Much has been written about food and love. And perhaps even more about the importance of food as the centerpiece to any memorable gathering. With the emergence of foodie blogs and foodie culture, today’s engaged couples have food on their minds more than ever when planning their wedding menu.
Whether their style is classic fare done to perfection or an innovative take on a culinary trend, brides, grooms and spouses-to-be have their plates full when planning the right wedding menu.
Determining Your (Culinary) Style
From glam to boho, romantic, rustic, classic or contemporary, most couples determine the overall style for their wedding early in the planning process. For many, it’s that wedding style that sets the tone and helps make overall decisions for your celebration—ranging from where you will be married to the type of wedding venue, whether to book a band or DJ, the dress(!), the flowers, invitations, jewelry and more.
Yet, one area that can bring a strong thematic element to the table—quite literally—is the food. When choosing your venue or caterer, it’s important to ask about the types of food they serve and what options you have to curate the wedding menu, especially if you have a special request. Meadow Brook Hall’s in-house chef has recently reimagined our wedding menus with inspired cuisine to allow for a wide variety of tastes, from curated menus to a la carte options that allow couples to customize their dining experience.
Think about the atmosphere you want to create and aim to make menu selections match. For example, you wouldn’t serve barbecue at a formal event, but you may want to encourage casual chatting and tasting with a strolling dinner. Another way to highlight your style is to work with your vendor to create a signature cocktail—give it a name and a flavor as sparkling as your relationship!
Planning the Courses, of Course!
When you begin to plan your wedding menu, be sure to take all of the eating and drinking opportunities—and every course into account. Consider the overall guest experience you want to create and review your options with your caterer. Would you rather have a bountiful food display or is butler-passed hors d’oeuvres more your style?
A wedding brings together many different people from your life who likely have many different tastes. Think about your guest list and try to include a variety of options that will appeal to different people in your wedding menu. Many couples aim to mix in a few vegetarian options—both during the cocktail hour and at dinner—to ensure there is something for everyone.
Most meals feature three courses—a salad or soup starter course, an entrée and a dessert. However, you don’t have to stop there! If you and your spouse-to-be have a craving for a true feast, consider adding additional courses to your wedding menu.
This could be a small plated appetizer in lieu of hors d’oeuvres and served prior to the starter course. Something like an artisanal cheese sampling or sliced smoked salmon would be appropriate. Another addition is an Intermezzo course, traditionally served between the soup or salad and entrée course. Intermezzo courses are a light, refreshing item such as lemon sorbet or celery and cucumber batonettes meant to cleanse your palate and prepare your taste buds to enjoy the next course.
Desserts to Dream About
The culinary showpiece for most wedding celebrations is the cake. A beautiful, tiered wedding cake is a time-honored tradition and the act of cutting the cake together is a special moment for many couples. But there is no need to stop at cake when there is a whole range of desserts to explore!
Add something sweet to your event that will delight your guests, such as an ice cream sundae station or an irresistible display of treats, such as tortes, flan, cheesecake, crème brûlée, fresh fruit and berries and so much more. Desserts are a wonderful opportunity to show off your great taste.
Don’t forget the Late-Night Snack
Although your guests have been well fed during the reception, the hope at every wedding is that they build up a new appetite on the dance floor. Late-night snacks are a tasty way to wrap up your evening and send your guests home with full bellies. The arrival of the late-night snack is a also an important part of the overall wedding flow. It signals to guests that the evening is drawing to a close, and it is time to break bread together one last time before heading home.
You may have taken your guests on a culinary journey, and the late-night snack should be a crowd pleaser. Many couples offer up pizza, but there are so many more options that would be a big hit as well. Think mac & cheese bar, nacho bar, mini burritos, sliders, warm pretzel bites or a Coney Island bar. Let the late-night snack hit your cravings and be a joyful, casual close to an appetizing celebration.
It’s true that there is no match so universally pleasurable as good food and good company. By choosing the right wedding menu and placing the dining experience at the heart of your celebration, you and your spouse-to-be will create unforgettable and delicious evening.
For more information about being married at Meadow Brook—and what your custom dining experience could look like—visit meadowbrookhall.org/weddings or reach out to our events team at .