Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of wedding season, and chances are you are going to attend a ceremony before the end of summer. And sure, it's great to witness two people in love officially tie the knot, but arguably, the biggest perk for guests is the reception when the food is served and (hopefully) drinks start flowing. Here's hoping the union you celebrate is followed not by dry chicken and rubbery steak, but a delicious and memorable meal. Without further ado, we present the top five summer wedding dishes.
4. Crawfish boil. This beloved Louisiana tradition calls for several pounds of fresh, live crawfish to be boiled with spices, ears of corn, and potatoes in giant pots, then served the same day. Granted, the peeling, squeezing, and sucking can get a little messy, but nothing creates a quicker bond among guests than sharing a communal bowl for shells.
3. Barbecue buffet. Why serve a mediocre steak when you can do a superb barbecue? At SW editor-in-chief Mike Seely's casual but festive wedding, he and his better half offered all-you-can-eat beef brisket, pulled pork, chicken, and pork ribs, with potato salad, coleslaw, baked beans, and cornbread, ensuring nobody went hungry, save the vegetarians. Bonus: kegs of Rainier to wash down all that food.
2. Crepe bar. Muffins and scones are commonplace at early-afternoon ceremonies, but the most stylish brunch comes in the form of a crepe bar. Guests can go the sweet or savory route, and choose their own ingredients, like fresh fruit and veggies, cheese, and various sauces, for a rare dish that feels as light as it does indulgent.
1. Whole lamb (or pig) roast. Regardless of what PETA says, nothing screams festive like an entire lamb or pig roasting and rotating on a spit. While common in Greece and many other European countries, the tradition has yet to make an appearance as often at large ceremonies here, which is a shame because there is no meat more tender and flavorful than a slab carved right off the animal's body.