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How to Choose Your Wedding Reception Menu

Posted in: Wedding Planning
How to Choose Your Wedding Reception Menu

Selecting your wedding reception menu can be as simple or elaborate as you want it to be, depending on your wedding budget and the style of your party. For a relatively informal reception, you might want to choose simple, easy-to-serve dishes, or opt for a more formal celebration with a seated, gourmet dinner. Whatever you decide, the following tips will help you on this journey. Enjoy!

Where to Start

Begin by thinking about what you like to eat. It’s a good idea to list foods that you and the groom absolutely love and dislike. By creating a list, it will be easier to eliminate options from the several menus you receive from venues and caterers alike. Another idea is to include foods that have special significance, such as your first-date dinner or your engagement party menu. Cookbooks, magazines, even restaurant menus can provide additional ideas. Feel free to be adventurous, but always consider your guests palates, as well. It’s not a good idea to serve caviar if your family is used to barbeque.

Select a type of service

Plated dinner

This option is, by far, the most popular way to serve food to wedding guests. Food is served hot from the kitchen on individual plates and carried to each table by the wait staff. What makes this option attractive is that guests can remain seated, thus making your wedding a more organized event. The con to choosing a seated dinner is that it’s typically a bit pricier than other options, which is something to consider depending on your wedding priorities.

Buffet style

A buffet is a good option for couples looking to save a little money or want to offer an abundant supply of food and variety. The staff typically sets up buffets beforehand and the food is kept warm in chaffing dishes. Guests can either serve themselves or you can hire a couple of waiters to maintain an orderly flow and cleanliness around the area. A common misconception is that buffets are typically less expensive than other options. It is possible to keep costs low only if you keep portions and variety to a minimum. On the other hand, if you want to offer your guests multiple entrees and side dishes, the cost can quickly add up and be greater than a seated dinner. Be sure to plan accordingly!

Cocktail hour and Hors d’oeuvres

Hors d’oeuvres are little snack foods, small 1 or 2 bite items of food served before or after the wedding ceremony. If you are on a tight budget, it is recommended to offer a cocktail hour and hors d’oeuvres to keep both your wallet and your guests full. Choosing 3 or 4 hors d’oeuvres, at 2 pieces a guest, will give everyone a chance to taste all options and stay satisfied through the wedding ceremony. A good idea is to serve wedding cake as dessert after the cocktail hour.

Saving Money

Whatever dinner option you may end up choosing, there are always ways to save money. Factors that can help you, include:

  • Time of day
  • Number of guests
  • Using ceramic or plastic plates
  • Bringing your own utensils
  • Low cost beverage options
  • Substituting wedding cake as dessert
  • Venue catering as opposed to restaurant catering
  • Using the venue catering kitchen (if permitted)

All in all, the wedding dinner should reflect the couple’s style. It’s okay to venture away from your comfort zone, but always include a personal touch.

About Roof Garden

The Roof Garden is a charming, vintage wedding venue and sophisticated corporate/private event facility located in the heart of The Strand overlooking Galveston’s Historic National Landmark District. Our elegant, signature Galveston architecture creates a warm, inviting atmosphere your guests are sure to enjoy. Learn more about our venue and view facility photos to understand the true essence of the Roof Garden.