Wedding Cakes & Food Forum

what to eat?! is this tacky?

Hey ladies, I am having a hard time deciding what I want to feed people. I really HATE "wedding food". I am a very picky eatter and honestly I want something that I am going to eat and love. We have checked out a few of the local caterers and they all seem to offer the same stuff. So we started thinking outside the box, qdoba or panda express. These are both places we love and eat at often.

I would really like Panda Express. I know its not super fancy, but we can dress it up with nice chafing dishes. My question would be, this is tooo strange? DO other people have chinese food at weddings? I figured we would have a buffet and offer 3 main choices and 2 side choices. We have rented square china, so it its more of a fun feeling..

Qdoba would be more like a mexican buffet, which I have seen more often...so if panda express is too tacky I would go with this option.

Still, we have not completely ruled out traditional catering with chicken or steak, but out of our entire wedding party they vote for the other 2 as well. What do you ladies think?

Re: what to eat?! is this tacky?

  • edited December 2011
    What kind of wedding are you having?  If you are having a low key wedding, then fast food wouldn't be out of place.  If you are have a more high end wedding, then it wouldn't work.

    In any case, remember that the reception is not for you.  It is for your guests.  It's their taste that you need to be concerned about, not yours.  If you seriously cannot eat catered food, then have chinese delivered just for you.
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  • BrambleBerryBrambleBerry member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I wouldn't eat panda express if you paid me to... sorry but that isn't even real Chinese it's like food court Chinese- you don't have to do something traditional but you should at least provide an appropriate meal
  • Simply FatedSimply Fated member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    Obvioulsy you can't please everyone all of the time, but with specific food like that, you might run into more issues than you would expect.

    Also, I gotta agree with BrambleBerry. Maybe it's a NY thing, but Panda Express is definitely at the bottom of the food court totem pole around here lol. 

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  • edited December 2011
    I personally can't eat Panda Express, as they don't offer vegetarian main dishes. Also, check and make sure a place you are considering doesn't use a common allergen, like peanut oil. I actually wouldn't mind a Qdoba taco bar, though. But I love tacos.
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  • kmmssgkmmssg mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    You are aiming the food at the wrong people.  The reception isn't about what you and FI like, it is a thank you for your guests.  You choose the food the masses will enjoy, not what you two like.  Please don't do either of those.
  • edited December 2011
    I like both Chinese and Mexican food and even it's Americanized-fast food equivalents, but there is a time and a place for everything.  If you're having an informal, quirky sort of wedding then I'd probably be happy with it.  If you're having a more traditional, formal wedding I'd be really bummed out not to see something a little more upscale.  

    Have you considered doing a station-style reception with an Asian stir fry station, a build your own taco bar, and some other more traditional stations? Like meat carving station, pasta station, etc?   It would give you the variety you and FI want and should please a lot of palates.  And it's easier to customize the dishes for vegetarians.
  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_food-cakes_eat-this-tacky?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:23Discussion:dafd23a1-f6e4-4ccf-a0c8-fcfe024a9adaPost:326580a2-6fb5-47ad-879e-ac16a5af29c9">Re: what to eat?! is this tacky?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I like both Chinese and Mexican food and even it's Americanized-fast food equivalents, but there is a time and a place for everything.  If you're having an informal, quirky sort of wedding then I'd probably be happy with it.  If you're having a more traditional, formal wedding I'd be really bummed out not to see something a little more upscale.   Have you considered doing a station-style reception with an Asian stir fry station, a build your own taco bar, and some other more traditional stations? Like meat carving station, pasta station, etc?   It would give you the variety you and FI want and should please a lot of palates.  And it's easier to customize the dishes for vegetarians.
    Posted by NOLAbridealmost[/QUOTE]



    I agree with this. A lot of caterers can do "international buffets" of some sort. I think that would give you the nontraditional feel you're going for and be a little bit classier.

