The menu may be dictated by equal parts personal taste, time of day, and style of the wedding. These three factors can help narrow down options, but can’t really make the final decisions for you. Some additional considerations that can help you choose the right menu options include:
There’s nothing wrong with asking a caterer to make one of the main dishes- or all of them!- representative of personal tastes. Rather than ye-olde-chicken-or-fish option, why not give guests the choice between the groom’s favorite chile rellanos, or the bride’s grandmother’s shepherd’s pie?
Many wedding receptions make the mistake of trying to please everyone by providing fairly bland, basic foods. It can be far more memorable to include a few extremely fun foods that kick the culinary options up a notch. Mashed potato or mac and cheese bars allow guests to pile on toppings of their choice, while cotton candy or gourmet corn dogs can add a fun, festival option. Talk with the caterer about featuring a fun food choice in addition to regular menu options, just to freshen up the standard fare.
One of the easiest ways to build a stress-free menu is to pick a style of food, for example Italian, and simply stick to it for all major dishes. Choosing a broad cultural or thematic concept can make sure that each element of the meal complements the others, without odd clashes. For example, a Greek-themed menu might include warm olives, tapenade, hummus, and flatbread appetizers. Lamb or vegetarian kebabs for main courses, and greek wedding cookies served alongside the cake. Consider visiting a few restaurants that feature a type of cuisine you like, so that you can try out popular dishes and see if they’d fit in with your menu.
Diabetes, veganism, lactose-intolerence–all of these words can turn your menu on its head. It’s generally considered polite to make sure there is something for each person to eat, but don’t worry about making sure your entire menu is prepared for all dietary concerns. The easiest way to manage dietary requests is to talk to your caterer in advance about the number of guests with special diets, and see what can be done for them. Some caterers are happy to provide a small number of diet-safe meals if they are told in advance. If the caterers are unwilling to accommodate dietary restrictions, make certain that they don’t charge you for the guests that cannot eat, and be certain to let the guests know that, unfortunately, there isn’t anything on the menu for them, but it’s perfectly alright if they want to bring food for themselves.