Choosing the food for your wedding reception is both an important and fun part of wedding planning. People look forward to the food and will remember if what they have been served is less than desirable. Here are some ideas to make the food at your reception a great memory for your guests!
Does the venue cater? First you need to ask if the facility you have rented provides its own wedding reception menu choices. Then determine if the meal is served individually or put on the tables family style. In either case, don't hesitate to ask if you can taste what will be served. Often, venues will be happy to provide a sample of their offerings to prospective clients.
If you have rented a venue that is providing you the space alone, then it is up to you to choose a caterer. Most people opt for a buffet-style dinner. You can choose to have a more expensive caterer that will also provide servers or a company that is more affordable with fewer extras offered.
Choose the serving style. A venue that provides the food and serves the courses individually usually offers several menu suggestions for a reception. The couple can usually choose from chicken, prime rib, and fish or a vegetarian entree. The side dishes will be standard choices such as baked potato or mashed potato, and vegetable with a soup and salad.
With venues that offer family-style service you will usually get a range of food that might include baked chicken, roast beef, a vegetarian entree, mashed potatoes and gravy, a vegetable, pasta, soup and a salad. The food will be served in a buffet and the guests can eat what they like. This will give your guests plenty to choose from.
However, if you are choosing an expensive caterer that serves your guests, you can usually select the dishes yourself. Filet mignon, shrimp cocktail, or a raw bar are examples of what you might choose. They will also help you choose meal ideas and how to best serve dinner to your guests. Remember, if you haven't tasted the caterer's food before, ask if you can sample some dishes.
Offer starters. Wedding receptions are a time for friends and family to mingle and congratulate the new couple. Having hors d'oeuvres and a drink station will appease guests as they arrive at the venue, especially if they must wait for you to finish with pictures. You can also choose a variety of small hors d'oeuvres and finger foods rather than a meal.
How about breakfast? The time of day at which you choose to have your reception may also be a clue to the type of food you offer. You can choose a caterer that will present breakfast items such as eggs, pancakes, and waffles. This will give your guests some unique choices and make the event more memorable.
Does your favorite restaurant cater? Many small restaurants and even fast food places offer catering. You can choose the place where you and your fiancee had your first date or your favorite place to eat to cater the event. You could offer guests roast beef, fried chicken, or even pizza as their entree. And you probably have already eaten their food so you will already know how it will taste.
The downside is that you may have to have someone pick up the food and set up a buffet for your guests. However, many of these establishments will deliver and even serve the food they make for your wedding. If you are unsure if they cater just ask! Many restaurants do not advertise the service.
Another option is to have your wedding guests meet at a restaurant for the reception. This can be done for small weddings and rehearsal dinners. Many establishments have special menus and entrees for this kind of occasion.
Get organized. If you get to choose all the food yourself, from whatever source, consider a theme menu. For example, a Polish feast could include pirogi, Polish sausage, dumplings, sauerkraut, a beef dish, and potato salad. You can also choose from many nationalities; Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Polish, Greek, and German are among the most popular. You may even want to have an international feast, which would feature a dish or two from a variety of different countries.
With these suggestions you now know how to choose food for your special day. Take your time, be sure to taste the foods beforehand, and you will be well on your way to a memorable event!