Now that you and the man of your dreams have exchanged I do’s, and sealed your forever with a kiss, it’s time to celebrate your magical union with food, laughter, and plenty of pictures. The reception is the perfect time for your friends and family to mix and mingle while eating delicious food, all while honoring your newly wedded bliss. But before the guests can rejoice in your new last name, take selfies, and dine, you and your fiancé spend months perfecting the wedding menu.
When to start planning
Bold American Events Executive Chef Todd Annis suggests planning two to three months before the big day. “Once they [brides and grooms] get the style of food and the scene and whatever else they are trying to get and check on pricing, the last four weeks is when you pick a caterer and sample taste,” says Annis. However, before you and your fiancé start planning your meal and deciding whether to serve chicken or beef, first check to see if the venue you selected allows outside catering. Certain venues already have their own catering staff when it comes to weddings, and you don’t want to spend months taste tasting only to be surprised to learn that your preferred caterer won’t be able serve the roasted pork you love.
Picking the food can be stressful and time consuming and your guest won’t know you spent hours deciding whether to serve mashed potatoes or green beans. But if you and your fiancé are indecisive, emulating a favorite restaurant menu for your wedding menu cuts the stress in half. Annis says if brides and grooms are customizing their menu it’s helpful if they frequent a restaurant, to give a copy of the menu to the chef and they can research and create a similar style and flavor profile.
Once you select the scrumptious meal your guest will fall in love with, include a checkbox of any food allergies on your save the dates for your guests. You are creating the menu of your dreams, and don’t want to worry if there will be “hangry” guest the day of your wedding.
Presentation is key, therefore you want your food to represent your style as well. Bold American Events, whose menu is a Southern food lovers dream, offers three ways to serve food: seat and served, buffet, or stations. If you love a formal reception that’s similar to fine dining, opt for the seat and serve. If you love the idea of your guests choosing themselves, buffet style is recommended. Love experimenting? Stations are ideal. “When it is plated there is more controlling the amount of food; it’s what you get in front of you,” says Annis. “Compared to a buffet or station where guests can pick what they want.”
Stations are becoming more popular and it’s amusing to see the endless possibilities your guests will create: sushi, mashed potatoes, pizza can now be served at one wedding. “Stations are great because the food quality is better because it’s being made right there and you get more variety,” says Annis. “People tend to enjoy stations more because they can mix and mingle rather than sitting down at a table; it’s better guest experience that way.”
Photo credit is Jack Prada
Serving alcohol can be expensive and is a staple on the wedding menu. If you have a large budget open bars are always a hit, however, if you’re budget-conscious check to see if the venue permits bring your own bottle (BYOB). BYOB is an inexpensive option that allows guests to choose freely, with the feel of an open bar. And now thanks to Pinterest you can create your own concoction for the perfect sip—signature drinks. If and your groom love tequila, serve a margarita with a special twist. The guest will get a kick knowing they are sipping the same cocktail you and your husband love. Signature drinks are also an added personal bonus.
Last but certainly everyone’s favorite— dessert. The traditional, lavishly decorated cake is always the center piece and the most photographed item at the reception—besides the bride and groom. But guests will love the inventive presentation of a smorgasbord of tasty treats: mini ice cream sandwiches, cupcakes, single serve mini pies, s’mores bar.
The tasty options served are limitless, but the lasting impression of the joyful reception is forever.
Happy Engagement, Happy Planning
Vendor Information| Bold American Events| www.boldamerican.com