As more and more couples become self-confessed foodies, couples are raising the stakes when it comes to choosing their wedding menu. Whether you desire the ultimate five-course dinner, paired with wines and finished with petit fours and coffee, or you want to embrace global cuisines in a cultural celebration, you’ll find caterers and venues alike offering all of that and more. But, with choice comes a challenge – when you could have almost anything your heart desires included in your wedding menu, how do you choose what makes it onto the plate?
What type of food do you like?
If you find ordering at a restaurant tricky, you’ll find planning your wedding menu even harder. Do you go for something light, something heavier, or something utterly indulgent? Do you go for vegetarian, fish dishes, lots of spice? Do you keep it traditional or go for a full on fusion of flavours?
The easiest way to narrow down your choice of dishes is to start with what you as a couple both love. If one of you isn’t a big fish fan, and there will only be one main course on the menu, your wedding day probably isn’t the day to try to change it – you both need to enjoy your first married meal together!
If you’ve decided to offer several choices for each course in a menu sent out with your invitations, you’ll have a bit more flexibility, so if you and your new husband or wife-to-be don’t have the same tastes, you can still both be happy.
Will your guests like it too?
While we definitely believe that you should put yourselves first on your wedding day, you are going to be spending a lot of money feeding all your guests, too. By choosing dishes that most of them will like, you’ll be spending that money far more wisely and ensure that your guests have as good a time as you do. For this reason, it can be good to avoid some stronger flavours or more fatty dishes.
It’s also worth asking guests to disclose any allergies or dietary requirements beforehand and choosing caterers who can adapt to these – there is nothing worse as a guest than sitting down in eager anticipation of a decadent and delicious three courses only to find that you can’t eat them.
How do you want your wedding breakfast to be served?
Once you’ve narrowed down your flavours and dish choices based on what you love and what will work for your guests, you can fine-tune your wedding menu by throwing the dining experience into the mix!
While the days of an obligatory sit-down banquet have passed, couples who have chosen more traditional and formal weddings often opt for a three or four course meal, while relaxed and outdoor weddings will often embrace picnic, barbecue or buffet-style dining arrangements. Those with a sweeter tooth might like to mix traditional with contemporary trends and opt for an afternoon tea instead!
If your heart is set on a global feast and you don’t want to limit yourselves to a set three courses, why not have multiple food stations? They can serve up everything from popcorn and hot dogs to sushi and curries. They can cater to all tastes and all cultures, guaranteeing that there will be something for everyone.
In true Wedding Ideas style, we’re taking inspiration from our real brides and grooms for this final suggestion – the ultimate relaxed dining-meets sit down meal combination. Choose a traditional roast for your main course, but have one guest from each table don an apron and carve it themselves. This serve-it-yourself approach makes for many funny moments and is a great ice-breaker for guests who haven’t met before.
As with almost all things wedding related, what matters most is that you as a couple love your menu choice and really enjoy your first meal together as husband and wife – you’ve got something pretty big to celebrate, after all! Let your personal preferences guide you first and foremost, but leave room to account for other dietary tastes and requirements so your guests can tuck in too! There’s a reason you wanted to share your special day with them, and the best wedding receptions are those that everybody is able to enjoy.