Wedding Food

September 17, 2011

I’ve written before about the difficulty of following a vegetarian diet when attending parties or potlucks. There’s usually plenty of buffalo chicken dip, sausage balls, chicken wings and fingers, and ham rolls, but nothing more than a soggy bowl of spinach and artichoke dip or maybe some raw veggies with french onion for the vegetarians. Not to mention that the vegetarian options are not off limits to the carnivores so you have to elbow in just to get a nibble! But I’ll save the subject of inconsiderate meat eaters who gobble up all the vegetarian food for another post.

Back to wedding food, more specifically, what we’ll be eating at my wedding. The plan is for a buffet with something for everyone and enough to make a complete and hearty meal. Trust me, there’s nothing worse than making a sad dinner out of cheese and crackers, raw carrots, and a bit of wilted lettuce. That will not do.

Most of our guests are meat eaters, so we will  accommodate them, of course. There will be several vegetarians, myself included, and it’s important to me that they be able to tuck into a satisfying meal, rather than nibbling some sort of consolation food that makes them feel unwelcome. We also want to keep the menu southern and simple- no pyramids of fruit and cheese or mini quiches passed on silver trays- it’s just dinner, folks. And plenty of it.

We’re actually doing the whole thing twice. Once for the rehearsal dinner (which is a pig pickin’ for the out of town guests) and again for the wedding. And here’s what’s on the menu.

Rehearsal dinner:

Roast pig  (my fiancé’s father’s specialty)

Baked bean casserole (1 vegetarian and 1 for meat eaters)

Cole slaw

Collard greens

Sweet potato casserole

Mac n’ cheese


Dessert- assortment of homemade pound cakes (lemon, chocolate, pecan, sour cream, etc.)



Baked Chicken

Roast Beef

Green beans with toasted almonds

Mixed green salad with goat cheese, candied pecans, pears and balsamic dressing

Squash casserole (the caterer is famous for this dish!)

Scalloped potatoes

Pasta salad


Dessert- wedding cake


For the rehearsal dinner, we wanted the food to be in abundance and a bit more casual.  For the wedding, the options are slightly more refined, but still southern and comforting. As you can see, there’s a bit of protein and green for everyone. Also, lots of delicious carbs to soak up that alcohol and keep our guests full!

So, that’s the menu for the big event. While we hope to accommodate most everyone, though we realize this selection doesn’t offer much for vegans. Sadly, you can’t always please everyone and, now that I think of it, I don’t know of any vegans who will be in attendance. Hopefully, these menus will do the trick and everyone will leave with full bellies, having had a memorable evening.

If you are in the Laurinburg, NC area and need the name of my caterer, just drop me a line. She’s the sweet, lovely and really, truly does it all!

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Jenny September 20, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Yummy! It looks like a perfect menu for your wedding! I love squash casserole and have been looking for a good recipe.

Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods September 21, 2011 at 7:59 am

Oooh, I have a good recipe for you! I’ll give it to you when I see you at the wedding. ;)

Lauren at Keep It Sweet September 19, 2011 at 7:04 am

Those menus both sound delicious! So exciting:-)

fran September 19, 2011 at 12:49 am

i see what you’re saying about meat eaters chowing down on vegetarian offerings, but as a meat eater myself (who also loves vegetarian dishes), i don’t think that most (if any) meat eaters are purposefully being inconsiderate. also, i don’t even think i would say that they are being inconsiderate in the least by eating vegetarian dishes. if there is a vegetarian dish offered and there are only two vegetarians at a wedding, should they be the only ones eating a whole tray of food? should meat eaters curb their normal tastes in foods (that almost definitely includes vegetarian-friendly foods) when offered a selection of food choices? i don’t think so. i think either the bride and groom should make it clear that one dish/appetizer/whatever is only for vegetarians, the bride and groom should offer more vegetarian-friendly foods and less meat dishes so that there is plenty of veggie dishes for all, or the bride and groom should plan for more carnivore guests to partake in the vegetarian options.

Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods September 19, 2011 at 10:48 am

Thanks for your comment, Fran! I agree that most meat eaters are not intentionally being inconsiderate. But I have been to many events where the vegetarian option was the most popular and so the meat eaters dug in, leaving little for the vegetarians. In such instances, where a substantial portion of the food may be restricted for the vegetarians, meet eaters should be awareand considerate of that fact when piling their plates. And I agree that having more veggie options available is a great solution to this kind of problem. :)

fran September 19, 2011 at 11:16 am

thanks for responding! at any future events, i’ll definitely try and be more considerate–and encourage my friends to be more thoughtful too!! (:

Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods September 19, 2011 at 2:46 pm

aw, thanks!

Khushboo @ Two Megapixel Food September 17, 2011 at 11:22 pm

Jen, congratulations again! The menu sounds delectable. While I am not a huge fan of meat, I am not a vegetarian either but give me greens and lentils, I’d choose it over meat anytime. You had me at the candied pecan and pear salad. It sounds soooooo good!

Jessica Johnson September 17, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Also, thank you for thinking of meat eaters at your wedding. Chris and I went to a friend of his wedding last May. Both the bride and groom were vegetarians, so the entire menu for the wedding was vegetarian. I thought that was inconsiderate of us meat eaters. I mean we had a vegetarian option at our wedding so why couldn’t they have a meat option at theirs? Anyway, good post. And the next time we have a party, I’ll make sure to have some really great vegetarian options for my veggie peeps! xoxo

Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods September 17, 2011 at 4:33 pm

Jessica, great point! Interesting about the vegetarian wedding! There are many vegetarians who strongly oppose meat and don’t condone it so I can see why they wouldn’t serve it. Don’t worry, Nick is not a veggie and would not let me forget the meat eaters. There will be plenty for all! :)

Jessica Johnson September 17, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Jen, Looking forward to your wedding! Chris loves pound cake and will be in heaven at the rehearsal dinner! xoxo Great menu!

Aparna E. September 17, 2011 at 3:03 pm

I totally know what you mean! It was hard catering to everyone’s tastes! For our rehearsal dinner, we had it at a local Italian restaurant and had two vegetarian options and three meat options. However, for the wedding, we did a buffet of Indian food with only one meat dish. I can tell you right now, we didn’t want the meat dish. My hubs and I have been to almost 15 weddings in the past 5 years and each wedding we’ve been to didn’t have any kind of vegetarian option except for side items. So we wanted to make sure we’d eat at our own wedding and that it would be delicious food :)

It can definitely be hard! I know it was kind of bitter of me to not want any meat, but honestly, I’m paying for it ;) haha. We did end up keeping chicken dish in just to be nice to those who have never had Indian food before and also for the people who don’t like Indian food. But we were surprised that everyone ate a lot and enjoyed it all!!

I’m sure everyone will love the food at your wedding. When is the big day? It’s coming up soon isn’t it?? Best of luck and congrats in advance! <3

Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods September 18, 2011 at 8:32 am

Thanks, Aparna! October 8th is the big day! :)

Aparna E. September 19, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Eeeks! It’s coming up! So excited for you! <3

Katie @ BloomEveryday September 17, 2011 at 12:41 pm

I totally get what you are saying, I just got married at the end of July and it was so difficult to make a menu work. I am a vegetarian, and no one else in either of our families are. This menu look delicious and I would love to partake in the spread! All your guests should be very satisfied!

And as for the inconsiderate meat eaters…man oh man – at our rehearsal dinner there was only one pasta option for me for the entree – and everyone ate all the bowls of them because it was served family style. I only got a little bit. But the chef at the restaurant came to my rescue and surprised me with vegetarian meal just for the bride!

Good luck – this looks fabulous!

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