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A Departure From Traditional "Wedding Food"

food bar
Let's make wedding food fun!

Through my many months of blogging here on Budget-Savvy Bride, I have realized that I haven’t disclosed anything about a very important wedding component – food!

Food was a very easy choice to make. I knew I didn’t want a formal sit down dinner. And I also didn’t want guests to stand in long buffet lines carrying plates everywhere. I knew that if we did something more simple, then it would be cheaper too!

In search of a caterer who could produce lovely heavy appetizers and a dessert bar, we stumbled into Olive a couple of times in Walla Walla. After LOVING everything we have ever eaten there, I knew I wanted them to cater our big event. And I’m so glad we did.

On a winter night, you want to eat something warm, comforting and delicious. We decided we wanted to have hearty macaroni and cheese and a mashed potato food bar so our guests could get a little creative. I’ve never met anyone who hates those two foods. For our tasting, caterer Tom brought out little ramekins of the mac and cheese with a crostini to eat it and big vats of lovely, whipped mashed potatoes with chevre and assorted toppings. We were in heaven. Dear fiancé almost licked the mac and cheese ramekin clean. We knew we had hit a home run.

For our dessert food bar, we chose petits fours, brownies, blondies, cookies and cupcakes rather than one cake. For the cupcakes, we chose red velvet and a chocolate cake with white peppermint icing to add to the holiday spirit. Both were exceptional.

The mac and cheese will be passed so people don’t have to wait in line. I love it when food finds me in a crowd. We couldn’t get away from lines with the mashed potato bar because I wanted guests to really choose what toppings they want — everyone is different.

We came up with three different menus for the toppings: traditional, Mexican and Italian. Guests can mix and match to their liking. This is a huge point with me. I don’t eat much meat and I’ve been to a couple of weddings where olives and salad have been my main course. I respect the bride and groom’s decisions, but I wanted to make sure everyone had something they liked that would be substantial.

We will have some sit down tables and some tall cocktail tables so people can put their food down to eat if they like, but we really designed the food to be given to guests quickly and to be eaten easily without a table to keep the party upbeat and flowing.

For the drinks, we have local wine and beer and a signature cocktail called Winter’s Chill that is a beautiful blue color. We saved $$$$$$ by providing our own booze. We did hire a bartender mainly to cut people off if they need to be.

Having plenty of delicious food and drinks for our guests is a must and I admit we have been a bit looser with our budget in this area than in others. I don’t know yet what the total will be, but I know we saved $$$$$$ by not having a plated sit-down dinner.

What food are you having? What’s your favorite mashed potato topping?

food bar
My only hope is that my guests drinking this delicious/dangerous Winter's Chill martini won't spill on my dress! Photo courtesy of Webster Syle.

runs a weekly newspaper in a small town in Eastern Washington State. She got married in 2012 - You can read her wedding planning posts here.