Your wedding reception is one of the most important events in your life, and it should reflect who you are, your unique tastes, and the love you share with family and friends as you celebrate your special day.
After the ceremony, the pics, the flowers, the pomp and circumstance, it’s time to let your hair down and party it up a little. Most brides (and some grooms)agonize over what to serve at their reception in the way of food and drink, but you need to remember one thing—-this is your day, and you deserve to have it exactly as you’ve imagined it.
Serving up the unexpected
You don’t have to plan a non-traditional wedding to serve up some truly unique and memorable cuisine; there is so much more to your special day than hors d’oeuvres and chicken breast. When thinking about the perfect balance of what you truly want at your reception and what you think your guests might enjoy, there is a way to find food offerings and wine pairings that satisfy even the most discriminating guest. Finding ways to “next level” some classic favorites will wow your guests and make them feel comfortable and at home all at the same time. Some of our favorite suggestions include:
- Frozen watermelon wedges served on a popsicle stick
- Grilled cheese bites with tomato soup cocktail
- Tiny churros served atop fried ice cream
- “State fair” french fries served in a paper cone
- Ice cream sandwiches
- Chicken and waffle cones
Regardless of the foods you choose, you’ll want your favorites to reflect who you are as a couple and add the essence of deliciousness to your day that will make the whole reception even more memorable. When thinking about the classic wedding reception, here are some “must-haves” that will round out your food experience and leave guests sentimental and satisfied:
Party fare that sets the mood
When guests first begin to arrive at your reception, the band is playing, wine is flowing freely, and hungry guests are looking for something to munch on. Your pre-meal appetizers should take snacking to the next level–cocktail meatballs become mini profits rolls with meatballs and marinara sauce. The classic pot-sticker becomes a fresh-ingredient inspired spring roll with spicy peanut sauce. Apple pie a la mode can be transformed into a delicious caramel apple tartlet with a delicious creme fresh; one that can be gobbled up in one bite! Have fun with designing your appetizer offerings, and anticipate what your guests will say as they appreciate the new twist on some old favorites.
A kickin’ main course
Gone are the days when a modest chicken breast and rice pilaf cut it at most wedding receptions. While this is considered a classic, budget friendly meal, most couples are looking to wow their guests with something a bit more special and savory. Coastal couples might take advantage of the fresh seafood and choose to offer lobster and mashed potatoes with a delicious clam chowder on the side. Southern bride and groom might choose to play up some favorite Southern dishes like fried chicken, collard greens, and macaroni and cheese. For more austere pairings, you might consider filet mignon and sea scallops with fresh seasonal vegetables. Don’t forget your vegetarian guests—a wonderful saffron pasta with olive, sun dried tomato and pesto is light and refreshing, not to mention savory and satisfying. Let your food choices reflect who you are, and delight in the fact that you can share this part of yourselves with your guests.
Sure, wedding cake is classic and nice to have at your reception, but more and more couples are going the non-traditional route when it comes to offering dessert. From an ice cream sundae station to Norwegian wedding cake rings to cheesecake and pies, it is really up to the happy couple when it comes to offering a bit of something sweet. Just make sure to offer up some delicious coffee and tea as part of a well rounded dessert experience.
It’s your day! Take confidence in your food and wine pairings!
It’s your day, it’s time to celebrate all the wonderful uniqueness of you two as a couple; don’t be afraid to choose and serve exactly what you want at your reception. The combination of delicious food, effervescent drink, and sparkling conversation will create a memorable and special event for everyone. Cheers