If you’re in the middle of planning your upcoming wedding and you haven’t yet found Catering or chosen your menu, you may be wondering what you can do to make sure you offer your guests delicious food that they’ll love. Food is central to any good party, but especially a wedding reception. Even if your playlist is high-energy, your décor is beautiful and your toasts are brief, poor food can drag down the mood at any reception.
When you’re planning your wedding, the food you serve can make a big difference in your and your guests’ enjoyment of the evening.
Fortunately, picking the perfect menu doesn’t have to be as tough as it might sound. There are a few simple tips that can help you line up reception food your guests are sure to rave about.
1. Define Your Budget First
Party food helps anchor any event, but especially a wedding reception. With that in mind, though, it may not be a good idea to go way over budget just for that swankier cut of steak. Before you go any further into the menu planning process, be sure you have a thorough wedding budget and do your best to stick to it. I
t’s possible to offer guests quality food without breaking the bank, and you’ll be grateful in the end that you didn’t spend excessive amounts just to offer guests a few extras. Instead, look for discounts or swaps that can help you stay within your budget while still assembling a varied and mouth-watering menu.
2. Consider Adding a Midnight Snack
While the focus of reception food tends to be the big dinner earlier on in the evening, keep in mind that if you’re throwing a long reception that runs late into the night, your guests may get hungry again before the night is over. To avoid sending guests with empty bellies home, consider adding a midnight snack to your menu. This can match your wedding theme or the style of the other dishes you’re offering, or it can simply be a fun addition. For example, you could bring out a doughnut wall, a s’mores station or trays of sliders.
3. Remember Guests’ Dietary Requirements
Whether you know you’re hosting guests with specific dietary requirements or not, it’s always a nice gesture to have at least a couple menu items on offer that cater to specific requirements. For example, you may want to offer at least one vegetarian option and one gluten-free option. These can be entirely separate dishes or simply adapted versions of what everyone else is eating.
Work with your venue and your caterer to see what the possibilities are, and you may be pleasantly surprised. An easy way to know how many guests will be needing these types of dishes is to include a section on the RSVP card where they can indicate dietary preferences. By having this tally ahead of time, you can ensure that you’ll be able to accommodate everyone’s needs without spending excess money on dishes that will go uneaten.
4. Work In Your Wedding Theme
If the rest of your special day has a unique theme, you don’t have to drop the theme just for the food. For example, if you’re throwing a Hawaiian paradise-themed bash, consider offering a pig roast or other tropical island-inspired foods at the reception. This can serve to strengthen your theme, tie everything together and provide guests with a truly unique experience to boot. Rather than offering bland, generic reception food, this allows you the opportunity to come up with an entirely custom menu that’s sure to be unforgettable.
5. Consider Seasonal Foods
Finally, when in doubt, consider making foods that are in season the star of the show. Seasonal foods are fresher, more likely to be at peak tastiness and more likely to be cheaper given their current abundance. Assembling a seasonal menu could potentially let you get the best of all worlds. You can offer guests unique, locally-sourced dishes with peak-freshness ingredients at a price that’s still cost-effective for you.
Picking the perfect wedding menu doesn’t have to be as tough as it might sound. These simple tips can help you line up reception food your guests are sure to rave about.
When you’re planning your wedding, it can be easy to focus on bigger logistical issues and forget to focus on quality reception food. The food you serve, however, can make a big difference in your and your guests’ enjoyment of the evening. If you’re stuck on how to put together a menu everyone will love, keep these top tips in mind. You’ll be able to navigate the planning process with ease and throw a party with food people will be talking about for years to come!
What are your favorite tips for planning food for a wedding?
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