One of the highlights of the day

Everyone looks forward to the meal at a wedding. Guests may have had a long day preparing for and travelling to witness your celebration, and the newlyweds with their families will welcome the chance to get to know one another as they eat a sumptuous wedding banquet together.

Choosing a menu for your wedding day

Planning what food to serve at your wedding takes time and consideration. At Harper we invite our couples for a food tasting roughly three months before their day. Sampling a 3-course tasting platter featuring five miniature versions of the most popular menu choices, they’re able to sample their wedding food in the surroundings of their wedding venue and get a great impression of the quality and presentation of the food. Of course, you may want to have this experience earlier on in your planning but we find it is a much more enjoyable part of the process if done slightly later, once some of the less exciting things have been sorted and are in place.

Your venue or caterer will of course advise you on what is available given the format of your day. Considerations that will not necessarily be highlighted are listed below:

  • Are you aiming for something that everyone can eat or is it more about your own style and palates? (There is no right answer here but honestly assessing this at the outset will save a lot of nervous energy and mind-changing)
  • Do you have guests with dietary constraints – it is customary to ask people this at the time of sending the invitations but you will need to prepare a detailed analysis to hand to your venue to avoid chaos on the day.
  • Make sure you have planned to have something to eat before the proceedings begin. You may well not have a huge appetite but this is advice that applies however calm (or stressed!) you anticipate being
  • Ask your venue for advice on canapés particularly if you are planning a leisurely session before the meal when your guests will thirstily begin consuming alcohol. A little bite of something at this stage can avoid disaster later in the day.
  • Are there children coming who won’t want your selected adult menu? How do you wish to handle these in the context of adult food service?
  • Have you looked at the meal as a whole to make sure that it is ‘balanced’ both in terms of content/colour/style?
  • If you can choose to use seasonal ingredients for your meal then so much the better!
  • ​Look at evening food alongside the main meal. The hog roast is great but probably not ideal if you have had parma ham followed by pork belly for the main….and none of it may suit some of your guests!
  • ​Discuss evening buffet options with your venue/catering team as they may be able to suggest something unique and exciting to present to your guests.

Wedding banquet – Top tips

Tip one
Don’t forget to mention dietary requirements on your wedding invitations.

Tip two
Choose three courses that you both agree on.

Tip three
Ask your venue if they will print table menus for you, or if you need to arrange these separately.

Things to think about: starters

  • Will your choice of starter compliment your main course option?
  • Have you chosen something versatile that the majority of your guests will like
  • Is your choice of starter easy to eat
  • Consider starter options for guests with food allergies/intolerances.

Things to think about: desserts

  • Will the majority of your guests like your dessert of choice?
  • You’ll probably serve wedding cake later on in the evening – is your dessert of choice too similar to cake?
  • Some guests may have a dairy intolerance – ensure that alternative dessert options are available.