Choosing your food is one of the most fun parts of planning a wedding. Having to please the palates of multiple guests can get a little daunting, though. If you’re not sure where to start in creating your wedding reception menu, here are some tips to kick things off:
1. Consider the reception timing. If you’re having a morning wedding, a breakfast or brunch menu is the way to go. An early afternoon reception is great for a lighter lunch menu. Evening weddings are prime time for dinner, where late receptions might only call for a dessert bar or cocktail-style reception.
2. What feel are you trying to achieve? If you’re having a casual or rustic wedding, a fun barbecue might be a good menu option. If you’re having a romantic garden wedding, consider serving afternoon tea. Tying your menu into your venue’s style is a great way to bring everything together.
3. Respect your budget. Whenever you interview a venue or caterer, begin by stating your food and beverage budget so they present options within the right price range.
4. Plated or buffet? There are pros and cons to both of these options. Don’t assume one will be less expensive than the other until you’ve talked numbers with the catering manager. In general, if you’re going for an elegant black-tie affair, a plated dinner is more appropriate. Buffets, on the other hand, are ideal if you’re less interested in sitting at the table for a couple hours and you prefer to dance the night away.
5. Choose foods that are in season. Consult with your chef about the foods that will be in season on your wedding date. This will likely help make some menu items more affordable and they’ll be fresh!
6. What will your guests eat? If you have guests with particular tastes or dietary restrictions (religious or otherwise), you’ll want to take those into account when planning your reception menu.
With these tips in mind, you’ll be on your way to planning the perfect wedding reception menu! We welcome your questions about this or any other wedding related topics. Leave us a comment and we’ll get back to you…promise.