When it’s time to start planning your wedding, there’s nothing better than making your dreams come true. You might have spent years imagining the dress you’d wear down the aisle or the song you’d dance to with your future spouse. Those are exciting things to think about, but there are smaller details to focus on, too.
You must think about what you’ll feed your guests throughout your wedding day. They’ll need snacks during cocktail hour to get them through until dinner, but they’ll all look forward to what they’ll eat later on in the night.
Many brides print menus for their guests to peruse so that they know what to expect from dinner. If you want to do the same, you’ll need to plan out the food first.
Read on to discover six tips for planning a wedding menu. These pointers will help you navigate the world of everything your guests could want, leading to full stomachs and happy hearts when it’s time to hit the dance floor.
Some people forget that appetizers are part of the wedding dinner experience. They’ll transition your guests away from chatting during cocktail hour to relaxing at your dinner tables. Remember, even with the post-ceremony snacks you’ll lay out, your guests will want something filling.
Pick easy appetizers that your catering team and guests will love. Options like sliders, veggie plates and mini tacos are crowd-pleasers that fit all kinds of diet and taste preferences.
While you’re writing down potential recipes, remember common food allergies that might leave some guests hungry and left out of the fun. Guests may be allergic to dairy, shellfish or peanuts. They could have diets that restrict them from gluten. An easy way to tackle this problem is to have a spot to write down food allergies on your RSVP slips.
Consider the theme of your wedding. Do you want a laid back experience or something more formal? You’ll have to match your wedding menu to that concept. Laid-back brides might prefer a buffet with an extensive menu where guests pick up their plates. Formal sit down meals with courses would fit in better at formal weddings. With this style, you can lay out menus for guests at each table.
You might wonder how much food to get for the number of guests you expect. While catering companies can help you estimate how many servings to plan for, you can also cater to a large guest list by judging meat options by ounces. A standard steak would be six to eight ounces per serving, whereas fish and poultry would stick closer to six ounces per plate.
If you’re not getting married in your hometown, there’s a lot to explore around your venue. Visit the area in the months leading up to your wedding to discover local food you can use to celebrate your marriage. Beach areas might specialize in seafood, and mountain resorts could have specialty barbecue chefs nearby. Research the town to learn what they’re famous for and use it as inspiration for your wedding menu.
You can’t wait to indulge in your burrata watermelon cubes and goat’s cheese wrapped in prosciutto. Still, any kids attending your wedding could throw a fit at the unrecognizable menu options. Kiddie food, like mac and cheese, mini hot dogs or tiny burgers, will win any picky eater over, as it’s food they recognize and enjoy. Simple desserts will rock their world too, even if it’s something as common as chocolate chip cookies.
Imagine attending your wedding as a guest. Will you arrive hangry for the evening ceremony or crave something warm after winter wedding vows? Think about what guests will want while you put together your menu to ensure everyone finds something they’ll love.