Food is a big part of a wedding. Why? By the time dinner rolls around it’s likely your guests are ravenous. There’s something about the ceremony that just makes people hungry; maybe it’s all that crying. Regardless, the food is crucial. It will set the tone for the whole reception. Food is right up there with speeches and music choice, but what if I told you there are some major wedding food faux pas that people make all the time?
There’s a reason restaurants have to have handling licenses. Food prep and serving is a big deal and if you don’t do it right there can be huge consequences. I’ll tell you a little story. My mother went to a wedding when she was in her 30s. The wedding was nice, and the food good too. It featured a large buffet with salad. Long story short the ranch dressing was improperly chilled and those who chose ranch did not have a nice night.
This story is exactly why you should take food seriously. If you’re doing the food, be careful and research exactly how all the food will keep. If you’re hiring a vendor, you should also do your research on the company. Read reviews and check their licenses. The problem is, sometimes you hire a vendor and wash your hands of it. It’s so easy to let little things slip through the cracks especially with how crazy everything gets for the bride and groom. Take a little time to check over food prep just to make sure everything is safe.
No Veggie Option
You love your guests, right? Well, maybe you don’t love every single one, but hopefully you at least like them all enough. If that’s true, what about your vegetarian guests? Don’t forget, they need a full dinner too. So often vegetarians settle for side dishes and just okay meals. Instead, try to fit in a veggie option if you can. Your vegetarian guests will seriously appreciate not having to eat another side salad and your carnivorous guests may also appreciate the opportunity to try something new.
Oops We Ran Out
Running out of food can be right up there with giving your guests food poisoning. Not only is it unfair, it also reflects on you poorly. This is usually only a worry if you’re doing a buffet. Imagine being one of your guests: you’re the last table to go, you finally get up and into line and there are no potatoes left. It’s not life or death, there are still chicken breasts and salad left, but it’s still a huge let down.
You’ve decided you don’t really care about the food. You’re going to only offer one dinner, and that’s it. This is not a very guest-centric approach. You can maybe get away with this if your wedding is very small. If not, you’re banking that lots of people will all like the same thing. At least when guests have a choice, even if they don’t like their meal, they know they had options. When you only offer one dish, you risk your guests going hungry, and hungry guests are angry guests.
Let’s talk about this scenario. You’re running late, pictures are taking too long, so you’ve called and asked them to delay dinner. “When is dinner going to be served?” This question is already asked a lot during normal wait times. Serving food late is a really cruel thing to do to your guests. No one wants to sit at a wedding waiting for you with their stomachs grumbling. You may think you’re giving them time to socialize, but the only thing your guests want to socialize with is their plate.
Another thing not to do is rush dinner. Once guests have their plates, that’s their queue to indulge themselves a bit. They’ve indulged you quite a bit and have paid you special attention. Now it’s time for them to pay their stomachs special attention. Everyone eats at a different pace so you’ll want to give enough time so that all guests have had time to eat at their own pace. By cutting dinner short or starting the dancing while some are still eating, you make guests feel rushed since they don’t want to miss out on the rest of your reception.
It’s a wedding and guests expect cake. When you don’t have cake, it can be a let down for some. I understand we live in a new world and things are changing. Some couples have opted for things like a dessert bar where there are assorted sweets instead of cake. While your creative dessert idea is all well and good, you should still consider cake. Why not do both cake and your idea for other desserts as well. It’s not as if guests will die without cake, it’s just that when you don’t offer it and guests were expecting it, it can be a bit deflating.
The best weddings are those that consider guest comfort. One of the biggest ways to ensure your guests are comfortable is to check that your food is high quality. If you care about your guests, you’ll try to avoid all the little food mistakes we’ve talked about here. Do your research, consider your guests, and everything will be coming up steak dinner.