If you weren’t alive during the 1950s, don’t despair. You may have missed the grand era of Jell-O salads with chopped olives suspended like creepy green eyeballs, but you haven’t missed the swanky gelatin boat completely. Jello-based desserts (and drinks…and decorations…) are undergoing a renaissance–and you can be at the forefront with your wedding.
Fluorescent Jello Cocktails
Astound and amaze your guests when you turn off the overhead lights–and there’s still a glow coming from your cocktail bar!
Since tonic water glows under black light, swapping out the regular water for tonic water in the jello recipe results in gelled cocktails with a truly ethereal glow. You can use tonic water to make gin and tonic jello shots (since it’s carbonated, it retains a little of its fizz even in jello form). You can also use plain tonic water to make non-alcoholic glowing jello, or mix in a little bit of lime-flavored jello for added tartness. These are truly sensational cocktails at a black light wedding. Place the black lights as closely as possible to the jello shots in order to get the maximum glow.
Do you yearn for the sweet taste of artificial flavoring, but crave the varied textures of real fruit? Fear not! There’s a solution for you, and that’s jello-filled fruit. If it sounds a little weird at first, close your eyes and picture a dessert table covered in rows of more-colorful-than-life fruits of all shapes and flavors. It makes for a fantastic photo, and your guests will have fun sampling their favorites.
To make DIY jello-filled fruit, start with actual fruit and scoop out the insides. (You can discard these for use in other recipes, or you can purée them and add them back into the jello filling.) If you’re using small fruits like berries, choose the largest ones you can. For strawberries, carefully scoop out the inside with a spoon, taking care not to damage the outer shell. With hollow raspberries, your work is already done.
Citrus fruits like limes, lemons, and oranges work perfectly for jello filling. Cut whole fruits in half and cut around the perimeter of the inside, using a spoon to scoop out the bottom. Leave the intact rind behind as a fragrant citrus bowl. For a larger bowl, scoop out the insides of a pineapple–or even a watermelon!
Once you have your fruits of choice hollowed out, set them on a tray with the hollow side facing up. Be careful to support them so they don’t tip over in the refrigerator. Then, following the instructions on the jello packets, make a batch of jello in a corresponding flavor to each type of fruit. (For example, use lime jello to fill hollowed-out limes.) Instead of pouring the jello into cups to set the gelatin, however, pour it into the fruits. When they come out of the refrigerator several hours later, the fruits will look like they just happened to grow that way.
Once the jello-filled fruits are set and firm, you can slice them just like a real fruit. Take care to keep them in a refrigerator or cooler until the last minute before serving.
Jello Wedding Centerpieces
Who says you have to keep all your jello on your dessert table? Get creative and top off every table with its own jello centerpiece. The nice thing about jello, as opposed to water, is that you can use it to suspend decorations at different levels–and keep them there all night.
Start with a glass jar, vase, or empty bottle of any shape. If you use clear glass, you can layer different jello colors. Since you have to set each layer individually if you don’t want them blending together, you’ll need to plan ahead. (Wait until each layer is completely firm before pouring the next layer on top of it.) Float objects like flowers, necklaces, cake toppers, and even toy figurines (according to your wedding theme) in the different layers of jello.
Don’t forget: you can tilt the vase in the refrigerator to set each layer of jello at its own artistic angle. The resulting centerpieces will last all night without melting as long as your venue isn’t overly warm (keep it under 75 degrees Fahrenheit to be safe).
The best part about jello is: it’s fun! When you use an instantly recognizable food like jello in a creative way at your wedding, it sends the message to your guests that you know how to have a good time. Plus, from shots to virgin drinks, and with all the flavors available, it’s nearly a guarantee that everyone will find something they like.
But don’t stop there–if gelatin-based cocktails, snacks, and decorations aren’t enough for you, you can start thinking about your multi-tiered, all-jello wedding cake.
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.