Mary Jacobs Events

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What do we serve for dinner?

Posted on May 11, 2018 at 12:10 AM

Oh the timeless question of "What do we serve for dinner?"  The truth is that the unending options are mind boggling and can overwhelm even a seasoned vet.  So where do you start?  Well...here are my top 5 tips for picking an appropriate menu:

  1. Mind your own budget!  Keep in mind that Off Premise catering is always more expensive (so if you are getting married in a tent or venue that does not offer catering on site).  So before you start thinking food, make sure the venue you choose allots for enough money to feed everyone.  Keep in mind that the bar accounts for 25%-40% of your per person price, so before you add that top shelf open bar make sure it doesn't force you to serve pizza and wings.

  2. What kind of feeling is your event?  So for instance, if you are getting married in a formal ballroom...a BBQ buffet where guests are eating ribs with their hands is really not appropriate.  Match the level of formality of your menu to the level of formality of the venue.

  3. Food Counts are going to drive you nuts.  If you decide to give your guests choices (your remember from every wedding in the world...beef, chicken, fish...ugh), remember that you will be responsible for not only getting all your RSVP's together, but also getting the exact number of each food selection to provide to your caterer.  Now of course, a great wedding planner will take care of that for you...but overall it's annoying and not to mention do you think your guests really want to decide what they want for dinner 2 months before they eat it?  If you really have your heart set on a "Plated" option...go with a Duet Plate...you'll thank me later!

  4. Food Stations are super fun and SUPER pricey.  Stations Style weddings can be an absolutely great way to blend different cultures, tell the story of your relationship or just keep the night more relaxed and fun.  They can also bust your budget wide open.  Get all the details of pricing from your caterer before you set your heart this type of service.  Buffets can do a lot of the same things at a much lower price.  Be sure you work with your venue and caterer TOGETHER.  Just because you want stations, doesn't mean they will fit in your room with your guest count, bars, memory tables, photo booth etc.

  5. Finally...Mary what is your favorite type of service????  Hands down, Family Style Dining is my absolute favorite for weddings.  In this type of service, each table gets serving platters/bowls of multiple items to pass, share and enjoy.  You get all the benefits of a buffet, in a more formal manner.  This is a great way to get guests at tables to talk and engage each other and you still don't have to deal with specific food counts...win, win!

Categories: Reception Tips, What about the budget?

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