10 Wedding Menu Tips

Special occasions and food often go hand-in-hand, so it’s no surprise that food is one of the most important aspects of a wedding. It’s also often the number one expenditure for couples in their wedding budget. This can create a lot of pressure, so here are some tips to help you plan a fantastic wedding menu in Northern California.

Choose Your Main First

Plan the main menu first, then pick cocktail hour bites. Your cocktail menu should complement the main meal without repeating ingredients. If filet mignon is your entrée, then steak sliders aren’t a good choice for cocktail hour. Your wedding planner can help you brainstorm possibilities.

Add Crowd Favorites

It’s often a fine line between picking crowd-pleasing options and serving bland foods. Ethnic foods add a touch of character and keep things interesting, but avoid going overboard. Remember to bear in mind guests who may not be familiar with certain ethnic foods.

Think About Food Allergies and Dietary Preferences

While it’s impossible to cater to every food allergy and dietary preference among your guests, it’s important to be considerate of these things. Note which foods have common allergens, like nuts, gluten, and shellfish, and talk to your caterer about options. It’s a good idea to at least provide a vegetarian option for guests.

Don’t Get Too Spicy

Overly spicy foods should be avoided when possible. For an Indian wedding or other menu characterized by spicy food, try to include at least a few non-spicy options.

Offer More Than Fish

Fish is an excellent main course, but it shouldn’t be your only option. If you want to serve fish, offer guests a choice of entrées since fish aversions are common.

Consider Your Guest List

The size of your guest list is important to consider when selecting the menu. Food that takes a long time to prepare isn’t usually the best option for large weddings. Talk to your caterer about what kind of food they recommend.

Remember the Kids

If there will be children at your wedding, don’t forget about them. It’s likely that your regular menu won’t be very appropriate for children, so talk to your caterer about offering different meals for kids under twelve.

Get Seasonal

The time of year matters when planning your wedding menu. A steaming bowl of creamy soup may sound great when talking to caterers in the middle of winter, but it won’t be as appealing serving it at an outdoor summer wedding. The same principle also applies to location. If you are getting married in Northern California, it's a great idea to choose foods that fit well into your area.

Make Offsite Locations Work

Offsite wedding locations usually require caterers to work in a makeshift kitchen, so they often have menu limitations. Keep this in mind when thinking about your menu, and talk to your caterer about what will work well.

Include Something Fun

Little touches add personality and fun to your menu. Work with your wedding coordinator to think of a creative addition that complements your menu and the overall theme of your wedding.

Planning the menu is a big part of wedding planning, but it is just one part. There are many other things to think about too, so the process can become overwhelming. If you feel stressed out by planning, working with a wedding coordinator could be the answer. A wedding planner’s expertise and connections make the process go more smoothly so you can relax and enjoy the experience, including your beautiful wedding day.