There are so many nuances that go into planning a wedding menu that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. The food, how it’s presented and the way it’s served all play into the atmosphere and personal touch you want to add to your wedding. With that in mind, here are seven tips to get you started with planning the perfect wedding meal.
1. Know Your Budget
Start with your budget in mind, so you can keep your creative energy within those parameters. Knowing your wedding menu budget in advance can help you secure great deals with caterers and find the best catering solution for your wedding. As soon as you know roughly how many people you’re going to be feeding, you can get a number for how much you can spend per person on food.
2. Consider Your Wedding’s Theme
Have the meal you serve at your wedding complement the wedding’s theme. If your decor is more rustic, you might go for food that’s more traditional. If your atmosphere is alternative, you might go with a modern fusion menu. For a classic romantic atmosphere with warm, dimmed lights, go for an Italian or seafood menu to cultivate the air of luxury.
3. Pick a Destination
Do you have a travel destination you’re highlighting at your wedding? Then, by all means, go with a destination-oriented menu. For example, a wedding with a Bahamas spring break theme, Mexican cantina theme or a vintage London metropolis theme would feature menus that reflect the location and time period.
4. Collect Guests’ Menu Picks from Their Invitations
Get your guests exactly what they want from their five-star dining experience. Offer them their meal options on their wedding invitation. When they RSVP, you’ll get their selections and can plan to serve them exactly what they want.
5. Serve Food Family-Style or Per Plate
Buffets can be disorganized and slow down the flow of a wedding reception party, so plan to have food served at the tables, either “family style” based on a per-table menu, or plate by plate based on individual orders. Seat guests by other guests who wanted similar foods, or give each guest their own place based on the order they put in on their invitation.
6. Choose Foods (and Drinks) that Complement the Cake
One of the most difficult aspects of planning a wedding menu is getting all the elements to meld together. The main things to think about are the drinks you’re serving and the wedding cake. If your food menu matches your champagne and the flavor of the cake, everything will mesh well.
7. Match the Food with the Decor
When elements of your wedding’s decorations come through in the food on the guests’ plates, it adds to the chic and personalized design of the wedding. Often, decorative elements are mimicked on the wedding cake, but you can also incorporate them into the food using food presentation techniques, food coloring, and garnishes.
Planning a Great Meal for Your Wedding
Great meal planning comes down to nailing the atmosphere you want to create at your wedding and serving delicious food in a way that doesn’t slow the party down. The sooner you start the planning phase and get clear on what you need for your wedding day, the easier the process of planning your wedding meal will be.