With the date set (September 7th!) and still looking for a venue, I thought we should start brainstorming ideas for the menu. You might recall that we’re catering the wedding ourselves – partly out of necessity (the cheapest wedding menus are 100€ per person and the food isn’t that great, plus the price doesn’t include drinks) and partly because we want to. We enjoy cooking for groups and we’re confident we can feed 60ish people much cheaper and tastier than the wedding caterers in the area. So, that said, we’re thinking of doing a buffet or a family style served dinner, with several appetizers, one or two main dishes, and a dessert table (including a wedding cake). Since we’ll be cooking the food ourselves (with some help from family, hopefully) we have to carefully consider all the logistics and take into account that we should choose food that is easy to prepare, can be made in advance, served cold or at room temperature (although we do have a chafing dish and we could buy another one, so maybe something hot isn’t impossible – although it’ll be in the summer, so we think no one will mind not having a hot dish). Here are the ideas that are bouncing around in our heads:
- Cheese tray. We had this at my parents’ 25th wedding anniversary and it was a huge hit. We included several dried fruits and other accompaniments to go with the cheese. Delicious and easy, since we don’t really have to cook anything! Plus we both loooove cheese. We don’t know if we should set up one or two cheese trays at each table or several at a buffet table. Either way, we’re going to DIY wood cutting tables to set the cheese on them, like Centsational Girl. I even drew up a “diagram” of the cheese tray for the occasion (that’s what the picture above is).
- Jamón ibérico. Must be on the menu! Although I have to confess, I don’t like jamón, but people love it (they’re always think I’m crazy when I say I’m not a fan).
- Chips from France. Again, my parents had this at their anniversary and they were very popular. They’re gourmet chips – carrot chips, purple potato chips, banana chips. Very tasty! You buy them in bags and just have to bring them out in nice looking bowls to make them look fancy in an instant.
- Cold soups like Gazpacho or Vichyssoise. Perfect for the summer.
- Spreads like hummus or guacamole. Can you believe I didn’t like either of those and know I love them?!
- Salads – I don’t normally eat salads so I haven’t thought about this option a lot yet. But they’re easy to prepare and a summer staple, so if anyone has a favorite salad recipe, I’d like to hear it!
- Ceviche. My mom prepared one with monkfish, langoustines (crawfish?) and a bit of mango for New Year’s Eve’s dinner and it was amazing.
- Marinated (fresh) anchovies. It’s a typical dish here in the area and it’s delicious. Plus since it’s marinated you can prepare it in advance. Win-win!
- Roast beef. Can be done in advance and it’s delicious even when it’s cold.
- Pork tenderloin with mojo verde. Same as the roast beef!
- Tortellini skewers with pesto dipping sauce. I found this idea on Pinterest and I think it’s great.
- Wedding cake. Of course. Preferably chocolate cake with some sort of fruit between layers and vanilla frosting.
- Cookies. Traditional chocolate chip or sugar cookies that can be decorated.
- Gateau Basque. It keeps well for several days so it can be made in advance.
- Bundt cake. This one from 17 and Baking tastes even better after a few days. Or this chocolate one is awesome, too. (Can you tell I like chocolate a lot?)
- Upside down cheesecake. Although it would so cute to serve it in miniature glasses, the crumble topping gets soggy after a while so I’m not sure if this is feasible.
You can see that we need more ideas for (cold) main dishes – ideally some fish. Maybe salmon? Also, I’d like to have some fruity dessert options for those who enjoy something “lighter”. Any ideas?
Almost as important as the menu itself is making the food look nice and appetizing – so of course I turned to Pinterest in search of inspiration. Here’s what I found so far:
What do you guys think? Any suggestions on how to do all of this without going completely crazy?