How to create the perfect wedding menu
12 Feb 2019
Food for thought when it comes to ensuring a winning wedding menu for you and your guests
Image: Sweet Ice Cream Photography via Unsplash
Once the date has been set and the venue booked, your attentions can turn to the finer detail of your wedding day. This includes the catering and food can provide a highly anticipated focal point for the day.
Your wedding breakfast should be enjoyed by all in attendance and leave a lasting impression. However, compiling a wedding menu that meets all the criteria can prove tricky - especially when faced with so many mouthwatering options. Here are a few top tips to help you create the perfect wedding menu...
Choose food you like
A good starting point when creating your wedding breakfast menu is to think about your favourite food. As in all other aspects, your wedding day should be a reflection of you as a couple and this extends to the food and drink on offer.
Philippa Smith, event manager for South West catering company Posh Nosh, says: “Choose your favourite foods. It’s your wedding day and if you take all your guests' preferences into consideration you will go round and round in circles… go on, be a little selfish.”
When choosing your caterers you'll no doubt have scoured their menus to find your favourite. Most caterers will offer a menu with various options to choose from, but do enquire as to whether they can create a whole new menu just for you.
Image: Posh Nosh
While an exotic Thai dish might not be to everyone's taste, a hearty British roast dinner for your main course will usually be well received and is easier for your chosen caterer to mass-produce.
Rebecca Smith, senior event manager for Norfolk-based caterers Brasted's, says: "Your wedding breakfast is so important as it’s a chance to show off who you are. We recommend something different and creative with the starter and dessert, but go for a crowd-pleaser for the main. If you get it right guests will be talking about it for years to come."
Sharing options are also vast and varied and are currently a popular way to inject personality into the wedding breakfast. Breaking the ice among guests, shared meals are a great way to aid engagement and add an element of fun.
Tony Beales, managing director of Beales Gourmet Catering in Dorset, says: “Get even more creative with sharing options. Whether choosing a taste of the Mediterranean with giant paella pans or sharing platters of tapas or mezze; or opting for the best of British with posh table roasts or table picnics and afternoon teas, help your guests be more interactive... and make your wedding menu wow."
Image: Beales Gourmet Catering (Joe Weil Wedding Photography)
Think about local delicacies
Whether you're marrying at home or abroad, a local delicacy will remind you of your whereabouts and add a personal touch. A 'catch of the day' in coastal locations will work well if seafood is on the menu and local sweet treats make for a stand-out dessert - think Welsh cakes in Wales, sticky toffee pudding in the Lakes and apple cake in the South West.
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Take time over your tasting
When you have drawn up a shortlist of the dishes you wish to opt for, a menu tasting is usually arranged for you as a couple to confirm your choices. A variety of dishes will give you a breadth of choice to begin your selection. Try everything to confidently rule out anything that you don't like and conversely, allow your tastebuds to be pleasantly surprised.
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Ensure dietary requirements are catered for
Don't forget any dietaries to ensure all guests are taken care of. Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free diets, among others, should all be catered for. Simply request any dietary requirements from guests when they RSVP and discuss this with your caterers before the big day. If you're inviting children to your wedding, ask your caterer whether they can create smaller portions of the adults' meal or provide a separate menu for your younger guests.
Image: Mikael Kristenson via Unsplash
Clearly communicate your guest list numbers with your caterers at all stages of the menu selection process. Catering is one aspect of your wedding day that should be allocated a significant proportion of your budget. From a three-course dinner to the evening meal, make sure your caterer has overcompensated. Whatever you choose to budget on, don't let your guests go hungry.