Unless you're after something totally informal, and indeed some couples are, then it's fair to say that most weddings these days will comprise a sit down meal in some capacity or another, and a silver service wedding menu is typically the order of the day. This article focusses on your wedding menu options and provides some unique ideas on how to cater for your guests.
Depending upon the time of day that the wedding reception commences, many couples will look to incorporate one formal sit down meal into the proceedings. For events which start very early on, a second formal meal can be included, but chances are that budgets and preference will steer couples towards a single wedding menu based meal accopmpanied by a buffet, bbq or other less formal food option later on.
Comprising anywhere from two courses upwards, it's not unheard of for more than ten courses to be served at some affairs. That said, time, cost and waistlines all need to be factored in when you're deciding upon the number of platefuls of food each guest will receive, hence why three, four or five courses is typically the norm for a wedding menu.
Few venues will be prepared to offer your guests a choice of meals, instead requiring the couple themselves to sculpt the wedding menu before the day by a pre-determined date. Vegetarian, vegan, child and special diets will typically be able to be accomodated, but be sure to check early on, and also be prepared to provide the venue with exact numbers for each in advance of the day.
A Sample Wedding Menu
The following sample wedding menu is based on a traditional five course meal and presents a few example options which may be available to you for each course as a guide - we've added some vegetarian options in too to demonstrate the variation that's available:
Sample Wedding Menu :
Warm Tomato Tart with Basil Pesto, Buffalo Mozzarella and Balsamic Sauce (v)
Chicken Liver Parfait served with Red Onion Marmalade and toasted Brioche
Fanned Galia Melon served with a Citrus Fruit Salad, Port & Redcurrant Sauce (v)
Beetroot Cured Gravadlax of Salmon with Grain Mustard Crème Fraîche and Granary Bread
Marinated Roast Mediterranean Vegetables with Mozzarella and Basil Pesto (v)
Sample Wedding Menu :
Champagne Sorbet (v)
Cream of Mushroom and French Onion Soup with Cheese Flutes (v)
Melon and Parma Ham
Carpaccio of Beef, pickled Shallot Rings and Horseradish Cream
Goat's Cheese Salad with Pinenuts and Walnut Oil (v)
Tian of Greenland Prawns and Avocado with Crème Fraîche
Sample Wedding Menu : Main Course
Pan-fried fillet of pork, sage & onion creamed potatoes with caramelised apple
Herb-crusted rack of lamb, dauphinoise potatoes, seasonal vegetables and confit garlic
Seared salmon fillet with herb crushed potatoes, asparagus & a champagne velouté
Fillet of beef, truffled cream potato & asparagus with fricasée of mushrooms & port sauce
Wild Mushroom and Herb Pithivier with Seared Asparagus and Sun-dried Tomato Dressing (v)
Moroccan Spiced Vegetable Brochette with Cous Cous Salad and Raitta (v)
Roast breast of chicken wrapped in bacon on a bed of finely sliced bacon, cabbage, shallots and confit potato with thyme
Sample Wedding Menu : Deserts
Freshly made Profiteroles with Warm Chocolate Sauce and Vanilla Ice-Cream
Mango Cheesecake with sweet Passion Fruit Cream
Chocolate Truffle Cake with Chantilly Cream
Griottine Cherry and Almond Tart, Black Cherry Compôte and Clotted Cream
Sablé of Fresh Strawberries and Vanilla Cream
White Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake with a Bitter Chocolate Sauce
Caramelised Lemon Tart with Cassis Sorbet
A Slice of Wedding Cake
Sample Wedding Menu : Final Course
Cheese and Biscuits
Tea or Coffee accompanied by chocolates, petit fours or a slice of wedding cake
A Liquor (sherry or Bailey's for the Ladies, brandy or whiskey for the Gents)
When it comes to the cost for a silver service wedding meal, it will typically work one of two ways – a set cost per head, or a fully tailored wedding menu with cost based on selections.
For the former, the couple will be presented with a limited list of options for a set number of courses (often between three and five) from which they are able to select one for their wedding menu. This option is more restrictive but can work out great value for money.
The second option is based on a cost per course, whereby the couple have a much greater selection from which to choose but overall cost will be determined by each item they select. Depending upon the skill of the chefs or caterers, couples may even be allowed to design a wedding menu totally from scratch and select unique menu items created just for their big day. This option normally works out much more expensive but will allow couples to add their own creative influence to the wedding menu.
Regardless of which option you go for, you can save a little money by serving the wedding cake as the desert option or alongside tea and coffee in lieu of chocolates or biscuits.
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.