Wedding Cakes & Food Forum

Clambake reception

Whenever a couple comes to me with an idea that I have never dealt with, I like to consult the board because 1) someone has dealt with a similar idea and 2) I usually get good advice.

I am working with a couple in their 30s who plan to get married in the summer of 2016. The family of the bride-to-be have place on the shore, I think in a resort town in North Carolina, but don't hold me to that. The bride was thinking that she would like to get married there, since she spent many happy summers there. The couple is thinking about a late morning/early afternoon church ceremony to be followed by a reception. Since the couple is older, they were thinking about an informal reception. We were batting around ideas, and I innocently suggested a clambake on the beach, never thinking that they might go for idea. Well, they are enthusiastic about the idea of a clambake reception.

In case you are interested, she will either wear a simple white wedding dress that can be worn to the reception; or she will change into something comfortable for reception.

So the question is has one ever been to or organized a wedding reception that was a clambake. Any ideas good or bad or just general comments would be appreciated.

Thanking everyone in advance

Re: Clambake reception

  • Simple - never open your mouth for an idea before you've worked out the logistics... 

    My first and only thought "What about the vegetarians, vegans, and those with shellfish allergies??  You really should be talking about the clambake with potential caterers in the area for what is/isn't a possibility given the size of event. 

  • Most clam bakes offer chicken in addition to the other food. But yes, I'd make sure that the caterer knows how to handle allergies and dietary restrictions. It sounds like fun!
  • jacques27jacques27 member
    First Answer First Comment 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited October 2015

    I think it could work and be fun provided:

    1) It truly is informal and communicated as such (they can be messy - I really don't want to be eating corn on the cob and cracking open shellfish wearing nice clothes)

    2) There's an inclement weather plan (if it can't be cooked/held outdoors, then is there a facility with a stove that can handle that many steamer pots at once since it's not the sort of thing that can be done well in advance and kept warm without overcooking the seafood)?

    3) If doing it traditionally, then have you already checked to see their venue/beach allows fires on the beach?  Most don't or require a permit with a number of restrictions.  Not sure where in North Carolina you're talking about, but a quick google search found this for Nags Head:

    In Nags Head permits are required and are obtained from the Nags Head Fire Department located at 5314 Croatan Highway after 5:00pm on the specific day the fire is requested. Fires will not be permitted if winds are 10 knots or more. A picture ID, the address of applicant and the location for the requested fire are required. Fires cannot be built within 50 feet of any combustible material. In addition, the hollowed-out pit must be no larger than 3 feet in diameter and not less than 1 foot in depth. The fire must be attended by an adult and must be extinguished prior to leaving.

    It seems other cities have similar strict regulations (there were more from that website, but I only copied a small portion of the requirements).  From this, it seems like you wouldn't be able to have a pit large enough for a traditionally cooked clambake and also inclement weather would also mean wind, not just rain, meaning you really need to have a solid back-up.

    Exactly what is your role in this?  Wedding planner?  Day of coordinator?  Caterer?  If it's the later, and you've never done a clambake, especially for a large crowd, I wouldn't recommend this be your starting point.  If you're the planner/coordinator, then I recommend searching for caterers in the area who specialize in this type event (in my experience, clambake/crab boils/fish boils tend to be a niche market and the types of caterers who do them specialize in them and advertise as such - vs. your average wedding caterer also willing to take on this type of event).  If you can't find any in the area, it probably means it's not really a feasible plan.

  • I think this is a great idea, provided there are food options for people that have shellfish allergies or don't eat seafood.
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