What to Serve at a Wedding (on a Budget)

So it turns out it is possible, in Toronto, to feed a person decent hors d’oeuvres for 4½ hours for $40. Yes, my fiancée and I have finally found a caterer. This comes as a relief after we were all but laughed out of town for expecting to feed 100 guests a bunch of nibbles each — not a full meal, mind you, but nibbles — for a paltry $4,000.

Some people will point out that we could have served our guests finger sandwiches and chips on far less than the above, but naturally, like most brides of her generation, my special lady is to a degree concerned with putting on a bit of a show for the family and close friends. One rule in particular had to be followed: No chips of any kind are to be served.

Hardly anything is more political than food, and there is a a tightrope that one’s wedding menu must tiptoe across, balancing the interests of foodies and fussy eaters, if everyone is to be satisfied. Scanning our very much provisional menu, it seems as if almost every item is intended to fulfill the expectations of a particular constituency among our wedding guests. A few examples:

• To demonstrate that we fit in with sophisticated big-city foodie types, we’ll be offering brandied black mission fig with chèvre, arugula and wrapped with beef bresaola; and vodka smoked salmon “bon bons” (don’t look at me, I don’t know what that means yet either) with lemon chive mascarpone wrapped in cellophane (which is not real cellophane, or at least I don’t think it is).

• Hungry men ought to appreciate the red wine braised beef sandwiches on foccacia with gorgonzola and watercress.

• Who will eat dijon rosemary chicken skewers? The women, greedily. Go on, aunts and bridesmaids, get ’em in ya. Also for the women: petits fours and mini tarts.

• The many Newfoundlanders on my fiancée’s side will nod appreciatively, I pray, at the grilled salted cod with lemon aioli on brioche — fancy-pants though it may be.

Would you believe we contacted at least eight caterers, asking each to consider how to reflect my fiancée’s Newfoundland heritage on the menu, and only the one company deigned to acknowledge that request by working some cod into the mix?

I will probably be too busy orbiting the centre of attention (i.e. my new wife) on the actual night to do much eating myself. All the same, you’d better believe I’m scarfing down at least one of those beef sandwiches.

Image courtesy of IvanLian.

Comments

3 thoughts on “What to Serve at a Wedding (on a Budget)

  1. Hi sg,

    That’s not a complete list; there are plenty of vegetarian options for the handful of tofu murderers in attendance (including my fiancée). And they can eat the veggies and dip — sorry, crudités — and, unless they’re vegan, the desserts.

  2. Also, I find Toronto’s a pretty carnivorous place for a big city. There are plenty of vegetarians, yes, but it’s not Vancouver by a long shot, and the restaurants can’t make charcuterie fast enough for the demand right now.

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