Nailing Your Wedding Menu: Expert Tips from Bon Appétit Magazine

As bon appétit so bluntly puts it, "When was the last time you left a wedding and thought, “That meal was delicious?” Oh, that’s right. Never." Granted this award-winning editorial team would be the toughest of wedding food critics, they have a very, very valid point. Here are my favorite rules of thumb from the authorities in food. You can read their full article, "The Very Opinionated bon appétit Guide to Weddings" here.

Go creative and casual at the rehearsal dinner

No one wants a formal dinner the night before a formal wedding. Go as casual as you possibly can. We rented an art gallery, whose owner also runs a food truck, and he made Chicago-style hot dogs and Italian beefs for everyone.“ —Julia Kramer, senior editor of bon appétit

Pay for the Entire Bar

“Please, no cash bars! Your guests have most likely dished out a lot of money to be there for your big day so reward them with some well-earned booze. Can’t afford an open bar? Create a signature cocktail guests can enjoy alongside a pre-selected white, red, and a bubbly.” —Elizabeth Jaime, photo assistant at bon appétit

Photo Credit: Tec Petaja

Photo Credit: Tec Petaja

Go Family-Style

“Most of the time, high-end plated stuff sucks. Fancy to me is tasty family-style food, like country ribs. We char them on the grill to add depth, which makes them an interesting alternative to your typical catered beef tenderloin. And they’re a lot more fun to eat with your hands.” —Paul Kahan, Publican Quality Meats, Chicago

Roast a Pig

“A pig roast is really the easiest, most cost-effective, impressive, celebratory way to feed a bunch of people. You’re not going to get those kinds of ooohs and aaahs with chicken or fish.” —Amiel Stanek, assistant editor of bon appétit

Do Channel Your Inner Chef

What you serve should be the best reflection of what you love. If that’s pigs in blankets, so be it. A good caterer will make them with the most delicious hot dogs he can find, then bake them in hand-rolled puff pastry.” —Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, Animal, Los Angeles

Do Honor Your Sweet Tooth

“Choose a dessert you actually want to eat, even if that means something besides or in addition to cake. Pies are all the rage these days but seriously, do anything. Cookies! Donuts! Brownies!” Carey Polis, senior web editor of bon appétit

Photo Credit: Jemma Keech Photography

Photo Credit: Jemma Keech Photography