    I see you're in Colorado-- I know my caterer (near Denver) has Mexican and Asian buffet options. Send me a message if you would like more info.
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  • goobersinlovegoobersinlove member
    500 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_food-cakes_eat-this-tacky?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:23Discussion:dafd23a1-f6e4-4ccf-a0c8-fcfe024a9adaPost:8493ccaf-dc54-456f-9d86-4efe401cb22f">Re: what to eat?! is this tacky?</a>:
    [QUOTE]You are aiming the food at the wrong people.  The reception isn't about what you and FI like, it is a thank you for your guests.  You choose the food the masses will enjoy, not what you two like.  Please don't do either of those.
    Posted by kmmssg[/QUOTE]

    I disagree here. While not trying to be all "it's-your-day-do-what-you-want" or anything, I DO think that you are most certainly entitled to enjoy the food choices you are paying for on your wedding day. Your wedding should, after all, reflect your personal styles.

    However, unless this was an extremely informal, cheap wedding, as a guest I would be very disappointed. I don't like any kind of fast-food, and fancy plates would not disguise the taste or quality. So to answer your question, yes it is tacky.

    That being said, you <u><strong>can</strong></u> find (more elegant) caterers that will make you essentially whatever you want AND present some <u>options</u> so your guests aren't limited to sweet and sour pork with rice or burritos. I would at least try to look into that. NOLA had a <u>great</u> suggestion about the international buffet.

    Our venue is like that - they do not have a "menu" that we have to pick and choose from. We meet with the chef and explain to him what we want and don't want, and he will follow our directions.
  • sparent2010sparent2010 member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_food-cakes_eat-this-tacky?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:23Discussion:dafd23a1-f6e4-4ccf-a0c8-fcfe024a9adaPost:1fffcbdd-c5fe-40f9-8fff-68ffbdd0f276">Re: what to eat?! is this tacky?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: what to eat?! is this tacky? : I disagree here. While not trying to be all "it's-your-day-do-what-you-want" or anything,<strong> I DO think that you are most certainly entitled to enjoy the food choices you are paying for on your wedding day</strong>. Your wedding should, after all, reflect your personal styles.<strong> However, unless this was an extremely informal, cheap wedding, as a guest I would be very disappointed</strong>. <strong>I don't like any kind of fast-food, and fancy plates would not disguise the taste or quality. So to answer your question, yes it is tacky.</strong> That being said, you can find (more elegant) caterers that will make you essentially whatever you want AND present some options so your guests aren't limited to sweet and sour pork with rice or burritos. I would at least try to look into that. NOLA had a great suggestion about the international buffet. Our venue is like that - they do not have a "menu" that we have to pick and choose from. We meet with the chef and explain to him what we want and don't want, and he will follow our directions.
    Posted by goobersinlove[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>I disagree with you. </div><div>1. You are going to be rather busy on your wedding day so as many brides say you will not have more than a bite or 2 at the actual reception. </div><div>2. The reception is to thank your guests for coming not just a giant party to AW</div><div>3. It is not always tacky her wedding style needs to be taken into consideration before you say something is automatically tacky. Just because you don't like fast food doesn't mean everyone else hates it. </div><div>
    </div><div>OP- </div><div>1. You can do this if you want to have an informal reception- it depends what time of day and where your receptions is being held at. </div><div>2.Panda Express and Qdoba are not really the most high end or even middle of the bar food. I would suggest talking with some market places or local restaurants . For example we are using a market (Asian Market Place ) to make platters of Korean food and Grand Peking Restaurant/Bento Time to make Chinese and Japanese food collectively. We are doing a tour of Asia to celebrate both of our heritage. </div><div>3. Lastly, OP remember you will not have a lot of time to eat at the reception so try not to overthink the food. You want something you will like but keep your guests in mind as well. </div><div>
    </div>
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  • jess9802jess9802 member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    I had plenty of time to eat at my reception - I made it a point to eat my dinner. So have all of my friends. Still, I designed a menu that included foods that not only I liked, but that our guests would like too. I would be pretty disappointed to go to a wedding and get Qdoba or Panda Express. Blech.
  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_food-cakes_eat-this-tacky?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:23Discussion:dafd23a1-f6e4-4ccf-a0c8-fcfe024a9adaPost:1788c5b6-c968-4e31-ab8c-b58de93e52df">what to eat?! is this tacky?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Hey ladies, I am having a hard time deciding what I want to feed people. I really HATE "wedding food". I am a very picky eatter and honestly I want something that I am going to eat and love. We have checked out a few of the local caterers and they all seem to offer the same stuff. So we started thinking outside the box, qdoba or panda express. These are both places we love and eat at often. I would really like Panda Express. I know its not super fancy, but we can dress it up with nice chafing dishes. My question would be, this is tooo strange? DO other people have chinese food at weddings? I figured we would have a buffet and offer 3 main choices and 2 side choices. We have rented square china, so it its more of a fun feeling.. Qdoba would be more like a mexican buffet, which I have seen more often...so if panda express is too tacky I would go with this option. Still, we have not completely ruled out traditional catering with chicken or steak, but out of our entire wedding party they vote for the other 2 as well. What do you ladies think?
    Posted by xxmotogurlxx[/QUOTE]

