When it comes to your reception, choosing the right wedding menu can really make it or break it for your guests.
It may seem overwhelming to some when the options for wedding food seem limitless, or in the case of the cost-cutting bride, limited. Fear not! I’ve come up with some tips to help make the impossible decision a reality.
Choosing your Wedding Menu:
1. Consider the time of day
The time of day you choose for your wedding and reception really set the tone for the whole affair. For example, high noon is considered the most formal time for a wedding, so traditional guests would likely expect a sit-down dinner. The same is true for most evening receptions. Receptions in the early-mid-afternoon often serve hors d’oeuvres or something light. Some couples even have late-night receptions and serve coffee and desserts.
2. Work with your budget
Your budget is obviously a really important element to consider when planning any element of your wedding. Food is obviously no exception, especially considering it can be one of the more costly elements of a wedding. If you are trying to keep costs low, you may want to choose a finger food or dessert reception. Or, if you want to serve a full meal, consider serving foods like pastas or salads, which are cost effective, or even having a potluck reception or a partial one, asking your friends and family to bring a special dish. Know that even on the low budget, your possibilities are great!
3. The setting of your reception
The weather and the scene make a huge impact on a reception. For example, if you were having an outdoor reception in the middle of the summer, you might not want a table of meltable chocolate! In similar fashion, you also probably wouldn’t want a really hefty meal, like chili or hearty soup. On the other hand, your a warm bowl of chili could really complement your winter reception. There’s no magic do’s and don’t for seasons of the year, but just think about the food you might serve at a dinner party during each season and go from there.
4. The theme of your reception
If you are having a themed party, then choosing your food just got so much easier. Luau? Maybe some roasted pig and pineapples! Carnival? Funnel cakes, chicken on a stick and anything else you can stick in a fryer! You get the idea…
5. Your guests
How far did your guests have to travel for your big day? Is it mostly a close knit group of immediate family and close friends? Or do you have a lot of guests making a really long journey to your wedding? These could play factors in how much you decide you need to treat your guests, whether that’s a sit down meal, a buffet with lots of options or just a few finger foods. If you are catering your reception, the charge is usually per guest, so this is another consideration for the food you choose to serve.
6. Your own tastes
This point is made last, but it is surely not least. Traditions can go out the window if you aren’t happy with the details. If you want to serve a dessert reception at high noon…well, that’s your prerogative! You might not want to pay for your favorite meal at your wedding reception, but at least make sure it’s something you both enjoy.