James and I made our last trip home before the wedding over the weekend. It still hasn’t hit me that we’re getting married in a matter of weeks!
We went home to finalize some details with vendors, finish up some DIY projects and do a little much-needed relaxing. One of the many things on our to-do list was reviewing the final menu for the reception.
When we started planning our wedding, there was one thing I knew I didn’t want: dried-out chicken.
I’ve been to so many weddings where this is standard fare and guests end up leaving hungry and tired as a result. We are both foodies, so we wanted to make sure whatever dishes we served at our wedding were things our guests actually wanted to eat. We also knew we’d have several vegetarians attending the wedding, so we’d need to have several options for our guests.
It didn’t take us long to settle on the type of cuisine: Italian. It’s always a crowd pleaser, so we knew all of our guests would be able to find a dish or two they like. My mom’s side of the family is from Italy, so it’s also a small nod to my family’s heritage.
While we have a handful of good Italian restaurants in town, the one we’re using is a place I’d never tried until the wedding planning process. My mother stumbled across Rosati’s at a wedding expo she attended and was blown away by their food. While the restaurant is well-known for its pizza, the pastas and meats they offer on their catering menus are delicious.
We went to do a tasting at the restaurant last year and left wanting more! Everything was delicious. We were also impressed by the affordability. We knew food and alcohol were two areas where we wanted to spend extra money in order to have the best quality possible, but Rosati’s allowed us to have great food without having to spend an excessive amount. We settled on a menu including chicken parmesan, eggplant parmesan, mostaccioli, tortellini, bread and salad. There will also be some light appetizers served during cocktail hour.
Once we decided on the menu, we had to figure out how we wanted the meal to be served: individually, buffet-style, or family-style. When it came to this decision, we made it based on our own experiences as wedding guests. The best meals we’ve had have always been served buffet-style. This is a great option because it ensures everyone gets served quickly and the food stays warm. I’ve been to a few weddings where we were served multi-course meals that arrived cold or at completely different times than the rest of the tables’ meals. It all depends on your venue and what works for YOU!
One thing to keep in mind when you’re planning a menu is how easy the food is to eat. We knew pasta had the potential to get messy, so we chose noodles that don’t require people to spin them around their forks. Nothing is worse than a bride covered in spaghetti!
As with every wedding planning decision, you should also keep your budget in mind. I was amazed by how quickly food costs added up when we met with several possible vendors for catering quotes. Most caterers will give you a quote that’s a cost-per-head. Be prepared for your meeting by going in with an idea of how much you can realistically afford to spend per person on food. Throughout the process, don’t back down on these numbers. Most vendors are happy to get creative in order to make your dream wedding day work within your budget.