What Not to Serve on Your Big Day

A good wedding can be spoilt by serving the wrong foods! One sage piece of advice is to avoid foods you wouldn’t eat on a first date! The main lesson here is about eating foods that somehow maintain a comfortable formality and that you don’t end up ruining your best suit or dress.

So messy foods like spaghetti, ribs or burgers are a bit of a no-no. Although delicious, these foods have caused many awkward moments at wedding receptions over the years. The main issue is that oily fingers or slippery pasta dishes can be somewhat clumsy to eat when trying to make polite conversation and dressed in your finery.

Another problem encountered at wedding receptions are salads. The main issue with serving up leafy greens like lettuce or rucola is that they can become very soggy if left to sit in a dressing for more than 10 minutes. This problem occurs at home when cooking for small numbers and is magnified if you are catering for a large group.

If you insist on salads, it is advisable to avoid delicate greens that can wilt, but rather focus on more robust and crunchy salads. If you insist on a lettuce, then a ‘gem’ lettuce or ‘bibb’ lettuce are the ones to choose, as they have a much stronger leaf and will hold vinaigrette or olive oil.

Fish is another delicate food that will cause problems if you deal with a larger group. Whitefish and delicate smaller fish are notoriously tricky as there is no room for error in terms of cooking and serving times. If your numbers are over about 50 then it is difficult to ensure that the fish will not be dried out, or, worse, cold by the time the last guest has been served. Perhaps, better to use a smoked fish like salmon as a starter because this can be left for guests, and the timing is not an issue.

Pizzas are another item that are tempting to include but challenging to serve up fresh and hot. It always seems quite appealing to offer a simple Margherita or Napolitana, but you may be disappointed if you do not have a professional and large pizza oven.

Garlic is another ingredient that can be problematic if over used. As we all know, garlic is a wonderfully bold and pungent ingredient that can be the cause of bad breath. The last thing any bride on her wedding day wants to be accused of is anything like this. Moderation is the key to using garlic when catering for a wedding party. Tasty side dishes like garlic bread are the worst offenders when guests are hopefully engaged in lengthy conversations and want to feel confident.

The main point is that with groups that number more than 40 people, anything too refined or delicate is best avoided. If you are using a caterer then they are sure to have plenty of experience, so it is always a good idea to listen to what they have to say.