- posted by Jennifer
- A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of photographing "Dining in the Dark" hosted by the Venue Vixens at Jackson Catering and Events in Sacramento. Dining in the Dark was touted to be "a journey of the senses" for those adventurous enough to attend.
- The Venue Vixens put as much energy into this event as they do all other wedding events. The Venue Vixens are comprised of 4 wedding event planners: Lora, Kendra, Laurie, and Catrina.
- The theme for the night was "travel". The decorations included a highway runner down the middle of the tables, cars, post-cards, travel books, and even some vintage suitcases.
- Attention to all these little details is the exact reason that every bride should hire a wedding planner!
- The event was held at Jackson Catering & Events restaurant. Chris had just recently won 2011 Board of Directors Award and Caterer of the year at the Annual Sacramento NACE Awards Gala held at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium.
- Sarah (the ring leader of the Dining in the Dark concept) and her hubby Gabe were on hand to explain to everyone what was about to happen throughout the evening.
- Everyone was eager to start using their "sippy" cups (for water) even before they were put into the darkness.
- The only food that everyone got to see were the appetizers. The yummiest grilled cheese sandwiches and mini sliders and fries.
- With the last of the instructions given, everyone began to put on their "bibs".
- Before dinner began, participants were asked to come up a handful at a time to do a taste test quiz. People had to guess what they just tasted and everyone's answers were shared. Now some of you might think that this would be a good time to use some nasty, squishy, or down right smelly items....but it was not like that at all! It was common everyday things that we all take for granted and surprisingly most everyone was NOT able to guess the right answer. Sarah even included one 'smell' test.
- After the quiz time was over, everyone was asked to "go dark". Rather than lights going out, everyone put on face masks....so the likes of myself could photograph the evening and the reactions of all the attendees.
- Everyone was excited and getting into the evening before the first course was served. People stretched out with their wine glasses for "cheers".
- The first course was from California....and the cool thing about the "journey of the senses" that Sarah and Gabe put together was that it included more than just the food. For California, Gabe walked around with a heater and random vegetables were placed on people's plates. The idea was that each person would experience the 7 regions of the United States that had been selected for each course.
- The 2nd region was the Pacific Northwest. Gabe walked around with a mister (hello it always seems to rain in the northwest!). MR DJ Service (Mike Regan) even planned the music for each region.
- I found it funny that people soon picked up habits to help them with their lack of sight. People would keep a finger on their wine glass as they touched their plate. It gave them a sense of orientation.
- Wine pairings went with each entree course. Judi Bruckman of Ste Michelle wine estates, gave us all some great tastes.
- All senses were played with during dinner. Those of us without masks, watched as sounds were emitted next to people's ears by Sarah and Gabe. And some, played a few practical jokes by moving iPhones from one plate to another; or using feathers to tickle ears.
- There was even a plan for when it was "bathroom" break time. A bell was used to signal your need to have to get up from your seat.
- Bells rang, hands were raised, and you were escorted while still blind, until you reached the bathroom door.
- During the East Coast cuisine, Gabe walked around asking for change. And taxi calls were made. Made you feel just like you were in New York.
- Did I mention that some people played a few practical jokes on participants?
- The last course was dessert and was set in the Southeast. Everyone got fully involved putting on their hats, beads, and other masks.
- As the photographer, I loved getting up close to people and getting their portrait. They didn't even know I was there!
- Here is the full menu by Jackson Catering.
- And our Chef Chris Jackson, along with a photo of each course. I'd have to say my favorite course was #1 - California Farms Soup Shots.
- Once dessert was served, everyone was allowed to take off their blindfolds, and everyone continued to party and wear their beads, hats, and masks - but now they could see the person next to them!
What a great evening...and great ideas by everyone involved. I can't wait to see the short film that Jensen Wedding Films will be creating!