Help with Menu Planning Please

My wonderful daughter is getting married. The night before the wedding the bride-to-be, the bridesmaids, the officiant, the mother of the bride and the mother of the brides best friend are gathering together for a kind of slumber party to be together and celebrate.
I am looking for ideas of foods I can make ahead that everyone can just enjoy as they arrive. Been so busy planning the wedding, my brain shorted out!

Thanks in advance.

  • Posted by: SKK
  • July 6, 2012
  • 3788 views
  • 57 Comments

57 Comments

drbabs July 18, 2012
Warm congratulations, SKK, and all best wishes to the happy couple.
 
SKK July 18, 2012
What an amazing thread! When I was stuck I threw out a question and it resulted in not only amazing recipes and ideas but best wishes to my daughter and her fiance, now my son. (He said so - he called me because he had forgotten something and said "Hi Mom"

The menu came from you, your suggestions and your recipes. And are/were cheered by the wedding guests.

Food52 is a gift!

 
hardlikearmour July 10, 2012
Congratulations, Sharon!!! What thrilling news. Your daughter is a doll, and I hope the groom is deserving of her ;-).
Might I suggest a batch of pickled prunes with some lovely thinly sliced sausages (perhaps from Olympic Provisions - I can send you some if you'd like) and some hard sliced cheeses with good bread.
 
SKK July 10, 2012
You are so generous! Thank you for reminding me of the pickled prunes - they are on the list now!
 
lapadia July 9, 2012
How exciting, Sharon! Wow, a ferry ride from Seattle, you will be on my side of the Sound, and so true, there aren't many pizza delivery places around here :) I found that the first week of living here in the country.

Love the cold buffet idea, so many great Food52er suggestions!

Wishing you the time of your life and lots wonderful memories...I'm so excited for you and Big Congrats to Krista! xo
 
SKK July 9, 2012
Linda, thank you so much! I am so looking forward to this.
 
SKK July 9, 2012
Captured all the recommendations posted. Perhaps we have created a Foood52 mini-cookbook! My daughter is astounded by the many congratulations you all have posted, and the amazing menu ideas. I am just happy! Thank you.
 
SKK July 8, 2012
SeaJambon, you are making me giggle! I have so appreciated the responses to this question and the congratulations - when I feel myself getting too wrapped in perfection I come back and read these responses!
 
SeaJambon July 8, 2012
I agree that Mensaque's advice is LOVELY! Thank you so much for sharing. I think I need to print it somewhere to keep it handy (and I imagine all those things packed in Sam 1148's picnic hamper). So much more interesting than simply having the bride wear "something borrowed, something new, something white, something blue and a half penny in her shoe" ... oh, I think I need to go pop in some Downton Abbey...)
 
mensaque July 10, 2012
I didn't know about the "half penny in her shoe"...That's gotta hurt,hahaha! Glad you liked it!
 
SKK July 8, 2012
What wonderful advice, mensaque! Thank you so much. I will be including everything you said. Love that you are sharing this. I am all for white light and love!
 
mensaque July 10, 2012
Soooo glad you liked it,SKK!Touched,even. I confess I was a bit afraid of sounding kind of "witchy",but deep down I knew (intuition,maybe) how open minded you would about it.
 
Summer O. July 8, 2012
A ferry ride from Seattle...I attended a wedding in the San Juans on Orcas to be exact and it was fabulous. And we had great food the entire time. I had some fantastic artichokes there. But I would agree with a buffet variety and make it easy, don't worry it's more about the company! Haul it in put it on a pretty platter and be done with it. There is so much garbage and stress attached to weddings. More importantly, congratulations!
 
SKK July 8, 2012
Love your advice, summer of eggplant, "Haul it in and put it on a pretty platter and be done with it!"
Thank you!
 
mensaque July 8, 2012
Hey,SKK!So happy for you and of course for the bride and groom!May they have lots of happiness together and kids as sweet as their grandma...I think you're passed the point of gathering new ideas,but I wanted to share something with you.Keeping it light seems to be the best choice,but how about adding some items to bring good vibrations? You must understand Brazil is a land of many faiths,beliefs,and many superstitions because it's a land of many cultures:african,european and native that were mixed in 5 centures of history molding the people we became,so we're inclined to believe that energies and thoughts may have effects on matter.--If you think I'm full of crap,it's OK.I'll face it with good humor.But,if you think I'm on to something,here goes: 1)rice or bread are for abundance on their table 2)cherries for love and strawberries for passion 3)pomegranate for fertility 4)rosemary for protection of their home 5)onions and potatoes for good health 6)lentils and nutmeg for money and work 7)red pepper against envy 8)garlic to avoid the enemy 9)bay leaves to avoid bad omens 10)orange zest and sugar for purity 11)green grapes for good luck 12)rock salt and sage for cleansing. You can use these ingredients on the meal or create a ritual. Imagine a beautifull white light surrounding you all and the food and send her all your love through it...XOXO.
 
sexyLAMBCHOPx July 9, 2012
Sounds great!
 
