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Chicken or fish? Avoid a boring wedding menu

Heather Barnett is a freelance writer and foodie whose work has been featured in blogs, websites, magazines, and TV and radio ads. She spends her free time relaxing with her soulmate, Keith; her dog, Mosby "The Fly Slayer;" and Felix th...

Wow your guests with these creative ideas

It seems like all wedding menus are the same. Jazz up your selections with these ideas for a wedding meal that's anything but blah.
Raw Ahi Tuna and guacamole tostadas

The food you'll serve at your wedding is one of the most important decisions you'll make — at least as far as your guests' experiences are concerned. Wow your guests with these creative ideas for menu planning.

Fusion is hot

One hot trend that's been going strong is fusion food. This is an especially popular choice for couples bringing together two different cultures. On a Season 3 episode of Robert Irvine's Dinner: Impossible, he did just that when he prepared a meal fusing the bride's Asian and the groom's Irish cultures.

But you don't have to be a multicultural couple to enjoy fusion food at your wedding. Chef Brianna Alcorn told web magazine Special Events that Latin American and Asian flavors are a popular combination.

Imagination station

Gourmet ice cream sundae

Instead of making your guests choose between two entrees of your choosing, set up various food bars and let them customize their own food. You can have everything from potato bars, featuring baked russet and sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes with a variety of toppings to a dessert bar (even instead of the typical wedding cake) where guests can customize their own sundaes, cupcakes and more.

A pasta bar is a great way to cater to vegetarians and carnivores alike, as meat options like meatballs and sausage can be cooked separately and added by guests who like them. Or try sushi bars, Mexican bars and more. You're only limited by your imagination (and your budget).

Tasting menus

Asking your caterer to do a tasting menu is another way to get a lot of bang for your buck. Each guest is served a variety of "samples" of the chef's dishes, so if something doesn't strike their fancy, they don't have to eat it! This is a popular choice for foodie weddings and a fun (and fair) way to deal with arguments over what food should be served. You can even leave each guest a notecard where they can outline their thoughts on the various dishes to encourage lively conversation.

Seasonal & local foods

Not only are seasonal and local foods fresher, they allow you to put money in the pockets of local farmers and ranchers instead of the big-chain stores. Next to each dish, place a small placard outlining what local and seasonal ingredients are in the dish and where you got them. It's fun for guests to know they're eating a cobbler made from peaches grown right up the street.

Get comfy

When it comes to weddings, it's less about what you serve than how you serve it. The food needs to be tasty, but not necessarily fancy. Take your inspiration from the latest fast-food craze — food trucks. Ask your caterer to come up with inspired presentations for common street foods. If you have a favorite local food truck vendor, consider bringing them in as a consultant.

But don't stop there. Serve fun popcorn flavors like bacon or wasabi in small mugs or adorably decorated cones. Ask your caterer to come up with a fun new way to serve the classic PB&J or make a fun new spin on your childhood favorites.

Remember you

Your wedding day will be stressful, and you may not have as much time to eat as you think you will. Ask the caterer to prepare a special late-night snack for two filled with plenty of easy-to-eat foods to keep your energy up on your wedding night!

Tell us

Are you inspired? Tell us your unique wedding food ideas in the comments below.

More on food from the "I Do" issue

The vegan wedding
Make your own wedding mints
Make a homemade wedding dessert bar

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