Luxury Ingredients Don't Belong In A Wedding Menu's Main Course

Planning a wedding is stressful for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which, for many people, is managing expenses. Visions of the picture-perfect day often conflict with the cost of adding luxe details that make an event feel special. Those of us who love food naturally want the meal to be one of the day's highlights, and for this we've got a newsflash: That doesn't mean you have to splurge on spendy ingredients for your main course. Why?

A number of luxury ingredients can leave guests feeling alienated. If guest enjoyment matters at all, including foods that the majority of wedding guests might not like can end up being a waste of money. Luxuries like fresh truffles, caviar, escargot, and foie gras are delectable treats for some, but there are plenty of people who won't eat them. This may be because they don't care for the strong flavor in the case of truffles, they're put off by an ick factor (Hello, caviar and snails), or perhaps they object to the way a food is produced. (Yes, we're looking at you, controversial foie gras.) At the end of the day, spending big bucks on luxuries like these could mean lots of very expensive wasted food.

Does that mean you can't have any fancy food at your wedding?

Leaving spendy ingredients out of your main course doesn't mean you're limited to boring food. If there's a fancy food you absolutely must have on your wedding day, passed hors d'oeuvres or self-serve appetizers give you a perfect opportunity to feature that expensive item and let guests politely, discreetly decline what they're not interested in. This also limits the use of luxury items to small amounts; your total spend for Beluga caviar goes down considerably when it only graces a portion of the bites circulating throughout the event.

Of course, you don't want guests leaving your wedding feast hungry, and a few nibbles of hand-passed truffle-flavored arancini won't necessarily fill people up. After your fancy cocktail hour featuring small quantities of your luxury ingredients, serving a main course that relies on inexpensive ingredients like pasta with a delicious sauce can help stretch that wedding food budget while still allowing you to present a satisfying meal. Impressive, expensive ingredients can certainly be included in your big day, but using them as the main feature will not only blow your budget, it might end up disappointing guests with a main course featuring trendy or exotic foods or flavors they don't really care for.