Ode to Salads: Because Some of the Greatest Stories DO Start with a Salad

Caitlin O'Reilly Photography

It's the opening act to the show: the salad. But with signs running rampant that claim "no great story started with someone eating a salad," these colorfully fresh dishes have lost a lot of love. I'm here to fight back. I'm a staunch believer in the idea that every meal tells a story—and when that meal starts with a salad...well, that'll show a thing or two to your little bar sign.

A destination wedding photo taken by Kristen Jane Photography

Salads might in fact be the most versatile and openly interpreted dish out there. Think about it. You can tack the word onto the end of about anything and you've got a newly reconstructed masterpiece on your hands: caprese salad, chicken salad, caesar salad, broccoli salad, fruit salad, seafood salad, jello salad...the list goes on and on.

Taking so many different forms, salads are the perfect start to a narrowly-focused meal. Like any good chameleon, they blend beautifully into distinctive flavor palettes without loss of integrity. I couldn't imagine an Israeli-inspired feast without tabbouleh salad, nor a Greek meal without its eponymous leafy complement. Doesn't a bite of caprese salad effortlessly give way to chicken cacciatore? Or warm potato salad to a German bratwurst?

A destination wedding photo taken by Square Eye Photography
Square Eye Photography
A destination wedding photo taken by Viera Photographics
Viera Photographics
A destination wedding photo taken by Vitaly M Photography
Vitaly M Photography
Destination wedding photography by Organic Photography
Organic Photography

Not to mention that the leafy greens that often go into salads are So. Good. For. You. The nutritious benefits of kale, spinach, Swiss chard, and the like are almost unbelievable—hence the widespread epithet: Superfood.

So my advice as you sit down to plan your wedding menu? Don’t skip the salad. Get creative, tap into seasonal flavors, and think about how this dish could serve as the perfect “once upon a time” prologue to your epicurean fairytale.

Destination wedding photography by Dominique Attaway Photography
Dominique Attaway Photography
A destination wedding photo taken by Jen Fariello Photography
Jen Fariello Photography
A destination wedding photo taken by Kahl Weddings
Kahl Weddings

Here are some of my favorite options to add a little vibrancy and freshness to your wedding menu:

Destination wedding photography by Dreamlove Photography
Dreamlove Photography
A destination wedding photo taken by Jeff Kolodny Photography
Jeff Kolodny Photography
Destination wedding photography by The Edges Wedding Photography
The Edges Wedding Photography
Destination wedding photography by Andrea Hubbell Photography
Andrea Hubbell Photography

The bottom line? Salads deserve way more love than they’re getting. With the help of your local caterer, you can settle on your favorite leafy dish and use it as the start to an incredible story: the first of many meals shared by you and your new spouse. According to that logic, only the greatest of stories begin with two people eating a salad.