One of my favorite things to help each of my couples with is obviously food selections. I mean who doesn't love a feast of flavors am I right? But truthfully this is trickier then expected, and there is a lot of pressure that goes into serving your first meal as newlyweds.
We have had a lot of fun recently helping our full planning clients with this task during catering meetings & tastings. Which got me thinking that I should probably do a blog post to help all of the other engaged couples out there who may be struggling with the same thing.
Enjoy the Process
Don't let this part of the planning stress you out! This is supposed to be one of those fun things you collaborate on as a couple. Brides, make sure to include your groom in this step instead of leaving them out. As a wedding planner I recognize strong opinions that seem to come from my male clients during the process of selecting menu items, which makes total sense! So help him feel heard by carefully listening to his suggestions and implementing at least a few during this portion of your planning.
Think About Budget
Its always fun to go over your options and gather ideas with your caterer and planner. But before you get too far into things be sure to come up with a food & beverage budget and share this with your team. They will be able to offer tips based on your budget, your needs & guest count.
Think about what you are trying to accomplish during your event and the styling you are incorporating and make sure your menu fits well with this theming. Also, don't forget to think about your venue. If you are getting married at a rustic venue then a barbecue would be a great addition. If you are getting married at a 4 or 5 star hotel then a plated meal will create a more elegant feel. You also need to think about your guest count. If you have a smaller guest count then a buffet will suffice. But if you have a higher guest count you may really want to think about serving food in stations to break up lines or serve plated meals. If you want something unique you can even talk to your caterer about serving your meal family style. This allows your guests to remain seated at their tables while servers bring heavier servings in bowls and platters around to each table to share among groups.
Select In Season
Talk to you catering sales manager and or the chef about selecting foods that will be in season during your wedding date. This will help with affordability but will also help to provide the freshest possible products which your guests will appreciate.
Think about your relationship and your favorites. Start by asking yourselves questions like where or what do we eat often? Whats my go to every week? What type of cuisine do we enjoy best? You can also throw it back to your first date and think about incorporating a dish that you shared. Do your parents have a special family recipe thats been passed down generation to generation? Think about sharing this with your caterer and plan on featuring this at the wedding! You could even throw in recipe cards as a cute favor if mom is ok with guests replicating it.
As you go through the menu planning process you want to not only think about what you both want to serve but also think about your guests comfort. Messy foods make it tough for mingling and having fun without worry. Staying away from foods like linguini or greasy items can keep your guests looking their best all night. You also want to consider vegetarians and people with food allergies. Make sure to mention any dietary restrictions to your catering team early on and then include this in your final count a week before the wedding. If you are planning on serving from a buffet or from stations try and make sure there are some safe options for these individuals already. This helps them feel included and eases their tension about eating at your event.
I hope you enjoyed this post! Feel free to share any other tips in the comments below or ask any additional questions you may have! Or share your favorite wedding menu selections.