When it comes to the wedding food the choices are broad and, these days, fairly unlimited. From formal silver service to outdoor barbecue's, there's a whole host of options out there from which couples can select. This article will provide you with some unique and interesting wedding food ideas and hopefully give you some food for thought - so to speak.
Just a handful of years ago, a three course sit down meal comprising soup/melon, chicken in some form or another and trifle (typically with more than a dash of sherry in it!) was the mainstay of weddings up and down the UK. How times have changed. Whether it's because we now have a more educated palette as a nation, or beacuse of the endless cookery shows and celebrity chefs adorning our television screens, or simply beacuse there's a far wider choice of ingredients readily available - whatever the case, wedding food has changed, and it's changed for good.
Before you jump straight in and start deciding what you want to eat, there is the small question of how you want to eat it - casually, as you mingle with guests or more formally, seated and served. Of course there is nothing to stop you doing both as many couples do, but either way, your wedding food and the way you serve it should reflect you, your personalities and sit comfortably alongside any theme you have chose for the day.
Let's take a look at the main options open to you...
Silver Service Menu
A silver service wedding menu describes a formal meal where guests are seated in tables of 6-10 and served multiple courses by smartly dressed waiters and waitresses. Starter, main meal and dessert are usually the minimum offerings and the whole thing usually takes several hours to eat your way through.
The most expensive of all the wedding food options outlined in this article, costs can range from low end double figures per head up to high end treble figures per head, but don't panic, the average is much nearer the former than the latter! For more ideas and in-depth advice on silver service wedding food, be sure to check out our dedicated silver service wedding menu article.
The term 'wedding buffet' describes a meal at a wedding where guests will help themselves to crockery, cutlery and wedding food from a table usually set-up in the corner of a room. From traditional sausage rolls and quiche to more exotic options from far flung corners of the world, a wedding buffet typically has something for everyone with more than enough to go around. For a range of buffet ideas, advice and suggestions, be sure to check out our bespoke wedding buffet article.
Canapes, or nibbles as they are sometimes referred to as, are petite portions of food, not normally eaten in vast quantities, but served from a silver platter by waiters and waitresses as they meander around the room. Previously the reserve of the rich and famous, these days canapes are turning up at all sorts of weddings and have even been known to act as the sole wedding food option for guests in some cases. Prices for canapes can and do vary greatly and largely depend upon what it is you are serving - mini bacon butties should be far cheaper than quails eggs with asparagus for example, but normally they are one of the cheaper wedding food options available.
BBQ's & Hog Roasts
For any summer event, why not consider heading outdoors for the wedding food? Barbecues have long epitomised a British summer and, let's face it, even if it is chucking it down, we won't turn our noses up at the thought of a burger under a brolly! Of course, wedding barbecues can be much more refined affairs, and burgers and sausages needn't be the limit of the culinary options available. Chicken tikka, rainbow trout, fresh prawns and lobster are just some of the bbq options available these days, or for something more elaborate how about going the whole hog and roasting one! For a range of ideas on outdoor eating, our wedding bbq article is a must read.
A Word on Caterers
Throughout this article there has been the assumption that your wedding venue will be providing the catering for the day. But what if they don't, or what if you decide to have the reception in your own back garden? This is where outside caterers come in. Able to provide anything from cordon bleu cuisine to sarnie's and snacks, wedding caterers should be able to set up anywhere and at any time. Prices vary greatly, as do the wedding food options available, so be sure to shop around before jumping straight in an booking up the first one you speak to. Better still, check out our dedicated wedding caterers article if this is something you are considering for your big day.
Related: There are hundreds of wedding articles on the site, each filled with superb ideas, advice and inspiration. Check out the links in the left hand column to read more. Alternatively, to search for a local wedding venue, product or service provider, try our Wedding Directory. With over 13,000 companies already listed, you're sure to find what you're looking for.