    <div>i hope your wedding cake is made out of tums!</div>
  • goobersinlovegoobersinlove member
    500 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_food-cakes_eat-this-tacky?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:23Discussion:dafd23a1-f6e4-4ccf-a0c8-fcfe024a9adaPost:541ca244-5490-43ac-aabb-1b2bfe6386d8">Re: what to eat?! is this tacky?</a>:
    [QUOTE]<strong>I had plenty of time to eat at my reception - I made it a point to eat my dinner. So have all of my friends.</strong> Still, I designed <u>a menu that included foods that not only I liked, but that our guests would like too.</u> I would be pretty disappointed to go to a wedding and get Qdoba or Panda Express. Blech.
    Posted by jess9802[/QUOTE]

    THIS!
  • edited December 2011
    Would people see the packaging? If not, you're just talking about serving bad Chinese and bad Mexican food, which you happen to like. ["Bad" might be the wrong word; "cheap" maybe] In California, even an "elegant" wedding could have Chinese or Mexican food, the issue is the quality.

    I'm not really a foodie. I kind of see food quality as in the eye of the beholder and don't myself have a problem with your cheap idea (which only foodies would recognize as cheap, if they don't see the labels).

    Whatever you do, find something you like. Panda Express is a fast-growing, very popular restaurant. There's no way to tell that a majority of your guests won't like it. If you KNOW a majority won't, that's another issue. (You wouldn't serve ham if you knew most of your guests kept kosher, or were vegetarians) Your idea may not be the best, but in the entire universe of food options, surely there's something you like and normal people like too.

  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_food-cakes_eat-this-tacky?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:23Discussion:dafd23a1-f6e4-4ccf-a0c8-fcfe024a9adaPost:ab4bc473-a655-4171-90cd-a6836dbeced2">Re: what to eat?! is this tacky?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Obvioulsy you can't please everyone all of the time, but with specific food like that, you might run into more issues than you would expect. Also, I gotta agree with BrambleBerry. Maybe it's a NY thing, <strong>but Panda Express is definitely at the bottom of the food court totem pole</strong> around here lol. 
    Posted by Simply Fated[/QUOTE]

    ...and an Orange County thing.
    I would do the Mexican food, but again <em><strong>THAT</strong></em> is an OC thing <img src="http://cdn.cl9.vanillaforums.com/downloaded/ver1.0/content/scripts/tinymce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-laughing.gif" border="0" alt="Laughing" title="Laughing" />
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  • edited December 2011
    I honestly don't think we can say it is horrible unless we actually ate at the posters panda express. I know tons of fast food places where one place makes great food and another in the chain is HORRIBLE. it all really depends on who is cooking. I honestly have no problem with bringing in food and putting in dishes. Just make to have some alternates for those who don't like chinese or mexican . Some people don't like anything but plain . Would also like to point out that ihave been to PLENTY of fancy catered events that i thought had the nastiest food that people were paying bigbucks for. I will never understand why people pay so much to have the same old chicken or beef . Just ONCE i would like to see a wedding menu that had something i actually wanted.
  • RebeccaB88RebeccaB88 Figment of Your Imagination member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited December 2011
    I wouldn't call it tacky.  Disgusting, maybe.  Tacky?  Not sure. I'd be pretty bummed to go to a nice, pretty wedding and be treated to cheap fast food afterwards. I'd rather just have a good piece of cake.  You're telling me that I'm not important enough to provide me with a nice meal. 

