I’m getting married. Soon. In Borderstan. Because I love this neighborhood and I wanted to have a hyper-local wedding. And my gift to you, to this entire city, is to show you how almost your whole wedding can happen here. In case you missed it, my first piece was on the venue (see A Borderstan Bride’s Guide to the Big Day: First Step, Venue.)
As the countdown to our DC wedding moves into the territory of mere days, I’ve been thinking a lot about how happy I am to have worked with so many local vendors. Nearly all of our wedding is being sourced locally–from the favors, to the food, to even the bridesmaids gifts!
We knew instantly that we wanted to support Fresh Start Catering, the social enterprise project of DC Central Kitchen. Not only is the food delicious and locally sourced, but we also felt good about working with an organization that literally provides a fresh start for its culinary graduates.
If we hadn’t decided on Fresh Start, we would have asked Amit and Raj over at Spilled Milk Catering to be part of our big day. Friends, their food is legit; if you’re getting married in the District and want a fabulously bold dining experience, these are your guys. I still dream about their spicy tuna in wonton cones and lamb “lollypops.”
Bakeries and Sweets
Which brings me to dessert. If you’ve been to the 14th and U Street Farmer’s Market you already know Jenna from Whisked. What you may not know is that Jenna makes a mean wedding cake too. We picked three flavors to test with Jenna and although her carrot cake and red velvet were perfectly moist, we ultimately decided on an elegant chocolate ganache.
Our wedding favors symbolized one of my favorite things about DC: breakfast. We scooped coffee from Filter Coffeehouse into mini-paper bags and will pair that with a lovely lemon blueberry scone from our new friends at BakeHouse; guests now have instant breakfast or a really great midnight snack. Although BakeHouse will be opening their storefront at 14th and T later this fall, they’re presently taking catering orders and I’m excited to share that menu with you here.
Favors and Gifts
We used Etsy Weddings extensively–always turning on the local filters first to see if we could locate a vendor in the community. It wasn’t DC, but I ended up finding personalized handmade clutches for my bridesmaids from Emily Barron Gifts in Baltimore.
Flowers and Arrangements
One of the few things we are not getting locally are our flowers, but I had a great opportunity to chat with some of the area florists and am happy to share. I called Flowers on Fourteenth when our initial florist backed out at the last minute. Lisa asked me to send her pictures of the bouquets I had in mind and got back to me within hours with an estimate on cost. By DC standards, it was a great deal.
If you’re on a budget, consider visiting Whole Foods on P Street–you can walk through their floral department, make selections from their loose flowers and work with the team there to make your special day bouquets. If you’re feeling adventurous and want to DIY your bouquets, Trader Joe’s has a great selection of flowers from which to choose.
The one thing I won’t share publicly is the brilliant seamstress I discovered during this journey. If you’re serious about wanting to have your dress altered correctly and are willing to get in a car and drive, email me at [email protected] and I’ll give you the info of this coveted woman.
I’m really proud that our wedding will feature so many local flavors and in the end, it actually meant less work for me. We met with all of our vendors directly, and it allowed me to form relationships with people in my neighborhood that will last long after the last piece of wedding cake is gone.
From Alejandra Owens. You can find her at her food blog, One Bite At A Time. Alejandra also writes for City Eats DC, a Food Network site, where you can book dinner reservations. Follow her on Twitter at @frijolita and email her at alejandra[AT]borderstan.com.
Featured image: Cherry tomatoes by Alejandra Owens.
Yeah, I said it. I’ll throw down the gauntlet on this one, too. I know, I know. Some are wedded to Eastern Market, while others have a passionate love affair with Dupont, but I think the best farmers market in the whole city is at 14th & U Streets NW. And it’s back up and running this weekend into November; hours are Saturdays 9 am to 1 pm. (Find the market on Facebook for updates about upcoming offerings each Saturday.)
