Gone are the days when a wedding menu was a style of its own, and all you had to do was choose whether to alternate between the chicken or the fish. Planning a wedding today you have a choice of menu styles to reflect your tastes, suit your venue and set the tone of your whole celebration. Now, I hope you’re reading this after lunch, because talking about menus always makes me hungry!
You’ll notice I didn’t mention choosing a wedding menu to suit your budget. This is for three simple reasons.
1. There is no wedding menu style which is cheaper than another, you can spend the same amount per guest on a cocktail menu as you can on a sit down menu.
2. I want you to have the style of wedding menu that is right for you, and it is up to me to fit that style into any budget you may have.
3. You will never be able to tell how much one of my menus costs by looking at the descriptions or the finished dishes, so your guests will never know how much you spent or how much you saved with me.
So, if you tell your wedding caterer you’re on a budget, and they automatically suggest a certain style of menu, thank them for their time and move on. Luckily I’ve been catering weddings for almost 30 years, and I know how to get you the most bang for your food buck.
A cocktail wedding menu is typically sold to couples as the cheaper option, and that’s often why you’ll hear guests complain about a cocktail wedding, because they didn’t have enough to eat. My cocktail menus have just as much food as my sit down menus, the dishes are simply plated differently to make them easy to eat in a relaxed style without interrupting conversation, and in smaller portions spread out over the evening for more variety.
And you and your guests aren’t going to go hungry with dishes like bites of roast beef rolled in pesto, Rogan Josh lamb with jasmine rice and raita, lemon lime prawn skewers or artichoke and parmesan tarts.
Share Platter/Family Style
The wedding buffet has come a long way from being a line of bain-maries and battling grandma’s pointy elbows to get to the food. Eating family style is now very popular in many of the world’s best restaurants, and can suit your wedding too.
With my shared menus, all of the options are served to your table, starting with canapés to make your mouth water, like salmon Bellini or arancini balls, and fig and fennel salad or Thai garlic chicken skewers. Your entrée is a selection of my signature grazing platters, and mains can include Webber roasted rack of lamb or Moroccan vegetable curry. Plus your table will be served salads and side dishes such as smoked rainbow trout salad or pumpkin and potato with mustard cream.
The picnic box menu is a trend I am so excited about because it is so much fun to design and style. Based on the surge in popularity of food trucks, with my gourmet twist, a picnic box menu takes your outdoor wedding to a whole new level. Each dish is served in recycled cardboard picnic box packaging, which can be customised with printing, labels, ribbons or stickers to match your wedding theme.
Style your wedding with eclectic rugs and plush cushions, as you and your guests fill up on a baguette of double smoked ham with slaw, corn and zucchini fritter with homemade chutney or broccoli and three cheese tart, with a chocolate éclair, strawberry custard tart, or cheese platter for dessert.
The sit down reception is the most traditional option for a wedding menu, and still a very popular one, as it allows for structure throughout the evening, an easily managed running sheet, and an elegantly formal feel to the celebration.
I can configure a sit down menu in any way you choose, with shared platters or roving canapés for entrée, the inclusion of a soup, an alternate drop of mains, or a choice of entrées and mains for each guest. Start with a smoked salmon and macadamia nut salad with balsamic and feta dressing, or Thai chilli lamb topped with roast almonds on a bed of jasmine rice. Choose a beef fillet with mushroom and red wine sauce, or spooned over with chunky tomato and black olive salsa. Add a chicken dish rolled and seasoned with ham, spinach, pine nuts and a mustard sauce, or with spring onions, white wine and zucchini salsa.
Sit down menus have a choice of desserts too, ever-popular options like a brandy snap or tiramisu, or beautiful mocha or chocolate torte. Plus, with any of my menu options you can use your wedding cake as dessert, and I will match accompaniments such as cream, berries or crumbles, according to the flavours of the cake.
You may be feeling hungry now, but you and your guests won’t leave one of my weddings with an empty stomach. These are just some of my favourite menu options, with the full menus here. I’m also excited to hear your ideas so bring your favourite food photos when we meet too.
Until next time,