You are probably going to spend more money on your wedding food than any other aspect of your reception. Naturally, you are going to want to work with a professional caterer, but what do you want? Should you have an open bar? Are buffets a good idea? Before you get started, here are some tips for planning your wedding menu. In the end, your decisions will be based on the details of your day and the demands of your ceremony. However, there are a few general guidelines you should follow to ensure a delicious end to your perfect wedding.
Buffets and Bars
Buffets are great for the neighborhood barbeque or your child’s birthday party, but you shouldn’t make your guests line up for their meal. Individuals are more likely to eat and finish at different times. Some will make multiple trips to the catering table, which increases traffic and detracts from the party’s flow. As for the bar, this completely depends on how much alcohol consumption you expect. Daytime ceremonies or receptions with older guests do well with cash bars. Parities with heavy drinkers do better with a prepaid setup.
The Appetizers and the Entrées
Especially if you plan to have waiters moving around the room all evening, pick a variety of appetizers. Four to seven different items will give you enough variation to keep you guests interested for the night. For your entrée, you will probably have an expected chicken option, so dress it up and get creative. Make sure your menu excites you. Also try:
- Grilled and spiced corn
- Vegetable salads
- Roasted potatoes
- Lobster rolls
- Individual cakes
- Fresh cookies
Surprisingly enough, you can save money by having more appetizers or hors d’oeuvres. Most guests will love to graze and will tend to eat less as they indulge in a large variety of options. Buffets encourage guests to get a full plate of seconds, which means you will probably need even more food than a sit-down alternative. Another method of cutting costs is buying glassware instead of renting it. You can find cheap and chic ways to serve drinks and food when you buy in bulk. Plus, if one piece breaks, you don’t have to worry about paying to replace it.
When you are planning your wedding menu, keep in mind what you want and what your guests need. Plan to have enough to leave everyone satisfied without sacrificing your savings. If you work with a professional caterer, he or she can help you cut costs and create an amazing menu. Don’t forget to have fun with your taste testing.