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What to serve at our wedding


alamut
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So I am getting married this coming July 1. My fiancé have already had our 1st preliminary meeting with the chef at the place holding the reception and he seems like the kind of person you would trust to cook at your wedding.

I am soliciting dinner menu suggestions, because we have some specific needs. The wedding will be in Louisville KY in mid summer so we should have great access to a bunch of fresh local farm goods (alas fiddlehead and ramps will no longer available). The bride has been a lifelong vegetarian who has only begun to eat and enjoy seafood in the last couple of years (and believe me that wasn’t easy), so all meats and poultry are out of the question. To make matters worse some guests/bridesmaids eat only veggies and seafood, while others only eat chicken (you know those girls, who get some grilled chicken salad each and every time they go out for lunch or dinner) and are freaked out by fish. Although I’m not in any way opposed to having a seafood entree, I cannot bear the notion of vegetarian wedding dinner. (I eat vegetarian meals often and the guys in the produce dept. know me well, but at my wedding I want some luxury) Then there is my family, some of who are unaccustomed to more creative preparations, but I’m willing to push them out of their comfort zone a little.. A final note to consider is that while I grew up in Louisville, the bride and her family are Alaskan. We would love to do a kind of Alaska/Kentucky theme to the menu (maybe bourbon-glazed salmon?) It’s a smaller wedding of about 125 people, so there should be less of an issue in preparing food for a large group. I welcome your dinner suggestions, and also advice and cautions (and probably horror stories) from your own experiences.

Alamut was the mountain fortress of Hassan i Sabbah and the later heads of the Assassins. Alamut represents more than just a physical place, more even than a symbolic home of the movement. Alamut was with you in what you did; Alamut was in your heart from the moment of your arrival and introduction to "Heaven" until the moment you died.

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Every wedding invitation I've been sent in the last few years has had an RSVP card in it with a place to check off my entree choice. I think each and every one has had a chicken, fish (usually salmon) or vegetarian option. And when we cater weddings, if it isn't a buffet, there is almost always a choice.

Is this possible in your situation? By having the guests RSVP their choice you don't have to have extra food on hand to offer alternatives. Then you can do an interesting Salmon, a vegetarian and some sort of meat dish (or just a fish/veg choice if you want to limit the choices)

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That's my experience with weddings, too. Whether it's a sit down dinner (where we checked off what we wanted on the rsvp) or a buffet, there is always salmon (bourbon glazed sounds great), a veg option and chicken or beef.

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UGH. I'm sorry, but the sub-title of your thread just makes me say GRRR. Here's the thing--it's YOUR wedding. Yours and your bride's, of course--NOT the bridesmaids'!

I'm not suggesting that you serve fish heads and sweetbreads (unless the two of you love them), but I'm really sick of hearing about how people spend half of their wedding planning trying to accommodate the rest of the world. You're throwing the party, and you (or someone in your family) is paying for it. Serve what you want and unless people have severe allergies to certain foods, trust me--they'll find something to eat. I'm saying this not as a married person or as a vegetarian or a wedding planner, but as someone who was taught to be a gracious guest. (My mom grew up in Louisville--maybe I inherited some good southern manners? :wink: ) Rant over.

Btw, I think the bourbon-glazed salmon is a great way to tie your backgrounds together! Something creative like that completely appeals to me as a guest--and I'm not even a salmon fan. Really.

"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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I'm a picky eater. You know what I do? I have a little snack before a party just in case there isn't really anything I'd enjoy. The girls who don't eat fish will enjoy whatever is placed next to the fish. How about a nice pasta dish for the veggies? There's always cake and booze.

Better yet....order their dresses a size too small and they won't be able to eat! I was just in a wedding where this accidentally happened. Boy, that pork loin sure LOOKED good.

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Aside from issues dealing with what the bridesmaids will or won't eat (they are all nice people, and I may be able to twist an arm or 2) I was hoping for some cool suggestions on Kentucky/Alaskan fusion. We already shot down the grits/wild blueberry dish as both an appatizer and a dessert. but there have to be some egulletiers out there who can think of something that will join our respective homes on a plate.

Alamut was the mountain fortress of Hassan i Sabbah and the later heads of the Assassins. Alamut represents more than just a physical place, more even than a symbolic home of the movement. Alamut was with you in what you did; Alamut was in your heart from the moment of your arrival and introduction to "Heaven" until the moment you died.

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Okay...DEFINITELY have mint juleps. If I were going to a Louisville wedding, it's the first thing I'd expect! And how about mini Hot Browns as one of the apps? (For those unfamiliar with the HB here's the official recipe and history)

What other foods are Alaskan? King crab? Moose (heaven forbid--see avatar)? I looooove the idea of using blueberries--why did you nix it?

"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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Have the caterer set up a stir fry station. You offer mixed veggies and either chicken, salmon or shrimp. They can stir fry to order in one of three electric woks set up for the occasion.

Have a pasta station as well with plain pasta and different sauces.

Have a carving station with Steamship Round of Beef and Roast Turkey.

Everyone should be able to cobble together something to eat that way.

Or do what Curlz said. It's YOUR wedding ferchrissakes. To heck with what the guests eat/don't eat. Keep the beverages flowing and give them a choice and tell them to shut up and eat it.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Have the caterer set up a stir fry station.  You offer mixed veggies and either chicken, salmon or shrimp.  They can stir fry to order in one of three electric woks set up for the occasion.

Have a pasta station as well with plain pasta and different sauces.

Have a carving station with Steamship Round of Beef and Roast Turkey.

