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Looking past the aisle to the wedding menu

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by Jessica Wong, CBCNews.ca

Love 'em or hate 'em, high profile weddings can be fun water cooler fodder. I admit it: I got sucked in and clicked on this story after a handful of photos and a few details were officially released about Jenna Bush's wedding this weekend.

While some go gaga over a celebrity bride's dress, her ring or the picture-perfect setting, I usually skim right on down to specifics about the menu and the cake.

The guests reportedly had Texas BBQ — yum! — for lunch on Saturday. But, unfortunately for me, the veil of secrecy surrounding the wedding seems to extend to the details of the dinner enjoyed by the 200 guests (although one of the photos released looks like a plated app of a colourful salad layered in a ring mold).

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A table setting is shown prior to the Bush-Hager wedding reception on Saturday at Prairie Chapel Ranch (Shealah Craighead/The White House/Associated Press).

One of my favourite famous wedding dinners was Bobby Flay's, detailed in an InStyle magazine a few years ago. The boyish, bombastic Food Network star enlisted fellow top chef Daniel Boulud to create a special feast for the big day.

Boulud came up with a four-course, his-and-hers menu: ginger-crusted langoustines, Dover sole rissolée, and rib eye and slow braised ribs for the ladies. For the gents, he offered smoked lobster with lentils and herbs, pancetta-wrapped tuna and Vermont squab stuffed with foie gras.

For a Slate wedding issue last year, Regina Schrambling deplored the wretched state of wedding food in an article that sparked chatter online. While I haven't dined on a wedding meal as extravagant as Flay's, I've been fairly lucky in avoiding the dreaded rubber chicken in recent years. I've been to receptions — including Indian, Italian, Greek and Canadian weddings — that featured great meals, not to mention the dozens of lovely Chinese wedding banquets I've attended.

What was the best wedding meal you've ever had? Do you find that couples are making food a more important focus of their nuptial celebrations?

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