How Do You Choose Your Wedding Food?

Choosing your wedding food can be an overwhelming process. There are so many options to choose from, and you want to make sure that everything is perfect for your big day! 

Wedding food gets a bad rap, but it doesn’t have to be that way! With a bit of guidance and careful consideration, dinner is an excellent opportunity to wow your guests with unexpected choices and flavours.

So how do you solve this problem and pick the perfect food for your dream wedding? This article serves as an easy-to-digest guide on how to choose your wedding food.

How to Choose a Wedding Menu

You are wondering how to narrow down all your options? We suggest personalising your wedding menu to your love story. 

One of our favourite ideas is to pull ideas from each of your families. Is there a particular family recipe you always have? You can serve them both to celebrate the joining of your families. 

Another idea is to base your wedding menu on your relationship. A nod to your favourite date-night spots or the meal you had when you got engaged. Including these personal details in your wedding menu will make your guests feel more connected to your love story.

Of course, the most important thing is to tailor your wedding menu to your taste. 

If you’re struggling to choose, go with some of your favourite foods (whether it’s sushi or fillet mignon). 

It’s still a unique way to personalise your weddings and make the day even more special. Please work with your caterer to craft a wedding menu that’s as delicious as it is meaningful.

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Wedding Menu

Be Yourself

It may seem obvious, but sticking to your gut feeling is of unparalleled importance when planning any aspect of your wedding. 

With over 40% of couples now planning their weddings together, your wedding day should be a celebration of your and your fiance. 

If you stick to this simple rule, then you will be able to truly relax and enjoy what you have been looking forward to for so long.

So how does this translate to the food? Well, it’s simple, stick to what you know and what you like; the foods you love to eat together or a dish that’s packed with special memories. 

There is no point worrying about what specific guests will think – your nearest and dearest are there for you, not for the food!

Consider Creating a Bespoke Menu That’s Special to You and Your Partner

While many venues offer food and beverage packages that are often explicitly designed to suit a wide range of tastes and needs, don’t be afraid to think outside the box and ask your chef to create a customised menu.

Most venues will create menus to suit any requirements.

Always arrange a meeting with the chef and the beverage manager to discuss any ideas or requirements you have, as they should work with you on packages to suit your needs. 

People would be surprised that to have a fully-customised menu and wines should not be complex for most venues.”

Don’t Over-Complicate It.

In the same way, simplicity is vital. This is even more important when we consider that ‘inedible’ and overly fussy food has been listed as one of the top wedding guest complaints. 

Long gone are the days of fiercely traditional weddings where the bride, groom and entire wedding party sit down to a stuffy and impersonal five-course banquet. What people want is good, honest food. 

Food that all can enjoy without struggling through dishes that they cannot even pronounce.

By keeping things simple, you will ensure that all will enjoy your wedding meal. 

If you want to fish and chips, then have fish and chips; if you want a burger, then have a burger, and if you wish to pie and mash, then have it! 

Each of these is a traditional tasty English favourite for a reason.

Ensure You Have a Wedding Tasting

Not all brides and grooms decide to take up the offer of doing a wedding tasting, so they are sometimes disappointed by what ends up on their plate when it comes to the reception. 

Doing a wedding tasting is crucial, so brides and grooms can communicate exactly what they want to the catering team at the venue.

If someone wants a boeuf bourguignon, what I do and what they want could be two completely different things. 

Taking up the offer of a tasting is vital for expectations, but at the same time, it also gives you a gateway to change the menu however you see fit. 

At the same time, we have beverage packages in our menu, but we’ve also got a cellar downstairs that has a quarter-million dollars worth of wine in it, so the options are endless.”

Trust Your Chef

The biggest tip we could give is to use the expertise of the hospitality professionals you are engaging in for your event. 

Weddings can be very stressful, and working with the team you have selected should make the planning of the reception a lot easier.

If the venue you are considering seems completely unwilling to work with you to create the reception you want, then you should probably walk away very quickly.

Don’t rush when making decisions around your food and drink menus for your wedding and when you meet with the chef or catering organiser for a tasting, make sure you ask him or her lots of questions: Will the food be cooked on-site or brought in already prepared? What if we change our minds at the last minute? Etc.

Don’t Be Overwhelmed by Everyone’s Dietary Requirements.

When preparing a menu for your reception, dealing with everyone’s dietary requirements can make your head spin, whether they’re unable to eat dairy or gluten or suffer from a particular allergy.

