How to Choose Your Wedding Menu
After a wedding ceremony is over, and the bride and groom have been rushed away for pictures, guests are directed to the reception. While there are no official rules as to how the evening has to play out, we are willing to bet your guests are eager for a refreshment and food. Keep reading to learn how you should choose what food to serve, and other aspects that you should factor into the decision.
Start with a Budget
We can never overemphasize how important it is to start with a budget. Food can be a little tricky, seeing as guest counts change up until the day of. However, you should always aim to have a little extra versus not having enough. There is nothing worse than hungry guests with access to a bar. Plus, knowing your budget will help rule out some dishes and services. If you go for a pricier meal, you may opt to have a food bar, rather than pay an additional price for it to be served.
Select a Dining Style
Matching your dinner menu to the theme of your wedding, is not at the front of every couples mind. For some though, the dinner menu may be a factor in the guests recommended dress attire. It is unlikely that anyone would be comfortable enjoying barbeque and baked beans in a formal gown. Come to a decision as to whether you intend the event to be casual, semi formal, or formal. Doing so will give you a picture of what your guests will enjoy, and reduce the vast sea of options available to you.
Know a Guest Count
If you have read our recent blog about the first steps following your engagement, then you know the importance of hiring wedding vendors and compiling a guest list early on. Food service in particular is extremely competitive, with couples rushing to hire a business that is delicious and affordable. Prior to contacting a vendor for pricing, you must have a rough guest count. More often than not, they will charge by plate, based on your menu selection. Be quick, the good ones always fill their books first.
Choose Something Fresh
Once you have selected a vendor, you will likely be faced with a choice of food. Some businesses will offer one to two, while others may have a larger variety. Despite the choices, you should reiterate that you prefer those that consist of fresh, seasonal, even local, ingredients. This will ensure that your dinner not only tastes better, but will look more appealing. If your vendor informs you that their food is frozen, you should probably head for the door.
Know the Crowd
Hand in hand with compiling your guest list, be sure to note if any of those attending have specific food requirements or allergies. It is always a courteous idea to provide at least one vegetarian option on the menu ‒ whether or not the reason pertains to lifestyle. This gives guests an additional option, and is usually quite affordable. In a scenario where someone has a food allergy, be diligent about speaking to vendors and labeling food. If you would like to take extra caution, as you should to avoid any dangerous mishaps, contact the person with the allergy to advise them of the dinner menu in advance.
Most weddings start early and go well into the evening, leaving guests famished. To start the feast, have appetizers available, or an increasingly popular grazing table. They can consist of a delectable meat, cheese, and bread or cracker spread. For dinner, plan to provide sizeable portions and hit all of your bases, including a meat or vegetarian option, a vegetable, a starch, and fruit or salad. If the party is going to run late, consider a midnight pizza delivery. No one will complain about your impressive attention to detail.
At Pine Lake Ranch, we pride ourselves on being a one-stop shop for convenient wedding planning. We offer a wide selection of preferred food vendors, including Italian, BBQ, down home country cooking and more. Contact us today to learn about our reliable vendors and customizable wedding packages. We look forward to helping you create a memorable night, with an equally memorable meal.