Image: Leo Druker
Rebecca is back today with another wedding planning guest post – bringing you the tips, tricks, insight, and advice on how to choose the type of food to serve at your wedding. You will spend THE BIGGEST part of your budget on food (most likely), so it’s certainly one of the biggest decisions and can sometimes be one of the hardest. Unless you are dead set on a specific type of cuisine, I remember thinking only, “I just want something good that isn’t horribly fancy or expensive”. Not all that specific. So Rebecca is here to help you decide what to serve at your wedding!
How to Figuring Out Food for Your Wedding | By: Rebecca
If you are anything like me, food is an essential part of your daily life. For me, the best part of any vacation, party, or special occasion is whenever there’s something truly fantastic and delicious to eat. When you’re lucky enough to live in a city like D.C., you have access to some of the best food in the world. Don’t just take my word for it – ask Bon Appetit, who named us the Restaurant City of the Year in 2016!
It makes sense that food was at the top of both me and my fiancee’s “must have” list. It was important to both of us that our wedding have tasty food and plenty of it. We also knew that food would be a major part of our somewhat limited budget, so we wanted to find a solution that was both delicious and economical.
Here are a few things to consider when crafting your wedding menu:
- What do you like to eat? You are going to be allocating a fair bit of your wedding funds to food (a good rule of thumb is 30%-40% of your budget) – you need to make sure this is food you’ll enjoy eating! Don’t worry too much about what the “traditional” wedding menu should be – if you and your partner enjoy eating it or it’s meaningful to the both of you, your guests will enjoy it as well!
- Consider venue and time of day – Your reception time is going to dictate what will work best for menu. If you’re considering getting married earlier in the day, a brunch or luncheon style menu might work better than five course meal. Conversely, if you’re getting married later in the evening, you might forgo a buffet and stick with a cocktail-style reception. Also, your venue lay-out might lend itself best to food stations versus a sit-down dinner or have a great space for food trucks to park and serve.
- Think about what’s seasonal and local. You’ll ultimately have fresher food at a better price point if you consider what will be in season when you get married and what’s local to the region. Talk to your food vendor about what their most popular items are – if it’s something they make and prepare regularly, it’s likely going to be priced economically.
- Find a caterer/restaurant/chef you trust. This is true of every vendor you work with for your wedding but especially for catering. Make sure you’re working with a food vendor who is upfront about costs (including rentals and staffing), is willing to work with you as a team to craft your event, and is approved by your venue. We chose our caterer primarily because they were the first to actually read our initial email and make suggestions based on what we wanted, not on what they were trying to sell us.
- To cake or not to cake? For some people, cake is a non-negotiable part of a wedding – but it can also be a costly addition. If you are going to have cake and worried about the cost, consider using a smaller cake for the cake-cutting and a sheet cake for serving to guests. You might consider doing a mini-cake bar with a selection of smaller cakes from your grocery store or Costco, to allow for more variety at a lower cost. And don’t be afraid to ditch the cake. There are so many wonderful dessert alternatives out there and your caterer will likely be able to help you find something that fits your style. For our wedding, that means doughnuts (District Doughnuts, of course!) and gelato!
I would put my taste buds first then my guests next. It may sound conceited but it’s my wedding day right? If I have guest who are vegan, I’ll find vegan dishes that appeals to my palate, so on and so forth.