Our new book addresses your wedding STYLE, from beginning to end, and every element of your wedding day. One of the most important decisions is the selection of the menu for the reception.
Years ago Marsha and I faced that challenge. And, based on our experience, your decision on these issues will be what’s important to you and your groom.
Will it be a sit down plated dinner?
A family style service?
Buffet stations with heavy hors d’oeuvres or just cocktails and heavy hors d’oeuvres?
Each option will set a different tone for your reception, and here’s why.
Seated dinners are more elegant and formal yet tend to be the most expensive.
Family style dinners are more engaging and intimate, and probably the least expensive.
Buffets or food stations are more interactive because it keeps guests mingling with other people.
This option promotes flexibility and thus a more relaxing evening.
Remember, your selection of food is a major component in determining the ultimate price of the wedding. If your event lasts more than three hours, it is best to serve something substantial to eat. One, it rewards your guests who have set aside the time to come and share the day with you. Two, the food helps to balance the alcohol effects in an open bar situation.
If you are serving heavy hors d’oeuvres rather than a full meal, it is best to inform your guests what you are planning ahead of time so they can plan the rest of the day accordingly.
Most important, decide what your budget is and proceed from there. If your funds are limited, consider changing the time from evening to an afternoon or, better yet, go for an off-season date. Also, consider a themed wedding with themed foods such as the pizza and Mexican buffets below.
Also catering prices vary widely as to where the reception is held. Hotels are often more expensive due to the increased charges during high-occupancy periods. Plating prices may run as high as $200, depending on the time of year. In addition, many hotels book in advance and require substantial deposits to reserve the date.
Remember, non-traditional locations such as a barn or an outdoor venue may require additional rentals.
Our best advice is to ask friends and family members for referrals. Make appointments with several venues and review their previous weddings, menus and styles of presentations. Ask if you can have a food-tasting well in advance of the event to confirm or refine the menu.
In the end, decide what is most important to you and your groom and create the wedding of your dreams!