Food for Thought: Great Wedding Reception Menu Ideas

You’re planning your wedding, and you want it to be memorable and enjoyable for your guests.  There are so many things to decide and even more things to plan.

  • What’s going to be the date?
  • Where will you get married?
  • What will your colors be?
  • Who’s going to be in our wedding?

The lists go on and on.  

One big thing is to decide what kind of food to serve on the wedding reception menu. That decision alone brings with it another list of other questions that need answered FIRST:

  • What time of year will it be?
  • Do I want to have a theme for the reception (luau, formal, beach, holiday, ethnic, etc.)?
  • What so I want the feel of the reception to be?
    • Casual
    • Formal
    • Somewhere in between
  • What kind of foods do I want?
    • Just finger food appetizers: This can still be elegant depending on what you decide to serve. Shrimp, crab cakes, specialty little sandwiches, brie bites and bacon wrapped chestnuts or as easy and meat/cheese, vegetable, and fruit trays
    • Light brunch/lunch: Easy and good. Chicken or ham salad Sandwiches and specialty salads make a great lunch. Maybe add a cup of soup
    • Casual dinner: Beef, Chicken, or Pork, with seasoned mashed potatoes, green bean almondine, and salad with special flavored olive oil & vinegar dressing
    • Elegant dinner: More sophisticated style of the above with appetizer and soup with fancy names! Pulling out all stops and going for the best I can think of
  • How much money do we want to spend on just the food/drinks?
  • What kinds and how much alcohol do I want to be there?
  • Does the reception place allow any caterer, or do I have to go with only what they offer? That can make your decision real quick if you’re set on a certain location that doesn’t allow outside catering.

Once you have your answers to the above list, you can start really planning it out and making decisions.

Have an idea of what you want when you talk to caterers to make the conversation more productive and easier for everyone.  Their regular menu may have choices much simpler than what you had in mind, and it will be cheaper if they don’t have to make a certain dish for you. They may even have ideas you hadn’t thought of yet still in line with what you want your day to be for your guests.

Handling food preparation and service yourself is a lot of work during a time everyone has so many other things to do and prepare for. This is really a time to spend some money and leave the cooking to the professionals!

There is also the traditional reception option that so many of your forefathers had:  simply have cake and ice cream while you open your presents!  Spend your money on a nice venue and keep the eats simple!