The wedding, or formal official breakfast, is a stereotyped affair, cast in the moulds of the confectioner and restaurateur. It is little else than the fashionable ball supper, lighted up by day instead of gas light, and is composed, like it, of stewed oysters, galantines, mayonnaise of fowl, cold game, ices, pyramids, and all the knickknackeries of confectionery.
from: “The Bazar Book of Decorum.
The care of the Person, Manners, Etiquette, and Ceremonials.” 1873
These days I expect that few of us will be serving stewed oysters, mayonnaise of fowl or large amounts of cold game, but it’s still necessary to feed your wedding guests something. It may be as simple as cake and punch or it may be an entire roast pig. More likely, you’ll want to choose something in between these extremes.
You may have guests with particular dietary needs. Maybe your Uncle Frank is diabetic, and little cousin Sally is violently allergic to peanuts and citrus. Your college roommate may be vegan while the Best Man considers no meal complete without steak. Then there’s your brother’s hatred of all things seafood and your bridesmaid’s boyfriend who has taken a strong stance against any food that is orange in color. Don’t laugh. While the names and relations have been changed to protect my sanity, I’ve known people with every one of these problems or attitudes, and most of them were at my wedding.<>How to pick a meal that will please your guests without breaking the budget? Here are a few thoughts.
Be clear with your caterer about how much you have to spend. A good caterer is used to working with brides who have very little to spend as well as those who aren’t the least strapped for cash. In fact, your caterer may have some very creative ideas for feeding people on a budget. Good communication will help you come up with a workable plan.
Accept that someone won’t be happy. If you’ve got an extended family of extremely picky eaters, you won’t please them all. You can, however, provide food that will satisfy most of your guest list. That’s good enough.