wind, rain, or other inclement weather—not to mention bugs. A tent, kata, yurt, or marquee are all good options, but make sure you know how they’ll be transported to the site, set up, and taken down.

In hot months, start dinner around 7:30 to avoid the heat of the day. But if you’re going to be in the mountains, move that start time up to around 4:30. Trees will provide enough shade, and the sun sets much sooner in the mountains, so temperatures drop quickly. couches, tent, lounge in the woods, sofas in the forest, comfortable wedding guests, wedding venues, outside wedding, forest wedding, children's tent, play camping, play campfire, relax at wedding, relaxing outdoor weddings, wedding guests relax, Culinary Crafts, catered weddings in Utah

7. View the Space Through Your Guests' Eyes

This is where creating your own wedding venue really starts to get fun!

Think of the celebration as distinct stages that move your guests from one event to the next throughout the night. What do you want them to feel and experience in each stage? Maybe as they arrive and mingle during cocktail hour, you want them to feel welcomed and relaxed. If so, what elements of your venue can contribute to that experience? A lounge vignette with comfortable sofas and a murmuring brook in the background? A fun display of memorabilia that shares your personal connection to the place? Whatever it is that you love about your chosen venue, find ways to weave it into your guests’ experience.

For each stage of the celebration, you want to provide your guests with at least one “WOW!” factor. A breathtaking view of a waterfall. The divine smells of a gorgeous floral setting. Mouthwatering BBQ. The heart-pumping beats of your favorite band. Engage all the senses! fairy lights, event tent, gauze tent, outdoor wedding in Utah, catering event tables, view of Utah mountains, outdoors wedding, unique wedding venue, beautiful outdoor wedding, outdoor catering in Utah

8. Lighting

There’s no better way to add beauty and mood to your venue than with the creative use of lighting. Uplights placed near walls or drapery can create a muted, open feel that makes a space seem larger. On the other hand, a canopy of bistro lights can make a space feel more intimate and enclosed. Candlelight is a sure-fire way to heighten the romantic mood, while fairy lights incorporated into your tablescape add a playful whimsy. Inexpensive and easy to transport, lights are a great way to create the right mood. dancing smile, wedding dancing, antlers chandelier, bride and groom dance, first dance, blue night sky, fairy lights, bistro lights, wedding in Utah, outdoor wedding venue in Utah, Wasatch Front wedding, catered wedding in Utah

9. Permits, Licenses, and Insurance

Before you finalize plans, ask yourself, “Do I need a permit for my wedding venue?” Depending on where you want to create your venue, there may be parking permits, fire permits, fireworks permits, or noise ordinances to deal with. A fire marshal may even need to do a walk-through prior to the event. Some cities require a special use permit for a wedding, and state parks generally do too. (Those park permits take time, so get started early!) If you’re planning to set up a tent or other temporary structure, some municipalities require a temporary building permit. An alcohol license may also be required if you’ll be serving any kind of alcohol.

Contact the city or county where you’re planning to host your event and find out what legal hoops you’ll have to jump through. It may also be worth looking into insurance for your event, especially if you are holding it in a museum or some other setting with a threat of significant property damage. outdoor wedding in Utah, Utah summer wedding, married outdoors, wedding by a river, trees, river, mountains, Utah mountain wedding, white sky, bride and groom walking by a river, hand in hand, love, picturesque, beautiful wedding moment, Utah catered events, bridal gown outdoors, bride in dress in Nature

10. Work with a Planner and Vendors

Creating a wedding venue of your own opens up all kinds of beautiful possibilities, but also lots of challenges. You probably don’t want to deal with every one of those issues on your own, so look at your budget and decide which worries are worth passing off to the pros. Here are a few vendors we recommend in the Wasatch Front area:

Our main advice here is that you work with an experienced wedding planner. A planner’s expertise can save you time, money, and trouble. Plus, your planner may have recommendation of local vendors who can greatly reduce the headaches of converting any space into a wedding venue.

December 26, 2018

A Very Special Baby Shower!

