I am in love with my fiancé, poetry, good food, and autumn. Probably in that order. (I also like Italy, but that’s for another post.)
As you might have guessed, good food at our wedding is *very* important to me. I simply like eating and cooking.
I love to cook. My fiancé jokes that most people go to a restaurant, enjoy the food and then decide to return. I go to a restaurant and feel inspired to reverse engineer the food. When we went to Chicago and I had deep dish pizza for the first time, I promptly bought the proper pan and prepared it at home.
Sometimes I’ll ask for a “cooking challenge” from my fiancé. For his birthday, it was a few Creole dishes (how else can we prepare for a trip early next year?) A few weeks ago, it was homemade spanakopita and I was tickled that my fiancé mentioned it on his Facebook status. My Uncle Bruno’s favorite dish is bucatini all’amatriciana and this summer he was dismayed to find out that I hadn’t made it yet. That dish in particular became a challenge in trying to find the ingredients locally.
When I was growing up, it wasn’t just a priority to eat breakfast and dinner together, it was simply expected. It was the time when we talked about our day, laughed and sometimes even went over lists of things to talk about. This has carried through to my adult relationship.
I don’t want our wedding to be much different. I’d like to taste everything that we’ve chosen for the menu and be able to remember it.
Recent brides and friends tell me that I won’t get to eat at my wedding.
Not eat? That’s ridiculous. I’m determined to eat and enjoy the food, the company and the day.
A fiction writing friend is the first person to tell me that she did eat at her wedding (a green, local-food wedding in San Francisco) and she still salivates thinking about the dishes served there. That’s the way to go.
We want to try out the food at venues before making a decision. I expected that there would be more tastings, but most of my contacts at venues have told me that the tastings occur after you sign the contract. I can’t fathom choosing a location without tasting the food.
We’ve made reservations at a number of venues that are restaurants that hold weddings (as opposed to catering halls) in order to test the food. While dinner for four is not necessarily representative of how a restaurant is capable of serving a large room of guests, it is some indication of the quality and service.
It has become an expensive venture. One or two places offered discounts, but generally we have been on our own. I found this surprising. With a few exceptions, most of the catering halls would not offer tastings at all. One lovely hall offered us a tasting for a price that would go towards our deposit. That seemed more than fair.
Each chef or contact person has told me that they are flexible with the menu. While we haven’t chosen a venue yet, I believe them. Be firm in deciding what you want to have served. Write down options, go through the menus they give you and choose your favorite dishes.
However, don’t make a kitchen do something they aren’t used to doing. You don’t want to be their test case.
The food doesn’t have to be fancy or traditional. The wedding we went to in Richmond had a selection of appetizers and then a delicious cake. Everyone’s favorite appetizer was a tiny waffle with fried chicken topped with a tangy sauce.
Final word: Do what you want, not what other people tell you want.
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