5 Unexpected (& Budget-Saving!) Menu Ideas

Wedding Style & Decor

You put a lot of time and thought into choosing the food you'll serve at your wedding, so it's important to present the menu in a memorable way. Traditionally, menus are displayed at each guest's place setting, often tucked into the napkin or placed on the charger. But they can also be done on a much larger scale, which is not only more creative, but also economical. You'll only need one or two, instead of having to print an individual one for each guest — less paper, means leans money you have to spend. Try using the menu as an opportunity to make a style statement at the reception: Work with your calligrapher to create a hand-lettered sign on a chalkboard or wood slab, or work with your stationer to create a jumbo-size poster. Then hang your personalized menu from the tent rafters or display it on an easel for all your guests to see — it'll definitely whet their appetite! Here, a few of our favorite options.

Poster: This graphic black-and-white menu (pictured above) is very eye-catching, and does a great job of listing each dish and its components (especially helpful if many of your guests have food allergies or dietary restrictions). Prop it up on an easel near the buffet table or position it near the reception entrance so your guests won't miss it.

calligraphed chalkboard menu

Photo: The Nichols

Calligraphed Chalkboard: This beautifully hand-lettered sign by Texas-based Wayfarer's Creative incorporates an antique wooden frame that was cleverly turned into a chalkboard.

Surfboard: If you're outdoorsy, why not incorporate your interests into your menu design? This surfing-loving couple asked a friend (who happens to be an illustrator) to paint the dinner-menu offerings onto a wooden "belly board" (traditional English surfboard).

Wooden Pallet: Repurpose a wooden pallet (you might be able to find one for free at your local grocery store) by adding a coat of wood stain and writing the evening's menu on each slat, like this couple did for their barn wedding.

Window Pane: This creative couple found an antique window pane and carefully wrote the dinner menu on each glass pane using an opaque white marker (which you can find at any craft store). The menu was then hung on a wall for everyone to see.

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