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Wedding With A Chance of Meatballs

How do you start your catering selection for your wedding day? The first thing you and your partner need to do is decide how big of a role will food have at your wedding. Nobody wants their wedding food to get a bad review, so you want to make sure that the food is of excellent quality and tasty. But do you want it to speak to who you are as a couple? Want it to be an experience your guests will never forget? Want a buffet or plated dinner?

Once you decide how important food is for you and your partner, make a list of what you would like to serve. Below are some guidelines to help you!

Option 1:

Cocktail hour: 3 appetizers

Dinner: 2 entrees, 3 sides

Dessert: wedding cake

Option 2:

Cocktail hour: 3-5 appetizers

Dinner: 3 entrees, 4 sides

Dessert: dessert bar/chocolate fountain, wedding cake

Option 3:

Cocktail hour: themed appetizers

Dinner: food stations

Dessert: dessert bar/chocolate fountain, wedding cake

End of the night snacks: food truck, sliders, tacos, pizza, etc.

Option 1 and 2 are the more traditional options. Option 1 is the more budget friendly option, it allows for a variety of foods without breaking the bank. Things to keep in mind with option 1: have one of the appetizers be a vegetarian option (i.e. spring roll with peanut ginger sauce), and have 2 of the sides be also vegetarian friendly so that any vegetarian guests can make a meal out of it without you having to order separate vegetarian meals (i.e. vegetable medley and eggplant parmesan).

With Option 2, you can create an experience that will be palatable, will leave your guests with more options, and design a menu around a culinary theme that also includes the sweeter part of food. A dessert bar is a wonderful option, especially if you know not all your guests might like cake.

Option 3 is for my foodies. Food is important to you and you want to give your guests an experience they will never forget. The best way to describe this option is to introduce you to Marlene and Nate. Food was very important to them, a Spanish-Cuban fusion of flavors. Their appetizers were traditional spanish tapas with sangrias as the signature drinks. For dinner, there was a roast pig carving station, Paella for those who love seafood, a beautiful tortilla espaňola, arroz valenciana, and more. The dessert bar had a small wedding cake and was surrounded by flan, churros with chocolate to dip, and turron. Cafe con leche was served with the desserts. At the end of the night, the guests indulged in small Cuban sandwiches with fries.

Whichever option you go with, keep in mind that food takes a pretty decent slice off your wedding budget and that everything is priced based on cost of food per person, number of staff needed to attend to the buffet or number of servers needed for plated dinner. Talk to your catering companies and ask them what is their experience with the venue you have chosen, let them know what your theme is, listen to what recommendations they might offer, and if you have wedding planners, bounce off all this information with them, they will be able to offer insight as to the experience you are wanting to create with the food.

Buen provecho!

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