Catered Meals: Choosing a Wedding Reception Dinner Menu
So you’ve settled on a plated wedding reception dinner, where guests are served at their seats just like in a restaurant. As long as you can afford it, this really is the most elegant option for dinner service and will leave your guests with a favorable impression of the whole night.
Caterers generally arrange their menus in easy-to-read packages featuring a main course and one or two sides, and possibly a salad. Dessert is typically just a slice of wedding cake. Catering menus usually feature two or three different packages at different pricing levels ranging from $20 to over $50 per plate.
Even without doing the math you can see how a catered meal is an enormous expense of the wedding reception. All the same it’s better not to skimp on the food, because the wedding feast is what guests will remember most about the night after it’s over.
Most couples narrow the choices down to a few and give guests the option to choose their own meals. Chicken should be one of the options as it is most likely to satisfy everyone. Inevitably some guests will not care for red meat or seafood, and chicken seems to be the most-likable main dish.
If you know that a number of your guests are vegetarians or have other dietary concerns, you should definitely offer a meal option that will be acceptable to them. Try to be accommodating within reason, but know that you can’t please everyone and be satisfied with doing your best.
Whatever options you’re considering, make sure to do a taste testing first – the taste of the food is what really matters, and what you’re paying top dollar for. Most wedding caterers offer a free tasting of the main dishes and sides you’re considering. Don’t eat a full meal just before you go to your tasting, but don’t go on an empty stomach, either. Being too hungry or too full will affect your perception of the food’s taste.
Include your final menu choices on the R.S.V.P. card in the invitations, asking guests to put a check mark next to the main course they’d like. (Just a word of warning: not all R.S.V.P. cards make it back and it may become a headache to track down non-responders or simply guess whether they are coming and what they’d like to eat.)
If your reception includes children, make sure to ask your caterer about the children’s meals they provide. At a discounted price, smaller size, and featuring more kid-friendly fare such as chicken nuggets or grilled cheese, children’s meal are a must if you plan to feed children at your wedding reception.
For formal evening wedding receptions, a catered sit-down dinner is the best choice for feeding your guests. You’ll love the elegant air a full-service plated dinner gives the whole night.
♥ Jenny Evans
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