SKK July 7, 2012
Will do bugbitten! Blessings back at ya!
 
bugbitten July 7, 2012
This joker's final advice: screw the food and just be beautiful, which is to say, just be yourself. Bless
 
Pecan-Ann July 7, 2012
Finger foods. No one wants to eat heavy for sure before the wedding.No bloating from salt either! Cube fresh fruits, have some cheeses, proscuitto and some bakery crostini or bread sticks. Desert? Chocolate covered strawberries or a nice 7 layer fruit salad. Keep everything chilled, small and fresh
 
Chef L. July 7, 2012
Just attended such a function. We had a baked potato bar with pre-made bite-sized sweets. Host was with us all the while. What a fun time.
 
Sam1148 July 7, 2012
...and if it's buffet reception. Don't forget to bring some tupperware stuff for the bridesmaids, grooms, family, etc to take home. They need attention too..(so, just put foil, Tupperware, available at the end)

I'm not proud about packing up stuff at a buffet at end game, or catered events, when stuff is removed and discarded after the event. for left overs to guests for 'to go packages'. As some are in in hotels and snacks, foods from the event would just go to waste or most likely by the staff--so they need something too.
But for bride and groom...you do that for them. They're too busy to think about such things.



 
Kukla July 6, 2012
Warmest Congratulations SKK!!! I can not agree more with boulangere! The most important for you and your daughter to be happy and have a wonderful time, which you will remember for many years to come; and I also wish you to have only the same kind of “problems” when celebrating their fifth, tens and many more wedding anniversaries!
 
SKK July 7, 2012
Thank you Kukla!
 
ATG117 July 6, 2012
Can you make it pot luck? When my friend got married, we had a potluck get together with lots of delicious, healthful-for the most part-foods like salmon and grain salads, guacamole, a cheese platter with crackers, vegetables, fruit, and lots of chocolate covered things for dessert. If you can't do that, I'd agree with buying as much as you can. No matter how much you love cooking--and I do too--it is another task that can be stressful when you have a lot going on. You can buy great cheeses and breads, mixed nuts, olives, salumi, cut up fruit and vegetables, and if you need something heartier, buy some mains from your favorite place. Or buy the refrigerated pizza dough (not the frozen, junky stuff), lay out toppings, and let everyone make pizzas. You can even do a dessert pizza, but again, here, I'd go to my favorite bakery and make it easy.
 
SKK July 6, 2012
Wonderful - thank you!
 
Sam1148 July 6, 2012
Congrats on the wedding, you've done enough. Make it super simple and don't over think thing.

As an aside. My standard wedding gift is a picnic basket, and put in some summer sausages good mustard, cheeses (okay the baby bell, laughing cow stuff), water crackers, Etc.. (yeah the typical Hickory Farms type things in a good wicker basket).

In all the cases the Couple mentioned it was one of the best gifts, as they where 'on stage' for the main event and hardly had anything to eat and couldn't relax and eat. So the basket was used for hotel snacks, and leftover late night food hotel room for them when they finally decompressed and relaxed.

So for the aftermath of the event--be sure and pack them some 'to go' stuff to eat later that evening to take back to their room. (or outsource this task to someone).
 
SeaJambon July 6, 2012
OMG Sam - can't tell you how much I wish we'd received that gift! All that wonderful food at our reception and we were always too busy to eat (and I swear the waiters turned the other way and kept food away from me!! My champagne cup overfloweth'ed, but I was STARVED!! And of course you're way too nervous to eat ahead of time!). An inspired gift. I may borrow the idea for the future.
 
SKK July 6, 2012
Oh Sam, what a wonderful idea! My daughter and future son-in-law (I really, really like him and his family) are spending their wedding night in a Seattle hotel. Sending them a basket is a brilliant idea.

Now I am going to boast a little about the daughter - she is baking her own wedding cake because she loves to do it and is brilliant at it. I will take photos and share them.

And thank you everyone who has said "Enjoy the time" It is precious.
 
Sam1148 July 6, 2012
If it's buffet reception. Bring some disposable tupper ware type containers for the couple..and a roll of foil for breads etc. People don't eat when they're 'on stage' and socializing....until back at the room they realize "damn I need food". A bottle of sparkling mineral water is a good bonus too as they've probably had their fill of champagne and wine.
(add couple of packs of Alka seltzer too).
 
