When you’re planning your wedding, between all the little details and stressful decisions are a few fun moments—namely, your tastings! Deciding what to serve your guests (and sampling your caterer’s specialties!) is delicious, indulgent, and a much-needed break from all the logistics! Of course, you do also need to choose a menu for your wedding reception while you’re there. So, how many options do you need to have, and how to decide? Our experts weigh in.
With food allergies and preferences more prevalent than ever, picking the right wedding menu can seem super challenging. The good thing is, there’s a way to accommodate multiple preferences without feeling like you need to offer up a restaurant menu when guests get to the reception.
The basic beef, chicken or fish, and vegetarian selections are a great place to start, as these cover all of the major food preferences. From there, look into sides, sauces, and accompaniments that will work for multiple dietary restrictions (especially if those restrictions are your own!). That vegetarian dish can also be vegan if you skip the dairy and opt for grains instead of pasta (which usually has eggs in the dough), and that braised short rib can be gluten free if you pair it with the right mix of veggies. Worried about shellfish allergies? Skip seafood altogether and go with chicken instead.
If you’re not concerned about allergies or dietary restrictions, don’t be afraid to keep the menu simple! It can be more expensive to offer a wide array of dishes at your wedding reception (as that means more prep and different food costs), so having two or three choices is plenty and will still satisfy your guests. Pick an entrée the two of you really love, then pair it with a crowd pleaser that your caterer’s clients totally love. Your caterer will be able to work with you to find the perfect menu that fits your tastes, your budget, and your guests’ needs, so treat it as a collaboration and you’ll wind up with a wedding meal people won’t stop talking about.