Wedding Wednesday: Food

Somehow, my wedding is only 5 months away! Yikes! I feel like we still have a lot to get done, even though I had a semi-productive weekend of chatting with a florist at Whole Foods about table centerpieces and inquiring about custom mint julep fudge for favors from a local business.
The venue is also doing the catering for us, and we meet with them in about two months to discuss what we’d like on the menu. We’re planning to have 2 or 3 passed hors d’oeuvres for the cocktail hour during which the Derby will be broadcast, as well as having a buffet-style dinner for our guests.
While I imagine the venue will have some suggestions, I’d like to have an idea of what type of food we’re interested in before we meet.
At the annual Derby party, I typically go nuts on hors d’oeuvres; I don’t serve a dinner. Previous years’ offerings have included fruit skewers with sweet dip, deviled eggs, pasta salad cups, pimento cheese with crackers, buffalo chicken spring rolls, spinach artichoke dip, crudités, and, of course bourbon chocolate pecan pie. 
I could eat ALL the deviled eggs.

Since I obviously won’t be the one doing the cooking this year, I’m exploring more creative hors d’oeuvres options. I’d love to do miniature hot browns, like these found on Epicurious:

It speaks to me.

These watercress canapés from Southern Living are beautiful: 

And every single one of these crostini recipes is mouthwatering:
Most of our guests are easy to please eaters, and I know no one’s coming just for the food. (They’re all coming for the mint juleps.) However, a few guests are vegan or have allergies like nuts or seafood. I understand you can’t please everyone and shouldn’t try, but I don’t want anyone to feel like they’re going home hungry. I’d love to hear your suggestions and feedback on that kind of thing!
I’d also love to hear your ideas on dinner options. Johnny’s mom has asked about ‘traditional’ Derby foods; my only thoughts on that are hot browns and burgoo, neither of which I care to serve for dinner. Johnny’s in favor of barbecue, but I’m afraid it’ll be a little messy for guests, what with all the sauce. (Maybe I’m paranoid because I can’t make it through a meal without getting something on myself.)
What do y’all think? Have you had some truly awful wedding dinners? Do you even remember the food? What about really excellent meals?

Author: Stephanie

Equestrian, amateur cook, people person.

21 thoughts on “Wedding Wednesday: Food”

  1. We have bbq at our wedding and I don't remember any problems with mess. Everyone loved it. My first choice was a burrito bar but it was xed since old people might not like Mexican.

    1. Awesome, because I love BBQ and will eat any and all leftovers. I think burrito bar would be super delicious, but you are probably right that the elderly (and possibly children) might not like Mexican. Lame!

  2. One of the best wedding receptions I've ever been to was barbecue. Awesome day. It was a little bit on the informal side, but I think it can really work.

    We're doing a brunch so the food kind of picked itself, but after the reception is over we're inviting people to a BBQ on the beach.

    1. Our wedding is totally not a formal affair (I mean, I don't expect anyone to show up in jeans, but it's definitely not black-tie), so BBQ might be the way to go!

  3. I've been to a few BBQ weddings and they were fantastic- informal, yes, but truly enjoyed by most. My best friend back home had a surprisingly good dinner buffet at her wedding, the dishes were traditional: prime rib, roasted chicken…but everything was just done so well- nothing was plain and blah like catered food can sometimes be. The last wedding I attended served a tomato risotto that I swear tasted exactly like spaghettios. lol Obviously I remembered it, but I had an absolute blast at that wedding and the food did not detract from the experience.

  4. The best thing we had at my wedding was a shrimp & grits station. Basically someone was there for the reception to make small batches of shrimp and grits for guests and it was DELICIOUS!

    For vegans, Mediterranean options are the way to go. Hummus & pita. Grape leaves. Those are probably the easiest and most frequently seen vegan apps, but honestly it's YOUR wedding so you should try to please you and your hubby first and foremost.

    1. Shrimp and grits station? SIGN ME THE FUCK UP.

      Johnny and I are maybe the least picky eaters on the planet: we eat everything from tofu to duck to deep fried Snickers bars. I think hummus & pitas or grape leaves sound like great appetizers- I'll definitely have to ask the chef about those kinds of options.

  5. I don't know if it was vegan, but we had a fabulous pasta dish at our wedding to cover the vegetarians. Funny enough we picked it purely because it was meatless and everyone inhaled it!

  6. I'm so hungry now.

    As the token vegetarian, I'd say you definitely don't have to accommodate us (am I coming?), because we're super used to going to places that don't necessarily have food we can eat. Also, dessert. We eat dessert. And alcohol. But having wait staff or someone around who can safely say, "That has fish. That's vegetarian. That's got little tiny slivers of bacon mixed into the sauce." is SO FREAKING NICE. Or even labels or something. I can't say how many times I've made D taste-test something or that I've shoved something in my mouth only to then covertly spit it back out.

    1. Of course you're coming, if you want to!

      That is SO helpful- I hadn't even thought to ask to make sure the waitstaff knows what's vegetarian/vegan or not. Thanks for the advice!

  7. Holy crap. Those mini hot browns. They speak to me, too…

    I have a collection of friends I cook for regularly who are a mix of extremely picky, allergic to mushrooms, and vegetarian. Thank god they aren't also vegan, or I'd probably kill one of them! I find the best way to approach cooking for people of extreme taste preferences is to have a good variety of substantial options. Make sure one of the vegetarian options is heavy enough for vegetarians to feel like they have had something good, then go please yourself with whatever. You might be surprised how the vegetarian option can sometimes be the hit, if you put enough thought into it.

    One of the best things I had at a wedding? Tomato soup shooters with slices of grilled cheese dunked in. So good. SOOO good. (And excellent as a late night snack!)

  8. Deviled eggs and barbeque, my type of wedding 🙂 I think as long as you have enough food, people will be happy. I know this sounds obvious, but I've heard of this happening and how annoyed guests were about it. I think bars (salad, pasta, potatoe) along with a couple of meat options can be a good way of accommodating everyone.

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