Many elements go into planning a wedding. From finding the perfect dress to booking the DJ and photographer, your planner is full of tasks. Another important aspect you need to think about is the wedding menu.
Believe it or not, your guests really care about the food and might even show up to the party with an empty belly and high hopes for a good meal. With a delicious and diverse wedding menu, your guests will be well-fed, happy, and energized enough to dance all night.
Don’t end the party early with hangry guests. Here are six wedding dinner dos and don’ts to remember while crafting your wedding menu.
What To Consider When Creating a Menu
From floral arrangements to napkins, there are many details to cover as you plan your wedding. When deciding on your dinner menu, going in with an open mind is important. Here are three things you’ll want to remember when creating the perfect menu:
Start Your Menu Planning Early
Amazing dinner menus begin when you hire the perfect caterer, but how can you find that diamond in the rough? Ideally, you should have an idea of what you want on your menu and book tastings as soon as you can. If your wedding date is set well in advance, you’ll want to do these sample tastings about a year before the event; this way, you’ll have ample time to book a caterer.
Some venues will require you to use their in-house caterer or provide a list of businesses they exclusively work with. Be sure to talk to the manager of your chosen venue to ensure you can bring in someone else; if you want to hire an outside caterer, there may be a fee.
Remember That The Food Should Fit the Mood
Another factor to consider when creating your wedding menu is ensuring that the food fits the mood. For example, if you’re planning to have a ballroom wedding, it’s probably not best to hire a taco or pizza food truck to cater the event. Alternatively, guests attending a more casual wedding would probably find it surprising to be presented with a Michelin-star meal.
While the wedding menu is entirely up to you and your partner, you should also consider the guests’ experience. If you want simple food but an upscale experience, ask your caterer if they can make a few adjustments, such as serving flatbreads rather than regular pizza.
Consider Dietary Restrictions and Alternatives
Your wedding menu should be short and sweet, with a few alternatives for those with dietary restrictions or allergies. If you have vegan, dairy-free, or vegetarian guests, you can ask your caterer if they have any alternative menu choices to add. It’s important to find creative ways to ensure everyone can enjoy a delicious meal on your wedding night.
What To Avoid When Creating a Menu
When creating your wedding menu, there are plenty of wedding dinner dos, but also a few don’ts, like leaving out your vegan friends or going over your budget. Making decisions for your big day can feel overwhelming, especially when you want to please everyone. To ensure you have the best menu possible, here are some things to avoid:
Don’t Go Over Your Budget
Although having seafood towers, expensive cuts of meat, and unlimited champagne sounds lovely, it may not be in your budget—and that’s OK! Don’t bust your budget on your wedding menu. Find creative ways to incorporate your exquisite tastes, like having wagyu sliders or mini crab cake appetizers.
Don’t Rule Out a Buffet Option
Another big decision you must make during wedding planning is choosing between a family-style, buffet, or sit-down dinner. Many people rule out the buffet option because they feel it’s not formal enough. While buffet-style dinners have pros and cons, they are some of the easiest, most affordable, and most filling options. Your guests can eat as much food as they want and socialize while waiting in line.
Don’t Plan Without Considering All Guests
It’s best to start planning your wedding menu after confirming your guest list. This way, you’ll have everyone in mind when reviewing food and drink options. Opting for a more neutral but flavorful menu is ideal since you can’t go wrong with having chicken or beef as the main dish. If you have family members and friends with dietary restrictions or allergies, remember to work with your caterer to find acceptable alternatives.