Most big events are centred around a big meal and a wedding is certainly no different. The food is a significant part of the wedding day because it’s the first proper meal together as a couple. It’s clearly a good idea to make sure it’s a good one!
This will also be a large part of your budget and if you’re planning your wedding yourself (and not with a hotel package) then you’ll need to get into this food planning, tasting, and selection game.
There’s a lot to decide here, and your wedding theme can come into play and help you decide on the style or even full menu of your food.
Here are some big areas to consider for your wedding food planning
Have a wedding food tasting
A food tasting for the wedding food might seem extravagant at first, but once you’ve decided on the food, it really does pay to have a tasting and then maybe another option. Why not make a night of it and invite the main family around for the tasting and do some essential planning with them at the same time?
Do you need three courses?
This will depend on the time you have available, your budget, taste and thoughts on it.
Three courses will take longer but you can play with the format a little to get it all in without it feeling rushed.
- Some opt to leave dessert and offer cheese, biscuits, or coffee as an option.
- Having larger canapes during the reception allows you to head straight to the main course.
- You can easily use the wedding cake as dessert and skip the third course.
- You can have three courses and have the speeches play out during dessert/cheese and coffee.
- Do the speeches during the starter course.
We’d suggest you have the food to match your theme and your tastes and make it a good meal that fills up your guests. Avoid the more unpopular meats if you want to cater for the majority and not upset fussy eaters. Good food that’s not too sleep-inducing will help your event run nicely.
Is a wedding cake worthwhile?
OK, here’s a controversial thought… Do you need a cake? A quick search online will show you that many bride and grooms list the wedding cake as a budget waster from their wedding. Unless served as dessert, it rarely gets eaten and is often left for the evening guests to munch on when a bacon sarnie would have gone down better.
Why not opt for a tier of cupcakes, donuts or profiteroles? At least they’ll get eaten then. Or have a smaller, token cake (or a cake with fake layers and one real layer) that is symbolic but not meant to feed everyone.
Cater for food intolerances
We’re now more aware of food intolerances than ever before so make sure you ask your guests to let you know if they have any dietary requirements. Caterers will be more than used to dealing with the requests and it saves that unexpected “I’m vegan” request from table 5!
Don’t go skimpy on portions
Feed your guests well! The meal needs to fill them up as many weddings won’t have dinner later, more likely a buffet of sorts. If you can’t afford a huge three course meal, then save on one course and the cake and instead have a good hearty two-course meal instead.
Keep it simple?
Sometimes, simple is best. Fish and chips is actually a very popular wedding breakfast, as is pie and mash or a tasty curry. Simple choices will appeal to more of your audience and also your budget. Again, what does your wedding theme dictate?
Get your number sorted and then your budget per head
Once you have your headcount and then your pricing, you can see how much you can have and what choices you have. The food bill (with the catering and equipment which follows) will be a large invoice so you need to get your calculator out here to get it to suit you.
Need more inspiration?
Head over to our wedding food inspiration Pinterest board here.
We’ve been hiring catering equipment in Birmingham, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, The Cotswolds and West Midlands for over 20 years.
We’ve seen our fair share of weddings and this gives us the insight and expertise to ask the right questions to give you exactly what you need for your big day.
Contact us now or get a quote by clicking on the button below and we’ll get working on it together.