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Ideas for yummy but not typical wedding food????

I need ideas for a semiformal/formal dinner reception without the typical wedding foods. My fiance and I are bored with the meat and potato dinners. Its ordinary and somewhat boring. We are having a small, simply, southern wedding on the Mississippi coast. The reception is somewhat formal. We like the idea of a seated dinner but that can always change that.

Any ideas for plated or buffet reception that is anything but your typical "meat and potatoes wedding dinner"? We'd like to keep it classy so we need things that can be dressed up.

Re: Ideas for yummy but not typical wedding food????

  • edited December 2011
    What kind of food do you and your FI enjoy?  I would start from there, and then add things to appeal to a variety of tastes.  Have you found a caterer yet? 

    We are having a buffet with 2 fish dishes, a white lasagna, porcini mushroom purses, vegetable strudel, green beans, roasted baby potatoes, grilled summer vegetables, and asparagus prepared three ways. 

  • kmmssgkmmssg mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited December 2011

    As you are doing this, keep in mind that you need to appeal to the masses and not just what you like or you will waste money on meals people won't eat.

    You certainly don't have to do "wedding chicken" or standard meat and potatoes.  If you are having a plated dinner will there only be one entree option?  Will your guests rsvp with their entree selection?  If there is only going to be one option and you are going with a plated dinner, some kind of chicken is a safe bet.  If you are going buffet options may be a bit more open.

    A vegetarian option would be really important to offer also. 

  • wlwilson87wlwilson87 member
    Sixth Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011

    Right now we have a seated dinner which the guests rsvp with one of the 3 options. Its a very small wedding, all very close family, max about 30 to 40 people.

    The current options are a ribeye, chicken or tuna. All come with roasted potatoes, greenbeans, salad, choice of soup.

  • edited December 2011
    I'm not really sure what you're asking.  Are you locked into those three choices, and you need ideas of how to make them more exciting, or are you looking to change your menu entirely?  

  • edited December 2011
    I actually think you can do just that-- simply put a creative spin on the meat and potatoes. 
    We're doing a southern-inspired BBQ dinner, with spicy southern fried chicken, BBQ pulled pork on buns, grilled corn on the cob, and roasted garlic red potato salad. It's very 'us' and will be summery and yummy but still a lil different.

    It will be expensive, but there are some neat 'Around the World' buffet ideas...sushi stations, italian stations, etc.
    "The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return." ~Moulin Rouge
  • edited December 2011
    sorry i'm confused also, are you asking for different ideas or are you trying to dress up ribeye and such?  

    if you're looking for different ideas - our families still eat cultural polish/german foods at home so we found a polish catering company that specializes in this and they'll serve family style at our semiformal city wedding.  i wasn't sure about it at first since it is so different from your usual chicken/fish, so i posted the menu here and got some really great feedback, and we're going for it!

    i think as long as your food is done well and you have veg/GF options for those who need it, then i think you have LOTS of options to customize your wedding menu based on your family's culture and your likes as a couple.

    good luck.
  • wlwilson87wlwilson87 member
    Sixth Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Sorry for the late reply. To clarify, we're looking to change our menu. The 3 options I listed are what we currently have planned but we are wanting to change it. We want to keep it classy but to have something thats not your typical wedding food. Does that make sense?
  • edited December 2011
    That clears things up a little--are you already set with a caterer?  If so, you will have to work with them to see what they can make.  

    My cousin had tuna at her wedding, and it was served rare (seared) with wasabi mashed potatoes and maybe a spring rolll or some greens.  I don't know what preparation you were having for your tuna, but I think tuna is kind of an unusual wedding fish to begin with.  

  • edited December 2011
    What are some of your families' favourite things? Are there meats they won't try? Or are your families adventurous?

    For example, what my FI and I originally wanted was lamb, peacock, venison, and a vegetarian dish. But it is ridiculous to find cheap peacock and some of my extended family gave us weird looks at the venison. So, now we're at lamb, steak or chicken, and a vegetarian dish. If we have extra money, we want to add another unusual dish. That way we can have something "exotic", something "safe", and something veggie. 

