Go Local with the Campus Club and the Independent Wedding Fair

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

This story is sponsored by the Independent Wedding Association.

This Saturday, the Campus Club of the University of Minnesota hosts the third Independent Wedding Fair, a gathering of local, independent, quality-focused wedding vendors including photographers, wedding planners, caterers, and more.

The theme of this Independent Wedding Fair is “Wedding Boot Camp” — this collection of mini-sessions teaching brides to be about etiquette, budgeting, and style trends is particularly appropriate for a venue like the Campus Club, which has its own strong educational component.

The Campus Club offers numerous gastronomic classes available to non-members (many more are available for members as well) including wine tastings, local beer classes, and cocktail classes.

Lindsay Bryda (above), the bar manager at the Campus Club, teaches the cocktail classes, which have ranged from the classics (post-WWII standards) to drinks for holiday entertaining. She is working on her next class for the true purist — which focuses on enhancing the natural flavors of fine spirits, instead of covering them up with mixers.

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

The Campus Club is also committed to local foods. It uses hyper-local U of M produce grown on the student-run farm Cornercopia, and features regional beers. “I personally have made the choice to feature Minnesota beers because I want to keep things local,” says Bryda. “I like promoting and funding local beers, and with microbrews there is a bit of a personal touch in each brew… There is just something unique about a local microbrewery that you can’t always get in a macro.”

“We have had a few really fun events where we focus on local beer,” says Campus Club events manager Jessica Barrett (above, right). “We bring the beer in a keg, and then we will do a lot of local foods to go along with it, like U of M cheeses and meats.”

Bryda’s future projects include an educational session that should be close to the hearts of local food lovers. “The next class I am coming up with is the aficionado class where you can taste the base of a really good vodka, and then we will make a cocktail to enhance that vodka taste as opposed to hiding it with mixers,” says Bryda. “It’s going to really speak to the true aficionado who wants to taste the pure value of a liquor and learn how to enhance it.”

You can buy tickets and learn more about The Independent Wedding Fair online. The fair takes place at The Campus Club from 11am-2pm this Saturday, Feb. 5, and features more than 20 local independent vendors, 11 mini-courses (including Libations 101, Eco-Chic Wedding, and Art of the Invitation), and a uniquely civilized no-pressure environment.

Learn more about Campus Club food and drink classes at the Campus Club website.

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table