LucyS July 10, 2012
This is a really thoughtful idea, and I also really like the idea of putting things in tupperwares and boxing them up from the ceremony itself. I would hate to spend all this time planning my wedding and picking out the food I wanted (because let's be honest - food is always one of the most important/fun things! And I can tell that you and your daughter are in the same mindset) and not getting to eat my choices. This way not only do they get to eat later, when they're starving, but they get to taste the meal they designed. Congratulations! It sounds like a really beautiful setting.
 
SKK July 6, 2012
Thank you all for your congratulations and WONDERFUL ideas! I find myself a little teary at this outpouring of support. And mightily relieved that I can have the menu put together by this Sunday.

You are all the best!
 
boulangere July 6, 2012
The point is for everyone to have a wonderful time and be happy . . . including you!
 
lloreen July 6, 2012
Another cold buffet idea would be to make some nice spreads one or two days before and serve with a few salads and bread.

Maybe a salmon spread like Merril’s salmon mousse http://www.food52.com/blog/504_smoked_salmon_mousse_on_rye_toasts,

a meat pate like this one: http://www.food52.com/recipes/2269_the_most_requested_pate_ever

a light potato salad http://www.food52.com/recipes/6642_roasted_radish_and_potato_salad_with_black_mustard_and_cumin_seed

maybe a grain salad (this farro salad is a huge pot-luck hit) http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/video-citrus-parmesan-farro-salad-recipe.html

a simple green salad

and dessert you make at least the day before - a cheesecake you can make 2 days before? Freezer cookies?

You could do the mousse and pate the day before and pre-cook some of the salad ingredients, assemble the salads in the morning. Then you just have to dress the green salad and spread everything out as the guests arrive.
 
boulangere July 6, 2012
Warm congratulations to you all! The cold buffet ideas are wonderful. Easy to pre-plate, cover, refrigerate. Also makes for convenient leftovers. I've been making this salad again lately. It can be made ahead of time and keeps almost forever, or at least until it's gone:
http://www.food52.com/recipes/14253_chasing_cezanne_carrot_corn_salad
I love the idea of your party!
 
lloreen July 6, 2012
If you go the taco route, the Barbacoa Beef tacos from a while back are delicious and you can make it way ahead and freeze it, then reheate in a crockpot. You can just leave it on low for guests to serve themselves as they arrive. I did this with another cheaper cut of beef and it was terrific. The pickled onions were a huge hit too.
http://food52.com/recipes/2731_barbacoa_beef_cheek_tacos
You really don't need anything besides tortillas, but a little salsa and guacamole with chips, some queso fresco, chopped lettuce would be nice. If you have vegetarians, maybe some black beans simmered in tomatoes with cumin and lime.
Serve with a corn or quinoa salad and a green salad on the side. Maybe something simple for dessert that you can make a day ahead like Lazy Mary's lemon tart and a fruit salad with whipped cream.
 
Sadassa_Ulna July 6, 2012
Congratulations! The cold buffet does sounds good and easy. Does the bride-to-be have favorite foods that can be incorporated? A favorite beverage?
 
amysarah July 6, 2012
First - congrats! How lovely to be so involved in your daughter's wedding. (Adore mine - can only imagine how you must feel.)

But since it sounds like you have your hands full and it's the night before the big day, I second the idea of making it easy - love the idea of platters of take-out sushi. But pizza or any local place you and your daughter love - let them fuss and deliver - sit back, pour some champagne or her favorite wine or cocktail, and toast your girl.
 
Sam1148 July 6, 2012
Hummus, pita breads, veggies. The mentioned pizzas. (heck, even take a short cut and get the boboli crusts). Grilled chicken breasts, grilled and chopped stored, as a topping with basil and Béchamel sauce as a option---tomato sauce might be too much acid for nervous stomachs. Same for anything too spicy. A good cold cut and cheese platter--with 'cocktail' bread. Fruits--how about a Watermelon Granita? For fancy---crab cakes; small ones. Have them chilled and bake or fry when guests arrive.
Oh, and a quiche. Make the night before and served chilled with salad.

 
sexyLAMBCHOPx July 6, 2012
Low sodium - no one wants to be bloated for the photos, especially the bride - congrats!
 
sexyLAMBCHOPx July 6, 2012
I keep on thinking of the scene in Bridesmaids at the lunch they went too and umm, didnt feel so well. Keep it simple and dont serve anything that will be served at the wedding!
 
