Planning the dinner for a wedding can be a very tedious task. Work with your event planner and caterer to determine the best, local and seasonal dishes to round out the menu. Offer a variety of choices with at least two entrees one meat and one vegetarian. Steer clear of choosing a dish that may not please the majority of guests like lamb, duck, or a fishy tasting fish. If you serve a cocktail hour with lots of heavier appetizers, dinner can be a light meal consisting of crab cakes or grilled marinated steak placed on salad greens. Likewise, if you are serving very light appetizers, do not skimp on the main course. Instead of serving dinner in buffet style with several long tables where a slow moving line is inevitable, create several buffet stations and place them around the locale. To see my main course serving suggestions for Julie and Scott's wedding,

For a delicious dinner serve
Steak with Shallots and Lyonnaise Potatoes

and a decadent vegetarian
Potato Lasagna

. Roasted tomatoes and
Pretzel Rolls

that taste like Philadelphia's famous soft pretzels serve as simple yet scrumptious side dishes.

Steak with Shallots and Lyonnaise Potatoes
From Food & Wine magazine

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 large Yukon Gold potatoes (1 1/4 pounds), peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 large Vidalia onion, halved lengthwise and very thinly sliced crosswise
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Four 7-ounce sirloin steaks (1 inch thick)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large shallots, very thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

  1. In a very large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until shimmering. Add the potatoes in a slightly overlapping layer and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden and nearly cooked through, about 8 minutes.
  2. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes longer. Add 1/2 tablespoon of the vinegar and gently toss to combine. Cover loosely and keep warm.
  3. Meanwhile, in another large skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil until shimmering. Season the steaks with salt and pepper and cook them over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until browned and crusty, 8 to 10 minutes for medium rare. Transfer the steaks to a serving platter and keep warm.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and the shallots to the skillet and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of vinegar and cook until evaporated, about 30 seconds.
  5. Add the wine and cook until reduced by two-thirds, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and swirl in the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter.
  6. Add the parsley and any accumulated meat juices, season the sauce with salt and pepper and spoon over the meat. Serve the steaks at once with the potatoes.

Serves 4.

Potato Lasagna
From Vegetarian Times magazine

4 lb. large Yukon gold potatoes (about 8 or 9 potatoes), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup pesto
1 lb. low-fat ricotta cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 large egg plus 3 egg whites
Salt to taste
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
8 oz. shredded part-skim or whole milk mozzarella cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray 9x13-inch glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Bring large pot of salted water to a boil, and add potato slices. Stir, return to a full boil and cook 1 minute. Turn off heat, and let sit undisturbed 10 minutes, or until slices are tender but still firm. Drain, and set aside to cool.
  3. Mix olive oil and pesto, and pour over cooled potato slices; toss slices to coat. Mix ricotta, Parmesan cheese, eggs, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  4. Place half of potatoes in baking dish. Spread ricotta mixture evenly on top, and sprinkle with half of mozzarella. Top with remaining potatoes and mozzarella.
  5. Bake 45 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before cutting into serving portions.

Serves 8.


Pretzel Rolls
From Bon Appetit magazine

2 3/4 cups bread flour
1 envelope quick-rising yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (about) hot water (125°F to 130°F)
8 cups water
1/4 cup baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg white, beaten to blend (glaze)
Coarse salt

  1. Combine bread flour, 1 envelope yeast, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon sugar and celery seeds in food processor and blend. With machine running, gradually pour hot water through feed tube, adding enough water to form smooth elastic dough. Process 1 minute to knead. Grease medium bowl. Add dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then towel; let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 35 minutes.
  2. Flour baking sheet. Punch dough down and knead on lightly floured surface until smooth. Divide into 8 pieces.
  3. Form each dough piece into ball. Place dough balls on prepared sheet, flattening each slightly.
  4. Using serrated knife, cut X in top center of each dough ball. Cover with towel and let dough balls rise until almost doubled in volume, about 20 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease another baking sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal. Bring 8 cups water to boil in large saucepan.
  6. Add baking soda and 2 tablespoons sugar (water will foam up). Add 4 rolls and cook 30 seconds per side.
  7. Using slotted spoon, transfer rolls to prepared sheet, arranging X side up. Repeat with remaining rolls.
  8. Brush rolls with egg white glaze. Sprinkle rolls generously with coarse salt. Bake rolls until brown, about 25 minutes.
  9. Transfer to racks and cool 10 minutes. Serve rolls warm or room temperature. (Can be prepared 6 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm in 375°F oven 10 minutes.)

Makes 8.

Wondering what sort of wedding cake Julie and Scott want? Come back this afternoon to find out! Already married? Share your fabulous dinner menu with us below!