But there are ways of managing your guests’ intolerances while still sticking to the dishes that you want to offer on the day.

After all, an experienced chef or caterer will be able to give you a range of suggestions for various dietary requirements, whether your best mate is a vegan or if your flower girl has a peanut allergy.

Some brides and grooms attach the menu to their invitations, so guests can alert them to any allergies or intolerances they may have, and these can be taken care of well in advance.

Be Upfront With Your Budget

Before you meet with your chef or caterer, figure out your budget and be honest about it when you show up. 

After all, he or she should be able to come up with some ideas of how to work with your budget while still offering you an excellent menu.

It saves a lot of wasted time if a bride and groom are upfront with their budget. When there are budget constraints, they should look at the whole package offered and what is unnecessary. 

For example, having the wedding cake plated as dessert instead of a dessert course or either not having an entrée or changing the entrée to share platters per table can both save some money.

Go for Crowd-Pleasers.

When it comes to menu choices, think about the overall guests, don’t cater to that one guest who might not like something. Think about the crowd-pleasing items or foods that you love. 

While it’s great to serve some of the couple’s favourites, we’d like to point out that it may not be the best idea to impose your personal food preferences on everyone. If you’re a vegan, have vegan choices, but don’t do the entire event in that direction.

Break the Rules.

Who says dinner needs to be a three-course meal? Why not try a tasting menu with more, smaller dishes that offer a range of variety? Or a meal that includes a wine pairing with each course. 

Dinner doesn’t just need to be something to get through before dancing-focusing on the menu and making it an event in itself only adds to the fun of the day. Today’s brides and grooms, at least as we see them here, all want to do something different. 

They have gone to an average of 12 to 20 weddings, that they all feel the same, same style, same feel, same essential foods, same looks, and the most personalising of all generations.

Be Specific.

Chicken, meat, and fish are standard options. But when you’re working with a caterer, why not get specific about it? A short rib over a filet? Cod instead of the standard salmon? 

A wedding is an opportunity to give guests options they may not have seen before and to fuel them up for a long night on the dance floor.

Have Fun

Arguably more important than the above two points is remembering that planning a wedding should be a fascinating process – one where you and your future Mr or Mrs have the best fun. When it comes to choosing the food for your big day, this is even more important.

Rather than the painfully formal ordeals that have previously been mentioned, one great and cost-effective way to choose your wedding food – and give your event that edge – is by looking for food van hire.

Whether this is pie and mash van hire or even burger van hire, you will ensure a naturally friendly atmosphere is maintained by serving your wedding day’s food this way. 

People feel they can ‘mingle,’ talk to the people they want to and even approach new people that they perhaps haven’t before met. 

When weddings represent the coming together of two families, this is even more important. 

Allowing people the freedom of where and when to eat will encourage a social and laid-back wedding vibe. And who doesn’t want that?

Sample Wedding Menu

So, what does a wedding menu consist of? Typically, it includes a few appetisers, entree options (usually a few different ones your guests can choose from) and a dessert option. 

However, you don’t have to follow this format at all. If you’d rather have a cocktail-style reception, you can do that. Or, if you only want to offer one crowd-pleasing entree (think: pizza or pasta), you are free to do so.

Wedding Menu Ideas

Travelling Seafood Station

Create an exciting interactive experience for your guests with a travelling seafood station. We love the idea of a bucket of oysters because it’s the perfect blend of elegance and fun. 

Your guests can continue to mingle while they enjoy a fresh oyster (complete with sauce, of course). Psst: You can use this for any seafood you’d like: lobster ravioli, sashimi or popcorn shrimp. 

Wood-Fired Pizza

Rustic wedding couples, this one for you. 

Get creative with your wedding menu and offer pizza. While it may feel too casual for a wedding, wood-fired pizza looks stunning–and it’s a crowd favourite. 

Offer a few different options for toppings so your guests can pick their favourites.

Comfort Food Shooters

Comfort food, but make it elegant. 

A bite-sized grilled cheese paired with a small serving of tomato soup feels elevated, and the delicious food will keep your guests satisfied (or reaching for more!). 

This goes for any comfort food you like—try mini shooters of BBQ mac and cheese or mini chicken and waffles with maple syrup.

Dessert Truck

Put your twist on the traditional dessert table by bringing in a dessert truck instead. 

While we love the idea of freshly-scooped gelato, you can serve any sweet treat you desire. Consider doughnuts, freshly-baked cookies, churros or s’mores. The sky’s the limit!

