20 Things a Caterer Would Never Serve at Her Own Wedding
We can't tell you what to eat at your own wedding, friends. But we can advise on what might be an epic mistake. Below, two premier wedding industry caterers share the things they'd never, ever, in a million forevers serve at their own weddings—from hors d'oeuvres to cocktails and everything in between.
From Sara Kovel of CATALYST RESTAURANT EVENTS
Strong Welcome Cocktails
"Pace your guests, people! There's an entire evening ahead."
"We've learned that there is literally no elegant way to eat meat off of a bone at a cocktail hour with a drink balanced in the other hand."
Messy Finger Foods
"Think: Loaded burgers or saucy chicken wings. (Unless it’s served at an after-party, when guests may be subsequently tipsy and they don’t care too much about getting a little messy.)"
Onion or Garlic-Heavy Appetizers
"Especially if it’s not immediately obvious that the app has a lot of either ingredient. No one wants stinky breath at a party without signing up for it."
"Guests get bored with a lengthy food program—get them up and dancing! Three plated courses should be the max, period."
"I love spicy food, and you may too, but as the host you should appeal to the masses."
"Unless you're having a small wedding (under 50 guests), it’s really challenging to serve soup to all your guests quickly. Also see the 'messy' note above!"
"These are a big no-no: They contain inulin, which causes gas in many people."
"Honestly, it looks like your baker ran out of buttercream—not to mention, they usually end up being dry as a result. Everyone knows frosting is the best part of cake! I can’t wait for this trend to go away."
Hors D’Oeuvres as Dinner
"Station-style or buffet dinners are fine if you want to avoid a plated meal, but nothing is worse than leaving a wedding hungry. The worst wedding I ever attended was black-tie, but with heavy passed hors d’oeuvres. No stations or substantial food! Trying to eat passed appetizers in a gown with a drink in my hand was so awkward. Everyone left drunk and hangry."
From Megan Hawkes of Saltbox Catering
Communal Dessert Tables and/or Fondue
"It's really messy, not to mention unsanitary!"
"Allowing everyone to have an individual order or creating signature cocktails with too many ingredients slows the bartenders down and creates long lines for your guests. Not fun."
"Trust me: They are always thrown away at the end of the night. It's an unnecessary expense."
Beer in a Boat
As in using a real boat as a massive cooler. "Yes, the display looks cool, but you go through a never-ending supply of ice...and you likely over-buy beer to keep the boat looking full."
"These are typically expensive and the candy itself is definitely not delicious and often goes to waste."
"Guests offering to bring desserts is kind and thoughtful, but also unpredictable. You almost never know exactly what they're bringing or if you will have enough to serve all guests."
"Festive, sure, but it's impossible to keep the Champagne really cold. And who wants lukewarm bubbly?"
Not-So Late Night Snacks
"Unless your party goes really late into the night, it doesn't make sense to serve 'late night snacks' only an hour after finishing dinner."
Large Passed Hors D'Oeuvres
"Think bite-size! Anything larger than one or one and a half bites becomes awkward with both a cocktail napkin and glass in your hand."
Escort Cards Without Meal Indicators
"And one last thing: If you're serving a dinner with a predetermined entrée, don't forget to include a symbol of some sort on the escort cards—it's extremely helpful to the waitstaff when delivering meals!"