Besides being a basic need, food has great social importance and is one of the key elements of any party – and choosing the perfect menu for your big day is a way to enhance your guests. With this in mind, we have prepared some tips for defining the wedding buffet menu that can help you with this part of the preparations:
1. The menu must be coherent from beginning to end
Even if you, your fiancé, and your family like different kinds of food, it is advisable to choose one line and follow it from beginning to end.
Serving a cocktail inspired by molecular cuisine, a super-traditional French dinner, and typical desserts from the country, for instance, prevents unity in the menu and can leave your wedding without personality. Therefore, it is best to opt for one type of food for all stages of the buffet and make the variations within that same style.
2. Want to serve unconventional dishes? Make a special island for them
Is one of the brides and groom foreigners and would you like to serve typical foods from their home country? Or are you passionate about exotic cuisine and would love to share this with your guests?
In both cases, you can opt for a buffet with a more traditional menu, which meets the preferences of most guests, and serve the “different” dishes on a separate island. This way it will be possible to value the couple’s origins and taste while avoiding embarrassment because the guests are not used to an unconventional type of food.
3. The menu should be adapted to the type of service and the style of the wedding
The American service, in which the guests serve themselves in islands and eat standing up, holding the plate in their hands, is the most informal, so it should be reserved only for the most casual weddings. In this case, it can be quite complicated to consume dishes such as meat, so it is better suited to brunches and casual lunches with finger food-style menus.
The French-American service is one in which the guests serve themselves on islands and eat seated at tables, whose seats are marked in advance. This is the most used service today, and there is no restriction as to the type of food to be served.
In the French-style service, the waiters set the guests’ plates at their tables according to the menu selection. Finally, in the English style service, the dishes are already prepared by the buffet service, preferably with a very fancy presentation, and are served by the waiters directly on the tables.
With the exception of American service, all these services can be used in more formal lunches and dinners, varying the type of dish offered according to the time of the party.
4. Brunch is an option for early morning weddings
For mini wedding-style events held outdoors and in the early morning, you can choose to serve a brunch between 10 and 11 am.
In this case, the menu usually includes items such as fresh fruit, bread, cheese, cold cuts, pâtés, jams, cakes, pies, juices, coffee, milk, and teas, among others. To surprise your guests, varied mini sandwiches, sweet pancakes, and colorful cakes are good options.
Brunch doesn’t necessarily require reserved seating, but that doesn’t mean the table can’t be fancy.
5. The brunch can be adapted to the formality level of your wedding
If the party will take place from 11 am on, you can choose to serve a more traditional lunch, in order to match the style of your wedding. This type of buffet goes very well with outdoor parties, but nothing prevents it from being offered in a hall.
When it comes to choosing the menu, don’t forget to include hot dishes, based on meat and pasta. To make the lunch a little more formal, the tip is to offer a cocktail before the main meal.
6. Dinner calls for more sophisticated dishes
Dinner is the most formal meal you can offer, so the dishes should be more sophisticated than those served at lunch – and a little lighter also because of the time of day. Cocktails and appetizers are almost always present at this type of buffet, which makes the event more elegant.
In this case, the menu should include salads, side dishes, pasta, meats, and desserts, with preparations that vary according to the time of year.
For instance, in the summer, green salads, pasta with lighter sauces, and fish are successful. In this season, a dish with noble white fish is served with Mediterranean sauce and vegetable sauté. An excellent choice!
Winter weddings, on the other hand, can have broths and soups, pasta with cheese-based sauces and thicker sauces, and meat with a stronger flavor, such as lamb and veal. A cassava broth with bacon goes very well with the colder days.
7. Don’t forget about dietary restrictions
Certainly, you know people who follow vegetarian or vegan diets, avoid gluten or lactose, or have an intolerance to these elements.
So it is important that the menu includes at least one option that caters to this group at each stage of the meal so that all your guests can eat. If you will have many children among the guests, it is a good idea to offer a kids menu as well.
8. Taste the menu
Regardless of your choice as to the type of service and the time of the party, it is essential to have a tasting of the supplier you are considering. In this step, besides actually tasting the dishes, take the opportunity to check the kitchen facilities and get to know the types of dishes available.
Among all the tips to define the menu of the wedding buffet, this is certainly one of the most enjoyable. Therefore, when you find the menu that makes you happy and satisfied, have no doubt: this will be your best choice because this is what you are looking for, to offer great and tasty food to your guests.