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Types of Refreshment Meal | Manolo for the Brides

Getting to Know You: Tell Us About Your Reception Meal

I'll take one of those... and, ooh, one of those!

I don’t have to be invited to a wedding to be interested in the wedding reception menu. There are so many ways to feed your wedding guests, which means that a reception meal might be anything from champagne and cake (with a fruit salad) to, like one wedding I attended while in college, a full sit down dinner in addition to hours of buffet station and passed appetizers that were basically dinner. I’m talking multiple carving stations, pasta stations, bacon-wrapped everything… it was actually kind of surreal.

You may not be serving the kind of American outsized tasting menu consisting of full meals, one right after the other, but I am still curious! What are you serving at your wedding reception – or did you serve once upon a time – and why?

11 Responses to “Getting to Know You: Tell Us About Your Reception Meal”

  1. mkb May 18, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

    i went to a buffet brunch wedding once (with you if I remember correctly). Two weddings I’ve been to have had pie instead of cake for dessert. Yum!

  2. Lisa May 18, 2011 at 2:10 pm #

    We’re getting catering from our (ok, his) favorite Indian restaurant. It has special meaning because we met through a friend that I met while traveling in India (kind of a long shot? yes!). Not that we need an excuse to serve Indian food anyways, ha.

  3. Jelly May 18, 2011 at 6:16 pm #

    When I first started looking at buffet-style (most girls start planning weddings when they’re children – I turned 28 this year), I was unimpressed.

    However, after my cousin’s wedding (buffet dinner), my opinion of buffets for weddings did a 180 change. The method of serving was perfect for the smaller crowd that we were, the spread was sumptuous, and standing up to get my meal? Easy and well worth it, for the choices we had.

    That said, I have no idea how I will do it. I may just get my family to cook for it- Mom’s tandoori chicken, Dad’s goulash, my sister’s yams…

  4. Kai Jones May 18, 2011 at 11:31 pm #

    We had our then-favorite meal: a buffet of Caesar salad, sliced roast beef, scalloped potatoes, and steamed broccoli. We also had a salmon (caught by my uncle). Cake for dessert. Reasonable for most restricted diets (vegans did get short shrift, but I don’t think I knew any at the time).

  5. class factotum May 19, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

    We had a seated supper, but we had only about 12 people there – immediate family and the pastor. The menu was still a challenge, though, because we had one person who can’t (hemachromatosis) eat red meat. A vegetarian. Two real lactose-intolerant people and two lactose-intolerant fakers who had me buy expensive Lactaid and then ate my $24/lb Carr Valley cheese as a late-afternoon snack every day of the nine days they were in my house.

    We had the meal at a Cajun restaurant. I gave the parameters to the chef and he came up with three entree options. Salad to start and flourless chocolate cake to finish.

    We brought our own wine and gave the leftovers to the waiter when we were through. One cocktail per person. This was a big issue because some of the attendees could have drunk us out of house and home. The waiter handled that part very tactfully. I would have just said, “If you want to get smashed again tonight as you have for the past six nights, you have to pay for it yourself.” But I am not very tactful.

  6. Sarah May 19, 2011 at 10:52 pm #

    Cupcakes, punch, and specialty coffee at church. Delivery pizza and beer at our neighborhood clubhouse later. Had a great time!

  7. Zee May 19, 2011 at 11:52 pm #

    We’re having an English Garden Wedding due to us getting engaged while backpacking across the British isles. So it was perfectly natural to have the sort of light nibbles you find at an afternoon tea for our refreshments. The reception is at 4pm, so it isn’t quite dinnertime anyway- no one will really want a full meal.

  8. Laura May 20, 2011 at 12:26 am #

    My FH is very keen on having a hog roast at our reception and I can’t see the point of that unless everyone gets a chance to get up and gawk at it! So buffet it is.

  9. lazydaisydays May 20, 2011 at 3:12 pm #

    Potluck, baby! We had a tiny ceremony on the opposite coast, so our big “reception” was a few weeks later, in our backyard. People brought lawnchairs and blankets, we set up a volleyball net and some other outdoor games, and everyone brought a dish to share — we also asked people to bring us the recipe as their (only) gift to us, so that we could think of our friends whenever we made these awesome dishes later in our married life. We had a pretty binder on the table for people to put the recipes in.

    It was a wonderful day! I was just finishing grad school, and most of our friends were grad students as well, so it took the financial pressure off everyone (us for the party, and our friends who might worry about a gift)…it just became this warm, sharing experience and I’ve never regretted it.

  10. Twistie May 22, 2011 at 11:16 am #

    We had a self-catered buffet of picnic foods. There was potato salad and fruit salad and sandwich makings (sliced meats, cheeses, roast peppers, lettuce, pickles, three types of mustard, tomatoes, a couple kinds of bread), some dishes of nuts and candies, and six varieties of individual fruit tarts for dessert. For drinks, we had beer, champagne, fruit-flavored mineral waters, diet Pepsi, and bottled plain water. In addition (and utterly without prompting!) Mr. Twistie’s mom showed up with a platter of her homemade vegetarian sushi.

    Everybody went home well fed, both the carnivores and the vegetarians found something to their liking, and having melons to ball the night before the wedding did my nerves good. You may take that phrase however you prefer.

  11. Anonymous May 22, 2011 at 5:59 pm #

    We had a seated dinner, but we got a GREAT deal on it since the restaurant was just sarting its catering branch and was just trying to get word of mouth going. Basically it was the same price as a buffet, so we just went for it.