What you and your guests eat at your wedding will be one of the most memorable parts of your special day… but how do you choose what to feed everyone? The most important thing to remember is that whatever you choose, your guests will enjoy, so make sure you opt for something that will make YOU happy! See some top tips for choosing your wedding catering from the experts at Beales Gourmet…
Start at the very beginning – Canapés
The first thing you’ll need to consider is what your guests will be nibbling on when you have your drinks reception, immediately following from saying your “I do’s”. This is a really sociable part of your big day, and you’ll more than likely want to be having a fair few photographs with your betrothed, so leave your guests with a few drinks and some tasty canapes that can be passed around during the reception. Canape options have come a long way since the infamous vol au vents of ‘80s. Opt for something modern like little parcels of Thai beef salad, with sesame vegetables and a citrus soy dip, or perhaps something like pulled pork & sage ‘sausage rolls’ – a delicious, modern version of the Great British classic. Nowadays, you can even choose sweet canape options, like seasonal Chantilly meringue ‘kisses’ or mini pots of praline semifreddo (the perfect semi-frozen treat in the summer!). Aim for around 6 canapes per guest for a 90-minute drinks reception.
The Main Event – Your Wedding Breakfast
Time for the main event. But are you going to stick with a traditional 3 course formal wedding breakfast, or would you prefer something a little bit different?
By far still the preferred options of millions of couples getting married each year, is the formal three course wedding breakfast. If choosing this option, make sure your caterer gives you plenty of choice for each course. A good caterer will use fresh, seasonal ingredients of the highest quality to create every dish. For example, as a starter in the spring, you might choose something like a tasty smoked Atlantic haddock fish cake, served with truffle tartar sauce and stunning local asparagus salad. Perhaps you’ve chosen a winter wonderland wedding… enjoy something more warming and filling like pork belly which has been slow-roasted with super crispy skin, served with a sweet potato gratin, glazed carrots, purple sprouting broccoli and an apple & elderflower compote. If it’s summertime, it’s the perfect time to take advantage of local strawberries (and indeed the myriad of delicious berries grown at this time of year) – serve with meringue, Chantilly cream and strawberry sauce to enjoy an ‘Eton Mess’ of sorts.
Going Modern – Sharing is caring
You might, however, decide that you want to serve something more interactive to encourage conviviality among your guests. There are so many fun and exciting alternatives to traditional wedding breakfasts – from the classic roast dinner (complete with roast potatoes, veg and gravy); a Spanish feast of Paella, breads and salad; ‘Big Pot’ centrepieces, such as stews, tagines, and pies for the whole table to share; posh ‘table picnics’ including classic items like Scotch eggs, pork & cranberry pies, quiches, and delicious sweet items like filled scones, fruit kebabs and berry trifle shots; and finally the ever-popular barbecue or hog roast – the ultimate summer satisfier!
Evening buffet experiences
Finally, later in the evening, you’ll want to provide your guests (including those only joining you for the evening reception) with some tasty sustenance to see them through all the dancing you probably have planned! From platters of cheese and charcuterie, to hog roasts, and everything in between, any good caterer should give you an abundance of choice. Look out for interesting options like ‘Curry Night’ or fusion dining experiences with popular snacks from around the globe.
Special dietary requirements
Your caterer should also be prepared to cater for all manner of special dietary requirements. These may include guests with specific allergies, to common diets such as gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan. There is usually a way to accommodate all of these with advance notice.
Reflect Your Style
Most importantly, remember to make sure that the cuisine you serve reflects you as a couple. If you have a favourite dish you always eat on holiday together, or something that your family has always dined on, speak to your chosen caterers and see if they can help create a special interpretation of those dishes.