{Featured Article} Here Comes the Food

{Featured Article} Here Comes the Food

How many times have you heard of this…“Another wedding dinner with beef or chicken?!” Having been in the event industry for several years now I have seen the common themes that most brides stress over for their wedding day. Brides will spend hours deciding on the flowers, the location, and the dress.  I have noticed when it comes to food for the dinner reception, the priority is secondary, leaving the guest to choose again, between the same two common dishes you’ll see on every RSVP card.

After helping several couples select their wedding menus, I have teamed up with Tram Le, a Registered Dietitian and author of the food blog, “Nutrition to Kitchen,” in developing hints and tips that will ensure guests don’t go home hungry and stay happy with their meal. 

Our article was featured on the Winter/Spring 2011 issue of featured on Serendipity Magazine. We hope the tips will help brides to know that choosing their food should be a fun process and needs just as much thought as all the other essentials of their wedding.  

Let’s face it – wedding food can be secondary to the aesthetics of the entire wedding event. You’ve been planning for a few months now, getting down to the nitty-gritty of what shade of ivory your dress will look like, or staying up late at night wondering if those peonies will fly in on time from New Zealand.  At the end of the day, choosing from a pre-determined menu might not seem like a big deal.  Until you send out your invites with boxes to check off for “beef” or “chicken,” and your family sounds off by saying, “Another wedding dinner with beef or chicken?!”

Here are some tips to keep in mind when you go to your first food tasting.  These key points will ensure that your guests not only enjoy the wedding celebration of you and your loved one, but the food as well!

Color: Close your eyes.  What do you think of when you see a side of filet mignon, mashed potatoes, and mushrooms?  Boring is what we’re getting at here.  You want food to be colorful, festive, inviting, and not your regular Sunday dinner meal.  Ask the caterer to inject some color into your dishes – a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds onto your salad, purple sweet potato puree instead of mashed potatoes, and bright roasted red or yellow bell peppers as a side to your entree will add a different, and very pleasing, color to the plate and to the palate.

Texture: Note how the food will taste once it arrives.  Is the salad too laden down with dressing that it becomes soggy? Ask the caterer to serve dressing in gravy boats on each table if that’s the case.  Do you have enough varying textures within the meal?  Creamy, crunchy, chewy, tender, mushy, flaky, watery, and oily are all terms that can denote pleasing or unpleasing textures to the food you’re eating and will help you better put into words if you like something or not.

Taste: A given, this is what everyone will pay the first and foremost attention to.  Is the dish too salty for your palate?  Is the sauce too buttery, the meat too gamey for the rest of your crowd?  Is the salad dressing slightly sweet or astringent (puckering in your mouth)?

Temperature: A biggie, especially with larger weddings.  If you’re intending on serving soup in individual bowls for a party of 300, your guests may receive some lukewarm soup.  Take into account the temperature for an outside party as well.  If it’s blazing hot at 90 degrees outside, you may want to stick with cooler starters like crisp salads than spicy soups, and lighter foods than heavy entrees with thick sauces.

Seasonality: Go with the seasons!  If you’re having a fall or winter wedding, a side of roasted, caramelized butternut squash might be perfect with your steak.  Same with a sugar snap pea salad in the spring.  Ask your caterer if they work with local farmers or have a seasonal menu – you might be surprised at what they’ll whip up.  Not only will you be supporting local agriculture and making your wedding a little greener, you’ll also find that you’ve increased your meal appeal!

Portions: No one wants to go home hungry or stop at the local fast food restaurant once the party’s over.  Enough said.

Once you’ve considered all these aspects of food tasting, here are some tips to help you make your food selections:

  • Be sure to take a camera with you when you go to any food tasting. This will help when you are considering displays and food presentations.
  • Don’t be shy when it comes to asking questions.  It may feel like this is a lot to ask of the caterer you will be working with, but remember, they are there to make your day special and to get everyone’s tummies filled with tasty goodness. If you’re having a hard time relaying your request, don’t forget that your wedding coordinator can take care of this for you.
  •  Discuss with your future spouse the common foods you both like and explore options of integrating them into your wedding meal. You could also get fresh ideas by asking friends and family members what they’ve liked at previous weddings and events they’ve attended. It is possible that some little element such as fruit can transform into a decadent fruit bar at your wedding.
  • Remember to have fun! Selecting the food you will be eating together on your first day as man and wife should be an enjoyable experience that could be so memorable, it is told like your wedding proposal.

Once all these elements come together, the next day your guests will be raving, “the food was amazing!”  Sit back happily, and leave them detailing every last morsel.  So what’s better than a beautiful wedding?  Our answer: a beautiful wedding, with really good food.

Post Published on March 4, 2011. 

Real Wedding in DTLA {Elizabeth and Robert)

Real Wedding in DTLA {Elizabeth and Robert)

Real Couple {Aileen & Elson}

Real Couple {Aileen & Elson}