Everyone should be able to cobble together something to eat that way.

Or do what Curlz said.  It's YOUR wedding ferchrissakes.  To heck with what the guests eat/don't eat.  Keep the beverages flowing and give them a choice and tell them to shut up and eat it.

:laugh::laugh:

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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Click here for a previous post of mine on wedding dinners I have known, including an amusing story from when my kid sister was dealing with planning her own wedding dinner.

Anyway--re: the bridesmaids who always order chicken-topped salads in restaurants: I think it's probably safe to say that they don't focus on food as a Major Experience the way we all do here on eGullet :biggrin: , so I wouldn't go out of my way to bend your wedding dinner to their tastes. As long as you make sure your dinner buffet includes a nice big salad bowl, they probably won't care what the heck else is on the buffet. Heck, have the caterers provide some grilled chicken strips to put on the salads, and they'll be all set. Add some other festive but low-key salad-topping proteins (including perhaps some nice Alaska-sourced sea foods like prawns or aldar-smoked salmon, see below), and you'll probably have the rest of 'em covered too. And then provide some *real* food to please yourself and guests of heartier appetite, and you're all set.

As to the menu in general: I don't think you have to drive yourself crazy by trying to make every single dish an Alaskan/Kentuckian hybrid. However, I've been playing around with a list of typical Alaskan/Pacific Northwest and Kentuckian/Southern dishes and ingredients (expanding both regions to give more choices), and it looks like coming up with hybrids is easier than I thought it would be.

So here's what I got so far (mostly, but not all, hybrids): that bourbon-glazed salmon; medallions of (farm-raised) venison on southern "popcorn" rice pilaf; a fancied up Kentucky burgoo (could be made with chicken as a nod to your non-red-meat-eating guests); crab cakes and shrimp-and-grits (w/Alaskan seafood); mixed salad greens, offered with choose-your-own toppings including dried blueberries, spiced pecans, flaked alder-smoked salmon, etc.; Southern-style greens (maybe do both a vegetarian version and one with smoked turkey instead of ham hocks); some kind of mushroom dish (stuffed mushroom caps? ragout of wild mushrooms wrapped in brik?); corn sticks and sourdough bread; bourbon/pecan and blueberry pies; mint juleps; artisanal Alaskan microbrew beers ... heh, add a crudite/cheese/cracker tray, and already that's a fairly groaning buffet-board, with a lot of familiar items plus room for some gourmet inventiveness.

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Our wedding isn't until late September, but already we're doing some preliminary investigations for feeding about 125 (so far) at my father's home where I grew up.

We have a smallish budget and I am entering into this already suspicious of anything wedding-industry related. Does anyone have any creative ideas on how to do this creatively on a budget?

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For apetizer I would go with some sort of smoked salmon dish. Smoked salmon with some fresh prawns & avocado and then as alternate maybe some kind of tomato/basil & gost cheese tart (who doesn't like that combination?)

For my wedding we offered a choice of salmon (locally caught) or Filet Mignon. We also had a vegetarian option which was a pasta dish with roasted vegetables. Everybody seemed happy and some even asked for seconds.

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alamut,

When I first read your post I thought "what a nice guy, taking into consideration the dietary likes/dislikes of your wedding party and guests."

That being said, while I can't offer advice on the menu (fusion Alaskan/KY), I can offer advice on the party planning. This is December. The wedding is in the summer. You have seven months before the event. It's my suspicion that as the event draws closer, you will become less tolerant of anyone's special dietary wishes. Plan a menu that you and your fiance like, and stick to it. Not only won't you be able to please everyone, most likely with 125 guests, you will piss at least someone off with your choices, but in the end it will be what the bride and groom wanted.

Enjoy the event, and congratulations! :smile:

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Our wedding isn't until late September, but already we're doing some preliminary investigations for feeding about 125 (so far) at my father's home where I grew up.

We have a smallish budget and I am entering into this already suspicious of anything wedding-industry related. Does anyone have any creative ideas on how to do this creatively on a budget?

I'm getting married in May and am catering the reception myself (well, not the cake).

People have a choice between gumbo, pork sandwiches, cake, or all of the above. There will be good coffee (purchased from a local coffee roaster) and good beer (purchased from a local microbrewer).

I do have a couple of vegetarian/nothing-that-walks-on-land friends so I will probably poach a couple of fish, too. Maybe sardines... :hmmm:

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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Hey! I work for a caterer in Louisville. Who's doing your wedding?

....and I like the smoked salmon idea. We have a local aquaculture company in town that makes the best smoked salmon I've ever had.

Who nixed the grits? :angry:

Marsha Lynch aka "zilla369"

Has anyone ever actually seen a bandit making out?

Uh-huh: just as I thought. Stereotyping.

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Ok still not sure if your doing buffet or plated or killer cocktail hour then plated....

I just looked for references on Alaskan cuisine all I really found was game, seafood, berries, and mushrooms. Dont they have giant cabbages too?

so without more info I suggest a wild mushroom dish either over grits aka polenta or a mock strudel with cabbage as pastry.... either could be a beg main course or the polenta could be a "pasta" course ....or mushroom and cabbage with pappardell pasta would be tasty too

If it is plated with cocktail hour, work your meat in the cocktail hour - beef saty, a nice country ham on biscuts, mini ribs, crab cakes, smoked salmon, then have a fish and a veg dinner option

the berries - sorbet or granita of berries or lemon sorbet with an awsome fresh bluesberry sauce on it

thats all for now

tracey

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

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