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USE CUISINE TO CREATE A WEDDING

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Despite the months of planning and poring over every minute detail of a wedding, it has often been said that what people remember most about wedding receptions is the food and if they had fun. Therefore, instead of worrying about choosing Jordan almonds over chocolate truffles, or whether the cake should have an extra tier, couples may want to pay more attention to selecting their reception menus.

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Although certain foods are wedding staples, it could pay for couples to think with their stomachs instead of their heads when selecting wedding day fare. Having a selection of foods that taste as good as they look is a wise idea over having certain foods simply because they are trendy.

Whether you are cooking yourself, having a family member serve as chef or relying on the menu of the reception hall, think about foods that will please guests and select those items, regardless of them being fancy. Here are some other tips.

• You want foods to be filling but not so much so that guests have to waddle to the dance floor. If you're planning on several courses, keep portion sizes small to offer a taste of the different items offered.

• Classic foods can work well as wedding fare. Roasts, barbecued meats and favorite pasta dishes can make guests feel like they're dining at someone's home and not at a wedding.

• Choose items people have heard of. Instead of tornadoes of beef, select a hearty prime rib. Just because a dish sounds fancy doesn't make it taste better. If a guest doesn't know what he or she is eating, it can be uncomfortable. Now is not the time to experiment with exotic foods, either. Otherwise, some picky eaters may be left hungry.

• Think about the foods you love and see if they can be incorporated at the wedding. Although a breakfast bar at an evening event may seem funny, waffles and omelets may appeal to a greater number of guests than a gourmet fish creation.

• Don't make vegetarians an afterthought. Too often, vegetarians must eat whatever the kitchen can pull together, which is usually a compilation of the vegetable garnishes from the meat dishes. Make an effort to have a true vegetarian dish that is intricate and delicious.

• Mashed potatoes are a crowd pleaser. Serve little portions of mashed potatoes in cocktail glasses and enable guests to top as they see fit with bacon bits, cheese or chives.

• No idea is silly, and serving any type of food in a hors d'oeuvre style can make it acceptable at a formal affair, whether that food is pizza or caviar-topped crackers.

• If you have a favorite restaurant that serves delicious food, find out if they will cater your wedding.

• Just because it isn't on the menu doesn't mean it cannot be prepared. Talk to the catering manager and let him or her know your preferences. Provided you're willing to pay a little more, there's a good chance you can have items that aren't on the standard catering menu.

• Think outside the box for your cocktail hour "bars." A bread bar, a dipping station, milk and cookies service, or vegetable bar are options that go against the standard cheese and pasta stations.

Although it's your wedding, ultimately the goal is to please the guests. By choosing foods they will love and rave about, you're guaranteed positive remarks on your wedding.

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