Post # 17
@trugem: My Fiance has the exact same opinion. We are actually getting our entrees from restaurants we love and will serve buffet style. Our friend, who is a caterer, will make side dishes, appetizers and a few desserts.
We went buffet because it is really tricky to do plated meals and keep all of them consistent. There are definitely caterers that have mastered this, but they are way out of our price range.
Post # 18
Lol, I’ve never tasted a good wedding cake..really. Not one. That is why I am going to have doughnuts. Easy, yummy, kind to the wallet. Classy? Maybe not, fun? Yes. New donut shop opening up..we will order there:). It was like fate..we love our donuts too:).
I mean, I have tasted much better box cakes from the store than these usually dry and weird tasting cakes! Worst was like a lemon raspberry…ugh, horrible!!! Why?!
Post # 19
@kalliela: I’ve had good food at weddings, but I agree about the cake! Yecch! I’ve decided I just really dislike wedding cakes… those bland cakes with the lame fillings. The fillings are what kill them for me, and that’s what everyone raves about as being so good. Hah. I think we’ll be having cupcakes. Can have multiple flavors and NO fillings.
Post # 20
The best wedding food we’ve ever had was at an Indian wedding. There were four or five kinds of curry for each table, naan, and rice. It was served family style so you could try some of everything and it was AWESOME. There was so much food we all thought we were going to explode.
Other good wedding food I’ve had:
Minnesota Chicken breast (this means it’s stuffed with a cranberry/wildrice stuffing)
and a buffet of kabobs, sliders, cheese, fruit, pasta salad, veggies and pad thai. it was sort of random but it was soooo good.
Worst wedding food:
Chicken Wellington from pretty much any restaurant
anything that involves ‘pilaf’ it’s just unflavored rice people!
And at FBIL’s wedding, there was a buffet of roast turkey, swedish meatballs, cold pasta/taco salad with doritos on top and potato salad. That wedding food SUCKED. Don’t do that. Really, anything else would be better than that was.
Post # 21
sometimes i wonder if the food isnt good because it doesnt have to be… even with those prices they know theyll book the venue good food or not… i would be curious to know what they thought at the tasting… hope it works out better for you…
Post # 22
The last wedding I went to had kick ass pasta!!! I could have had that all night long! But people just try to get too fancy with the wedding menu I think. Just have some fried chicken. You can’t really screw that up and 99% of people love it. Mac and cheese is good too. Then again I am easy to please.
Post # 23
I’ve been to two wedding and quite frankly I’ve been unimpressed. Thats why I wanted a restaurant reception – the food HAS to be good! :3
Post # 24
It seems that most hotel weddings tend to have bland food (not necessarily bad, but cooked for masses). Our guests are still talking about how great our food was but we lucked out because our venue it Italy was Michelin rated and very used to doing weddings. Our passed hor d’ ourves during the cocktail hr were various bruschettas and Italian fried veggies. Our sit-down menu was 5 courses and had dried Italian meats, apple risotto, truffle pasta, mixed meat grill with grilled veggies and roasted potatoes (there was another course in there but I can’t remember). This was served to 70 guests.
Post # 25
This was one of our biggest fears and exactly why we went with a local barbecue restaurant instead of a typical caterer. It will be a buffet and it will be down-to-earth food people actually like
Post # 26
If the food is seriously that crappy, it’s simply because the caterer has no clue what they are doing in terms of preparing delicious, properly cooked food (and the couple likely didn’t get any tasting until after they were locked in so had no choice but to use them). A good caterer will serve good food regardless of the type of event. The fact that it is a wedding is no excuse for anyone to serve bad food, period. That is further proof why you must taste the food before you sign any contracts, even if it is an in-house vendor you are required to use. Insist on it and if they refuse, go elsewhere. If they want your business badly enough, they will not balk (or charge you for your unborn firstborn) at giving a tasting before signing a contract.
I guess I’m lucky in that I have never had bad food as a wedding guest (I have had alot of bad food at other events and occasions though) and honestly can’t comprehend what would possess any caterer who wants repeat business to serve food that is mediocre or inedible. Of the few weddings I have attended that have served actual food (the majority were cake only), the food has been fairly good. Since it was a wedding, people went out of their way to make sure it was good before serving it.
