Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July
What plans do you have?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Wedding Reception Food

When my parents got married, the ceremony and reception was at my father’s parents’ house. Most wedding receptions for my generation seemed to be simply cake, punch and/or champagne, plus nuts and mints either at a church or community meeting room. My children’s generation’s wedding receptions are often much more complicated and often include sit down dinners—some buffet style and some served individually—at expensive venues that must be booked months in advance. I don’t think it just is a matter of “trying to impress” others, but that we are now a more mobile society and people often have to travel long distances for the weddings. You hate not to feed someone who has come so far. It’s also a good way to get to spend time with family and friends you haven’t seen in a while. And, yes, many of us are more affluent than our parents were.

Personally, I think families shouldn’t go into debt for weddings and receptions. It’s still okay to have the cake and punch reception. If you want a meal, consider:
- a nice buffet style meal that you prepare yourself (get friends and family to help)
- ordering finger food and sandwiches from the warehouse stores or large grocery stores
- seeing if a local restaurant has space you can reserve for a meal and if necessary limit it to close family and friends
Any of these options are a lower cost than having a catered dinner for the entire guest list.

If you do choose to have it catered, however, make sure you know what you want before you commit to anything. You can discuss pricing and options with several caterers and compare. You can ask a caterer for pricing on more than one option. If you’ve decided what you want, don’t let them sway you. For my daughter’s wedding, she and her fiancé wanted Italian food served. They picked out some variety – it covered those with vegetarian and dietary needs. The caterer was worried that not all people like Italian food. We couldn’t think of family members or friends who wouldn’t be happy with something on the menu the two had chosen, so held firm. It was a very lovely dinner and we heard no complaints about the food. Most important of all the bride and groom were very happy with their special day.

Often when doing a dinner reception, brides and grooms order response cards, so they know how many will be attending.