After the wedding ceremony has taken place, it’s time to celebrate your new life as a married couple. Your choice in food and cocktails not only makes the party fabulous, it’s also a time to infuse your personality into your special day. Make your wedding reception stand out by serving a palate-pleasing, sensational meal that would impress even the most discerning foodies.
Don’t get carried away featuring all your favorite foods, especially if they don’t go together. Pick a theme before you set the menu to help ensure the dishes you choose work well together. Consider paying tribute to your family heritage with ethnic choices, such as Japanese, Mexican, or Italian cuisine, or have a chef recommend a menu based on your special honeymoon spot. When you’re interviewing potential catering companies, suggest your special themed ideas. Their vast experience can enhance your theme and add a nice spin on your vision.
Do you want a delectable dinner to be the focus of the night? Opt for a sit-down meal with multiple courses. Is music the main event? Pick a less formal dining style and menu. You don’t want guests weighed down by a heavy meal if the planned highlight is activity on the dance floor.
Using local ingredients is the best way to ensure you’re serving fresh food at the best price, and it’s also a nice way to tie in locally. If you’re planning a fall wedding, consider serving butternut squash soup in little hollowed out pumpkins. Again, your caterer is your best source as to what is seasonally best to serve at the time of your wedding.
Share the story of your relationship throughout the reception. Perhaps serve wine from the city where you first met, or craft beer from the location of your first date. Incorporate family recipes and provide short anecdotes explaining the significance of each dish to your guests. In the future, when they remember what they ate, they will automatically think of you.
How you decide to approach the cocktail hour will set the tone for the rest of the evening. If you plan to serve a fabulous five-course meal, stick with light appetizers that will tide guests over without spoiling their appetite. If the food isn’t the focus of the evening, make cocktail hour the main event to allow more time for dancing and socializing.
One of the biggest problems with party food is the lag time between preparation and the actual presentation to guests. For a large reception, ask your caterer for dishes with a longer shelf life. Keep in mind that presentation is key. Your guests will likely remember a fabulous-looking buffet rather than the specific foods it featured. And even the most delicious dishes can seem unappealing when carelessly slapped onto a plate, so look for a caterer who cares as much about presentation as taste.
No matter how much time you spend working out your seating chart, don’t rely on good table chemistry to spark conversation and guide your guests through dinner – serve a meal that also entertains. For a guaranteed party-starter, you may want to include a wine bar, complete with steward, who can offer guests tasting tips. A signature cocktail will deliciously complete your theme and is another tried-and-true party starter. Include drink menus on the tables or at the bar, listing specialty sips and explaining their significance.
It’s your wedding, so serve foods you and your partner both love, but don’t forget you are also the host. Your servings should be diverse enough so all your guests will find at least one option they’ll love. Try to hit all the bases with your selections: beef, seafood, poultry, and vegetables. Also, tap into all the major tastes by serving something slightly salty, something sweet, something bitter, and something savory.
Ensure your event turns out great by starting with the right catering company to create an amazing menu, and stay open to having fun with a twist on classic dishes. W