Your wedding day should be nothing less than perfect, and the food you and your guests will eat should be held to the same standard! After all, you’ve been working out at the gym and eating healthy green smoothies for too long. But you shouldn’t have to sacrifice your taste buds or your waistline on your special day; and healthy wedding catering shouldn’t taste bland, especially if you’re offering vegetarian catering or vegan options.
As far as toeing the line between delicious and nutritious food for your wedding, DC event planner Allison Barnes says, “I think delicious will always be number one, but as more and more people become conscious about their health, we really do see more of an appreciation for farm to table and organic offerings”.
Here are five of the best ways you can have healthy catering options that satisfy any and all wedding food stations and your taste buds during your wedding reception.
Eat farm to table
Eating local produce can make a huge difference in how your food tastes: with no extra chemicals to make the shelf life longer, you’re sure to get a fresh bite in every dish. Check with your catering company to see if they have any partnerships with farmers, so you know where your wedding food stations are from! If you’re planning on having a salad, ask if your caterer can arrange to get the ingredients from a local farmers market.
Getting your meat options locally can affect not only the taste of the food, but also the price of your bill. Since getting fresh meat delivered from a local farm means no one has to spend money preserving and sending it from a far away warehouse, you may be able to snag some quality product from a farm that won’t have to pay to deliver meat from very far! Our DC kitchen’s Grilled VA Pork Chop, Roasted Fingerling Sweet Potato, Braised Greens, Apple Cider Reduction from Papa Weaver’s farm, less than three hours away from their kitchen, and everyone saves time, money, and gets a hearty and healthy meal.
Be Adventurous with Your Vegetarian Options
Your vegan and vegetarian friends shouldn’t be stuck eating the classic kids meal of bland “pasta with sauce” at your reception! There are too many other vegan, vegetarian, and even gluten-free options that you can choose for your catering menu for everyone to enjoy! Now, from people on airplanes to wedding guests, more people are requesting vegan and vegetarian catering.
“Now you see all sorts of creative dishes that are delicious and beautiful! I’ve had many people tell me over the years that sometimes they order vegetarian, not to be healthier but because it always ends up being better than the main dish offered”. Chef Robert Wood took the challenge of making a healthy, delicious option for almost everyone and added his own Southern Style. His Stewed Okra and Tomatoes over Rice is a great option, without the piles of butter often in comfort food, for feeling right at home. Your guests may not even notice the lack of meat in your dish, because it is so full of flavor and spice.
Consider Going All the Way
If your wedding guest list includes a lot of people with allergies, going gluten-free, or vegetarians, ask your caterer if they can create a fully vegan menu. If you give your caterer a good idea of the type of food you want at your wedding, it can lead to some creative ways to vegetarian-ize a favorite dish. This way, not only can you be sure there won’t be anything extra to worry about, you’ll also go through your reception knowing that everyone’s dietary needs have been just as satisfied as your stomach. If your caterer is good, they should be able to make vegan food in the same kind of style as food that your meat-eating guests are used to. (Plus, if you don’t tell them, your guests might not even notice that meat is missing from the table!)
Let Go of the Stress
It is your party after all! You already fit into the dress or suit, so take time to eat some food you enjoy. Allison’s advice about worrying about the health of what you’re eating at your reception: “if you’re offering food that’s not super heavy then you don’t have to worry about wedding day bloat or feeling gross after you’ve been dieting/eating clean up to this point!”.
Healthy catering, just like your meals at home, is all about balance during your wedding. Make sure that you have vegetable-based options, and food to help keep your energy up. If you want to satisfy a vegan sweet tooth, try including a fruit platter with local honey! While the fruit makes for a great dessert option, the added honey can help make sure your guests don’t have sniffles from local pollen (no promises a few sniffles and tears won’t sneak out during your vows though)!
Don’t forget that you can also include a healthy drink option. Although alcohol and soft drinks are common (and delicious) they can be full of sugar, and dehydrate you. For a fun and healthier option, try to incorporate a fresh smoothie bar with fruits and veggies- or make a custom smoothie using your favorite ingredients instead of a cocktail.
If you’re having a summer wedding, make sure that you will have water available throughout the ceremony and reception. For a fun and healthy idea, try a fresh smoothie bar with fruits and veggies.
No matter what kind of food you decide to eat at your wedding, remember that you should never compromise on taste! Healthy food at your wedding can allow you to try a variety of options, and enjoy the taste of every bite of your food on your big day!