    I can't stand Panda Express. Wouldn't eat it if you paid me to.  Catering by them, to me, would be on the same level as having Burger King cater.  It's fast food. Cheap, poor quality, mass- produced, frozen food.  Is this what you want your wedding to be known for? 

    Also, do you really want to have the same food at your wedding as you can have on any regular day of your life?  Do you not want to have something special for your wedding?  Do you not want to treat your guests to good food? 

    If it's a budget issue, I'd rather  just have cake and munchies at a non-mealtime than have a large meal of bad food.  Or have a very small guest list so you can afford a smaller amount of good food.  Just don't take me to the faux-Asian equivalent of McDonalds.  Surely you can find a caterer who can make you food that both you and your guests would like.
  • edited December 2011
    I am not even going to comment on your catering choices.  Although they are not my style at all, you have heard plenty about that from the previous posts.  Here is an idea....many caterers and venues I have gone to offer a meal choice for the bride and groom. 

    This means that, for example, my fiance and i have chosen a choice of chicken breast oscar, prime rib, or seared salmon for our guests (and a vegetarian option as well).  However, we may eat anything we like.  After we go to the tasting we can decide if we want one of our options or if we want to select something else off the menu (my fiance really wants lobster although I beleive this will be too messy! haha). And since I will be dieting all the way up until the wedding (almost 75lbs lost!!!) I want a huge bowl of chicken alfredo pasta....or something else super sinful! I'll probably only have time to take a few bites though...which is probably a good thing!

    Can your caterer do something similar? That way your guests can still get the more traditional food choices that they like and perhaps you and your fiance can get a plated dinner with entrees that you enjoy. This will be a win-win.

    Either way, you need to make a selection that the vast majority of people will enjoy.  And to be honest, I dont think the vast majority of people will enjoy qdoba or panda express.
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  • edited December 2011
    I think it would be strange to go to a wedding where the bride and groom were served different food than the guests.  I wouldn't have people over for a dinner party and then get myself different food from what I served to them, regardless of whether it was lobster or a fast food burrito that I got for myself. 

    You need to mix your tastes with being a good host to your guests.  Being a good host doesn't mean serving chicken and prime rib with potatoes (or whatever you consider typical wedding food), but it does entail thinking about what will generally please your guests and having some variety to account for that fact that everyone doesn't like the same thing, especially if you're being more adventurous. 

    I'm sure we all have our guilty pleasures, food-wise, but if that food isn't generally well-liked, you shouldn't serve it to your guests as the only option.  OP, if you want to serve Chinese food for your wedding, please get better quality food.  There are also options in between traditional chicken and steak and fast food that you can look into--ask the caterers you're looking at for sample menus. 
  • 2brightsouls2brightsouls member
    Second Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    We're considering having food from Noodles & co...we don't have a lot of money (barely even enough to have a wedding at all!) and no financial help from anyone. Our guests are aware of this. We'll probably have our reception at a park-like venue, though. Very laid back. I personally would be okay with Qdoba at a wedding. I don't have expensive taste! I'm thankful for anything given to me, and your guests should be understanding. If they aren't, then maybe they shouldn't be invited - that's how I feel.
  • kbn22273kbn22273 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_food-cakes_eat-this-tacky?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:23Discussion:dafd23a1-f6e4-4ccf-a0c8-fcfe024a9adaPost:8493ccaf-dc54-456f-9d86-4efe401cb22f">Re: what to eat?! is this tacky?</a>:
    [QUOTE]You are aiming the food at the wrong people.  The reception isn't about what you and FI like, it is a thank you for your guests.  You choose the food the masses will enjoy, not what you two like.  Please don't do either of those.
    Posted by kmmssg[/QUOTE]

    Agreed!  I really wanted to do a terriaki or bourbon or southern sort of meal.  But i realized that while I may like that...my 150 guests probably won't.  And it's their taste buds that come first.
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