A: I want Ethiopian.
My mom: Nobody's going to even know what that is, let alone like it. There's a time and a place, and this is not it.
And so I began the lengthy process of looking for caterers, reading through menus, picking out items, getting quotes, and going back to the drawing board when the in-season mostly-vegetarian menus I'd picked cost $Z,OMG. We repeated this process a few times until something lucky, if not downright auspicious, happened: my mother went to a wedding and ate food truck food.* And she came back saying, "If you love it, the guests will love it. Or they'll at least not hold anything against you for it. Unless they're jerks or idiots."**
And so, we will be serving (as long as we like the restaurant when we go over the holidays) Ethiopian food, which conveniently lends itself to family style.
|Photo courtesy of Wikipedia|
We'll provide forks and knives for those who want them. But we'll also make explanatory cards for those who haven't tried it before, re-teaching everyone how to eat with their hands (I'd been feeling a bit light on paper goods, and the creative possibilities there-in, as we're not doing all that much in the way of invitations). And honestly, what's more fun than eating with your hands in fancy clothes? And it's true: if we love it, our guests will at the very least notice and respect that.
For dessert, we're thinking a small cake and a lot of pie.
* I'm going to pause right here. This is starting to sound more critical of my mom than I intended. My mother is not some super-old-fashioned, you-must-do-things-this-way-because-that's-how-they're-done kind of person. She is not an I'm-going-to-control-your-wedding kind of person. She is instead a thoughtful, modern, feminist who knows how to throw a hell of a party. But of course, a wedding is (or can be, and I hope mine is) more than just a hell of a party. It's a hell of a party for three times more people than any of us has ever planned for before. And she knows about as much as I do about the whole thing--namely, very little. Had I known better than to limit my own thinking on the matter, I'd have calmly explained why we wanted what we did, and why it would work.
** Last bit paraphrased. Or downright made up. But that was the sentiment.