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Resist temptation: What NOT to serve at your wedding

Thursday, January 26, 2012
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Couples often fret over what to serve their guests at the reception, and rightfully so.

Reception costs can comprise a majority of the wedding-day budget. When spending $100 or more per guest, you want to ensure you're getting what you paid for and that guests enjoy what they're eating.

Filet mignon may be a good choice, but steak tartare is probably best avoided. Find out which foods to avoid serving your wedding guests.

Exotic cuisine: You may be a risk taker when it comes to cuisine, but others may not share your zeal for exotic foods. Now is not the time to introduce guests to the wild and wacky. If you've seen an exotic dish on the Food Network or the Travel Channel, give it a try another time.

Anything on fire: Why risk an accident for a spectacle? Baked Alaska, cherries jubilee, apples flambe " these are foods that might provide a show, but the cost of that show may not be worth it in the end.

Raw food: Clams on the halfshell or sushi-grade tuna may seem like good ideas, but keep in mind that it is hard to ensure quality when feeding 200 people at the same time. Foods that require special refrigeration or immediate service for freshness are best left for other occasions. Don't risk food poisoning on a room full of people unless you want your wedding to be remembered for stomach cramps.

A long, sit-down meal: Two or three courses is fine, but if guests have to sit through a never-ending parade of courses, that limits their ability to mingle and have a good time.

Anything too elaborate: The faster servers can get food out to guests the better. If they have to sit there piping mashed potato roses on dishes or assemble intricate canapes, the delay might not be worth the presentation. And remember, the more bells and whistles, the higher the price tag.

Fast food: This is your wedding, and you want the food to fit with the scale of the day. A formal wedding generally includes a formal meal. Although it may be alright to include some fast food-inspired dishes at the cocktail buffet, steer clear of burgers and fries for the main meal.

Themed food: Don't dye that baked potato purple because you want the wedding to be a plum-colored affair. Also, it's best to avoid themed food, unless it is part of a cultural wedding or can be pulled off with class. It's much easier to pass off crepes and croissants for a Parisian wedding than giant turkey legs and tankards of ale for a Renaissance-themed one.

No food at all: Whether your wedding is small or grand in scale, guests will expect some sort of food. Be sure to have some butler-passed hors d'oeuvres or some well-placed pickings for guests to grab while mingling. After all, they will need something to provide the energy to mingle and dance, and food can help buffer the effects of too many cocktails.

 
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