    Unusual but tasty meats for entrees:

    Lamb, bison, rabbit, duck, goat, pheasant, wild boar, veal, venison, emu, pork (does anyone serve this  at weddings anymore?). All of these are pretty delicious, but I don't know what your caterer is capable of accessing or cooking. I hope this helps give you some ideas!

    EDIT: Some people think duck is greasy, so be aware of that.
  • PandoraJeannePandoraJeanne member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    We're having brinner...you know, breakfast for dinner. It's our favorite dinner to have, not to mention it cuts food costs by more than half. There will be an omelette station, fruit salad, waffles, and everything else yummy from breakfast. For dessert there will still be a wedding cake, but it will be espresso flavored. Dessert will also have a crepe station.
  • LaMaFaLaMaFa member
    edited December 2011
    I agree that tuna is a bit unusual for a wedding seafood (I think most people do a white fish of some sort).
    I love the idea of doing breakfast for dinner, most people love breakfast, especially when you get fresh waffles, omelettes, maybe crepes- things that most people don't eat everyday.
    If you've already sent your invitations out with the rsvp cards, how do you plan to let your guests know that you're changing the menu (esp if you will need new responses for their meal choice)?
    I really like the idea of playing with your heritage, maybe you can keep the meat options but play around with the flavors (ex: teriyaki, Mediterranean, or Cajun) and change the side dishes to traditional ones. Or if your family has some favorite recipes, see if your caterer would be willing to make those and make your wedding really touching for everyone who knows Grandma's Pierogie or Uncle Ned's Pork Chops.
  • edited December 2011
    My fiancee and I are doing our own wedding (we found a reception hall that allows you to bring in your own food) and we are serving roast beef, mashed potatoes w/ gravy and green beans (we have found someone from my old church who has a farm to plant green beans for us, we are then canning them with bacon) but then we will have slices of bread for those who want to turn their meal in to a hot beef sandwich! YUMMY, fun and a little different.
  • edited December 2011
    Why not do a meal that showcases traditional Southern Mississippi-coast food? That area is so rich in tradition and good food! Why not ask your caterer what specialties they have. I know that , as a guest, I would love to try a sampler of different traditional foods, especially if I'm from out-of-town!
  • edited December 2011
    We are doing a taco bar at our wedding. I wanted the food to be something that we enjoyed but still keep it fun and with options. On the menu is beef tacos, chicken enchiladas or been for the vegetarians along with all the regular taco fixings, fresh fruit salad, green leaf salad and chips and salsa on the tables.

    I am a midwest bride so it is not like it is local cuisine or even heritage food as we are from German descent but it is what we wanted. I don't believe in thinking about what everyone else will like too much. We thought about what we wanted and then molded it to make the invited be able to enjoy it whether they like tacos or not. As they could choose to do a bean salad or a vamped up green salad or whatever they can desire to do with what is provided. So far everyone I have talked to is excited about it, even my grandparents!

    I say think about what you two enjoy to eat and go from there. If you enjoy southern comfort food then get imaginative or talk to your caterer and see if they have ideas. If you enjoy hamburgers or a noodle dish or even pizza there can be some really great, elegant food options that come out of these 'different' wedding foods. Often caterers enjoy doing something different and could have some great ideas that you never thought of.
  • edited December 2011
    We are having our reception at a local Irish pub that features one of our city's "own" inventions - the horseshoe (texas toast topped with choice of hamburger or chicken, topped then with french fries and smothered in a deliciously delectable white or yellow cheese sauce). It was invented here, and we don't know any locals that don't like the dish, plus those coming from afar are quite curious about this concotion. The caterer from the pub has a buffet setup for it, plus salad. When we saw that, there was no question what we were going to have. It's a more casual wedding/reception, and it suits us very well. I'd definitely look to local cuisine to give your guests a treat! 
  • edited December 2011
    Also at our reception, my fiancee and I are having a salad bar (romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, sunflower seeds, different dressings) instead of a regular salad.  For dessert we are doing pink velvet with cream cheese frosting (red velvet cake with pink food coloring instead) and a ice cream sundae bar or strawberry soda or orange soda floats.  Our colors are fuschia pink, orange and chocolate brown.
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