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Wedding Food Advice

I have just booked the venue for my 2012 venue (The Rosewater Room in Toronto, in case anyone is interested) and am now grappling with menu decisions. I know people seem to have mixed opinions about the venue in general, but my fiance and I have decided to create a custom menu and hopefully avoid the boring banquet hall style food trap. I want to create a sophisticated menu that reflects our personal tastes as well as our profound love of food. However, as I am looking through some menu options in an attempt to try and come up with ideas I am starting to get frustrated. My issue is this: most of the things that we LOVE may be too sophisticated for a number of our guests, a lot of whom are extremely irritating 'picky eaters.' I do not really want to compromise as I feel like every single other wedding I have been to has catered to the palates of the bride and groom, regardless of what I or others may have preferred. However, at the same time I do not want to waste food. Such is my dilemma. The main course is not too big of an issue, as we are offering an option of either beef or duck, one of which (the beef) will be prepared more conventionally than the other. My real problem is with the appetizer course. Pretty much everything I can come up with will be a problem for somebody close to us, either his parents or someone in our wedding party. So I guess I was just wondering if anybody had any advice or suggestions for me. How have others with a passion for food dealt with the reality of wedding menu planning?

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  1. Our son and DIL had passed hors d'oeuvres and cocktails prior to dinner. Two of the things that I thought were great were small Chinese soup spoons with a smidge of tuna tartare and platters of small oysters on the half shell on a bed of salt.

    3 Replies
    1. re: cedarflat

      Thanks for the reply! We will also be having passed hors d'oeuvres and cocktails prior to dinner. Tuna was something that I had been considering, however unfortunately oysters are a little bit out of our budget! Did your son have a plated appetizer as well?

      1. re: Sonja_Blu

        No plated appetizer. Unless someone picked the vegetarian options, each person got a small piece of mild white fish and a small piece of beef filet. with appropriate sauces for each in little pitchers. Salad, vegetables, carafes of wine at the tables (not bottled) and wedding cake.

        1. re: cedarflat

          Most weddings I've been to have an assortment of hors d'oeuvres but not a separate appetizer course, just a salad.

    2. my feeling would be this.....
      if its going to go over their heads...and they are picky about it...
      just go with an assortment of appetizers..and your mains...
      they should be able to find something to eat..
      the only exceptions should be for allergies or diet restrictions...

      the wedding day should be about the bride and groom...or if tv shows my wife watches ..just the bride........
      good food can be a part of the wedding...but imo not the focus...
      unless the bride and groom are world renowned chefs...
      then people will expect world class food...
      :-)

      all i remember from most of the weddings (and my own) is mostly the couple..and the cake...

      1. I had the same dilemma when I got married -- no way was I gonna eat steam table roast beast on my big day :-). We got around it by having a local culinary school cater our event and cook skewers a la minute on bbqs hidden underneath the venue. I felt very lucky we were able to pull this off and realize it's not likely to be an option for you. One thing we did do that might work for you is that we eschewed passed hors d'oeuvres for gorgeous cheese platters served with baguette and other bread plus fresh fruit. I got to pick the cheeses out myself which was ideal. The caterer plated the cheese wedges/blocks/rounds beautifully, cut the breads and fruits and set everything out along with some bubble. Elegant, tasty and crowd pleasing. Unless your picky eaters are lactose intolerant :-(. Best of luck in balancing your love of food with your love of your family and friends!

        2 Replies
        1. re: grayelf

          Cheese platters sound amazing! Thanks so much for the suggestions!

          1. re: Sonja_Blu

            I agree, and diners will be able to pick & choose their favorites. Most apps I've had at weddings were either too timid or too much before the main course. Love the cheese, fruit and good bread options.

        2. This may not be much of a sophisticated response, but I had the same problem. I solved it by: offering sliced turkey, ham and beef, cheddar and swiss cheese slices, assorted crackers and bread for the picky ones. Then I did what *I* wanted with the rest. I felt like it provided for the mundane picky eaters -while still reflecting my taste.

          1 Reply
          1. re: sedimental

            Ya know what? I think that's a terrific idea. Everybody wins.

          2. I am very confused by your post since you say you want to "create a person menu that reflects our personal tastes..." but then your say "I feel like every single other wedding I have been to has catered to the palates of the bride and groom, regardless of what I or others may have preferred." Which do you want, a wedding menu for your tastes or what others prefer? You can't have both unless they are the same. If you know there are certain dishes or ingredients a number of your guests might not love, mix those up in the passed appetizers and then skip a first course. Most wedding dinners I have been to had too much food anyway.

            6 Replies
            1. re: escondido123

              No, they are definitely the same thing. That is what I meant, that I want to create a menu that reflects our tastes and that I feel like other couples have done the same at every wedding I have been to, although their tastes have generally been more conventional. I am not skipping a first course, we are having passed hors d'oeuvres, a salad, a plated appetizer, a main, and dessert. For late night snacks we are having shawarma. My main issue is with the plated appetizer, as people will not have an option and will simply get what I decide on. The main is going to be one of three options, so I am not too worried about that. I am thinking a foie gras terrine for the app, but am afraid people might not like it. Any suggestions?

              1. re: Sonja_Blu

                A vegetable terrine would be just lovely and perhaps take the shudder factor out for some people. Amazing things can be done with goat cheese, spinach, basil, sundried tomatoes, and any number of other things, layered and sliced. You might also consider a chicken mousse en croute, instead of pate. Pork or rabbit rillettes might also be really lovely as a starter, with nice bread and a fried caperberry or two. I think the best thing to come out of this whole thread so far is the idea that if you provide something to satisfy the appetites of the folks with less adventurous appetites, as fancy as an herbed tenderloin or as delicious as a pesto-drugged, sliced pork loin - plus your entree of choice, it will all work out fine and you'll be great hosts. Felicitations, by the way.

                1. re: mamachef

                  I like the idea of the rabbit rillettes! My fiance will love that too, thank you!

                  1. re: Sonja_Blu

                    Although I eat rabbit, as long as it is not a whole roasted one, In my family, half of them would not even consider eating rabbit and at least one might leave the table. You might want to consider an alternative for those folks.

                  2. re: mamachef

                    Oops, I also wanted to add that, as scary as rabbit might sound to some people, it is traditional food in both of our families (he is Egyptian, the people that will be coming from my side are Newfies) so that is really a wonderful suggestion that I hadn't thought of. Thank you so much!

                  3. re: Sonja_Blu

                    It sounds like you have enough options for the picky eaters to not starve to death, even if they don't like the appetizer. The vegetarians can skip the foie gras terrine, and the less knowledgeable will just think it's an amazing fancy meatloaf. People don't have to love every course. The main thing is to make sure you have food that is safe for people with allergies, which presumably you will know about in advance.