The Best Wedding Food Ever
Dish: Sugar-Spun Cotton Candy in Wild Flavors
Why It's Great: Consider the showmanship factor of having someone stationed at one end of your dessert bar, spinning delicate cotton candy in grown-up flavors like mojito, butterscotch, or -- the most popular -- mocha espresso dusted with Ghirardelli cocoa powder.
From: Gourmet with Paula Catering, Baltimore/Washington, DC, Metro Area
Dish: Fruit Sushi
Why It's Great: Seasonal pieces of fruit over coconut-milk-coated sticky rice make the perfect summertime treat for an outdoor wedding. It's cool and refreshing -- and your health-conscious guests are sure to love it too.
From: Sarasota Catering Company, Sarasota, Florida
Dish: Bumpy Cake
Why It's Great: This rich tea cake comes straight from Detroit and, like all good retro things, has recently made a serious comeback. After all, what's not to love about two layers of icing -- one chocolate fudge, one buttercream -- plus a thick chocolate cake underneath.
From: Matt Prentice Restaurant Group, Detroit
Dish: "Duck Duck Goose"
Why It's Great: Despite the playful name, this dish still packs some serious flavor. Seared duck breast with duck confit, seared foie gras, fig and Vidalia onion jam, saffron gastrique, and gooseberry combine to make this creative and totally decadent dish.
From: Bonsoiree Catering, Chicago
Dish: Lobster Corn Dogs
Why It's Great: "It's not your traditional State Fair of Texas corn dog," says Laura Ingram of Culinary Art Catering. With fresh lobster tail, spices, herbs, and a nice coating of tempura batter that's been flash-fried, this treat is that perfect mix of high- and lowbrow food.
Dish: Sushi With Green Tea Shooters
Why It's Great: Green tea topped with a ginger creme fraiche and just a hint of wasabi, is paired with a more traditional sushi roll to make this one creative pairing. And, just for a little tropical flare (it is Florida, afterall), the sushi pieces are often topped with a mango relish.
From: Milan Catering and Event Design, Sarasota, Florida
Dish: Kale Salad
Why It's Great: A mixture of kale, toasted pine nuts, currants, lemon, and Virgin olive oil was a bit of a runaway hit for this NYC-based caterer. For an outdoor park wedding, guests didn't come back for seconds of the entree, but opted for more of this healthy appetizer instead.
From: Chef Rossi of The Raging Skillet, NYC
Dish: Seared Beef Marrow and Grilled Pear Tartlet
Why It's Great: If you've never tried bone marrow, don't be turned off by the name. This tartlet mixes seared bone marrow with Seckel pear, Great Hill blue cheese, and Sauternes syrup for an hors d'oeuvre that's super-rich -- but will still keep your guests coming back for more.
From: Ethan Paige, Fireside Catering, Burlington, Massachusetts
Hot Cider and Hot Chocolate On-the-Go
Why It's Great: This classic dish gets an updated twist when your caterer serves it valet-side as your guests leave the party at the end of the night and climb into their cars. Depending on the time of year, it's a great way to send them on their way with something to keep them warm.
From: Windows Catering Company, Washington, DC, Metro Area
Dish: Sweet Potato Lollipops
Why It's Great: Appetizers that your guests can easily eat are always a good idea -- the lollipop concept here just keeps things playful. Served with a pesto dipping sauce, this crispy, sweet-and-savory dish is always an instant hit.
From: Ellen Vaknine, Esprit Events Kosher Catering, NYC