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Food at a Wedding

Updated: Sep 18, 2023

For years I have heard people say that what people remember from a wedding is the food and the music. To be honest, as someone who has attended many weddings as a guest, the food and music kind of blend into one. Sure, I remember one or two weddings where the food was unique perhaps, but by and large what I remember is the couple. The way the bride and groom looked at each other during the ceremony under the Chuppah. And the lovely things they said to one another at the dinner during the speeches. Maybe it's just me, but isn’t that more important than the potatoes served on the side of the entre or the signature drink?

Don’t get me wrong – I have planned a wedding, my own wedding with my wife and both sets of parents so I get it. And being a Jewish wedding officiant, a Cantor, who has married hundreds of couples and helped them plan their big day, I hear all the time about the planning. Specifically, how the planning involves not only the bride and groom, but both sets of parents.

I am reminded of a bride and groom recently who came from very different backgrounds. The groom, Canadian, and the bride, European. They shared with me that planning the food part of their wedding was challenging and stressful. The parents of the groom wanted a fine dining approach where the 6 ounces of steak was carved, and the asparagus was arranged decoratively on the plate beside 4 small potatoes. The bride’s parents wanted salmon, chicken and steak on the plate with mounds of mashed potatoes and many vegetables. In their culture, if you can see any part of the plate, your guests will be disappointed because they will perceive you are not feeding them enough.

It was a shame for this bride and groom that they had to stress about keeping their parents happy and avoid any conflict between both sets of parents.

This blog is not about the involvement of parents at a wedding – perhaps I will write about that another time. This blog is more about the food. In my humble opinion, guests are coming to celebrate the love between two people that mean a lot to them. Guests are not food critics and they know they are not coming to a Michelin Star Restaurant. Rest assured, guests will be fed and the bride and groom and sometimes their families will do their best to make sure that the food is delicious and served in a timely way. Sometimes, things don’t go as planned. The kitchen gets backed up, your steak is medium well instead of medium –don’t lose your cool. Remember why you are an invited guest – because the bride and groom think so much of you and want you to be a part of their most incredible and meaningful day.

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