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Catering an elopement ceremony

Wedding picnic You have to eat - so why not include a wedding picnic at your elopement ceremony? In the spring and summer, you can bring a picnic to your wedding in Central Park, or the Brooklyn Promenade, or Coney Island (beware the sand in the sandwiches when the wind is up, though - you might prefer to eat at Nathan's Hot Dogs, or wander toward Manhattan Beach and eat at one of the Russian cafes on the beach, like Tatiana's). A split of champagne and some edible flowers for the cheesecake and you're all set.

New York is a city of delis and speciality takeouts. Almost any restaurant will make you a special lunch to go. You could order a bento box, thai, blintzes and caviare, crab and guava empanadas, all from around Central Park. You could get rustic sandwiches on an artisanal baguette from Le Pain Quotidienne, on 5th avenue, but they might be a little too rustic and messy. There are upscale takeout stores around the park, Payard's French patisserie on the East side, the famous Zabar's and Eli's Bread at 80th and 3rd. Zabars is famous for fancy gift baskets - including their imported lox, of course. You can also assemble a lucious lunch at Fairways, Zabar's neighbor.

There are many other takeout delicatessans who specialize in upscale catered lunches, and who have artisanal chocolatiers and patisseries - including Dean and Deluca there's one at 85th and Madison on the East side of Central Park. ReallyCoolFoods on 3rd/63rd is a new gourmet store that specializes in fresh-cooked and ready-to-cook meals, and they have prepared foods to go.

I have heard of the picnic catering by, as they prepare picnic baskets for people going to concerts at Bryant Park (42nd street), Central Park, etc. Here is their ad: "Available for two, four, and six people, the baskets include a mezze sampler of roasted whipped eggplant, hummus, tomato and onion salad, and house-made lavash chips; a choice of chicken or lamb brochette served with a sumac-parsley medley of mixed pickled vegetables; and Pera's signature, house-made condiment pistachio baklava. Pera picnic baskets are $21 per person plus tax and include napkins and flatware".

If you are staying closer to Chelsea, the Venezuelan cafe, Tisserie (down at Union Square) has a counter of very elegant teeny pastries and some nice brioche sandwiches. Very crowded, but if you are patient, they put things in a very elegant takeout bag. Vegetarians and vegans could order a catered takeout from Blossom. My husband, a chef, used to cater picnic weddings with teeny handmade petits-fours and crab-stuffed gougeres. Yum. (Sorry - he's building pretty furniture these days).

Richard also made my daughter's wedding cake - chocolate ganache, 8 layers! Here's an organic baker in Brooklyn who makes her own cakes, looks much like ours! You might also check out the caterers we have met on our recommended resources page.