Food is an essential part of any gathering, no more than at a wedding. While other aspects of the wedding are important, food is going to be one of those things that people remember and talk about afterwards.
We’ve put together a list of dos and don’ts for your wedding to help you plan for the big day.
Don’t #1: Not Having Enough Food At Cocktail Hour
There’s a reason cocktail hour is called the cocktail hour. The drinks are flowing and people are getting tipsy so you’d better feed people appropriately or else the situation might dissolve into a drunken mess.
Cocktail hour is the perfect time for guests to mix and mingle while enjoying delicious food, drinks, and entertainment but if there isn’t enough food between meals, then inevitably, the guests start to get grumpy.
Don’t #2: Plan A Menu For Yourself And Not Your Guests
Your wedding is of course your special day and you should be treated like royalty, but it’s a bad idea to invite all those nearest and dearest to you without considering their needs.
If you’ve got a bunch of people from abroad, you may not want to serve them something they won’t like. Same goes for guests with dietary restrictions. Don’t do a meat and a cheese station if half the guests are lactose-intolerant and vegans.
Don’t #3: Go Too Generic With The Menu
There’s no need to default to a boring menu just because you don’t think you can satisfy everyone’s taste. With the right caterer, it’s possible to tailor a menu to reflect the right balance so everyone is happy. Brainstorm with your caterer. While you think your situation is unique, it’s more than likely the cater has seen it before so go ahead and ask.
Don’t #4: Drive Up Your Budget With Pricey Food
There’s no getting around the fact that luxurious items like lobster, crab, steak, and so on are going to be expensive. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t serve them, you just need to be strategic about it.
For example, You might feel like everybody will love something like duck just because it’s thought of as an expensive meal but of course, that’s not the case. Not only will it cost you a fortune, but high-end ingredients tend to be more polarizing than standard fare like chicken and pasta.
Instead, serve duck as an appetizer like a mini duck roll or a duck slider. That way people who want duck will be satisfied but others will have options as well. It’s a win-win.
Don’t #5: Rule Out A Buffet
Choosing between a sit-down, family-style, or buffet dinner often comes down to personal preference, but don’t rule out a buffet option just because you think a sit-down dinner is classier.
Of course, there are both pros and cons to a buffet. It’s the easiest as far as staffing goes it requires less labour, which could save you hundreds of dollars, but people are always going to grab more than they can eat, meaning your food costs may go up. Buffets are best for socializing since people must get up and mingle.
Now that we’ve covered some of the don’ts, here are some of the dos to make your wedding that much more special.
Do #1 Nail Down a Budget
You should always start with how much money you can reasonably spend on food. We understand weddings are expensive and the costs can add up quickly so setting some parameters to start with will help you stay on track.
Do #2 Start Planning Early
An amazing menu begins with the right caterer, but to get your first pick of the best, you’ll have to book them early. How early? Usually about a year in advance which is the same time you should be locking down a venue.
Some venues will require you to use their in-house caterer or will have a shortlist of wedding pros they work with exclusively. Even if you’re allowed to bring in your own chef, you might be charged extra, so request a tasting with the in-house one. If you can only use their in-house catering, how good the food tastes can really be make-it or break-it.
Do #3 Lock Down Your Guest List
Your guest list will be a huge factor in determining your menu. If serving an impressive spread is your top priority, consider limiting the number of guests. If you can’t imagine your wedding without at least 200 people, you may need to cut menu costs in creative ways.
Do #4 Consider Dietary Restrictions and Allergies
We touched on dietary restrictions before, but it’s important enough to bring it up again. It’s inevitable you will have someone with a dietary restriction so talk with your caterer about these exceptions well in advance to make sure there’s an option for everyone. Find creative ways to ensure that everybody can eat.
Do #5 Find A Theme
If you’re a real foodie and the food is the most important aspect of your wedding, you might want to opt for a formal, sit-down meal with multiple courses. Are you more of a free spirit who likes to mingle and dance? Maybe a buffet-style dinner is best. You want the food to reflect your style but also be delicious for your guests. (Remember what we told you about how the food should be for your guests not just for you.) Ask the catering company to give you options. The best catering companies like challenges and will rise to the occasion.
The Bottom Line
The most important advice to brides and grooms is also one you’ve heard before: Don’t forget to eat on your big day. Your day will go extremely quickly and everybody will want to talk with you and take pictures. It can be difficult to find time to relax a bit and eat.
Couples should work with their caterer to create not just a delicious menu, but a beautiful display that complements the rest of the wedding. You might consider hiring a cater like D.I.C.E.D for your big day which prides itself on being a socially responsible catering company. We do weddings of all size and with years of experience, we have the expertise to handle your special day.