Weddings are more than just dress shopping and decor—the wedding menu is a big part of the planning process. For new couples trying to curate a menu, it’s difficult to balance out your guests’ many dietary restrictions and taste preferences. However, if the menu is taking up a lot of planning time, there are a few tips to help you speed up the process.
- Don’t Forget the ‘Getting Ready’ Food
Before the main event, there is a lot of focus on getting ready for the bridal party. Getting to that day without figuring out the bridal party will have for brunch will lead to a stressful morning for everyone involved. This doesn’t have to be something to plan right away but should be figured out with time in advance, whether it’s as simple as bagels and fruit or a full-blown spread.
Plan for small, easy-to-eat options that won’t make a mess of the bride’s wedding dress and bridesmaids’ gowns clean while snacking. Think of foods like nuts, berries, and muffins or tea crackers with a favorite topping.
- Start Basic for the Main Meal
There is a myriad of food options out there to choose from. Start with the basics and work in the more extravagant options later. It’s important to figure out what kind of serving style you want, whether it’s a buffet-style or sit-down.
Couples can also base the menu on the atmosphere of the wedding. For example, if it’s a casual wedding that’s outdoors, foods like skewers or sliders are great options. The most important aspect of the main meal is to find foods everyone will love.
- Think About the Season
The season the wedding takes place in is more important than it seems. Certain foods are only fresh or grown during specific seasons, so consider the kinds of food you choose to serve.
Some brides may have an unrealistic expectation of what kind of food she wants at her wedding during a certain season. For example, some seafood is only fresh during spring through fall, so it’s unrealistic to serve seafood if a winter wedding is the plan.
- Offer Modifications
It is important to consider and offer modifications to your main wedding menu. This makes the event more inclusive and diverse for guests.
There are a lot of restrictions or allergies that people may have. Some people may be vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, paleo, or simply just allergic to certain foods. The easiest way to be more inclusive is to start simple and offer foods like pasta without meat, fresh salads, or a vegan sauce option to cover all bases.
- Consider Presentation
Presentation is crucial for all aspects of a wedding, including the menu and plating of the food. Making the food presentation match is a seamless way to coordinate everything in the venue, leaving a good impression.
Every minor aspect can impact the dining experience from different plate styles like dinner, soup, and salad plates, napkin colors, and centerpieces like candles or flowers.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
All couples should come to tastings and caterer meetings with questions ready. No question should go unanswered as it’s a big event, and there needs to be a lot of trust in the caterer.
Couples can ask questions like:
- How long have you been in the business?
- How many weddings do you cater per year?
- Are you available on our wedding date?
- Do you specialize in certain food types?
- Do you work with fresh food?
- Don’t Let the Stress Take Over
Planning can be stressful for many couples wanting to get married, but the best way to plan a successful event is to manage the stress. Always have a plan B in case of a disaster and make time for self-care during all the planning. This can include meditating, planning a spa day, or simply doing nothing for a day. Couples can also plan fun dates leading up to the wedding to make time for each other.
Wedding Menus Take Time
Planning a wedding menu is just as important as dress and decor shopping. It takes a lot of time to plan and consider all needs, so it’s best to start early. Find the joy in planning with your significant other, manage stress, and remember to breathe.