Unique Menu Ideas
Consider alternative foods to assemble an impressive meal
By Debby Mayne
While you're in wedding-reception planning mode, dig a little deeper and come up with a menu that will impress guests with its creativity. Wedding fare doesn't have to be a variation on rubber chicken; consider dazzling ethnic cuisines or unusual choices that will have your guests say "Wow!" instead of "Meh. Chicken again."
Regardless of the season, you can create a menu to reflect the time of year. For example, fall is a good time to feature gourd vegetables, pumpkin pie and warm apple cider. Winter is the ideal season for roast beef, holiday cookies and hot buttered rum. In the spring, champagne cocktails, early vegetables and lighter entrees, like broiled fish or chicken salad, are perfect. Summer is the best season for an assortment of lemonades and a multitude of vegetables, either cooked or in salads.
Across the Border
For a festive reception menu, consider featuring Mexican or Tex-Mex food. Spicy enchiladas, tacos and burritos are favorites among most crowds. If you do this, offer an American alternative for the less adventurous. Margaritas (with or without alcohol), sangria and Mexican beer are fun drinks to add to the festive food.
Choose foods and libations that are native to your region and feature them on the menu. New Englanders might want to start with cream-based clam chowder. Southerners might want grits as a side or fried chicken for the entree. West Coasters may offer sushi as an appetizer and seafood as an entree.
To showcase your elegance and love of all things Victorian, serve light dishes or finger sandwiches, scones and fresh vegetables that are cut to bite size. The cake for a Victorian reception should be elegant, with plenty of scrollwork and lacy detail. Tea and ginger ale are the perfect drink accompaniments.
Rather than serve a multicourse meal, serve enough appetizers to satisfy even the hungriest of guests. With an elaborate presentation, the menu will be a hit. Include shrimp, rolled or cubed meat, finger sandwiches, cheese and cheese spread with plenty of crackers and breads, vegetable platters with dip and condiments to accompany the appetizers. Staying with the appetizer concept, feature decorated cookies and cupcakes for dessert. Offer a variety of mixed drinks and sodas.
Celebrate your wedding as well as your (or your spouse's) cultural heritage by featuring ethnic cuisine such as Indian, Thai or Japanese. If you don't want to feature authentic or traditional fare, talk to a caterer about a fusion menu, which combines traditional ingredients and fare with a more Western sensibility. Make sure you have options for less adventurous guests.
About the Author
Debby Mayne is a writer of numerous articles and a contributor to DexKnows.
Browse By Top DexKnows Cities
- St Paul
The wedding cake is the guest of honor at the reception, and it deserves a place of prominence that will allow the wedding guests to view it in all its delicious glory.... Read More
It's time to make a decision. Is it eggplant for everyone? Three courses or four? Or maybe you simply need to decide between broccoli rabe or asparagus for the buffet. Whatever the final details are, figure them out and finalize them. You'll get peace of mind -- and eventually, a delicious meal -- in return.
View your wedding checklist!
A large serving dish that sits over a low flame to keep its contents warm. Popular at buffets.View the Full Weddings Glossary