Last Friday we had our first tasting with our caterer. Since he knows we are on a budget, he started us out with the basic no-frills menu, with the idea that we can always change it up as we see fit.
Our basic menu includes bruschetta and chicken empanadas for appetizers, and dinner consists of a cranberry-walnut salad, our choice of two types of meat, some grilled vegetables, and penne pasta tossed in a pesto sauce. And it was pretty dang tasty,* yet I somehow couldn’t help feeling this overall sense of disappointment. But this is just a steak, I found myself thinking on more than one occasion, as if I was anticipating a fireworks-enhanced parade in my honor followed by everlasting world peace instead of merely a juicy, well-seasoned hunk of meat.
Part of the problem here is that the beau and I are, for lack of a better term, foodies.** Well, I take it back. Maybe a better description is that we’re simply food enthusiasts. Now, I’ve maintained a passionate relationship with food since I was rollin’ a tricycle, but it took meeting the beau to bring my obsession with victuals to a whole new level. It all started, of course, with his seemingly casual attempts to lure me to his place on weekend mornings by offering to cook up a cheddar egg scramble with thick-cut maple bacon and sourdough toast. Pretty soon he was inviting me over for weekday dinners of sausage*** and rotini in marina sauce with sauteed veggies. Next thing you know, we are shacked up and taking weekly trips to the farmers’ market for fresh organic goods, learning how to make our own butter, and infusing our own liquors. It’s a far cry from the Hamburger-Helper-and-canned-green-beans meals of my lower middle class youth, but I’ll take it.
Given that our entire relationship is steeped in conversations of what we have eaten, what we are currently eating, and what we should eat next, I shouldn’t be surprised that I had high hopes for the food we serve at our wedding. And there’s definitely an extent to which one can get too caught up in the culture of personalization — the need to make everything a reflection of us — but it didn’t help that the food we tasted looked a lot like, well, Wedding Food. I have eaten an iteration of this same meal at 80% of the weddings I’ve attended — no wonder the steak seemed a little ho-hum.
But if it’s not steak and salmon for dinner, what is it going to be? Sure, I’d love to serve wood-fired pizza, and bring in a sushi chef who’ll slice us up some delishus nigiri, and set up a dessert station where a guy is rolling and frying fresh doughnuts by hand,**** but all that stuff is just beyond the scope of our means. Our budget is our budget, and I’m already squaring my jaw and steeling myself to accept that wedding food is one of those areas where I’m just going to have to let some of my balloons of expectation float off into the wild blue yonder. And be OK with it.
This is not to say that we can’t get creative somehow, someway. What if we keep our boring old buffet of steak and salmon, but add on a few delicious appetizers? What if we outsource a dude with a churro cart for a sweet after-dinner snack? What if we can find it within our means to serve fish tacos instead of the salmon?
Let the brainstorming commence…
What are you serving at your wedding?
* Well, the side dishes were just OK, but truthfully I don’t know just how insane in the membrane any one person can possibly get over grilled vegetables in the first place.
** Insert raised pinkies here.
*** Oh ho ho, it’s sexual innuendo and a food item all at once!
**** Ooh, and I also want a trampoline! And homemade ice cream! And tapas! And indian curry! And a waterslide!