Wedding receptions include food for guests, but no two couples do it the same way. There are wedding receptions with open bars, some with no bars, some with cash bars, sit down dinners, and buffets. Some people have a very casual affair with simple food you can eat with your fingers, and other couples choose something a bit fancier and more upscale. What you do on your wedding day is personal and entirely up to you, but there are three things every wedding reception menu must include whether you’re catering a sit-down dinner or a casual buffet.
1- A Vegetarian Option
No one wants to play games with their wedding reception menu, but not everyone eats meat. You don’t have to include a gluten-free menu, a low-carb menu, and a Paleo menu for your guests. “It’s customary to provide a menu that does offer a vegetarian option for anyone who lives a vegetarian lifestyle,” said Martin’s Caterers. Most everyone else can find something on the menu that works within the confines of what they’re currently eating. If you try to please everyone, you’ll end up with 100 guests eating 75 different means. Offer a meat and/or a fish option as well as a vegetarian option and everyone should be happy.
2- Limited Options
This goes hand-in-hand with offering a vegetarian menu at the wedding. When you offer too many options, things fall apart. You cannot make everyone happy on your wedding day when they read the menu, but the good news is this is not your job. Your job is to plan a day that’s all about your marriage, and people unhappy with the menu aren’t your problem. Too many options mean more money, more space needed to house food, and more servers. Two options is a perfect number, but some couples choose a third to be on the safe side. The more your order to impress your guests, the more you’ll spend on food.
3- Enough Food
One way many couples try to spare the budget is not offering enough food. If you have an open bar at your wedding, you must have enough food for everyone and then some. It’s food that helps keep your guests from going overboard with the drinks, and it’s needed to sustain life. If you invited 100 people to your wedding and receive 75 RSVPs as a yes, don’t just serve 75 plates. Allow your caterer to go ahead and make 10% more. This is going to help you in case a few people show up who did not RSVP. It happens, and it’s going to cause you a state of panic if you don’t prepare for this type of situation.
4- Open Bar Policies
One more bit of information to keep in mind regards your open bar. It’s nice to have, and guests appreciate it. If you want to save money, try offering a signature cocktail and just beer and wine. Liquor is a favorite, but it also causes problems at many weddings. It’s also far more expensive to offer this when you’re catering to dozens of people. You can choose to go with a limited open bar and spend more on food, and that usually keeps your guests from going too crazy at the bar and not eating enough beforehand.
Your wedding day is all about you. You aren’t responsible for catering to every single dietary need at the wedding. Your friends can either forgo their specialty diet for the night or they can eat on their way home, but it’s not your job to offer several options to ensure everyone is happy.
When choosing the menu, choose items that are filling but not too heavy. Choose a vegetable to go with each meat, a starch, and bread. This is a well-balanced option for those who do have some dietary concerns. Offering a salad is also a good idea, since almost everyone on any diet can indulge in a salad. It’s your day, and knowing what to include and leave out of the reception menu is how you save money and still have a good time at your wedding.