Ask Carley: A wedding-reception meal for a range of preferences

By CARLEY RONEY

Q: My fiancé and I like interesting and exotic food, so we chose to have our wedding reception at a restaurant that excels at it. But we're concerned that our meat-and-potatoes families won't like anything we serve. Do we have to offer a boring choice?

A: It would be a shame to pay for a wedding-reception meal at $75 a head and have half of your guests leave the food to be thrown away. Still, you don't want wedding guests to go hungry just because they might not have the same type of palate that you do.

As a compromise for what you like and what your meat-and-potatoes guests prefer, consider offering two main courses -- one exotic and the other simpler.

If you're averse to serving something pedestrian, make your reception meal distinctive with sauces and side dishes that can be removed or pushed to the side. A really good chef will know how to create something that everyone will enjoy.

(Carley Roney, co-founder and editor in chief of The Knot, the nation's leading wedding resource, advises millions of brides on modern wedding etiquette at www.theknot.com. Got more questions? Visit www.theknot.com/askcarley for 800-plus answers on all things wedding.)

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