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Our Top Tips for Planning Your Wedding Reception Menu

 

Your wedding day will be one of the happiest days of your lives and you want it to be memorable. People will remember how beautiful the wedding dress was.  They will remember the emotion of the day.  They will also remember the food.  That means menu planning is one of your top priorities.  It is important to think of the type of wedding reception that you are having.  It sounds basic, but when you are planning food, you need to know if you are going to serve your guests, have a buffet or if it will be passed hors d’oeuvres.  We spoke to Chef Michael G., an expert in food and events to get his tips for every type of food service.

Image courtesy of Khad’s Photography

Planning for a plated menu:

Many couples dream of having surf and turf on the menu. The challenge is quantity can have an impact on the overall quality of your food. Think about the overall quality of what you are serving, not just about what you personally like.  When you go for a tasting, most caterers are preparing one plate, therefore the dish will be hot and taste great.  The reality is that at a wedding, food is housed in large warming trays and will not taste the same as the smaller portion that you enjoyed.  If you choose a meat, like roast beef for example, it will taste great and is easier for large crowds.  Ask how the meat will be cooked.  Braising optimizes flavor and tenderness.

Photo courtesy of Jeanie de Klerk

Planning for a buffet meal:

Buffets are a great option.  Your guests can pick and choose the food that they want.  Some believe that a buffet isn’t elegant.  That simply is not the case.  A buffet can be beautiful and it is also efficient.  Have fun with your menu and pick some items that are meaningful to you as a couple.  It can be displayed beautifully and all of the guests will be happy.

Photo courtesy of Katarzyna Pracuch

Planning for passed hors d’oeuvres:

A cocktail hour wedding with passed hors d’oeuvres can be quite elegant. It is just as exciting for both the wedding guests and the chef as a plated meal.  A chef can focus more on food quality and work with you on creating a one or two bite item that guests will be enthusiastic about.  There is more creative flare in the presentation too.  Think about getting approximately 5 items, some simple and some more substantial so that there is diversity in the options.  This type of reception can be more social since guests can mingle more easily and hand-held food will add to the enjoyment.

Whatever you decide, think about flavours.  Middle Eastern, Moroccan, Italian or Mexican menus can be pleasing, flavourful and fresh leaving your guests less full and more able to enjoy themselves on the dance floor.  Whatever type of reception you choose, you want your guests leaving happy and satisfied and food is a big part of that experience.

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