The Real Dish on Finding the Perfect Wedding Menu

Choosing the right wedding menu for a diverse group of guests is a common challenge for engaged couples. How can you satisfy everyone’s palettes? How do you accommodate people’s dietary restrictions? Are you trying to fit a certain theme or incorporate an ethnic cuisine? Engaged couples need to think of these questions while trying to stay within budget. It’s difficult to make everyone happy. So why try to? Remember, this is your wedding! Try not to stress out about catering to every single guest’s tastes. If you need some direction, think about what you like to eat! Let that be the inspiration for your wedding menu and bring in your personality.

Don’t forget to have your food, venue, and decor complement each other to provide a cohesive experience that doesn’t confuse your guests. A couple aiming for a fun and casual reception in a rustic barn, may go for buffet service with their go-to comfort foods. Another couple who booked their reception at a majestic hotel might prefer entrees with sophisticated ingredients and artistic plating to showcase their love of fine dining. Let your favorite dishes, flavor profiles, and ingredients reflect your personality and preferences. Just some food for thought!

Here we shine the spotlight on a local caterer, Eat & Smile, that will be sharing their tips for creating the perfect wedding menu at the DIY Wedding Conference on November 15th.

Tell us about Eat & Smile Catering?

Eat & Smile is a boutique catering company that focuses on sustainability, both in our sourcing of local ingredients and green business practices, as well as having a family environment and pay living wages to our staff. As the first locavore caterer of DC, we work hard to support area farmers and fisherfolk, and since 2007 we have maintained high standards in sourcing quality ingredients, creating things from scratch as much as we can, and partnering with like-minded local small companies when needed. We also work hard to embody the "smile" portion of our namesake, just as much as the "eat" part!

How would you describe your culinary style?

We take a "slow food" approach, which means we create things from scratch as much as possible. While our chefs are well-versed in classic cuisine, we do love to focus on fusions most, where we can incorporate various flavors in each dish.

Do you have any favorite ingredients?

Sriracha, kimchi, homemade apple cider vinegar,  house-made "super" soy sauce, and items put in our smoker make a lot of appearances in our kitchen, among many others, but really most important to us is seasonality of ingredients and working with super fresh products.

Meet Chef Oliver Friendly of Eat and Smile at the DIY Wedding Conference on November 15th. Join Sweet Thymes for a day of DIY planning and designing!