Post # 27
I have to agree with MadameLady. One definite way to avoid bad food is to have your reception at yours and hubby’s favorite restaurant. Of course they have to accomodate a big crowd. Plus there’s no extra fees (tables, chairs, decor, etc.). It’s just like going out to dinner with a big group and everyone’s all dressed up.
We saw many of our guests making repeated trips to the buffet and one of my friends even attempted to recreate at home one of the dishes served at our reception (penne pasta w/broccoli). Earlier this month my co-worker told me that her son-in-law (they were both guests at our wedding) just recently went back to the restaurant where we had our reception earlier this month so he could eat there again. That was such a nice thing to hear almost one year later.
We paid $20 per person and that included drink and tip.
Post # 28
I was REALLY paranoid about the food being bad at my wedding. After talking to dozens of caterers – vendors for my wedding and friends who are chefs and/or caterers – I came up with a solution that worked really well. The food at my wedding was fantastic and we have gotten tons of compliments.
Here is the plan (sorry it’s long):
- Serve simple food that most everyone likes. Often really gourmet or fancy foods are hard to create on a large scale and end up not coming across as well at your wedding as they might at your tasting. A famous 1950s actress (I can’t remember who, but I first saw this quotation on WB) once said, “If you always chose the simple option, people will accuse you of having great taste.” This doesn’t mean you have to serve baked chicken and iceberg salad, but try to create a menu from foods that simpler to prepare (grilled and roasted meats and fish, baked fish in parchment, blended soups, fresh bread with dipping sauce, decadent potato dishes, hearty salads – think caprese, roasted beet and goat cheese, grapefruit and avocado).
- Dress up your simple food with classy touches. Add a velvety buerre blanc or citrusy salsa to your meat/fish. Add a dab of lemon aioli to your mini grilled cheese app. Add an unexpected spice to your roast vegetables. Add a fancy cheese (think gruyere or brie) to your potato dish. Serve a fabulous dessert.
- Serve only fresh, seasonal (and local, if you can get it) foods. Ask your caterer where they source their meat and produce from. If you don’t like the answer, ask if there are other options (there usually are). The chances that your food will taste divine and hold up under pressure are increased exponentially when you use ingredients that are meant to be served at that time of the year. Fresh food is just better. Even in the winter in the Midwest, you have loads of options if you are creative and adventurous.
- If you can, opt for buffet service (but the right kind – keep reading). No matter how awesome your caterer or your ingredients, food that sits around while 200 guests are served is not going to look or taste good. Have your first course pre-set (works well with hearty salads) or served as guests are seated, then use a buffet for the main course service. here’s how to class up a buffet and guarantee great food: (a) say NO to chafing dishes except for dishes that benefit from a little steam (this is really true for potato dishes, especially au gratins, rice, and roasted tomatoes); (b) have a “live” element to your buffet so the meat guests are served is fresh and hot (we were outdoors so were able to a grill at the end of the buffet so guests could have steaks and salmon cooked to order, but a carving block for a roast/leg of lamb/ham or an indoor grill would work well also; and (c) serve side dishes that work well at room temperature (grain salads with plenty of color, flatbreads, roasted vegetables, green beans tossed with viniagrette, etc.). Buffet bonus: caterers overplan for buffets, so it is highly unlikely you will run out of food.
- Know that you often get what you pay for in food.
Post # 29
I agree with the others that your favorite restaurant is certainly an option for catering. While many may not have large enough banquet rooms for your needs (if any at all), nearly all offer some type of off-site catering at the location of your choice. You are not limited to the restaurant site itself, nor are you required to shell out enough money to buy out the entire place. Restaurants generally charge a fraction of the price for more and better food and you are not nickeled and dimed for non-food items that are thrown in, like a regular caterer does.
Post # 30
@Halloween: what restaurant did you use for your reception? i am SO afraid of having a caterer… im actually considering rounding up all of the women in my family to have them cook my wedding food lol!
Post # 31
We went with a “heavy appetizer” option, which I was super nervous about, but it went along really well with our more casual cocktail hour feel. The thing was, there was a ridiculous amount of food – more food than I’ve EVER seen at any wedding by a landslide, and it was all amazing. We had a huge seafood table with things like wasabi tuna skewers and crab legs, a table with a ton of meat options, and then a ton of other options like baked brie. I think people were nervous when they heard we were having that type of dinner, but after they saw the spread, they were amazed. The food was delicious, and people were stuffed! I’d definitely suggest going that route. It was essentially a buffet, but we were allowed way more creative and unique options.