Wedding food..discuss

Much to my surprise, I couldn’t find a discussion on wedding meals. Granted, we probably have horror stories to cover! but there has to be a few good meals worthy of sharing…or at least having a good laugh in hindsight.

So, where was the meal held…venue?
What was a standout from the meal?
Did you take food home? I have seen guests leave with food containers…
Is it amongst your great food memories or the story retold for giggles?

In 2019, my bride and I attended 13 weddings. I’ll save my stories for last. Honestly, I’m just curious what HO’s have experienced.

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Generally? Mediocre food, pretty much across the board. The best was probably a wedding in Silver Lake, CA, where the groom catered the whole damn thing himself - and he’s not a caterer, just someone who can apparently cook for 400 and also get married, in the same week. It was mostly Mediterranean, room-temperature stuff, served buffet style. But overall very good.

My preference is the giant cocktail hour with acres of separate stations, because odds are at least some of it will be okay, and I can fill up there and not mind so much when my dinner salad is topped with what seems to be barbecue sauce (true!), or the only non-meat entree is plain rotini with halved cherry tomatoes (also true!).


We had my mother make cabbage rolls, meatballs in grape jelly, and ribs.
Plus plenty of alcohol.
In a log cabin in the park.
I don’t know about leftovers because we took off for the coast.


Sounds like a fun dine and dash!

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My wife loves the miles and miles of small plates prior and is busy dancing and mingling to even look at the dinner.

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One NJ wedding we attended had an expected 300 guests and the various food areas/meals went on for six hours but the following day when we were talking about the food, we all realized that the busiest area was the hamburger grills set up on an outside porch. We later learned that food was supposed to be for the servers. :wink:

Another experience, in VA the focus was on the booze and Music… food was being passed by servers all night. If you weren’t quick on your feet, you best have booked a hotel room. We did.

Another in New Paltz, NY, the roof leaked all night making it difficult to enjoy a lavish meal and DJ dance party…so midway the best man called limos and moved the entire party of 50 or so to a local diner-ish joint where we took over and left a fat tip. All I recall is coffee and a sandwich.

My fav wedding was held at a PA lakeside rental property. Four live bands, fireworks and a full on catered pig roast. We stayed four days.

The 2019 wedding run for us was for the most part very predictable wedding fare. No standouts food wise but def noticed a frequent use of seafood; sushi, tartare, oysters many ways, and very little beef. Boozy desserts and silly fountains still the rage. And, a room filled with more than say 100 people means a lot of guests are getting lukewarm food.

This year, fingers crossed, we have less weddings to attend and more leisure travel/food to enjoy.


My wedding in 2005. The caterer didn’t show up. My mother realized something was wrong halfway through the ceremony. My father ordered pizza and my cousins drove to different Indian restaurants in the valley to get enough food.


I realize that a lot of people on this forum run with a more sophisticated crowd than we do. I’ve only been to a couple of money is no object weddings in my life. And each time I thought to myself the money could have been better spent on something else. Like a down payment on a house or …but to each their own.


Wasn’t my intention to turn a simple wedding food question into a “what we paid” because as guests it’s neither my business or my focus. Sure there are big lavish events and small weddings are making a major comeback. As a musician, weddings are something I attend probably more than avg guests but judging them by cost is not my bag.

Back to the food…

Almost 40 yrs ago my bride and I spent $3k on our wedding. It’s about the relationship but when I ‘m working one or a guest of the couple I’m looking forward to having fun…and maybe :crossed_fingers: good food.


What happened with the caterer?

My nephew got married last October. He lives in las Vegas and got married at this quaint , very cool place that used to raise horses .It has since been turned into a place for venues as such . He had barbecue catered with all the sides . Beer and wine to drink . It was super.


Sounds like a lot of fun. I’m not at all surprised how popular bbq is at weddings. A relaxing wedding menu is the best.


He completely forgot but did my brother’s wedding a week later. The week before the wedding was crazy because I was in the hospital. So, my mum wasn’t able to doublecheck everything. But, it was a great party and we got to take a couple of pizzas back to the hotel.

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small_h, you will be happy at the wedding you’ll attend next year. It will be all stations for the reception, and there will be plenty of fish plus Mediterranean salad-type things. No plated food at all, so you can (a) eat whenever you want and (b) eat as much as you want.

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What a great attitude you have looking back on your wedding food plans.


That’s very good news. I’d hate to have pack a sandwich - my fancy purse is pretty small.


My experience mirrors that of @small_h. I would add that I’m grateful to be fed during an extended event in any case.

Though we’ve also been lucky to attend a couple of beyond amazing feasts hosted by friends—whose weddings were long-awaited—who made a point of sharing their happiness this way.

In general, my affection goes to less-formal choices like clam bakes held at historic or outdoorsy sites that are significant to the couple being married.

Living in Massachusetts, we’ve had the joyous pleasure of being invited to wedding clambakes twice over the years. I only wish this possibility had occurred to me when my husband and I planned our own wedding years ago.

I love the idea of a more relaxed celebratory meal, with the emphasis on joy and making a great memory.


We had our wedding 44 years ago at my father’s house in Berkeley. We had a buffet with assorted cheeses, breads, and zucchini and artichoke torta from the sadly now-closed deli, Genova. Our cake was alternating layers of spice and carrot cake with cream cheese icing. Lots of champagne, wine and beer. We all had a great time, and we were the last ones to leave!


We were very fortunate and had a very beautiful wedding. Since in our opinion the cocktail hour is always the best with the various stations and a variety of finger foods, we had a cocktail hour and a half to make sure everyone had plenty of time to enjoy. This included a rolling Italian Hot Dog cart and an exotic grill on the patio which grilled all exotic game meats. Alligator - Bison - Rattlesnake etc. etc. etc. (it’s been 25 years)

The ultimate compliment was when guests from our wedding booked the identical wedding, and we were invited. So a year later we got to attend what was pretty much our identical wedding as a guest and it was great!!! lol

I have a wedding coming up this year at The Plaza in NY, I’m very much looking forward to this affair.


We had a small and awesome wedding back in July 2010. Only our immediate family was invited, so there was a total of 20 people (my BIL was an officiant for 1 day). We all piled into one of those small shuttle buses which brought us up to Gloucester MA and we had our ceremony on a schooner. We had hors d’oeuvres delivered to the ship. Champagne which had started on the bus continued to flow on board. Then we piled back into the bus which took us to the Lobster Pool in neighboring Rockport for our wedding feast. We had called them ahead of time to forewarn the restaurant and they (not in an unfriendly way) basically told us to stake out some picnic tables but they couldn’t do any more than that since summer is their busy season. And so we did - there was a kid shucking oysters (badly, one of our guests took over) and we ordered a lobster rolls, fried whole belly clams, cups of chowder, burgers for non-seafood eaters. More beer and champagne. No cake.

Now, even though the Lobster Pool has changed hands and it isn’t quite the same as when Lisa and Tom were running the place, we still try to go every late July to celebrate our anniversary. I wouldn’t change a thing - it was a great day for this non-wedding type of gal.