Choosing a Wedding Menu
When planning a special event such as a wedding, choosing the types of foods to serve your guests can be especially nerve-racking. But once you answer a whole host of questions, the job becomes much clearer and easier to tackle.
The first questions to ask yourself are some basics about the type of event you envision and the level of involvement you’d like in preparing the meal or foods to serve your guests.
1. Do you want to cook the food for the wedding yourself?
2. Are you going to have people help you make the food?
3. Are you going to hire a wedding caterer?
Once you’ve figured out how involved you, or your family and friends, would like to be with this part of the wedding, then there are a few more questions to ask about the type of food to serve.
1. Are you going to serve finger foods?
2. Are you going to serve a full meal?
3. Are there favourite foods that you’d like incorporated in the menu?
4. Does your wedding have a theme that might lend you to go in a specific direction with regard to food?
5. Does the wedding event’s locale provide a specialty or theme for the wedding menu?
If you’ve chosen to hire a caterer to provide the food for your wedding, then you’ll need to research your options and choose one that will meet your needs and budget.
Finding A Wedding Caterer
• Look for a caterer that specializes in or has past wedding experience
• Ask for and check references from weddings they have done in the past
• Once you have narrowed the choices down to several potential caterers, meet with them and provide details of your event (number of guests, themes, favourite foods, budget)
• Request a sample wedding menu or two from each caterer being considered, which will provide you more information on which to base your choice
• Often you can also request a tasting of the sample menu, to help you make your decision, however be prepared to pay for it
With the proliferation of themed and destination weddings, many couples are opting to create a wedding menu that fits into the overall theme of their special day.
For example, a couple planning a Hawaiian themed wedding may want to create a wedding menu with a luau theme. Or a simple and casual backyard wedding may call for a wedding menu with a barbeque theme.
Some menu choices will have more to do with the style and formality of the wedding you’re planning:
• A fabulous ball gown in a room filled with crystal chandeliers usually calls for a seated dinner served by waiters in white gloves – think elegance and luxury
• A trendy venue and an avant garde gown from an up-and-coming designer might suggest stations serving exotic fare
• An informal wedding usually benefits from simple dishes, well prepared, such as a light and delicious lemon chicken for a summer garden reception
Other menu choices have everything to do with the guests that are invited:
• A lot of elderly relatives might expect something traditional such as a nice piece of beef, a starch, and a vegetable
• If half of your guests do not eat red meat, you might be much better off selecting a fish or pasta as the main course
• Many couples opt to have at least a few vegetarian dinners plated in the kitchen for their non-carnivorous guests
• A younger crowd might really enjoy something less stuffy, such as stations with great comfort food: mini cheeseburgers, pommes frites in paper cones, and a fresh donut station for late night partying
If you match your menu to your guest list, you can be sure that the reception will be a success.
Another tip is to avoid overloading the wedding dinner with rich and heavy foods that will make your guests too full to dance the night away.
In the end, it’s all up to the bride and groom; there is a wedding menu out there to suit the taste and style of every happy couple.