Segments: 1:blog, 2:how-to-eat-at-a-wedding, 3:, 4:, 5:
How to Eat at a Wedding | Great Performances


This site requires a screen size of 320px wide or greater.

Back to Posts

How to Eat at a Wedding
by Wedding Director, Carly Katz-Hackman

When I think of the best kind of wedding, it's one where I'm barely in my seat. I want to finish my last bite of entrée and be instantly lured onto the dance floor by the familiar pulsing beats of Stevie Wonder – Signed, Sealed, and Delivered straight into the DJ's hands. I want to be *N SYNC with the crowd, getting into Formation, while Shaking It Off for all the room to see! Puns intended… 

Aside from requiring a great DJ and fun group, this also requires that I not eat too much at dinner. It's pretty uncomfortable to jump-dance (obviously my favorite kind of dancing) when you've got a belly full of creamy salad dressing and mashed potatoes. I’ve made that mistake too many times, and have recently enlisted my husband in reminding me to put down the fork when celebrating the nuptials of our nearest and dearest. He doesn’t like doing it and I tend to pout when he does, but I always thank him later.

To spare my brides and grooms (and their guests) the same fate, I take special care in customizing menus for Great Performances wedding clients. Don’t get me wrong, we have some pretty incredible options when it comes to rich dishes, but I always advise a balance when planning a wedding menu. This makes the new summer menu developed by our chefs and launched this week even more exciting. I’m talking things like Summer Melon Salad, Tomatoes Right Now from the Farm (the name says it all), and Hudson Valley Succotash, among beyond-incredible desserts that I would recommend eating after you’ve exhausted yourself on the dance floor. Is your mouth watering yet?


After light and fresh hors d’oeuvres during cocktail hour (Opah Poke, anyone?), and a beautiful, well-balanced salad for the first course (see below for recipes!), I typically allow myself to indulge in what I call the entrée trifecta: protein, starch, and veggie. Whether it’s Great Performances’ Goffle Road Coq au Vin with the classic and ever-popular Potatoes au Gratin, Wild Mushrooms, and Glazed Carrots, or the gorgeous Escovitch of Red Snapper with Avocado, Citrus, Quinoa, Pomegranate, and Chile (still drooling over here), I prefer to eat less of something hearty, rather than lots of something light, when it comes to my main course.

Now we arrive to my favorite part of any meal: SUGAR (aka “dessert” for normal people). Before I start my spiel on sweets, let me remind you of my priority at a wedding: dancing my tush off! This means that I don’t want to be sitting for any longer than I have to. Enter passed desserts. If I believed in reincarnation, I would probably claim to have invented the concept of passed desserts in a previous life – I am THAT into them. Not only is sugar the main ingredient and they come to me on the dance floor (lazy girl’s dream), but passed sweets also provide a unique opportunity to be playful with your menu. Our S’mores Cone is a longstanding favorite of mine, as is the Lemon Meringue Pie Pop. Why limit your guests to ten bites of one flavor and texture, when you can offer them ten bites of ten flavors and textures?!

There you have it: Carly’s playbook on How to Eat at a Wedding. Don’t forget to stay hydrated (wine doesn’t count!) and bring your flip flops.

Eat, drink, and be married.

Below are "recipes" for two of our new summer menus. I say "recipes" lightly because they're really guidelines for tossing summer's freshest ingredients - whatever assortment of melon or tomatoes you have on hand - with simple vinaigrettes to create your ideal summer salad. 

Summer Melon Salad

Watermelon, cut into 1 in. cubes

Cantaloupe, cut into 1 in. cubes

Heirloom Tomato, cut into 1 in. slives

Persian Cucumber, cut into coins

Radish, shaved thin


Olive Oil

Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste

Edible Blossoms, for garnish

Tomatoes Right Now from the Farm

Heirloom Tomatoes, cut into wedges (extra points for multi-color)

Julienned Red & Green Jalapeño, to your liking

Extra Virgin Olive Oil, lightly drizzled

Basil Leaves, torn or whole

Chervil, torn

Sea Salt, to taste

Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste

Chives, chopped, for garnish

Edible Blossoms, for garnish

I´m your number 1 fan. Love the concept, color and inspiration you give me.

By Hilda Stevens on 2016 04 04

Exciting ideas, recipes and balance! YUM!

By Andi Stone on 2016 04 05

Add Your Comment:

Please enter the word you see in the image below: