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Food and Cakes

Seeking food suggestions

Am I asking too many questions?  Kick me in the pants, if so!

FI is a chef, and has said he wants to do most or all of our reception food himself.  I don't want to discourage him since he seems really set on it, so I'm looking for suggestions of things that might not require a large time commitment the day of.

Our venue suggests a cocktail & appetizer set-up due to the layout of the place.  There are enough tables and chairs for all our guests, but it's at an eclectic mix of mismatched tables, not typical seating of X number at each table.  Some are bigger, some are smaller, and they'll be kind of spread around.  I'm understanding that as long as we offer enough food to make up a meal, it's ok that it's not a plated dinner.

Ceremony will be at 6:30 or 7, reception immediately following in the same venue.  It's Good Friday, so we will want to offer enough meatless options to appeal to his Catholic family that will be fasting from meat.

Some things I've thought of, including lots of cold items, (though he will have access to those warming...things...that look like fridges, and chafing dishes w/heaters):

Mixed fruits, gourmet cheeses (would it be OK to have blocks of cheese with labels, and a small fork stuck in the top of each, for guests to slice, or should it be pre-sliced?), crackers/crostini, stuffed mushroom caps (warm), shrimp cocktail, olive bar, cocktail meatballs (warm).

Need more ideas, especially of the more substantial variety.  And does anyone actually eat trayed vegetables?  Maybe I'm biased, I don't really care for vegetables.

We will have heavy paper or plastic plates, and (I know they're not ideal) probably the "nicer" plastic silverware.  The stuff that's silver. 

Re: Seeking food suggestions

  • doeydodoeydo Southwestern Ontario member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    He really wants to cook on his wedding day?  
    image
  • That was my reaction, but he says he does.
  • Yes, we always eat trays of vegetables.  It's healthy and a good option for vegetarians.  

    Vegetarian app ideas:
    - mini spanikopitas
    - mini quiche
    - caprese skewers (w/fresh mozzarella and tomato)
    - bruschetta
    - soup shooters (you could do something seasonal, or tomato soup with grilled cheese squares)
    - flatbread pizza squares
    - quesadilla triangles
    - sliders (portabella mushroom, black bean burger, veggie burger, plus you could have meat and/or fish ones)
    - spring rolls

  • Definitely have raw veggies and fruit....it is a nice change of pace from all the totally delicious but very rich other apps.  People seem to eat carrot sticks/pea pods the most. 

    Honestly, I think it would be a nightmare to cater your own wedding. Doing all the own food for our rehearsal dinner and morning after brunch (for only 25 people!) was bad enough, I would hate for you or FI to be stressed out before and during your wedding!

    I wonder if you two should sit down and make a list/schedule of how this would actually go. Like, what steps would have to be done when, factoring in prep time and cooking times and oven temperatures, and which dishes/utensils/platters/kitchen tools would be needed to make this work. Would you take pictures right after the ceremony? If so, who would get the food set up?  
  • Appetizers are one of the most time-intensive things to prepare because you have to make a ton of small things individually. (This is why cocktail receptions are actually often more expensive than dinner.)

    If you want to cater your own wedding, I'd suggest you do a simple, large entree that can be prepared in advance and just heated up (lasagna, chicken cacciatore, beef burgundy, any other braise or casserole).

    Also, do you have friends or family members who have volunteered to help? While I've seen many self-catered weddings, usually the bride or groom aren't actually doing much cooking or serving on the day of the wedding. Otherwise, they'd miss so much.
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    What about him planning out the menu and creating the recipes but then hiring other chefs to actually cook the food that day?

    Look I understand that he is a chef and most likely has a vision in regards to food, but that doesn't mean it is smart to cater your own wedding.  I was a floral designer for 8 years but I knew that it would have been ridiculous for me to try and do all the flowers the few days leading up to my wedding.  Instead I hired a florist that I trusted and loved and just talked to her in depth about what I wanted.  And guess what?  It all came out amazing and probably better then my stressed out, busy self would have been able to do.

  • edited November 2013
    What about him planning out the menu and creating the recipes but then hiring other chefs to actually cook the food that day?

    Look I understand that he is a chef and most likely has a vision in regards to food, but that doesn't mean it is smart to cater your own wedding.  I was a floral designer for 8 years but I knew that it would have been ridiculous for me to try and do all the flowers the few days leading up to my wedding.  Instead I hired a florist that I trusted and loved and just talked to her in depth about what I wanted.  And guess what?  It all came out amazing and probably better then my stressed out, busy self would have been able to do.
    This. I think this is a perfect compromise. 

    I can totally understand his desire to do this, but it's going to occupy so much of his energy and attention when he should be focusing on you and the wedding. If there's stuff that he can make ahead of time and wants to, I think that's fine (I baked a small wedding cake for our wedding it was no big deal), but the day-of he should be focused on the wedding.
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    image
  • if i was having a 7 pm reception i would be expected that dinner would be served to me o at least heavy appetizers 
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    What about him planning out the menu and creating the recipes but then hiring other chefs to actually cook the food that day?

    Look I understand that he is a chef and most likely has a vision in regards to food, but that doesn't mean it is smart to cater your own wedding.  I was a floral designer for 8 years but I knew that it would have been ridiculous for me to try and do all the flowers the few days leading up to my wedding.  Instead I hired a florist that I trusted and loved and just talked to her in depth about what I wanted.  And guess what?  It all came out amazing and probably better then my stressed out, busy self would have been able to do.
    This.  A cocktail reception is probably going to be more labor intensive due to the quantity of teeny portions that need to be made.  It may sound neat now to think about preparing your own food, but I can't see this being anything less than stressful.  It's your WEDDING, both of you should enjoy it.  Hire professionals. 
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