How do I pick a wedding menu?
Choosing where you celebrate your big day is not an easy decision. It can be full of pressure because the food at your wedding may be talked about for years to come. So how do you begin to choose the best option to appease you and your guests? Planning your menu early is key. Below are a few ways to help you decide what is the best menu option for your wedding.
Stay on budget. Your budget needs to be your first consideration. If you are both foodies then be creative and consider allocating a larger food budget so you can select unique menu options. This can provide you with more freedom to customize the menu with food that shows off who you are as a couple. Not a foodie and have a tighter food budget? Remember that a traditional meal doesn’t mean it will be boring, it actually may be simpler for the caterer as they can access the ingredients easily and have cooked the menu before. If you want to spice up a traditional menu, try making one aspect of the meal unique. This can help you to stay on budget and get something special just for you.
It’s your day, choose your favourites. What are your favourite foods, snacks, drinks, etc? Once you and your partner choose your favourites then narrow them down so you both get something you like – compromise is key here. Keep in mind some items on your menu may be for you but not for your guests. If there’s a unique menu item that means a lot to you both as a couple, it’s important to place it as a priority because you will remember it for years to come. You can always ask if the chef will make a unique meal just for the two of you to enjoy at your wedding. This can help you stay on budget and be considerate of food restrictions your guests may have.
Match the style of food to your wedding theme. A menu can help to carry the theme throughout your wedding. For example, consider charcuterie boards, small plates, and hors d’oeuvres if your wedding decor is a boho-chic cocktail style. However, if you are dreaming of a regal and elegant style wedding, a seated and multi-course plated meal would be on theme. Whether the menu style is cocktail or seated, how you serve or style the menu should be on theme with the rest of your wedding. (See our article on ‘How to choose between a seated dinner vs. hors d’oeuvres for your wedding menu?’)
Celebrate your culture and religion. Your day is about you and your culture coming together. Talk with your caterer or wedding venue about special ingredients or other cultural dietary needs. All caterers and wedding venues can work with restrictions. Discuss what kind of menu you would like upfront so they have time to source ingredients and prepare the food appropriately.
Allergies and dietary restrictions cannot be avoided, so planning for them is essential. Ensure all guests notify you in advance of all allergies and restrictions so you can do your best to plan your menu accordingly. Consider placing signs on certain foods that are typical allergies (ie. Contains peanuts.) Inform the chef or caterer immediately of all restrictions in advance so alternative options can be arranged. A food allergy could bring a big scare and unnecessary stress if not considered thoughtfully before your big day.
Overall, staying within your budget while ensuring the menu represents who you are as a couple is crucial to making your wedding day special. If you ever feel overwhelmed making these big decisions, keep asking yourselves: ‘what do we want for our wedding?’ and then try to work these ideas within your wedding budget.