The process of creating your wedding reception menu can be exciting. After all, who doesn’t love celebrating with friends and family members over delicious food? That being said, there is a bit more to it than just picking out your favorite foods. Regardless of what serving style, you are opting for, these tips will help you create a wedding menu that is memorable, practical, and personal to you.
Know Your Budget
You should have your food and alcohol budget figured out as soon as possible. It will greatly impact the options you have for your wedding day, such as the serving style and the types of food. A budget will help you make the decisions that work the best for your needs.
Think Beyond Your Tastes
Of course, your menu should reflect you and your partner’s personal food preferences. You’ll want to enjoy delicious food that you love on your big day! That being said, your menu should have enough variety to cater to different tastes. Certainly feature some of your favorite dishes from your caterer, but be sure to also work with them to offer other delicious meals, as well.
Make the Menu Unique to You
If there is a fun way to add a personal touch to your menu, go for it! Maybe you went to Italy for your first out-of-the-country vacation as a couple – then go ahead and add your favorite pasta dish. Or, perhaps your first date was at a Mexican restaurant, and you can add some Mexican-inspired appetizers to your cocktail hour offerings. These small additions will make the meal that much more memorable.
Keep Dietary Restrictions in Mind
While you can’t predict every single guest’s unique dietary needs, you should keep in mind that some guests will have limitations on what they can eat. This means you should talk to your caterer about what they can offer for common allergens, such as gluten, shellfish, dairy, or nuts. It is also smart to have a vegetarian or vegan option on the menu, as well.
Include Seasonal Veggies
Do a bit of research (or ask your caterer) into what vegetables are in season in your area during your wedding. Once you have this info, you can create meals around this selection of produce. Not only will the vegetables be extra delicious, but you’ll also save money by not having to use imported food from outside of the area. Plus, you’ll be supporting local businesses!
Go for Simple but Delicious Meals
If you are hosting a more intimate wedding, you may be able to offer meals that require more manpower and time. However, for larger weddings, it is best to go with meals that are simpler to make (but still delicious and beautifully crafted, of course). Meals that require a lot of preparation can put a huge dent in your budget, and may even impact your reception timeline.
Match the Menu to Your Venue and Wedding Aesthetic
While you can be creative with your wedding menu, it should still fit with the overall style of your wedding. If you are hosting an elegant, black-tie wedding in a formal ballroom, guests won’t want to be eating ribs and burgers. Take a hint from the venue and style, and use that to inform your menu choices.
Don’t Go Overboard with Options
While you’ll want some variety to fit certain dietary restrictions and tastes, avoid giving guests too many meal options. The more variety that is on the menu, the more expensive your catering costs will be, as the caterer will need the materials, time, and labor to make all of those different meals. Offering a wide variety of meal options will just unnecessarily eat away at your budget. You should be fine with around 3 to 4 main course options.
If you are in the process of planning your wedding, come to the next Georgia Bridal Show near you. You will have the chance to meet with professional wedding vendors from Georgia and the Southeast who can help bring your vision to life!