When it comes to choosing what time your wedding ceremony will be, it’s a great idea to also consider what type of food you would like to serve at the reception. The kind of food you wish to serve can change the whole theme of the wedding. Wedding caterers can not only help you choose what food to serve but may also be able to recommend winery shops and liquor stores near you. We encourage you to take a look at the wedding meals below to get started on thinking about what meals you might serve. Knowing what you want will give you a head-start when meeting with wedding caterers. There are a variety of options you can find from this list. Enjoy!
The Different Wedding Meals
In general, breakfast isn’t considered a wedding meal. However, we believe breakfast food is just as wonderful at any time of day. Serving breakfast food can be a creative twist on traditional wedding reception meals.
There are many different aspects to consider when it comes to planning a breakfast for all your guests. Here a couple of helpful hints to help guide you through the process.
When drinking juice or coffee, people will consume around two drinks each. If you would still like to provide alcoholic beverages for your guests, traditional “brunch” drinks, like mimosas, are a great way to go.
Each guest should be provided with one main entrée of about 5 ounces as well as two sides. Between 3 and 5 pieces of chopped fruit per person should be just enough. If you decide pastries are on the menu, 1 to 2 per person is the perfect amount!
Serving lunch at your wedding provides a multitude of meal options. You can serve hors d’oeuvres, sandwiches, salad, or a full meal. No matter what you serve, you have the opportunity to make it your own and have fun with it! Below are a couple of tips for serving lunch at your wedding.
If you and the catering services choose to serve hors d’oeuvres for lunch, there should be about 2 to 4 per person. Similar to breakfast, the entrée should be about 5 ounces and come with 2 to 3 sides, one of which should be a starch. If you decide to have sandwiches, there should be 1 to 2 per person depending on the size of the sandwiches.
As far as drinks are concerned, water, soda, lemonade, and iced tea are all wonderful drink choices. Of course, it’s up to you to decide if alcoholic beverages will be provided or not.
Out of all the meals you can choose from, dinner is by far the largest one. Although this is the most traditional option, don’t forget that it’s not your only option. There are still lunch and breakfast ideas you can work with. If you do decide dinner is the way to go, here are more dinner-related suggestions to help you decide which meals you want to serve.
For dinner, the number of hors d’oeuvres per person should be increased to 3 to 5 per person.
The main entrée will probably be about 5 to 7 ounces of meat and 2 to 3 sides. Vegetables or pasta will be appropriate to include on the side. Don’t forget to include options for guests with dietary restrictions!
Bread, soup, and salad will typically be included, and even expected by many of the guests.
For this meal, it’s very common to provide alcoholic drinks for your guests. Local wineries and breweries are a great place to look for those drinks to wash dinner down with. It’s suggested, however, that you provide nonalcoholic drinks as well.
Lastly, you should provide at least three dinner options for your guests to choose from.
Wedding Meals: Meat Dishes
It is typical for the venue to provide options such as poultry, pork, beef, or fish. These options can vary but it’s recommended to choose two of these categories to provide your guest a variety of choices.
An inexpensive option is a chicken. This usually is chicken marsala or parmesan chicken and pasta. It will be helpful to have your venue or caterer offer food samples before choosing this meat option.
Steak is usually on the menu for dinner. It can be paired with roasted vegetables, potatoes, and grains. This is a go-to dish for every reception.
Fish is a very popular choice. A lot of people choose steak and fish for their two meat options. Salmon is best with jasmine rice and is usually seasoned with sesame seed oil, soy sauce, and toasted sesame seeds.
It is very important to be mindful of other eating habits. You guests will all have different dietary needs. That’s why a third option should always be vegan or vegetarian. These can be discussed with the caterer since they’ve dealt with other eating habits often, but here are a few ideas to start.
Polenta is a dish made from cornmeal. It’s a popular vegan dinner dish. Ask your caterer about Polenta to see if they offer this option.
Grain bowls are very popular. This is a combination of rice, couscous, farro, and barley. They contain vegetables as well with dressing mixed in. This can be served hot or cold.
Roasted Vegetables and TVP
Going the whole foods route is always safe. Offer a large portion of roasted vegetables and potatoes. Incorporate a mix called TVP. TVP is textured vegetable protein. This can be made into nuggets or “meat” balls. This is a filling dish that I’m sure everyone will love no matter if they are vegan or not.
Now that you have more of an idea about what the different wedding meals entail, you can start planning what meals you would like to have. You may also want to start searching for a caterer. You most likely will be able to find a local caterer in your area. Then, you can discuss what meals you’d like to have at your wedding. Hopefully this list of ideas for each meal time made the process smoother and quicker for you.
Written by Emily Palermo, Anna Wertman, and Elisabeth Blair