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my wedding menu

  • s

ok food lovers, how does this sound...(husband is french, french caterer friends making celebration dinner)..I think it sounds really good but am wondering if other appetizers would be better for sharing. This is a sit down dinner for about 45. Do you have any suggestions for appetizers?
cocktail hour with petit four
Appetizers placed on the table to share:
homemade foie gras, marinated figs + toast
"Petit Paquet" of grilled vegetables stuffed with goat cheese, garlic balsamic dressing
Pan seared sea scallops, cucumber dressing over mesclun
Ballotine of smoked salmon, sauteed asparagus + creamy chive sauce
Main Course: choice of
"Papillotte de Sole" w/two lemon sauce, veg + potato
Pan seared filet mignon, snow peas + rost, grapemust sauce
sauteed red snapper, baby veg + saffron sauce
roasted veal, fresh tagliatelles, morel sauce
Piece Montee
wine and champagne

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  1. This whole menu is too rich for me. How 'bout some mini egg rolls, mini hotdogs in a blanket, crudites with blue cheese dip (not Roquefort fromage) as appetizers. Maybe the Italian 'Tavolo d'Dolci' and Jell-O for dessert. A few bottles of beer and some Jameson as beverages.

    Maybe I should've used the word 'pretentious' instead of 'rich' in my first sentence. Yes, I know...I'm a peasant and proud of it.

    4 Replies
    1. re: ChiliDude

      believe me, we are not pretentious people, just french!! Does french food=pretentious?? My husband and his family are all blue collar...fireman, metalworker, millworker...different aesthetic I guess. Careful not to judge or stereotype us!

      1. re: Scollu

        I can see what the previous poster was responding to, but I don't think it's at all pretentious to have a lot of French food if you're actually French!

        Especially at your wedding!

        If you're worried about what people might think, just don't invite anyone who doesn't know you're French (and should you really invite people who don't know you to your wedding anyway?)

        The only thing on your menu that doesn't sound delicious to me -- I had one of those pacquet things at a wedding and found it underwhelming. I wonder if they shouldn't sit out as long as banquet food tends to?

        1. re: Scollu

          Mi dispiace! I guess my attitude toward French cuisine is colored by my dining in French restaurants where the plates are humongous and there's hardly anything on them. I view all French cooking as being of humble origin that has been over the centuries overblown.

          I hope all the invited guests have a great time. Buona fortuna e cent' anni!

          As for my wedding reception 45+ years ago, we had a typical Italian one with about 300 people.

        2. re: ChiliDude

          And this is helpful how, exactly?

          A wedding is a special occassion. I'm sure that when or if you get/got married, your significant other was happy to hit the McDonald's Drive-through, but some people would like something special.

          And I doubt the OP had any plans to invite you, anyway.

        3. Sounds terrific! There is nothing pretentious about it either. It sounds classic and lovely.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Candy

            Damn straight, it sounds fantastic. You should have little printed menus by the plates--people will enjoy reading the descriptions of the food.

            In terms of apps, you have three things that have a creamy (or at least "wet"--will the cuke and the garlic-balsamic dressings be creamy?) sauce, and then the foie gras, which will be velvety and superrich. Might it be good to add an acidic/sharp/crisp taste? Maybe something pickled? Pickled mixed red and yellow beets? Not sure how I would construct such a dish, but if you like the idea, ask your caterer friends.

          2. f

            This sounds like the most wonderful wedding dinner ever (other than my own traditional Italian wedding feast for 40 people last year!). I do agree with another poster that some lightly pickled something would be nice -- perhaps baby carrots or pearl onions might be a nice piquant bite to cut some of the richness of the other appetizer dishes.

            Enjoy your day. I'm sure the meal will be remembered fondly.

            1. Since you are still preparing the menu with a caterer, may I make a suggestion?

              I would consider nixing the asparagus with the smoked salmon and replacing it with a "boat" leaf (radiccio or endive, probably endive) with a sauce, more thickened, resting in it. Maybe even a light hollandaise in the raddiccio (not a pool of it!), and in the endive, maybe even a basil cream (with a few pine nuts riding in?).

              The menu sounds wonderful. Mmmmmm.

              I had to look up a few French terms. Petit paquet (is that like a Pappilotte?)

              What is the age range of the guests?

              And, while little kids often like scallops, other guests might think they are cold or tough. Just a thought. I would love them!

              That is quite a feast you are offering. I'm sure your guests will feel honored.

              Have you chosen your flowers? Maybe consider designing the colors of some dishes to coordinate.


