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Monday, January 28, 2013

How to Choose a Catering Menu for Your Wedding



Choosing a menu is an important and sometimes difficult part of planning a wedding. On average, over 50% of a wedding budget is spent on food and drink, so it's vital to the success of the day that the menu is correctly chosen.
There are many key factors which will influence a menu choice, some of which are listed below:

The season: will the weather be hot or cold? What sort of ingredients are available and will they be of a good quality? Asparagus is a lovely vegetable to have on your wedding day but it is only produced in the uk for a couple of months of the year. There are many websites which give good advice on the seasons and what produce is available, your caterer should be able to advise you on this also.

The venue: does it have adequate facilities? Is there an appropriate space for your chosen catering? Is there a local product which could be used to create interest in your menu. For example if you have chosen a farm setting, does it produce anything you can use such as cheese or meat?

Ethnic or religious influence: there may be a percentage of your guests who, for example, do not eat pork, in this case a hog roast would be a bad idea. A lamb roast might be a suitable alternative.

Budget: a big, important factor in planning your wedding catering. There is no point dreaming of fillet steak and caviar if you can only afford chicken. Try to be original about your choices but bear in mind that over-complicating your menu to make up for not being flashy will only make things difficult. Choose interesting and exciting options, but keep them simple. This is really hard, no one wants to have a 'budget' wedding but trying to have an expensive wedding when you can't afford it is a bad idea. Work with what you have or up your budget. If you order fillet steak but it comes in cheap, it probably will be cheap, badly cooked, poor quality, foreign and tough. On the other hand a talented caterer will make an inexpensive cut of meat such as leg of lamb into a beautiful dish, much better than the poor quality steaks. Something you'll be proud to serve you most treasured friends and family.
Tip: Watch out for lamb shanks, they tend to be very poor quality, 'boil in the bag', with a shelf life of years due to preservatives and pasteurization.

Your own tastes and preference: the most important factor in choosing your wedding day menu is making sure you get what you want. You can easily get too wrapped up in pleasing (or trying to impress) your guests. Be yourself, try to show your guests what you are like as a couple, give them a taste of the experiences you've had and the discoveries you've made along the way. This is your chance to show your friends and family what an individual, cultured and original person you have grown up to be. This should be your finest hour (or two).

One more point to consider in planning your wedding menu is the table plan. Most couples do not realise what a challenge this is before food even becomes an element. Keep it simple. Having multiple food options served to different people in the room can seem like a good idea, you want your guests to have the choice of what they eat. "What if they don't like lamb, we must have a chicken option", "what about the vegetarians, we must have a veggie option", "Kids wont eat lamb or chicken, we must have some kids food", "Aunty Brenda only eats cabbage and chickpeas, she must have this as an option". Suddenly your menu is long and complicated, now you have to gather your guests choices and compile them on the table plan. Just when the pressure can't get anymore you have the task of making a table-plan. It's a nightmare, couples often say afterwards: I wish we'd kept it simple.

Design your menu around enjoying your day and don't forget about the lead up to it. The whole experience should be easy and fun. Keep this in your mind as it wonders into dreamland. Easy and Fun.
Should you require more advice or help on plan your own wedding menu, don't hesitate to contact Gastro Catering at We provide unique and exciting wedding catering for all budgets.
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