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Hope you all had a lovely holiday with your friends and family!  Today we have a VERY SPECIAL Culinary Crafts event to share with you all!  It’s our very own Meagan Crafts Price and Clayton Price’s baby shower - and, spoiler alert, it was GORGEOUS!  Held at The Tasting Room, our friends at Soiree Productions created a picture perfect brunch party.  Check it out! How pretty is this signage?  A perfect welcome to the party and those florals from Artisan Bloom are stunning! The Tasting Room was the perfect venue, don’t you think?  We love the mix of feminine florals with just a touch of blue for Meagan and Clayton’s baby boy, Tristan! Another peek at those beautiful tables!  SO PRETTY! We loved how many fun details were party of this shower as well!  Guests were invited to take a Polaroid of themselves to put in the guestbook with a note for the soon-to-be parents! We knew we had to have a fresh juice bar!  Fresh squeezed OJ, Pomegranate Lemonade, Cucumber Mint Water, and Mango Lemonade were all served.  Yum! Of course, since we hosted a brunch party, we made sure to have a signature Coffee Bar! This action bar with artisan cheeses, salad, crackers, and honeycomb was definitely a crowd favorite! Seriously, how pretty was this event???  I couldn’t help but share one more of this beautiful setup! We love our Ebelskiver action station!  How could you not love these delicious pancakes?  Plus the guests love having theirs made to order! The hand calligraphied menus were such a great addition to the event!  Also we served Eggs Benedict because you can’t have brunch with out Benes.  Our delicious version were also made to order and topped with whichever toppings the guests wanted.  So good! Of course we also had a whole selection of desserts!  Plus, we love displaying some of them in our honeycomb display.  Such a whimsical touch! Thank you to all of the wonderful people who came to celebrate Meagan, Clayton, and baby Tristan!  And thank you to Soiree Productions, Artisan Bloom, The Tasting Room, Logan Walker Photography, and Pepper Nix Photography for coming together to host such a beautiful event for them too!  It was the best day to celebrate the best soon to be parents! Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at www.culinarycrafts.com!  

March 9, 2018

Friday Instagram of the Week!

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Today's Friday Instagram of the Week comes from, Heather, one of the fantastic guests from our Annual Penny Party!  We had SOOO much fun unveiling our new foods and trends and seeing all of your wonderful faces too!  This pic is of our charcuterie station and it was one of the most popular of the night!  We loved it because it married 3 of our FAVORITE local vendors fine offerings in perfect harmony; High West Whiskies, Beehive Cheeses (including a Culinary Crafts creation), and Creminelli Meats.  Yum!  Thank you to Heather for sharing this pic!  And remember, for your chance to be chosen next, tag your photos with @culinarycrafts or add the hashtag #culinarycrafts to your post and then check back next week to see who is picked next!  Happy weekend, everyone! Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at www.culinarycrafts.com!

March 2, 2018

Friday Instagram of the Week!

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Today's Instagram of the Week comes from @nannetteyorkfloral who posted a peek of this STUNNING Sleepy Ridge wedding that we had the pleasure of being a part of!  One of my favorite parts of this spectacular day?  The Culinary Crafts signature Flaming Doughnuts station (seen here)!  Always a crowd favorite and SO delicious! Thank you for sharing, Nannette, and remember, for your chance to be picked next, tag us at @culinarycrafts or add the hashtag #culinarycrafts to your post and check back to see who's pic we choose!  Happy weekend, everyone! Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at www.culinarycrafts.com!

December 8, 2017

Friday Instagram of the Week!

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Today's Instagram of the Week comes from the fantastic Love Wins Utah with this pic from one of our FAVORITE weddings ever.  (You can see more from this AMAZING celebration on SLPC Bride & Groom's blog here.)  Plus, how cute are their pups?!  LOVE IT.  Thank you for sharing Love Wins Utah!  And remember, for your chance to be next week's pick, tag us at @culinarycrafts or add the hashtag #culinarycrafts to your posts and check back to see who gets picked next!  Happy weekend, everyone! Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at www.culinarycrafts.com!

October 17, 2017

A Pretty, Fall Dinner at the Wells Fargo Building!