              1. This sounds marvelous! Although I agree that a menu might be good to help the guests identify what all the parts are, especially ones with allergies.

                Best wishes on a wonderful wedding! :)

                1. OK Ladies, you win. My apologies for upsetting all of you. I guess that I'm the only man who replied to this menu thus far. I'm not big on ambience, just gustatory satisfaction and culinary sanitation. I stated my apology in response to an earlier rebuttal to my inconsiderate faux pas. Oops, there I go throwing some French in.

                  1. I think your menu sounds lovely, but in the interest of constructive ideas, here's some suggestions:

                    I would have something more salad-y as an appetizer in place of one of the two seafood options. Along the lines of the endive boats, suggested by another poster below, I have served many an endive boat with one or more of the following fillings: blue cheese/toasted walnuts/cubed roasted beets or goat cheese/toasted hazelnuts/roasted or sauteed pear bits. Yummy, crispy, room-temperature, and vegetarian. As a cocktail waitress during grad school, I've seen heavier/oakier New Zealand and Australian sauvignon blancs disappear by the bottle as a wash-down accompaniement to these endive boats. : )

                    Another fussy but popular appetizer would be halved cherry tomatoes, with a piping of creamy ricotta mixed with pesto on top. A runny brie or other double-creme with rosemary or thyme mashed in would be equally good, and be a bit more french.

                    I would not have two seafood options for each course, personally, and I would have something either chicken-y or vegetarian in place of one of the two hot fish entrees. Maybe little roasted cornish hens with a wild herb and mustard crust, and green beans with tomatoes veg, something of a provencal persuasion. I don't know what I'd do for a vegetarian entree, maybe filled buckwheat flour crepes with a brandy/mushroom/cream/zucchini/gruyere filling-- which overlaps with your veal option, mushroom-wise, but maybe someone else can suggest something better. If you cut out the lemon sole as an entree, then you might even be able to get away with a really good pinot noir to pair with all the entree dishes, and simplify things a bit.

                    If I were choosing between hot fish entrees, I'd personally vote for the red snapper with saffron.

                    I try to have a vegetarian or at least non-red-meat-eaters option available when I've got guests, just as a way of being a good host, even if I don't agree with my guests' persnickety eating habits.

                    Good luck, and congratulations on your impending marriage!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: emdb

                      I agree.
                      Since you're planning your wedding now, I am assuming it will be in Summer. A cool, crisp salad is always welcome, especially when the other food (foie gras, filet mignon) is wonderfully rich. Maybe use the salad instead of the petit paquet, since the main courses are accompanied by cooked vegetables.
                      I also agree with EMDB on the double seafood thing; if the appetizers are shared by each table, I'd drop the scallops (although with a sad heart - I love the little things!), since the whole idea behind a shared dish is to have a bountiful plate. Scallops are rarely supplied 'bountifully'; in restos we're used to one or two peeking coyly out of some mesclun foliage.
                      I personally would drop the veal (the tagliatelle seems out of line with the rest of your menu) in favour of a veg-only option.

                      All this said, it looks like a marvellous feast! I love the idea of the rich, luxurious foie gras, the simple filet, the sole bathed in lemon sauce. It's classic, and I'm sure it will be delicious.
                      Bonne chance...

                    2. Thanks to all who wrote to me!! I really appreciate all your ideas...
                      I am going to let it all simmer overnight, I meet with the caterer tomorrow...

                      1. The menu sounds wonderful.

                        The appetizers look fine to me, there's a nice mix of them which covers any concerns that guests might not particularly like any one of them (I'm not a big foie gras fan, but would happily pass that over for scallops and vegetables.)

                        My only concern is the petits fours with cocktails. Sugar tends to dull the appetite (and might taste a little funny with some cocktails.) I would be inclined to substitute something light and savory.

                        And BTW, I don't see anything even vaguely pretentious about the menu - whether you're French or a Tibetan yak herder. This is a big celebration, not Monday night football, why shouldn't you pull out all the stops?

                        1. a
                          Amin (LondonFoodie ''OrientRice@aol.com'')

                          Congratulations and good luck. Do tell us where
                          and when the big day is. Your menu looks excellant,
                          and though I don't know what a piece montee (desert)
                          is, keeping in view opinion of MikeG with regard to
                          sugar content in the petit fours vs drinks maybe
                          you can add canapes for the cocktail hour and yet
                          keep the petit fours

                          ps: anywhere exotic for the honeymoon ?

                          Best Wishes/Amin

                          1. Maybe I'm too "american" but I don't get the petit fours for cocktail hour. I've always thought of these chocolate cakey things as desert items.