Marriage, Abraham Lincoln once observed, is neither heaven nor hell; it is simply purgatory. Regardless of one’s perspective on the virtues of married life, the wedding by which a given marriage is preceded can be, if nothing else, a good occasion to feast and (hopefully) enjoy oneself. And what better way to ensure a respectable turnout to one’s nuptial ceremony than with the promise of first-rate cuisine to follow?
Many guests will happily acknowledge to one another (if not to the bride and groom) the prospect of a free meal as having been the primary impetus for their attending in the first place. That being the case, the 4 wedding reception meal options listed below should be kept in mind when considering the catering component of one’s post-ceremony festivities.
Chefs nationwide have kept their knives sharp in support of the cause. Reception meals, which often fall victim to tight wedding budgets or unimaginative planning, are moving in a positive direction from a creative standpoint. And the nation’s best caterers have, for their part, been doing very good work in designing inventive, memorable, and flavorful reception menus which also keep competitive pricing front of mind. In the halls of civilized life, food bears more responsibility than the simple act of nourishing a human organism. It is a way of communicating, of channeling culture, of showing gratitude, and of offering comfort.
Wedding Menu Ideas
Food also has the potential to function as art, a potential which renders meals an important aspect of even the most modest marriage celebrations. These 4 wedding reception meal options operate within the framework articulated above. They are dynamic in their conceptualization, artistic in style, and, based upon how they are realized, likely quite economical.
1. Regional Theme
Foods, recipes, and ingredients derived from a given geographical region tend to combine well in a culinary sense. The oft mentioned Mediterranean Diet is perhaps among the more recognizable proofs of this concept, as its various seafood, pasta, oil, and vineyard offerings collectively yield entrees of both cosmetic and nutritional appeal. But a reception meal need not be limited to solely to the Mare Nostrum menu.
A reception might be thematically governed by South American vegetables, meats, and recipes, including: guatita, sancocho, and matambre. One might also look at various Southeast Asian cuisines, as Korean barbecue, the Thai soup Pho, and Cambodian cuisine are gaining traction in the American catering scene. Whatever region earns the couple’s coveted business, the themes accessible therein will serve the double purpose of satiating every diner’s palate while enriching the reception atmosphere.
2. Southern Barbecue
Given a list of 4 wedding reception meal options, one might not anticipate southern barbecue making an appearance. Formal dinners, wedding-related or otherwise, have traditionally leaned towards stuffiness—knife-and-fork affairs in which, given the neatness of the entrées, napkins themselves are a mere formality. But there are ways of doing things poorly, and there are ways of doing them rather well. Yes, even the seemingly sloppy, dripping, finger-licking characteristics of traditional southern barbecue can be harnessed in such ways as to yield a wedding-worthy dinner.
Furthermore, one might add a bit of cultural texture to one’s reception by employing the services of a caterer skilled in the theater of barbecue. Slicing of the brisket, pulling of the pork, applying of the sauce; there exists handsome spectacle in the barbecuing art. Treat the guests to its charms and they’ll surely leave high of spirit and full of belly.
3. New England Clambake
Though titled a “clambake” for the sake of convenience, clambakes are in fact not limited to any one mollusk. Clambakes are also the domain of America’s most beloved of crustaceans: lobster and crab. Putting this menu together yet? Lastly, New England may have monopolized the title, but clambakes are legally enjoyable by peoples of all geographical origin. There exists a unique duality in a well done baking of clams. The atmosphere is rather informal, while the food itself is classy, sophisticated, and hugely satisfying. A cooking method which is enjoyable to watch (there are hot stones involved), and an eating method involving the cracking of shells (stones are optional), a clambake will leave one’s guests feeling rather acculturated and accomplished indeed.
4. Brick-Oven Pizza
Pizza exists across so wide a culinary spectrum as to render it virtually immune from any pigeon-holed description. Frozen varieties scarcely belong in the same category as a brilliantly crafted brick-oven pie topped with healthful greens, ripe tomatoes, and classy cheese of one sort or another. It is difficult to envision to a wedding reception that would not benefit measurably from the presence of brick-fired pizzas populating every table. Whether served in a sharing or individual manner, entrée complaints are certain to be mercifully scarce when the pizza fires are ablaze.
Looking for more menu ideas? Connect with Meg Hall today to discuss your event.