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Today on the blog, I thought I'd show you one of our FABULOUS corporate events.  Now, I know that we showcase a LOT of weddings (because, I mean, they are GORGEOUS!) but we are also so lucky to get to be a part of some pretty AMAZING corporate events too!  Since we are heading out of wedding season and straight into holiday party time, we here at Culinary Crafts figured it was an excellent time to start getting your inspiration wheels turning!  Check it out! Don't you just love it when you are greeted to your table with a beautiful salad and decadent dessert?  I know it makes me excited for the meal to come! The Wells Fargo Building has SUCH amazing views!  I mean, check out this view of the Salt Lake Valley.  Gorgeous! Okay, back to the food! Our first course was a salad with Fresh Mozzarella, Heirloom Tomatoes, Arugula, Pine Nuts, and Balsamic Reduction.  Isn't it pretty?  Of course, the desserts were beautiful too.  Our Fresh Fruit Tarts with House Made Custard and our Black Satin Fudge Cake with Creme Anglaise and Fresh Mango were both so delicious.  I don't know how you would choose! We loved the simple, yet striking floral arrangements!  They fit the tables perfectly and gave a nod to the fall season, which was so great! Naturally, we have to bring even more yummy food to an event, so we made sure we had a variety of amazing butler passed hors d'ouevres!  Bacon Wrapped Figs, Goat Cheese & Artichoke Crostini, Seared Bistecca with Chimichurri on Polenta, and Duck Wonton Crisps were just some of the offerings!  YUM! Last but not least, these mini BLTs!  How cute are they?  I loved this appetizer! We served a show-stopping dual entree for the main course of Pan Seared Sea Scallops with Hazelnut Caper Butter over Roasted Asparagus Spears and Grass-Fed Utah Beef Tenderloin with Wild Mushroom, and Red Wine Reduction over Garlic Mashed Potatoes.  So good! The guests enjoyed a gorgeous sunset during dinner, which we thought topped of this event wonderfully!  Such a pretty night! I hope this gave you some inspiration for your upcoming parties!  We absolutely LOVED how this event turned out and are so happy we got to be a part of it!  Happy planning, everyone! Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at www.culinarycrafts.com!

September 29, 2017

Friday Instagram of the Week!

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Today's Instagram of the Week comes from our friends at In The Event who we had the pleasure of working with on Utah Opera's 40th Anniversary Gala.  This event was AMAZING!  Case in point?  Trees were brought in to create this tent's dramatic entrance!  Plus, the color palette was gorgeous - we absolutely loved it!  Thank you for sharing, In The Event!  Remember, for your chance to be next week's pick, tag us at @culinarycrafts or add the hashtag #culinarycrafts to your post and check back to see who gets chosen next!  Happy weekend! Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at www.culinarycrafts.com!

September 21, 2017

Simply Gorgeous Fall Red Cliff Ranch Wedding!

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Everyone here at Culinary Crafts is getting excited for fall!  I mean, how could you not?  Believe me, we love summer, but there's always a welcome feeling for the change of season and we are loving it!  This gorgeous wedding is a perfect fall showstopper at one of our favorite venues, Red Cliff Ranch - and it happens to be the couple's wedding anniversary this weekend too!  Pretty perfect, right?  We also love this wedding because this bride was on a pretty tight budget, but it was still a STUNNING wedding with delicious Culinary Crafts food!  Now, check out this beautiful fall Red Cliff Ranch wedding! Oh, Red Cliff Ranch, even your entrance is beautiful.  And isn't that fall color amazing?! I love all of the horses on the property and they are so friendly!  It's such a great part of getting married at Red Cliff Ranch! How pretty is this bouquet?  Great inspiration for a beautiful bouquet that is perfect for a fall wedding without getting too crazy.  Simple and gorgeous! The beautiful bride and groom.  We love the bride's fun cowboy boots and the groom's snazzy vest was perfect for this fall fete! This meadow at Red Cliff Ranch is easily one of our FAVORITE ceremony spots.  The couple kept their casual, rustic vibe by having guests sit on hay bales and the addition of a simple wooden ceremony arch decorated with more pretty sunflowers was so beautiful! Who says simple can't be stunning?  The tablescape was so pretty, but kept the decor minimal.  We absolutely LOVED how it turned out! For cocktail hour we offered these beautiful Artisan Cheese Platters with local cheese and honey and a variety of fruits and crackers.  Such an easy way to add a special touch to cocktail hour! The guests loved this light snack that allowed them to mix and mingle.  Plus, how cute are those little Bamboo bowls! We made sure the guests had something fabulous to drink and we loved offering our infused waters in these rustic water vessels.  So fun! To keep with the rustic, laid back vibe of this wedding, we served a delicious buffet with all the fixin's to make yummy Pulled Pork Sandwiches!  Easily, one of my favorite low-key offerings! Of course, we made sure to add amazing sides to the buffet like our Roasted Vegetable Salad and our Coleslaw!  So good! The couple gave their guests these cute favors with a sweet treat and we loved how fun these little boxes were. Another gorgeous pic of this couple!  Love! For the reception party, we loved this lounge area and it was perfect for the style of the day! How fun are these Polaroids?  A perfect way to end this post for this amazing wedding day.  And happy anniversary to Ari and Derek!  We loved this wedding day and love how it can inspire any couple on any budget to make their wedding day amazingly gorgeous!  Happy planning, everyone! Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at www.culinarycrafts.com! Photos by Trevor Hooper Photography

