Comments: Wedding Food

Comments

Barrett,

No discussion of the cake/dessert? Ms. Eatchicago and I are planning our wedding right now, and we've given a lot of thought to dessert.

What we've decided is that too many people go overboard with sweet tables and give their cake the backseat. Other times (once at a recent wedding), they served a totally separate dessert and then the cake a half hour later after we were all full.

We've decided to just have a darn-good cake sliced and served buffet-style, along with a few displays of fresh fruit. Everyone's happy, it doesn't cost a ton, and it'll taste great.

So, I guess my rule is: With dessert, keep it simple and tasty.

Totally agree on the importance of the cake. I think that unscrupulous caterers try to talk people into additional desserts on the basis that the cake is somehow apart from the meal.

Actually, I felt like I was being bombarded on all sides by people telling me what I had to include on my "special day" - balloons, butterflies, cameras on every table, limos, etc.

Keep it simple is a good rule for the whole process (and life in general)!

Cake is the third phase of the food. The danger with cake is that its going to have that buttercream frosting that's so good, but so thick. If you have a cake that's too "complex" (say a strawberry ginger spice cake), your guests are going to have trouble with it since they've presumably just had a great meal and a lot of drinks.

Rumblies in the tummies ensue.

For that same reason, I don't see a point to the dessert table. You already have the cake. I suppose if you have a family of sweet toothed sugar fiends it might make sense, but...

I must have missed the third phase when i first read it. Nice post. Thanks.

Great photo, Barrett! Have you thought of entering it in Does my blog look good in this??

I catered both of my own weddings.

I do not suggest that anyone do this.

Furthermore, I suggest that if you are crazy enough to do this, unless you are a pastry chef, don't do the wedding cake. Leave that to the professionals. I did the cake for my first wedding, and while it was beautiful and tasted great, I thought I would tear out my hair putting it together.

Brides with big bald patches in their hair are not pretty. So, do not go there.

That said, I generally agree with you. I have catered a number of weddings and the most important things are the drinks and the cake.

What you have in the middle is seldom remembered unless it is fantastic.

I do like doing cocktail party, canape and drinks then cake only affairs. They are fun. A huge buffet table of really beautiful morsels is a big, big turn on for folks.

Garnishing is important--beautiful garnishes turn people on.

Big luscious platters of fruit really get folks going--people will start picking grapes and feeding them to each other and stuff like that, which leads to lots of great candid photos for the album.

I don't think it can be stressed enough to make sure there are plenty of non-alcoholic alternatives for the drinks. There are many adults who will be thirsty but not want to drink alcohol all evening long. And some will choose not to drink alcohol at all.

Whenever my parents had a wine and cheese party, there was always a big punch bowl that was clearly labelled "non alcoholic". The punch was usually a combination of undiluted frozen lime concentrate, unsweetened pineapple juice, unsweetened grapefruit juice and soda water with lime and lemon slices floating on top. (If we ever entertained more than 4 people at a time, we would do the same sort of thing.)

Dessert: What about an assortment of cheese s and fruit? That wouldn't take away from the cake at all.

Our wedding was very small affair in the early afternoon - only 25 guests. The reception was in my parents' living room - elegant luncheon laid out on the sideboard for people to help themselves. With the lunch, we served red and white wine, mineral water, fruit juice and the famous punch. After the cake was cut, we served champagne for toasting (and fizzy mineral water for those who couldn't drink alcohol) Sure, there wasn't dancing but everyone seemed to have a good time - including us because we weren't stressed out at having to personally greet zillions people we barely knew. (Can you tell that I'm a great fan of small weddings?)

-Elizabeth

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