Tips for Choosing Your Reception Menu

dinnerware with napkins and menu on plate

You’ve chosen the dress, you’ve found the venue, and now it’s time to pick your menu! But where to start? If you’ve done a ton of research on wedding dresses and venues (and maybe even cake) but barely thought about what you’ll actually be eating at your reception, don’t fret – we’ve got all the tips and tricks you need to help ensure that your day-of food dreams come true.

Most formal weddings will include the following menu selections:

  • H O R S D ’ O E U V R E S
  • C O C K T A I L H O U R
  • A P P E T I Z E R
  • S A L A D
  • E N T R É E 
  • D E S S E R T

Talk to your wedding venue.

One of the best ways to find out what your reception venue menu options include is to talk to the staff. By asking questions up front and getting advice from others who have been there before, it can save you time later on when making final decisions about your menu. 

If you’re unsure what will make the best impression at your wedding, you can also ask the venue about their suggestions. With so many years of experience in the industry they can make menu recommendations based on the season, the number of guests, and other factors. 

Most venues will also offer a tasting so you can sample all of their menu items and choose your favorites!

Make a list of your favorite foods.

Most wedding venues only have a limited menu, but the best will allow you to design your own. You should make a list of your favorite foods, but don’t be afraid to list foods you’ve never tried. Don’t be afraid to list foods you don’t like. If there’s something on the menu that sounds good to you, write it down and include it in your list.

Consider the season of your wedding.

When deciding on your reception menu, one thing you may want to consider is the season of your wedding. This can help you decide what ingredients are in season and go well at that time of year. For example, if it’s summertime then fruit salads and watermelon might be an option while comfortable soups or warm beverages may want to be included in fall and winter weddings. 

Consider any dietary restrictions and food allergies.

If you’re looking to accommodate all your guests and know of some that have any dietary restrictions or food allergies, you’ll want to inform the venue and also select special menus that are free from specific ingredients or are gluten-free or vegan as options. 

Wow with Menu Enhancements

When speaking with the venue about your wedding menu, ask if they have any specialties or signature items and enhancements. These offer additional fun and elegance for the food and drinks of the day and are sure to impress your guests!

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