Wedding reception food is, like, fine. It’s the stuff you eat in between illicit bathroom shooties, champagne toasts, and piles and piles of cake. It’s Cha Cha Slide fuel. The problem is, a traditional reception setup means your chicken marsala is long gone by the time you’re sloshing around the dance floor in desperate need of a carbohydrate injection. But one St. Louis pizza purveyor is hoping to change that—just in time for a celebrity wedding.
Olympic gymnast Simone Biles announced her engagement to Houston Texans safety Jonathan Owens earlier this week. Owens was born in St. Louis, home to divisive pizza chain Imo’s Pizza. Biles has her own connection to Imo’s; she posted a photo of herself chowing down on the pizza when she was in St. Louis for the Olympic Gymnastics Team Trials last summer. After she left St. Louis, Biles tweeted that she was “already missing Imo’s.”
Biles even defended the St. Louis-style pizza on Jimmy Kimmel Live! after Kimmel called Imo’s “very, very bad pizza.” (Kimmel takes issue with provel, the cheese that Takeout contributor Clint Worthington once called “a processed combo of cheddar, Swiss, and provolone that basically tastes like a classier Velveeta.” I, a Missouri native, also hate provel.) At that point, Biles replied “No, it’s not! That’s mean. Provel is the best!”
Biles’ flirtation with Imo’s culminated after she shared the news of her engagement. Imo’s tweeted a heartfelt congratulations and offered to send some of its signature thin-crust pizza, lovingly dubbed “squares beyond compare,” for the reception.
With this, Imo’s confirmed what we’ve long known to be true: it’s time for the pizza industry and the wedding industry to collide in beautiful, sauce-drenched holy matrimony. Pizza doesn’t have to be the centerpiece of your wedding reception, although it certainly lends itself to buffet-style dining. (It’s also generally tastier, cheaper, and more vegetarian-friendly than the lackluster cuts of meat slung by many wedding caterers.)
But pizza should, without a doubt, be present during the sweaty dancing and Miller High Life-chugging that characterizes most wedding receptions. True, the sauce could pose a stain hazard to any nearby wedding gowns; however, if I’m the bride in this scenario, I’ll wear my pizza grease like a badge of honor. A badge that says, “My wedding fucked—hard.”
I just might skip the provel.