Nicole Harris
May 31, 2018 10:00 am
StockFood/Getty Images, CSA Images/Mod Art Collection

Delicious, gourmet food is a highlight of every wedding reception — but if your entrée choices lead to bad breath, stomach problems, or stained clothing, guests will remember your catering for the wrong reasons. Here are six foods you should never serve at your wedding, ensuring that everyone feels satisfied enough to dance the night away. 

1Messy dishes

Who doesn’t love ribs, burritos, and pasta loaded with tomato sauce? These dishes will surely please a crowd, but they aren’t the smartest option for those wearing expensive formal clothing. Save guests from stains and splatters by sticking with less messy (but equally tasty) dinner options. If you’re dying to serve a messy food like BBQ, Michelle Minucciani, who works in special events at Tasty Catering in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, suggests incorporating the flavors into easy-to-eat sides instead.

2Bad breath offenders

Garlic, onion, and tuna notoriously cause bad breath. Unless you want guests scavenging for gum at your wedding reception, avoid serving anything too stinky. You could also make smart substitutions, like caramelized onions instead of raw onion, if you really want to incorporate a certain food.

3Allergy triggers

Many people suffer from food intolerances. Don’t serve anything containing common offenders (think nuts, eggs, and shellfish) unless you have other allergen-free items on the menu as well. You don’t want anyone ending up with a rumbling stomach — or worse, a trip to the emergency room. If you’re dying to serve common allergens, Minucciani says it’s necessary to have menu cards listing their ingredients.  

4Dairy-heavy dishes

As every cheese-lover can attest, dairy may cause gas, bloating, and other digestive issues. A wedding reception isn’t the ideal place for stomach problems, so brides and grooms should think twice before serving entrees loaded with cream, butter, or milk. (We’re looking at you, fettuccine Alfredo and clam chowder!)

4Anything too spicy

“While you and your partner may love spicy food, your guests may not have the same tolerance,” says Minucciani. Make sure the heat level of your dishes is tolerable, or offer both spicy and mild options of a dish, whether you’re serving curry, salsa, or buffalo wings. 

5Any foods with a high risk factor

Raw meat, uncooked fish, and oysters are considered delicacies to some. But these items often carry a high risk of food poisoning, especially if they aren’t prepared properly. That’s why Minucciani recommends skipping steak tartare, runny eggs, and other easily contaminated dishes at your wedding. After all, you want all guests to enjoy your well-planned wedding without issue!

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