Recipe for a Perfect Wedding
Endless cups of love
1 bountiful delicious dinner
1 gorgeous venue
Several dashes of funky party music
Many heartfelt champagne toasts
1. Preheat heart to accept love and warmth.
2. Mix all ingredients into the perfect day.
3. Pour mixture into welcoming arms.
4. Enjoy all your precious memories!
We believe a thoughtful, delicious menu is an integral part of any wedding. Whether you’re a foodie that wants to provide a memorable meal experience for your guests—or you’re just indifferent about food—your reception dinner still serves as a thank you to your guests for attending the wedding and celebrating your love. Plus, it will nourish your guests for an epic night of celebrating!
Where to begin
The first thing to consider is your overall wedding style, guest count, venue, and budget. The most traditional meal styles are plated dinners or buffets, but a lot of couples are changing things up and going family style, or even casual potluck. Couples are feeling more comfortable than ever to find a dinner that fits their personal style, so If you want a 10 course dinner, go for it! If you prefer to have pizza, go for it. If pizza is wrong, we don’t want to be right.
Pro tip: Use our Wedding Planning worksheet for menu planning to help you stay organized as you pick your caterer and plan your menu.
Your venue and budget will most likely be the biggest differentiators when it comes to deciding who will cater your wedding and what you’ll serve. Your venue may have some limitations when it comes to caterers. Some great questions to ask your venue about when it comes to catering and food are:
- Is there a prep area?
- Is there running, potable water?
- Do they allow open flames?
- Is there any available refrigeration?
Your venue may also have a list of approved vendors, which could either be a great bonus if you’re not particular about caterers, or make things a bit difficult if you had one in mind. One upside of approved caterers is knowing won’t have to hunt for a catering company, and you know they’ve worked at your venue before and are comfortable with their set up.
The season for cohesion
When planning your menu, think about the wedding reception schedule. How long will your reception last? Will you be having a cocktail hour? Do your guests have enough time to snack, mingle, eat dinner, listen to toasts, and hit up the dance floor? You’ll want to shape your menu depending on how you’re structuring the day.
Pro tip: If you’re having a large wedding (200+ guests), make sure to ask caterers you’re considering if they have experience serving large parties at the same time. Getting hundreds of meals out at once requires some serious expertise and finesse.
If your venue does not have a list of approved vendors, you’ll have to do some research to find a caterer that you love. Catering companies will be the best option, as they’re used to serving events with many guests and will most likely provide some rentals for you. Local restaurants and food trucks may also be a good alternative option, as well. If you have a favorite restaurant in the area, it never hurts to ask if they do catering.
Some things to consider as you’re doing your menu planning research:
- Has your caterer worked at your venue before?
- Do any guests have any dietary restrictions or food allergies?
- What time of year is your event? Using foods that are in season can help reduce costs..
- Do you need vendor meals for your wedding planner, photographer, and DJ, etc.? Make sure to include them in the headcount.
- Will you need any kids’ meals?
- Do you want to have a late-night snack for guests later in the evening?
- Does your caterer offer a tasting before the wedding? Do they charge for this?
Once you’ve selected your caterer, they will likely have a suggested menu for you. The menu will vary depending on your guest count, venue, personal tastes, and the season. You’re welcome to give them feedback to alter the menu. An experienced caterer should also know how much food you’ll need to feed your crowd, but feel free to customize it as you know your guests better than anyone else.
As with anything related to your wedding, your catering may be a high or low priority to you. However, keep in mind that guests expect a meal (or two) and they’ll probably come hungry. Plus, with all the fun and festivities, you’ll all need some sustenance to keep the party going.