Dim Sum

Whether the traditional Chinese meal is a nod to your cultural background, your love of travel or your taste in food, it’s bound to be a hit at your wedding. 

Dim Sum typically consists of a variety of different dishes your guests can sample and choose from. We especially love this option because it’s so interactive and customisable—your guests can build their plate!

Sushi Station

Calling all sushi lovers: This wedding menu idea is perfect for you. Setting up a sushi station is so fun because your guests have total control. 

They can choose how many rolls they want and what kind of rolls they want too. Plus, it’s fresh, light food that so many people enjoy. 

Pro tip: Make sure to include a few vegetable options if you have any vegan or vegetarians attending your nuptials.

Fast Food

Forget the idea that you have to serve ultra-fancy food at your weddings. 

Whether you’re hosting a casual celebration or an elegant wedding, an appearance of your favourite fast food will get the party going and immediately get everyone excited to dig in. 

Just the smell alone will have everyone’s mouths watering. Plus, it’s a unique way to put your stamp on your wedding day.

Picnic Basket Meal

While many couples have recently served individually wrapped meals due to COVID, we love the idea of preparing a unique set-up for your loved ones. 

Present them with a basket full of food to enjoy—from appetisers to entrees to desserts. 

This idea would work exceptionally well for couples hosting a garden wedding, park wedding or vineyard wedding, as it genuinely feels like you’re taking your guests out for an epic picnic meal.

Build-Your-Own-Brunch-Bowl

While brunch may call to mind stacks of pancakes and plates of eggs, there are other options. 

If you’re looking for a unique spin on breakfast foods, consider serving açai bowls. They’re smoothie bowls with a variety of toppings. 

Make the experience interactive by sweating up a station full of different toppings (think: fresh fruits, seeds, nuts and granola). While açai bowls are one option, you can take this in any direction you’d like. 

For example, you could set up a DIY breakfast bowl station complete with hash browns, eggs, and other yummy foods.

Charcuterie in a Cup

It’s no secret, everyone. It is obsessed with charcuterie tables. However, it can be difficult for guests to serve themselves if there’s crowding at the display. 

Enter this creative wedding menu idea: charcuterie in a cup. Pass out a pre-made assortment of cheeses, meats, crackers and fruits for your loved ones to enjoy.

Cheese Station

We know—we had you at the cheese station. Offer your guests a mouth-watering selection of different cheese, complete with other items to pair it with. 

Ideas include crackers, freshly-baked bread, fruit, vegetables and nuts. Serve it buffet-style so everyone can build their platter.

Colourful Salad

Green salads at weddings don’t have to be boring. Please work with your caterer to create a colourful mix of veggies that will entice your guests and keep them satisfied until the main course. Bonus points for tying the colours into your wedding’s colour palette!

Fresh Poke

Put your twist on a fish dish by serving fresh poke. You can either offer a selection of different pre-made bowls or allow your guests to build their bowls. 

It’s a unique way to serve seafood that your guests will love. Have vegetarian guests? Offer a tofu bowl to accommodate them.

Dessert Remix

When it comes to your wedding dessert, we encourage you to think outside the box. An ice cream taco, for example, is a creative spin on two delicious foods. 

Other dessert mash-up ideas include brownies stuffed with Oreos, s’mores cookies and ice cream cakes.

Food & Beer Flights

Whether you’re saying “I do” at a brewery or your go-to date night activity is to try out different brews at your local spot, this wedding menu idea is for you. 

Create a brewery experience at your nuptials by serving your guests a flight or food and beer. Whether you opt for hot dogs, sliders, or other delicious bar food is totally up to you!

Pretzel Bar

Who doesn’t love pretzels? Offer your guests the ultimate experience with a self-serve bar. 

Your guests can grab however many pretzels they want and top them with a variety of sauces. 

We love this because it can be salty or sweet—include different toppings such as caramel, hot mustard and blue cheese.

Seasonal Vegetable Dish

Celebrate your wedding’s season with a plate full of delicious vegetables. It’s a welcome shift away from a traditional roasted vegetable stack—and it will look stunning in pictures.

Another bonus? Anyone can enjoy this dish regardless of dietary restrictions. Offer it family-style or as a served entree.

Bbq & Beer

If a flight of food and beer feels a little too involved for your taste, consider this foolproof pairing instead. Serve up a few BBQ staples: burgers, hot wings, pulled pork and pasta salad. Then, offer your guests their choice of accompanying beer (we love these decorative mini bottles). It’ll feel like the most epic backyard bash ever.

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