Why? Pretty simple: damn good produce, meats and products, friendly vendors, convenient (for me) location and a charismatic leader (that would be Robin, say hi if you see her, and ask questions!) that brings everything at the market to life.
In all seriousness, some of the most amazing produce and eggs I have ever purchased have come from this market. Granted, some of the vendors sell at other markets, including Dupont or Penn Quarter (where I shop the rest of the year), but the point is the critical mass of amazingness at 14th & U. Oh, and did I mention Whisked! is at this market?! I mean, now we can get strawberries, eggs, meats, cheeses AND a pie (or cookies, or brownies, whatever strikes your fancy)!
BONUS ACTIVITY: If you’re a gardening geek, this Saturday’s market will host DC State Fair Seedling Swap! Anyone can attend and learn about growing produce and more!
So this Saturday, from 9 am to 1 pm, the market opens back up for the first time this season. I had already planned a trip to Rehoboth Beach for a little getaway, so when I realized I’d be missing the first weekend of the market I actually got sad. Like, sad sad… for real real. I tried to make myself feel a little better by grabbing strawberries from Garner’s Produce, which is one of the very fine vendors featured at 14 & U, on the way out of the city today but it’s just not the same. So will you stop by for me? Grab a hand pie from Whisked!, buy some Garner’s strawberries and grab a bag of spinach!
Have a wonderful weekend y’all! Tell me what you buy and what you’ll be making with it! I’ll be watching Twitter, even from the beach.
- Desperately Seeking: Cooking Inspiration
- Seeing Green At The Farmers Market
- Get Ready For Strawberries at the Farmers Markets
During the summer season, you’ll find Whisked! among the stalls of food purveyors at the 14th & U Farmers Market — but all year long you can get your pie, cookie, or cupcake fix at pick-up locations in Dupont Circle and Cleveland Park. This week Whisked! announced a new Pie CSA, as well as two additional pick-up locations for their delicious baked treats, including a third location in Borderstan.
In addition to a pick-up at Mr. Yogato at 1515 17th Street NW, you can now grab your Whisked! order at Miss Pixie’s Furnishings and Whatnot, 1626 14th Street NW, which now makes your trip to check out this vintage furniture shop so much sweeter.
The new Pie CSA delivers sweet or savory pies on a weekly or biweekly basis and you can choose to order 6-inch pies (supposedly serves two, but let’s be real, this is all for you) or the 9-inch version (serves 6 to 8 people). Each week you can choose whether to receive the sweet or savory option, and this week those include the Pink Lady Apple Whiskey Pie and the Asparagus and Goat Cheese Savory Tart. This week if you order the savory tart, Weygandt Wines is offering a special wine pairing – Gruner Veltliner – at $12 for Whisked! customers.
Placing an order is simple:
- Go to whiskeddc.com to place your order by midnight on Tuesday
- Choose one of four locations for your pick-up
- Swing by after 5 pm on Friday or during operating hours on Saturday to pick up your dinner or dessert from Whisked!
From Alejandra Owens of One Bite At A Timewhere she writes about food, cooking and even offers up some great recipes. You can also find her on Twitter at @frijolita.
Folks, it’s that time of year again. Spring produce is reemerging, flowers are blooming and I have a serious hankering for strawberries. All this can only mean one things: our city’s farmers markets are back.
14th & U Farmers’ Market
This Saturday marks the inaugural market of the 14th & U Farmers’ Market for the season. Market hours are 9 am to 1 pm, Saturdays only!
Robin at 14th & U tells me there will be lots of new producers including North Mountain Pastures (eggs, prosciutto, lonzino, Sweet Italian Sausage, Hot Italian Sausage, breakfast sausage, bacon, and an assortment of fermented veggies like kimchi and sauerkraut), Plantmasters (flowering hanging baskets,potted herbs,annuals in pots, lily of the valley,viburnum and more) and Mountain View Farms (naturally grown bok choi, arugula, kale, mustards, nettles and hakurei).