September 19, 2017

A Elegant, Glam Wedding at the Rice Eccles Tower!

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QUICK NOTE BEFORE WE GET TO TODAY'S BLOG: Thank you to everyone who joined us at the ‘Showdown for Support’ yesterday! It was such a great evening and we loved having you all there to support such a great cause! As we plunge into cooler temperatures (and then back out, because Utah likes to keep us on our toes), our thoughts turn toward fall and winter weddings and their GORGEOUS color palettes that we love so much.  Today, we have a Culinary Crafts wedding that just screams 'winter beauty' with its rich blues and accents of silver.  Pair that with elegant white and blue florals?  Well, I think you'll see why we love this event so much!  Check it out! Isn't this GORGEOUS???  We absolutely LOVED the sequined runners and the navy linens.  So pretty! Every Blooming Thing's elegant florals were so perfect for this wedding!  Plus, isn't the cake from Carrie's Cakes AMAZING? Another gorgeous floral arrangement!  We loved the use of different heights and types of arrangement to create a more visually interesting space. This couple was so fun!  They gave each table an 'assignment' to encourage guests to mingle and share stories about the couple.  Such a fun idea! How cool is this head table?  The use of the aspens trunks really added some drama to the table design! Another cool element on these tables were these super chic table numbers! Now, onto the food - which we thought was pretty amazing, if we do say so ourselves!  Guests were greeted with butler-passed hors d'oeuvres like these Pomme Frites with Aioli Dipping Sauce in bamboo cones.  Yum! Another shot of these delicious fries, because why not? Another butler-passed hors d'oeuvres was our Argentinian-Style Chicken Empanadas with Chimichurri Sauce - so good! The couple chose to serve an amazing buffet which included our Miso-glazed Salmon and, of course, our House Made Breads with Sea Salted Butter! Along with the Miso-glazed Salmon, we also served Teriyaki Grilled Chicken, Sautéed Zucchini, and Asparagus Risotto with Mascarpone Cream.  Such a decadently delicious winter menu! Another fun element?  The bride and her mom created this candy table for guests to fill a box to take home as their wedding favor!  We love how pretty it turned out! We absolutely loved this glam wedding and think the Rice Eccles Tower was the perfect venue!  We hope this inspires all of you with winter events to maybe add a little sparkle to your event!  You won't be disappointed!  Happy planning, everyone! Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at www.culinarycrafts.com! Vendors: Venue - Rice Eccles Tower // Catering and Tablescapes - Culinary Crafts // Lighting and Decor - Scenemakers // Cake - Carrie’s Cakes // Florals - Every Blooming Thing // Linens - Creative Coverings // Rentals - Diamond Rentals // Photos by Kelli Bramble

September 13, 2017

A Simply Stunning NHMU Wedding from the Pages of SLPC Magazine!

