Tying the knot takes a lot of planning. From finding the perfect gown to deciding the guest list and picking the honeymoon destination, the “to do” list is long. Did you know that the word honeymoon traces its roots back to ancient times? In some cultures, mead (a drink made with honey) was given to newlyweds during their first month of marriage to increase fertility.
Today, honey is used in many other ways to celebrate marriage. Consider a beauty treatment using pure, natural honey. Hollywood skin care specialist Christopher Watt, who beautifies such movie stars as Halle Berry and Jennifer Lopez, recommends a two-week wedding beauty regimen he created using real honey.
“Most people don’t realize that pure honey has many benefits for all skin types,” says Watt. “Honey soothes the skin because it moisturizes while exfoliating. This combination creates smoother skin for makeup application.”
Watt’s “honey mask” recipe should be applied three times a week for two weeks prior to the big day. He also suggests a hair treatment using honey, olive oil and crushed basil or ginger once a week for two weeks before the wedding. This natural formula will give the hair rich, full texture and shine.
In terms of wedding food, honey can be incorporated into the menu in several places. Cheese platters are popular appetizers — add luscious pieces of honeycomb to complement both mild and sharp cheeses. Honey dressings can be used on fruit or lettuce-based salads and honey glazes are delicious on chicken, pork and fish.
Chef Brooke Vosika of the Four Seasons Hotel in New York City says honey’s versatility makes it a great addition to festive menus. “There are more than 300 varieties of honey in the United States,” says Vosika. “Couples planning a wedding can customize a menu using the types of honey produced where the couple is from or they can choose unique varietals like Fireweed from Alaska or Tupelo from Florida.”
Cupcakes are a popular twist on the traditional wedding cake. A cupcake made with honey has a dense, decadent texture that is well-suited for the small form. Plus, several varieties of cupcakes can be prepared to satisfy the many taste preferences at a wedding.
Another fun and memorable idea is to give guests a sweet remembrance of the special day. Give small jars of your favorite honey labeled with a personal saying or quote. Honey never spoils, so guests can remember the event each time they open the cupboard. Be sure to read the label to guarantee the product you purchase is 100 percent pure honey.
Honey Wedding Facial Mask
Makes 2 treatments
- 1 Tablespoon chamomile tea
- 1 Tablespoon green tea
- 2 Tablespoons bentonite or kaolin clay*
- 2 Tablespoons aloe vera (optional)
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 5 drops rosemary essential oil
- 3 drops arnica oil
1. Steep chamomile and green tea separately — set aside to cool.
2. In rubber mixing bowl, blend bentonite clay, chamomile tea and green tea into cake batter consistency. Discard any remaining tea.
3. Blend in aloe vera and honey.
4. Add rosemary and arnica essential oils and slowly stir until all ingredients are completely mixed.
5. Using fan brush or fingers, apply mask to clean face and neck. Allow mask to set for 15 to 20 minutes.
6. Remove with tepid water and facial sponges. Pat dry and apply appropriate moisturizer.
* Items are available in most health food stores or herb shops or by going online.
Honey Passion Fruit Blueberry Cupcakes
Makes 12 to 14 cupcakes
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup passion fruit nectar
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup Wildflower Honey*
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup (4 ounces) fresh blueberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
1. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.
2. In a liquid measure, combine passion fruit nectar and buttermilk; set aside.
3. In a mixing bowl, cream butter until fluffy. Add honey; mix well. Add eggs, one at a time.
4. Add half of the reserved dry ingredients to the butter mixture; mix on low until just combined. With mixer running on low, slowly add the passion fruit mixture. Add remaining dry ingredients until just combined. Gently fold in blueberries. Fill paper-lined muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake 18 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove to wire rack; cool. Frost with Honey Passion Fruit Whipped Cream, if desired.
Honey Passion Fruit Whipped Cream
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon Wildflower Honey*
- 2 tablespoons passion fruit nectar
In a mixing bowl, combine whipping cream, honey and passion fruit nectar. Beat until peaks form.
*Any mild-flavored honey such as Clover may be used.
For more information about honey varietals, food and beauty recipes and tips visit honey.com. Or, to find a locally produced or specialty honey, visit honeylocator.com.