Congrats! I think corn salad sounds great. I like my corn salad with lime juice and olive oil dressing - no dairy. You can serve with fresh corn - not grilled - as well. It's great either way.
http://www.food52.com/recipes/5916_heirloom_tomato_and_grilled_corn_salad

Five and Spices Crunchy Salad is also very good: http://www.food52.com/recipes/16584_the_juicy_crunchy_trifecta_salad
 
wssmom July 6, 2012
I'm with SeaJambon on both counts -- first, congrats, and second, the cold buffet, with perhaps a couple of salads? Two of my faves from Creamtea and Merrill:

http://food52.com/recipes/12928_dilled_crunchy_sweetcorn_salad_with_buttermilk_dressing

http://food52.com/recipes/5710_farro_salad_with_roasted_mushrooms_and_parmesan

 
creamtea July 8, 2012
thanks for thinking of my recipe, wssmom!! And warm congratulations, SKK!
 
meganvt01 July 6, 2012
What about a selection of sandwiches that don't need to be served hot - like Waverly's Pan Bagnat. Ina Garten has a lot of sandwiches that I like - filet of beef with truffle butter and arugula. Easy to make and prep ahead. Or perhaps a nicoise platter? That's a bit more elegant and dinner-like. This time of year - I really like zucchini fritters - little patties with feta, dill, parsley, egg - served with greek yogurt - they are just as tasty at room temperature.
 
HalfPint July 6, 2012
With the craziness of planning a wedding and since your brain is so fried, why don't you just order takeout? Order a sushi platter from Costco (it's surprisingly good) or grab/order a party tray (wings, cheese, crackers, cold cuts, etc) from the supermarket. Or order from your favorite restaurant. Many places make most of their money from catering rather than the food sold at the restaurant. I have twice ordered some carnitas and carne asada from my favorite taqueria who makes the best handmade corn tortillas and salsas ever. The cost was very reasonable and not all as expensive as I thought it would.

With a wedding, there's no crime in outsourcing ;)
 
Pragg July 10, 2012
Add your answer hereGreat answer I do a LOT of catering and it's a lot of work just getting ready for a wedding go to your favorite restaurant and talk to the chef maybe he or she could to all the prep and you could just put things together.
 
Pragg July 10, 2012
Add your answer hereGreat answer I do a LOT of catering and it's a lot of work just getting ready for a wedding go to your favorite restaurant and talk to the chef maybe he or she could to all the prep and you could just put things together.
 
Pragg July 10, 2012
Add your answer hereGreat answer I do a LOT of catering and it's a lot of work just getting ready for a wedding go to your favorite restaurant and talk to the chef maybe he or she could to all the prep and you could just put things together.
 
Pragg July 10, 2012
Add your answer hereGreat answer I do a LOT of catering and it's a lot of work just getting ready for a wedding go to your favorite restaurant and talk to the chef maybe he or she could to all the prep and you could just put things together.
 
beyondcelery July 6, 2012
Taco salad? If you set the ingredients out buffet-style, everyone can just help themselves as they arrive. We did taco salad for just our close family for after our wedding and it worked really well. It makes carnivores, raw food people, vegetarians, gluten-free people, and vegans all happy at once with very little fuss. Get creative with your toppings: shredded carrot, sliced cucumber, sunflower seeds, homemade salsa, hard boiled egg, black beans, etc. You could even serve some of your homemade dehydrated goodness as chips! It also instantly encourages margaritas. =)

Congratulations to your daughter!
 
beyondcelery July 6, 2012
Taco salad? If you set the ingredients out buffet-style, everyone can just help themselves as they arrive. We did taco salad for just our close family for after our wedding and it worked really well. It makes carnivores, raw food people, vegetarians, gluten-free people, and vegans all happy at once with very little fuss. Get creative with your toppings: shredded carrot, sliced cucumber, sunflower seeds, homemade salsa, hard boiled egg, black beans, etc. You could even serve some of your homemade dehydrated goodness as chips! It also instantly encourages margaritas. =)

Congratulations to your daughter!
 
SKK July 8, 2012
beyondcelery - love the idea! What did you use as a dressing for the salad?
 
beyondcelery July 10, 2012
@SKK Just salsa for dressing. I think we put out a bottle of ranch for people who wanted it, but once you pile beans, salsa, cheese, and avocado onto your salad, any other type of dressing doesn't really apply (in my opinion). Good luck!
 
SeaJambon July 6, 2012
SKK- First CONGRATULATIONS!! What a wonderful problem to have!

If it was me, I'd probably think along the lines of a light,cold buffet. Maybe with some yummy soft cheeses, nice bread sliced, crackers, lots of summer fresh fruit, and perhaps something like a whole smoked turkey to center it. And lots of cold beverages -- adult and kid! (and, digression, but just saw on Pintrest something that I thought was really cute -- pint sized canning jars (lids on) filled with premixed adult beverages in an ice filled chest).
 
bugbitten July 6, 2012
Don't know much about this, but doesn't a slumber party call for lots of giggling when the pizza delivery guy catches you in your nighty?
 
bugbitten July 6, 2012
Oh, and please let me offer my best wishes to the bride!
 
SKK July 6, 2012
The home we will be at is a ferry ride away from Seattle and in the country, not many pizza delivery guys around!
 
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