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Food and Cakes

Casual Summer Reception Food

I'm looking for opinions about food... Here's some background as far as the setting of the wedding reception:
I'm NEY, but my boyfriend and I have been together for four years and definitely want to get married. He lives in the country, and his house is actually on the property of a church park (the church his mother attends). I'd love to have the reception there! It's a nice big space, there's a pavilion and lots of picnic tables, lots of trees and shade, birds chirping, a little creek, a playground & small basketball court for the kids... It sounds perfect to me, because I love nature and love the idea that we'd basically be marrying in his backyard! It's a personal element that's important to me.

Which brings me to my point... Another personal element I'm thinking about is doing the food ourselves (with help from our mothers). I love to cook, and we can't afford fancy catering anyway. I'd like to get married towards the end of summer - September is a nice month. :) Here's what I've been thinking about as a menu:

- Chicken Salad
(My mom makes it with California golden raisins and sliced almonds - delicious! And we'll have buns to make sandwiches, of course.)
- Pasta Salad
- Mrs. B's "Cheesy Potatoes"
(My mom, aka Mrs. B, bakes this casserole with hashbrown potatoes, cheddar cheese, and cornflakes on top, and everyone LOVES it when she brings it to potluck suppers!)
- possibly Cornbread
(Another favorite dish that my mom makes :))

So...would you enjoy it if you were a guest?

(It might also help to point out that the social circle I travel in does not involve filet mignon or lobster tail on a regular basis ;) Hot dogs and hamburgers are more our speed :P)

Re: Casual Summer Reception Food

  • edited December 2011
    Those cheesy potatoes sound amazing.  I don't think it's quite enough selection, though.  Maybe add a filling side, such as a three-bean salad, a green salad, and a vegetable side.  Also think about what you might want to have out for hors d'oeurves if you're planning to take photos in between ceremony and reception, as well as dessert. 

    Also, keep in mind that self-catering can be a lot of work, and it's a lot to ask of someone to make food for a wedding, even if its the mothers.  You don't want them to feel like they have to work through your wedding rather than enjoying themselves as MOB and MOG.  You can also run into food safety issues, and it can be hard to cook for a large group of people if you're not used to doing so. 

  • mpatt2122mpatt2122 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011

    It all sounds amazing. (I love the cheesy potato my mom makes them there delicious). I think you need some type of meat maybe bbq chicken or something.

    Anniversary
  • daisywithakdaisywithak member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Definitely consider a meat and/or something that doesn't contain nuts.  The chicken salad sounds delicious but remember that nut allergies are very common.
  • ginadogginadog member
    1000 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    Being that there is a lot of starch there (pasta, bread, buns, potatoes), I'd add a veggie dish and/or some fruit dish. 

    Do you guys have a timeline of when you will get engaged?
  • ColorMyWorldColorMyWorld member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Thanks for the opinions! I didn't even think of the nut allergy; thanks for pointing it out, daisy!

    Gina, it's going to be awhile yet because he's still in school, but we're having fun along the way. :)
  • SCogs18SCogs18 member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I second the nut allergy issue!  I'm allergic to almonds and recently went to a wedding with delicious chicken salad in little puff pastry cups.  However, it was such a pain trying to find out if nuts were in it from the service staff.  One wonderful girl really helped me out though.

    I have an amazing recipie for chicken and rice caserole.  I know it's another starch, but you don't even need to cook the chicken before you bake it.  It has cream of chicken, celery, and mushroom soups, chicken, rice, milk, and cheese.  If you would like the full recipie message me and I'd be happy to give it to you. 

    I'd also consider some fresh elements.  A fruit salad, veggie plate, or something to add some color, brightness, and freshness to an otherwise heavy (although delicious sounding!) meal!  Good luck!  I want to get married in September as well!
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  • kmmssgkmmssg mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 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_casual-summer-reception-food?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:23Discussion:02faccc1-fa58-4a07-9d64-bab3d218dec2Post:b00617ab-382b-4134-af49-a3f5ca740be1">Re: Casual Summer Reception Food</a>:
    [QUOTE]Being that there is a lot of starch there (pasta, bread, buns, potatoes), I'd add a veggie dish and/or some fruit dish.  Do you guys have a timeline of when you will get engaged?
    Posted by ginadog[/QUOTE]

    This.  While those are all delicous, it is super high carbs and some protein.  If you have any diabetic or borderline diabetic guests that could be a problem.  Also a lot of people don't eat high carb (and it makes you feel sleepy!).

    Add some veggies and fruit in there so people can lighten their plate.  You could also take out the cornbread and not be missing anything.  I love the stuff, but with the sandwiches and pasta and potatoes, you could let that one go.

    Good luck.
  • ColorMyWorldColorMyWorld member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Thank you to the new posters. I think I'm nixing the cornbread idea because of what people are pointing out about the whole meal being starchy and high-carb. How about I include a garden salad (greens w/ cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots)? I'm thinking about the best way to include fruit other than a fruit salad (which just doesn't really appeal to me)...

    Also, people mentioned another meat choice. What about eye round of beef?
  • kmmssgkmmssg mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    The salad would be a nice addition and the eye of round would be delish too.  I could definitely have a happy meal at your reception!
  • FaithCaitlinFaithCaitlin member
    5000 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    I think adding the salad and the eye of round would make your menu absolutely perfect! Sounds yummy!

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