Planning the menu for your wedding has never been more exciting.
Today, couples are opting for more distinctive flavours, whether from around the world, from a particular part of the country or from their own families’ kitchens.
Our chefs, and the industry in general, have more ability and knowledge these days and the mix of different cultures has brought a deeper richness to wedding menus, allowing couples to be more adventurous in their choices.
In a five-part series starting today, we will take you through the process of planning a wedding menu, examining in detail your various options.
When planning your reception, start by deciding whether you want a stand-up cocktail party; a sit-down, plated affair; a sit-down buffet where guests are served by chefs and assistants before returning to their seats or themed food stations, which encourage guests to mingle while helping themselves to bite-size delicacies.
No matter what style of reception you choose, it’s customary to serve drinks and hors d’oeuvres after the ceremony. Keep in mind the time of the year and the temperatures when deciding what to serve. In summer, some people prefer cooler choices and in winter, warmer varieties. If the reception is at the same location as the ceremony, it’s a good idea to start the savouries about 10-15 minutes after the ceremony. You don’t want your guests drinking without food.
Cocktail parties are well-suited for people who don’t want a lot of speeches and formality. They are also practical for blended families because you don’t have to worry about difficult seating plans.
What’s important at cocktail parties is to start with lighter dishes before serving items with slighter stronger flavours. You tend to serve vegetable-based items first, along with treats from the sea such as fish, prawns and scallops. After a slight pause, meat-inspired choices such as lamb and beef can be brought out. At this time, it’s still appropriate to serve fish for guests who prefer to not eat meat or enjoy both.
For cocktail parties, see if the venue can provide a couple of really interesting options. Some favourites at The Golden Ox include duck sushi, spinach and feta mini quiches and lamb koftas with minted yogurt.
Next week, we take a look at planning a sit-down, plated reception.
By Nick Tzimas and Peter Tzimas