Crafting the Perfect Wedding Menu

Wedding Cake, Before

The wedding reception is a time to show your gratitude to your guests for joining you on your special day. By celebrating your union with family and friends, you can show appreciation to the people who have supported you throughout your relationship. A good meal is a great way to give thanks to your guests.

Designing the Perfect Menu

The best menu will match your personality and the theme of the wedding. Food can be one of the most expensive parts of the reception, so be careful to stay within your budget and make creative choices. Serving your guests buffet-style will be more cost-effective than a sit-down dinner, for example, by allowing you to spend more on high-quality food than on servers to wait on you. Here are some more tips:

  • Does your venue cater? If you have the reception somewhere with its own catering staff, you’ll need to check with them to find out what you can serve. They may not allow outside food, or they might have a menu you must select from. If your heart is set on a certain restaurant, and the venue won’t cater it, that will impact your choice of venues.
  • Consider serving brunch. Morning weddings are gaining in popularity, and you can cut down the cost of catering by serving breakfast foods and mimosas. Consider a waffle bar, buffet-style fare and a wide selection of fresh fruits.
  • Take special diets into account. You don’t have to cater to every person’s whims, but if you know that some of your guests are vegan or gluten-intolerant, you should try to offer something that they can eat. You can add a question about allergies or preferences to your RSVP cards so you can plan accordingly.
  • Consider party foods. If you choose a more casual wedding, you can go with traditional party foods like sandwiches, hot wings or even pizza. If your wedding is small and intimate, you can even do the reception potluck-style; just be sure that everyone who brings a dish still has time to enjoy the reception.
  • Make it customizable. Rather than offering a standard buffet, consider having a pasta station, stir fry station or other type of bar where guests can choose their ingredients and have a chef make it for them. This works especially well with small weddings, and it helps people with a broad spectrum of tastes and dietary requirements find something they can eat.

There are no right or wrong ways to choose the food you serve at your wedding. Listen to your heart and pick something that will work with your personal tastes, the preferences of your guests, and your wedding’s theme and budget. By weighing all of these factors, you can pick the perfect meal to accompany your celebration.

Evelyn Peterson is a freelance blogger who writes wedding tips. If you are getting married soon, Evelyn recommends getting wedding insurance to cover any mishaps that may occur and to keep your day special.

Photography: Wedding Cake, Before by Afroswede

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