The 9 Worst Foods to Serve at a Wedding

Your dinner might be delicious, but it’s also dying to drip all over your carefully selected outfit

The 9 Worst Foods to Serve at a Wedding

With wedding season well under way, we couldn’t help but think of all the food — good and bad — that has made it to the reception halls of weddings past. Some spreads have been spectacular, and others a little less so. By the time you get to eat, the guests and wedding party alike are usually more than happy to make do either way, because there’s partying ahead — and, hopefully, an open bar. 

An All-Meat or All-Vegetable Menu

Whether the new bride and groom are the sort of people who won’t eat anything they didn’t hunt themselves, or are the sort of vegans who believe their future baby should follow suit, it’s not a good call to present a menu that makes guests choose between protein and produce. For a hands-off approach, these simple DIY serving stations offer the guests plenty of options.

Anything the Guests Have to See Alive Before the Wedding

Even if the wedding takes place on a farm, not all the guests will be as on board with the farm-to-table movement as others. As a general rule, don’t ask your guests to stare into the eyes of the creature who will be presented shortly on fine china.   

Black Ink

Shutterstock/Nitr

Squid-ink pasta might be delicious, but it has no place at an event where the most important person in the room is wearing some version of white. Not to mention, given the amount of photography that’s planned for the day, no one needs to be memorialized forever on this special day with a toothy, ink-stained smile. Steer clear. 

Borscht

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There’s nothing more beautiful than the deep, soulful red of the classic Eastern European beet soup, and also nothing more treacherous. Imagine for a moment that the kid-friendly wedding you’re attending has a table full of little ones who have just realized that dipping something in a red liquid will give it a lovely dye, and then imagine trying to take a bowl of that red dye out of the hands of a 5-year-old. Easier said than done. 

Delivery Pizza or Take Out of Any Kind

Shutterstock/Balefire

Based on a true story of a woman who was a guest at one of the most poorly planned weddings we’ve ever heard of (both the bride and groom were the ripe old age of 19, so we gather that neither their budget nor their attention to detail were robust), we have to go on the record as saying that delivery pizza is not a great idea.

Here’s the story from a Redditor who attended the wedding in question, which took place in a chapel that was a frigid 14 degrees Fahrenheit inside: “When we got to the venue, someone walked by and said ‘get everyone seated, the pizza will be here soon’ my boyfriend and I chuckled at each other, because really? Delivery pizza? No one would do that. But they did. We ate pizza in our nice dresses (which didn't matter because we had our coats on anyway).” 

Fermented Foods

Kimchi, sauerkraut, and nattō all have their unique pleasures, but a wedding is probably not the best time to ask guests to acquire any of these tastes. Furthermore, if unattached guests have any hopes of meeting someone special on this special day, don’t impede their success by giving them bad breath. 

Fried Chicken

Shutterstock/Farbled

We’ll never malign fried chicken, but do your guests a solid and try not to serve them any foods that will tempt them to wipe their hands on their clothes or critique one another’s deboning techniques. If you see fried chicken or chicken wings at the table, we recommend you avoid them, unless you’re open to wearing a bib. 

Ghost Peppers or Other Super Spicy Foods

As compelling as it can be to watch someone suffer through a ghost pepper challenge, a wedding is not the time for a spice tolerance test. Someone will inevitably try to impress an object of his or her affection by eating something too spicy, crying, and embarrassing him- or herself. It’s also unkind to serve anything that makes guests unable to touch their eyes without burning them. Presumably, you and your guests would prefer to cry over how magical the whole day has been, not the fact that your eyes are on fire. 

Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes are wonderful and we’ll love them well beyond our camp days, but think of the meat globs! There’s never been a clearer recipe for disaster than a tray full of sloppy joes and a room full of beautifully dressed people. No human reflexes can compete with the speed at which a clump of sauce-covered minced meat escapes the bun and reaches a piece of expensive clothing. It can’t be done.