You know that despite all your efforts in planning the perfect wedding you’re going to have to cater to some fussy eaters. One of the biggest things guests tend to nitpick about is your menu. Considering you’re serving up a free meal you’d think they’d be less demanding but this is never the case.
Here we offer the top nine tips for planning the ultimately delicious wedding feast to please your palette and the finickiest diners at your table!
1. Match your venue to your meal
Since you’ve got enough things to worry about when choosing the ideal venue for your wedding, have your menu top your list of requirements. This can really narrow down your search.
The thing with venues is many offer trendy spots that seem great on sight but once you dig a little deeper, they often lack the other important qualities you want in a venue including quality service, accommodating staff and a versatile first-class menu.
So, when you narrow down your choice of venues, make sure your priorities include their ability to meet your wedding feast expectations.
2. Consider your meal’s ‘format’
What we mean here is how your meal is served. This is important because there are many pros and cons to all of your options. Some things to consider include:
The sit-down meal: This is the traditional meal featuring three to five courses. You usually have the option to provide your guests with a few options such as fish or chicken, beef or pasta, as well as a vegetarian/vegan meal.
The benefit of this option is that no one needs to work for their meal – they can just sit and chat while the dishes are brought to them. The downside is it does reduce the options.
Buffet: Today buffets are all the rage and they are no longer looked at as low-budget. If you choose this option, make sure your venue can provide an exciting selection for guests. This idea works because guests can choose their favourites. This means they are less likely to complain about the meal.
The downside is it can be difficult for some guests such as elderly family members to get their food.
Cocktails and appetizers: Another budget-friendly, yet rather elegant option is to bypass the meal altogether. Instead, you hold a cocktail and appetizer reception. While this sounds like a less than impressive idea, your venue should offer you elegant, substantial appetizers that impress and also help fill people up.
Just be sure to tell people this is the plan on the invitations to reduce any grumbling on the day.
Stations: Last but not least, stations can really enhance your buffet. You create different food stations where people choose from a very broad menu. It might include a pasta bar, a carving station with roast meats and sides, something fun like a themed bar such as sushi or Mexican etc.
The sky’s the limit as long as your venue is up to the challenge. However, you face the same challenges as a buffet with this choice.
3. Meet with the chef
If your venue doesn’t offer the option to meet with the chef, you should probably ditch it. Good banquet halls understand the importance of the meal and make every effort to ensure you get what you want.
Consider ahead of time what you want for your meal and present your ideas to the chef. This provides them with valuable information that helps them create the ideal menu. Discuss your preferred format and see if this inspires them to come up with more ideas.
4. Sample, sample, sample
You have a right to request a sampling of the foods before you make a final decision. Following the meeting with your chef, narrow down your choices and have them prepare a tasting session. This allows you to figure out what dishes you want for your final menu.
5. Consider logistics
An important contributing factor to your meal is your guest list and entertainment plans. For example, if you have 500 guests, a buffet is probably not the best idea. Just think of the congestion with all those people lining up to get their food!
Another consideration is your entertainment plans. If you need more space for a large live band, for example, the number of buffet tables or serving stations that will fit in the venue is important. On top of this, who is attending? If you have several elderly guests or people with mobility issues, the buffet idea will pose problems.
6. Have fun
Unless you know for sure that most of your guests understand first-class cuisine, confusing people with too fancy a feast is probably not a good idea. Most people want something fun and tasty, not something that will make them feel uncomfortable because they have no idea what they’re eating. While a fancier menu can work for more intimate weddings, you don’t want your guests to feel overwhelmed if you go overboard.
Think of a meal that will bring the most pleasure to yourselves and your guests. You’ll also find this provides a more budget-friendly option. Don’t underestimate the appeal of something casual yet a little jazzed up. For example, have some fun stations like a mac and cheese station, pub crawl station or a pasta station.
People love fun menus that allow them to dine in a different way while also avoiding the same old same old boring chicken or overdone prime rib dinner typically served at weddings.
7. Print menus
Menus are an added expense, but can still be done in an amusing yet budget-friendly way. By providing menus people get a sneak peek so they know what to expect. However, if you’re doing something a little unusual it also provides an opportunity to offer some fun instructions. Guests will understand where stations will be set up and can also start deciding what they want.
8. Don’t forget food challenges
Don’t forget about guests who pose challenges due to special diets whether it is vegan, gluten-free or food allergies. The best way to address this issue is to request special diet needs be sent to you when people RSVP.
While not all options can be accommodated like low-carb meals, for example, the ones that pose health issues can be included in your order.
9. Don’t forget dessert
The best course that offers the opportunity for doing something fun is dessert. Dessert buffets, crepe stations, midnight snack service etc. are yummy additions that complete your guest’s dining experience.
If you are looking for the ideal wedding feast at your Vaughan banquet hall, call Château Le Jardin at 1-800-533-3009 or contact us here.