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Today, I am going to share a GORGEOUS Culinary Crafts wedding that is brimming with natural beauty that you might recognize from the pages of Salt Lake / Park City Bride and Groom Magazine!  Plus, it's perfect inspiration for the upcoming fall season because the menu took queue from some of the bounty of local fall produce.   We absolutely LOVED this couple, the venue (The Natural History Museum of Utah ) is gorgeous, and the beautiful, yet low key, organic vibe was so perfect.  Plus, our friends at Fuse Weddings & Events did the event design and planning, so it was flawless, of course!  Thank you for sharing these stunning images, Elisha Braithwaite Photography - now, check out this amazing wedding! How pretty is this Minted invitation suite?!  Even the stamps are perfectly picked to match the style of the wedding!  LOVE! The Natural History Museum of Utah is such a GORGEOUS backdrop for photos!  We love the architectural design of the space and the mix of materials makes it so full of texture and visual interest! Isn't this couple stunning?  Love them! Another great feature of this venue?  The natural light!!!  Not only do you get amazing views of the Salt Lake Valley, but it makes this reception area so bright, open, and airy!  Also, we loved that the dinner menus were custom designed to match the invitation suite!  Such a great touch. A simple, organic table scape is anything but boring!  We loved the pop of gold with the natural and white linens, the texture of the glass, concrete, and wooden flower vessels, and the soft pinks, whites, and green colors of the florals that Orchid Dynasty put together.  Add a sprig of lavender with a simple tie of gold raw silk in the napkins, and you are set! Another simple, yet gorgeous, piece of this wedding was this escort card table!  We love the use of succulents and the white rocks with the modern design of the cards!  Such a clean, polished look! Of course, we put together one of our signature charcuterie boards!  Full of local cheeses and meats, local honey, and dried fruit this is a perfect nosh for guests before dinner! This couple chose a 'family-style' dinner - which is one of our favorites!  This setup encourages guests to interact and mingle while sharing plates of delicious food, like our house made breads and gourmet butters.  We loved the Heirloom Carrot Sourdough with Black Lava Salted Butter and the Rustic Ciabatta with Pesto Butter! The salad course was our Snuck Farm Salad with Spinach, Romaine, Utah Pears, Cranberries, Candied Walnuts, Gorgonzola, and Balsamic Vinaigrette.  So yummy! For the entree course, we served a bunch of different options so guests had a ton of variety to choose from!  This is our Rocky Mountain Red Trout with Granny Smith Apple Chutney.  Such a great fall menu choice! Next, our Roasted Vegetable Napoleon with a Rosemary Skewer, Olive Oil Drizzle, Garnished with Sea Salt.  Aren't these so pretty?  They are pretty tasty too! Another fantastic fall menu option?  Our Brown Butter Sage Gnocchi with Chantrelle Mushrooms and Sweet Corn.  This is always a guest favorite! Last, but certainly not least, our Cabernet-Braised Short Ribs.  SO.  GOOD. Isn't the view AMAZING?  Imagine dining with this incredible backdrop, some fun conversation, and fabulous food!  Pretty perfect, I'd say. Staying true to the simple, yet gorgeous, feel of the event, the couple asked us to create a simply gold accented Almond Cake which we garnished with blueberries and simple greens.  I absolutely adore this cake, so pretty! Another fun element that the couple chose that we loved?  Local chocolate and tawny port tastings!  You know how we LOVE our local chocolatiers, so this was a favorite part of this wedding for sure! Of course, there were sweets too!  These Lavender Shortbread cookies tied in the sprigs found in the guests napkins and also were a great little treat to grab before going back onto the dance floor! For autumnal weddings, we love serving a dessert that perfectly pulls from the fall harvest!  So, we served Sweet Potato and Pecan Cakes with a Salted Caramel Moat.  And let me tell you, this dessert was made of the stuff of my dreams, people.  A knock-out way to end this couple's amazing menu! Wasn't this wedding so dreamy?!  Thank you so much, Salt Lake / Park City Bride and Groom Magazine for featuring this gem in your glossy pages!  We hope this inspires all of you to have fun with your menu and go for simple, yet striking details that will amp up your wedding day!  Happy planning, everyone! Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at www.culinarycrafts.com!

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