Choosing your food and drinks is one of the most important and fun parts of planning a wedding reception. Your choice of food and drinks and how you present them are a reflection of your personality and style and they greatly impact the success of the reception. Below are a few proven expert tips on how to make an exquisite menu.
- Pick local foods that are in season
Consult your chef about what is in season. This greatly lowers your budget, offers convenience since sourcing for the food is easier, and it ensures the food you get is fresh. Regionally grown or raised foods and locally manufactured wines will also save you money, will ensure you create something unique, and will enable you to showcase the local cuisine.
- Dietary restrictions
Different guests have different preferences. Consider such things as the age and religion of your guests. Some guests may have dietary restrictions based on religion, age, and other factors. Be proactive and ask them about their food allergies and other dietary restrictions. There is more awareness about gluten-free and vegan/vegetarian meals today and you should cater for such guests.
- Come up with a style
It is not enough that you serve good food and drinks. There should be a style to the evening, especially for the more formal classic sit-down dinners. The style should manifest itself in the décor, in how the catering team is dressed, and even in the food choice. You can come up with a dress code for your guests for a truly memorable wedding party.
- Plated versus buffet
Plated or buffet? Each option has pros and cons worth considering. If you want to save money, do not assume one is less expensive than the other – it depends on the numbers and what is being served. Talk to your catering manager to determine what will optimize your costs. In general, go for plated means when hosting a classic sit-down dinner and buffets when organizing a less formal dance party with finger food.
- Create a budget and stick to it
Come up with a budget and break it down to your wedding caterer Toronto. You should only write a budget once you are sure about the number of guests you want and what you want to serve them. Just as important as creating a budget is sticking to it.
- Consider the timing
The timing of wedding reception will determine several factors including the foods to serve, how to serve it, and the quantity to serve. If the reception will be in the morning, go for a brunch or breakfast menu. If the reception will be in the afternoon, go for a light lunch menu. Go for dinner for an evening reception and for cocktail-style or dessert bar reception for a late reception.
- Start preparing early
You should start early as this allows you to get the best caterer, given that the best caterers in Toronto are usually booked up to 12 months out. Starting early also allows you to scout venues and it gives you enough time to pick an exquisite menu.
- Add a personal touch
Adding a personal touch in different components of the menu makes it truly memorable. People are more likely to remember a moving story told and relationships created than they are good food. You can create foods that are inspired by memories of things you have done together or special moments you have shared. As an example, you can have the chef recreate the first meal your fiancé cooked for you. It should relate to you as a couple, and excite your guests as well.
- Diversify the menu
We all have different tastes when it comes to foods and drinks. The most effective way of ensuring your guests find at least something they are happy with is diversifying the menu. As an example, with meats, have everything from beef to poultry and from seafood to pork. You should also remember vegetarians and vegans in your food choices. Do not serve hot sources just because you like spicy food – you should have hot and mild options to accommodate everybody.
- Don’t skimp on the portions
Running out of food is embarrassing. Even when you have a fixed headcount, it pays to have 10% extra food to cater for those who may serve themselves larger portions and even gatecrashers.