One of the newest trends in wedding faire is "the bar". Instead of sitting down to a plated dish of rubber chicken and some fancy named rice and soggy vegetables, guests are "bellying up to the bar", the food bar that is. Sometimes they are called stations. Sushi Bar, Taco Bar, Candy Bar, Potato Bar, Salad Bar, Dessert Bar just to name a few. If you are combining different cultures this is a fun way to merge the two types of foods into one dinner reception. It's not that the cost is any less, in fact some of these bars like the Sushi Bar can be quite a bit more expensive. I think it's the uniqueness and fun it adds to today's weddings that make it the selling point. I don't think there is tradition anymore in a wedding. Especially when it comes to the food served. Maybe a few tiny elements are left like cake, but mostly it is based on what the bride and groom want to reflect their style and personality and that changes with every single couple.
Here are a few suggestions for elements in two of my favorite food bars:
Sushi Bar: Decorate the table very simply. The Japanese are very elegant and simple with clean lines, no ruffles or fru-fru! Hire a real sushi chef from a reputable restaurant. Have a nice but simple variety with plenty of soy sauce and wasabi. And of course chopsticks!
Mashed Potato Martini Bar: A very popular bar where you have steaming chafers of creamy mashed potatoes and all sorts of toppings. Such as, sour cream, chives, bacon bits, cheeses, mushrooms, gravy, sundried tomatoes, pesto, artichokes, olives. The sky is the limit. Whatever you could put on a potato is fair game. Have it served up in a martini glass and voila a fancy food station!
The moral of the story is to serve the food you love at your wedding. Dress it up in stations and let your guests wander around and eat the interesting foods. It adds to the fun and uniqueness of your special day. So go on and "belly up"!