Have you ever seen “Four Weddings” on TLC? The object of the show is for the brides to compete against each other for the “best wedding”. The brides attend each other’s weddings and critique one another based on a point system. The highest score wins a fabulous honeymoon somewhere amazing so you can imagine that they are extremely competitive! They criticize each other like they are getting paid for it (which obviously they are). They criticize everything from the dress, to the venue, to the food – most especially the food. No matter the size of the guest list, pleasing more than ten taste buds is no easy feat at any wedding. After an emotional ceremony and before the normal dancing begins, guests typically look forward to the meal they will be served. Every couple’s goal is to have the food taste delicious but quite often, it seems the food is not personalized, typically falling short and leading to a disappointing meal. Most bridal couples make the other aspects of their wedding personal, from the ceremony, to pictures, to a signature cocktail, so why not personalize the food as well? Below are some tips to make your wedding food special and personalized.
Center the food on your life as a couple. If you and your partner have traveled, serve a recipe from each place you have visited. Next to each dish at the buffet, or on individual menu cards, give a description of the dish and a quick detail and photo about you and your partner’s time there. Maybe make the menu on a postcard! A practice like this can make the food feel more personal to each guest, and they will feel more included in your journey as a couple together. Even if the food does not appeal to some of the guests they will appreciate your shared personal stories. They will surely feel that the food was a sincere and thoughtful idea based on the couple’s personal style and experiences together. Was your favorite trip to a whiskey distillery?
Do you or your partner have a homemade recipe you share often or a signature recipe that belongs to your heritage? It doesn’t necessarily need to be for an entire dish. It could be for something as simple as a pasta sauce. What about your favorite biscuits? Quite often wedding caterers have an existing menu, with the ability to modify foods and recipes. Why not see if your caterer can make a homemade recipe for your wedding? Most are very accommodating and are happy to provide this service. You can include this personalized recipe information on the menu card that will help your guests appreciate the food for more than just its flavor.
It may even be fun to incorporate foods from other cultures! As Mindy Weiss described in The Wedding Book, the bride and groom of the Yoruba people in Africa “taste sour (lemon), bitter (vinegar), hot (cayenne), and sweet (honey) to represent the different stages and facets of a relationship.” This tradition illustrates “the couple’s willingness to journey through both good and hard times together” which is a powerful message and tradition that any couple can borrow. Borrowing traditions like these ensure your guests will enjoy the food beyond its flavor. They are sure to enjoy the personal touches you have added to the foods and presentation for an unforgettable wedding reception experience! How about your favorite pastry from Italy.