As a wedding guest, what do you find to be the most memorable aspect of the day? Take a second to look past the beautiful bride and handsome groom. Look beyond the love and excitement of the day. These are the obvious things. The things that everyone looks forward to. But if we look at the basics of the wedding planning checklist, we find that everyone prioritizes the details differently.
For some, it’s the intricate floral design bringing everything together visually, from the bridesmaids’ bouquets and groomsmen’s boutonnieres to the aisle decor and the reception centerpieces. Others are more concerned with keeping the guests entertained with the perfect mix of dance music all night. Unless you are a self-proclaimed foodie, the meal you serve your guests may not be your top priority. You may not even remember the meals from most of the weddings you’ve attended (unless they were particularly bad!). Though it may not be a central focus like the amazing venue or beautiful white dress, the menu you choose for your wedding can do a lot to add to the ambiance of the day and tie your look together.
We’ve had everything from the traditional chicken cordon bleu or beef brisket, to a mouth watering honey-glazed bacon wrapped filet. Sometimes it’s steamed mixed veggies, other times it is lemon glazed asparagus or green beans with bacon and almonds. Dessert options have varied from four-tiered cakes to sweet cupcakes, candy buffets, ice cream stands, s’mores, and gourmet popcorn. YUM!
There are a few things to consider when picking out your menu, starting with the style of your wedding. For a formal event, a plated meal is traditionally the way to go. Having servers bring courses directly to your guests gives an elegant look, but can also add significant cost. If you're leaning towards a more casual affair, having a buffet or family style meal may be the choice for you. Family style is a great option if you want your guests to feel like they are at a family dinner. But, a buffet is a great cost-effective option. Everyone can choose their own meals, and many times are able to go back for seconds.
Depending on the timeline of your day, you'll also want to consider serving appetizers. This is especially helpful when you have your ceremony and reception at two different locations. Appetizers will keep guests happy and give them something to do before the guests of honor arrive! Once again, think about the style of your event when choosing those tiny treats. Having servers pass appetizers looks sleek for a formal setting, and providing appetizer stations works well in a casual environment.
Don’t forget to have your guests send their allergy or diet restrictions along with their RSVP. It is not uncommon to have a few vegans or peanut allergies in the crowd, and many caterers can provide a special menu option just for them.
We don’t want to forget desserts! I’m all about the sweets, so it is hard for me to turn down dessert at every wedding. Wixey Bakery is a definite favorite, but we’ve also had some delicious candy buffets, cookies from The Cookie Jar in Bowling Green, and gourmet popcorn from Shirley’s. I could do a whole separate blog just about desserts (and maybe I will).
When we started our wedding planning, we knew we wanted something different. We didn’t want dinner to feel like ‘just another wedding meal’, we wanted something fun, surprising, and something everyone would love. We knew we wanted City BBQ! Not only is it delicious, but we knew a family BBQ feast would fit perfectly with our intimate setting and offbeat venue. We have had it at a few weddings over the years and have never been disappointed. Even though we have had it before, City BBQ welcomed us in for a tasting. We got to taste every single menu option! Every. Single. Option. We even got to take home what we didn’t eat! Needless to say, we had delicious leftovers for days.
Some people may argue that the food at a wedding is not important. That, as long as people have fun celebrating and dancing the night away, it won’t matter what they ate. However, for some of us, food is the way to our hearts. Take planning your wedding menu as a fun adventure and opportunity to try new caterers and restaurants in the area! Treat each tasting as a date night with your fiance, enjoy some delicious food, and forget about the stresses of planning your wedding for an evening. We can’t wait to see (and eat) what you choose!