Military Wedding Attire

Photo Credit: maureen lunn via Compfight cc
Traditional saber arch at military wedding. Photo Credit: maureen lunn via Compfight cc

Servicemen and women can create a high-class military wedding with some of these great tips. Whether you’re an active-duty soldier or a war veteran, you can’t go wrong with a little bit of patriotic, military flair on your wedding day. Military grooms should wear mess or Class A uniforms, while bridesmaids and groomsmen should also wear dress uniforms if they are members of the service. While it is not customary for active duty brides to wear dress uniforms, it is up to the bride if she wants to wear dress attire or a traditional wedding gown.

It’s not a military wedding without the traditional saber arch, in which swords or sabers are hoisted to salute the newlyweds. Groomsmen should wear traditional white gloves during the arch of sabers in keeping with this ceremonial tradition. Afterwards, the saber bearers will march into the reception in formation so that the bride and groom may use a saber to cut the cake together. The arch of sabers is a common wedding custom for most military branches, including the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force.

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Summertime Trending Food

If you’ve noticed that this year’s summer food trends seem to be traveling back in time, you’ve got a keen eye (or stomach, maybe) for tasty trends. Bakers, chefs and restaurateurs are pushing comfort food — apple pie, grilled cheese, Belgian waffles — and other reminiscent-of-childhood dishes done with a modern twist (wrapped in bacon, dipped in Sriracha). It’s only a matter of time before we start to see boutique Jell-O salad shops and food trucks selling Vienna sausages and deviled eggs.

This year’s summertime beverage trends are all about micro-distilled an artisan spirits plus, of course, locally brewed beers. Small, local distilleries and microbreweries have seen a massive spike in the past several seasons, allowing them to expand their operations and offer dozens of new and desirable drinks. This shift has inspired other drink-related trends, like “new-make” spirits, especially whiskey that has been quickly aged, and food-brew pairings listed on menus.

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Summer Wedding Trends

Photo Credit: TheNickster via Compfight cc
Trendy bouquet for summer 2015 wedding. Photo Credit: TheNickster via Compfight cc

This year’s summer wedding trends are all about the whimsical and worldly. Vintage-inspired staples (hello macramé) and splashes of global décor (think repurposed suitcases) meet down-to-earth color palettes and all things rustic. Invitations and flower arrangements get the earthy treatment with pale pinks and greens tied up with burlap, lace and hemp. Trendy bouquets will be overflowing with pastel peonies and sweet succulents for a new way to honor the eclectic. This season’s weddings will be classic yet free-spirited with many personalized touches.

Although design, dress and décor trends lean more towards the simple and pastoral this summer, wedding day food trends are veering the other way. More brides and grooms are opting for unique, artisanal and foodie-inspired dishes, like amazing chocolate sculptures and appetizers inspired by local culture (Hampshire House has Massachusetts-inspired dishes like New England clam chowder and Boston Bibb lettuce salads for Boston-focused brides). Other popular food trends include lemonade bars, s’mores stations, cake pops, pie pops and even sushi or seafood stations.

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Photography Feature: Irene + Ben’s Classic Winter Wedding

Photography by Nikki Cole. www.nikkiphotos.com
Photography by Nikki Cole. www.nikkiphotos.com

Wedding photographer Nikki Cole captured some special moments from Irene and Ben’s old-world wedding this winter. The pair chose to highlight their classic yet elegant taste with a color palette of white, eggplant and sage and simple yet memorable décor touches, like white rose centerpieces and glowing votives. With the ceremony taking place at Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Weston and the reception at our very own Hampshire House, this was truly a wedding to remember.

Photography by Nikki Cole. www.nikkiphotos.com
Photography by Nikki Cole. www.nikkiphotos.com

Irene’s fitted, lace gown perfectly complemented her white and green bouquet overflowing with white calla lilies and roses with green and purple accents. To accommodate for the chilly temperatures, Irene wore a white stole during their 18-degree outdoor photo shoot in the Boston Common. Ben wore a classic black tuxedo with a bowtie and a simple calla lily corsage. The bride and groom shared their first dance beneath the elegant chandeliers and opulent woodwork in the library.

Photography by Nikki Cole. www.nikkiphotos.com
Photography by Nikki Cole. www.nikkiphotos.com

Nikki began her professional photography career in 2003, after 10 years as a wedding and special event planner at the Seaport Hotel. She is known for her eye for detail, and as a self-proclaimed “geek”, she’s fascinated with the mechanics of her camera and subtleties of light. Beyond her technical abilities, Nikki prides herself in the service she provides clients. Nikki says, “I consider myself the story-teller at your wedding; I want to capture the truly unique moments of your day rather than trying to crate them for you.”

See Nikki Cole’s full post on her blog.

Photography by Nikki Cole. www.nikkiphotos.com
Photography by Nikki Cole. www.nikkiphotos.com
Photography by Nikki Cole. www.nikkiphotos.com
Photography by Nikki Cole. www.nikkiphotos.com
Photography by Nikki Cole. www.nikkiphotos.com
Photography by Nikki Cole. www.nikkiphotos.com
Photography by Nikki Cole. www.nikkiphotos.com
Photography by Nikki Cole. www.nikkiphotos.com
Photography by Nikki Cole. www.nikkiphotos.com
Photography by Nikki Cole. www.nikkiphotos.com
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Questions for Executive Chef Ripperger

bio-img-markusRecently, we sat down with our Executive Chef Markus Ripperger, who has been with the Hampshire House since 1992. Trained in culinary arts in his native Zurich, Switzerland, Markus went on to make a name for himself at the famed Restaurant L’Oasis in La Napoule, France.  He then joined the Savoy Hotel and Grosvenor House in London before earning his stripes in Boston, where he presided over the dining rooms at the Colonnade Hotel, the Sheraton Boston Hotel and Swissotel.

Q: You have a broad culinary background. How do you tailor menus to suit Hampshire House’s historic setting?

A: Hampshire House is historically Bostonian. While constantly looking for new ideas, I still look back to traditional cooking methods, as well as cuisine that dates back all the way to the Middle Ages. Drawing from multiple time periods can lend to a timeless menu. Like our Swiss chocolate soup that dates back to the 1800s.

Q: In the same vein, how do you draw from Boston’s distinctive food culture in your creations?

A: Boston is very much a melting pot of cultures and culinary styles, sampling from those adds intrigue to most menus and dishes. One thing that has become apparent about Boston, especially over the last few years, is its culture of innovation. Bostonians are apt to try new things and experiment with new flavors, always in an effort to expand their knowledge. That said, drawing from Boston’s culture is very similar to drawing from world cultures.

Q: What are some of the ways you incorporate seasonal ingredients into your dishes?

A: Growing up in Zurich, there was a greater importance placed on eating seasonally as opposed to having summer crops in the dead of winter. With the farm-to-table movement and the growing number of small farmers in the Boston area, people are now more than ever interested in cooking and eating seasonally. We work with multiple rooftop farms to source seasonally available ingredients in our dishes. Growing herbs and vegetables on our own rooftops connects us even closer with our food and its sources.

Q: What are some of the Hampshire House’s most popular dishes, and how did you develop them?

A: Everyone has their favorite meal. I work closely with our clients to best determine their needs when creating event menus. We can customize dishes to a client’s taste to make them more enjoyable for the client and their guests.

Q: What is your guiding principle as a chef?

A: Preparing a meal is sharing a gift with those who partake in it. It is creating a memorable experience, exceeding expectations, celebrating life, love, and good health with food.

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