Wedding Menu Ideas
Ok Chowhound, I need some guidance and inspiration...We're meeting with our wedding caterers next week to go over the menu and I'm feeling a little stuck.
Background: The wedding and reception will be at a baseball stadium. The caterers seem willing to do just about anything we want but most of the events held at the stadium are more of the birthday party/ corporate outing type so they don't have a lot of ideas to offer in terms of wedding menus.
Because of the setting and overall informality of the wedding, I don't think that "typical" wedding food--choice of beef chicken or fish--really makes sense in this case, but also don't want hotdogs and yellow nacho cheese.
One thing we had talked about was taking typical ballpark food to the next level--beef tenderloin and crabcake "sliders", a french fry station with various dipping sauces. Maybe a fajita station? Gourmet pizza?
Any other ideas for upscale ballpark food? Or would you do something entirely different? I'm open to any and all suggestions here.
Thanks all for the replies thus far. I will definitely dive into those links.
I'm not exactly sure how to describe the formality but I think a gourmet hot dog would be more appropriate than a 5 course plated meal. I will be wearing a short dress and the groom may be wearing a tux but likely a suit. No one else will be in tuxes/formal wear.
The caterers come with the stadium and like I said, are willing to do anything but most of their experience is of the hamburger/hotdog/grilled chicken nature so they're really looking to us to tell them exactly what we want.
That sounds pretty cool to have your wedding/reception at a baseball stadium! I am a big baseball fan myself, and we have a great stadium here but it's 30+ years too late for us! I think your original ideas are right on track, with the gourmet hot dogs, sliders, fajitas, pizza, etc. And the popcorn idea is brilliant!
My daughter had her reception, at a rented "hall", catered by a local fajita place, and the wedding was more formal than what you are describing. It was a hit! There were beef and chicken fajitas, chips, queso, salso, rice, beans, guacamole, and the needed fixings for a fajita meal. I think people were happy for a change from the so called normal wedding food. As far as guests showing up in formal wear, or tuxedos, well . . . I was shocked at how many showed up in clothes that were more appropriate for a day at the grocery store! I would not take that (their outfits) into consideration when planning the menu!
Thanks for the clarification. The main question is whether people would feel comfortable eating with their hands. If that's the case then you are golden. I'm a huge fan of the "bar" idea where it's one type of dish with many variations. So you are totally on the right track with sliders - beef tenderloin, crab cake - also think about lamb sliders or turkey burger sliders as well as a portobello mushroom. Also go nuts with the condiments - coarse grain mustard, chipotle ketchup, chutney. harissa aioli. Of course those also go great with your idea of a french fry bar. One key is to let a particular dish shine and others compliment it. So make the salads fairly simple, mesclun with a balsamic vinaigrette or caesar. One other idea, since it is a baseball stadium is gourmet popcorn - cracker jack style but with a sprinkling of sea salt, cocoa and cayenne pepper dusted.
I agree with DC - we need a bit more information.
Also - are the caterers people who normally work for the stadium? Or have you privately contracted them?
If it's the latter, you should get a feel for what they're good at - just because they're willing to do menus in either traditional North Indian or American deep south doesn't mean that they are equally experienced and skilled with both. You want them doing something they're at least familiar with.
If the caterers come with the stadium, I think the 'upscale ballpark' theme is a good idea, assuming of course that the food is matched to roughly the same balance of casual/formal as the rest of your wedding (to avoid the mustard-on-tux problem).
Congrats on your upcoming wedding, smarsh!
All your ideas sound terrific. The french fry station would be so fun! I like the idea of several stations so that guests can mingle over to various 'stalls' and try different ballpark foods. Maybe even a popcorn station with a few old-fashioned popcorn carts making different gourmet-flavored popcorns of your liking?
Also, I quickly googled 'upscale baseball food' and found a few links that mention various assortments - hope this helps to generate additional ideas for you:
Also, Aramark has a monster website that lists each ballpark they cater (click on park's name and you'll get an extensive menu for that park):
Good luck, and have a great time!