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Wedding Menus Vary by Budgets and Reception Locations

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Two weekends. Two weddings.
Not since your college days have you had a schedule that included two weddings in the same month, but your your family was enjoying the celebrations. The first wedding of the summer was an opportunity to reconnect with family members and dance with cousins. The second wedding was a chance to introduce your two teenage daughters to your college friends and dance with a younger crowd.
At both weddings, your daughters focused on the dresses, the decorations, and the dance floor. Your husband, on the other hand, was into critiquing the event menus. In fact, he found it a challenge to try all seven flavors of the petite cupcakes at the family wedding. This cupcake critique, of course, took place after he had encouraged your daughters to be among the first in line for the soft serve ice cream. Offered as a snack before dinner while the wedding guests waited for the wedding party to arrive, the ice cream station included toppings as diverse as gummy worms and chocolate chips and purple mini chocolate candies and teal sprinkles. In your husband’s opinion, any wedding reception that gave the guests something to eat while they waited for the wedding party to finish with pictures was a huge success!
At the college friend wedding, the girls were thrilled that after a fun night of dancing, the bride’s parents had 30 pizzas delivered for the guests before the night wrapped up. All of these sweet offerings and late night pizza options were, of course, in addition to the event menus that were part of the sit down dinners at both events. Served buffet style, the meals at both weddings consisted of a salad, two different meats, potatoes, and a vegetable. The rolls at both weddings were the favorite menu item for your oldest daughter who is a little more picky in her eating choices.

Enough, already, about the food!
Event Menus Are a Major Planning Decision for Many Kinds of Celebrations
Professional catering services dictate the majority of event menus for celebrations and meetings. In fact, when a wedding couple decides on a reception location, they often make that decision by not only considering the space, but also the food options. And while many think of weddings when it comes to catering, event menus are also important parts of large sales meetings, speaker presentations, and college campus open houses. Obviously corporate menus vary from wedding reception menus. Several parts of the planning process, however, are similar. When families or companies begin to make plans for food catering menus they have to consider several things: budget, number of guests, plating preferences, and food choices.
Budget. The very first thing that most event planning and catering staff will want to know is what is the budget for the event? Typically, a caterer will offer several different menu choices at a variety of price levels. Priced per person, caterers can offer full meals, appetizers, or the popular food bar option which allows guest to create their own meals. Some creative options can help wedding couples save money. for example, day-time weddings are less expensive and continue to grow in popularity. Brunch menus that include mimosas, bloody Marys, omelet stations, and more can be both fun and less expensive.
Number of guests There is a reason for those adorable, but sometimes annoying, RSVP cards that come in wedding invitations. Quite simply, the only way a host can determine how much an event will cost is to know how many people are attending. Additionally, the only way a caterer can know how much food to prepare is to have an accurate head count for an event. While some locations will just keep preparing food as long as it is needed, it is very difficult to budget for food without an exact count before the event.
Plating preference. Food bars, buffet lines, or plated meals are the three main options. And while food bars may have at one time seemed informal, they are becoming increasingly popular at even the most formal events.
Food choices. Caterers have no problem being creative and flexible. When informed ahead of time, recipes can be adjusted for food allergies, and cooking methods can be altered for religious dietary requirements.

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