Food is something we all like to talk about! However, sometimes it's hard to decide exactly what kind of food and food service you want for your reception. The first thing you need to think about is budget. Remember, you are not just planning a meal for a small family. You have to consider how many guests are coming AND how much you would like to spend per guest. Your choices range from only cake, to a nice plated dinner. Second, you should contemplate what kind of service you will be needing. There is everything from "bring and drop" to service with all of the dinnerware included (and cleaned up). OH SO MUCH TO THINK ABOUT! Let's weigh some pros and cons of some of a few of the most popular options:
1. Food Trucks- These are SO popular! Food tricks are nice to think about, but really consider what your atmosphere is going to be. Food trucks just pull up and serve, but are a bit limited when it comes to how many guests can be served at one time. They are also preparing the food as it is ordered. This works out well if you are having an informal reception where guests are not expected to sit down and eat at- all at the same time. These tend to work best for indoor/outdoor receptions where there are other things for the guests to do (lawn games, bar, activities, etc). This kind of atmosphere is SO FUN, but make sure that it is intentional and well planned.
2. Pizza- Everyone loves pizza! That's definitely a plus! Just remember that you should consider how much each guest eats and where you are ordering from. Definitely get a quote. Many couples assume this is a cheap route...it may not be! In addition, make sure you ask about service. It is easy to assume one of your guests will refill the buffet, plates, or drinks, but that is often a FAIL. Making sure your caterer provides service is OFTEN a huge win on your part! It makes for a much more stress free occasion, where ALL of your family and friends can sit back and enjoy! It is imperative that you do your homework when planning this meal.
3. Build-Your-Own Bar- Whether it be a taco bar, hamburger bar, baked potato bar, pasta bar, BBQ, or anything else...THESE ARE A HIT! They are so much fun and can bend and flex with budget. The only drawback seems to be serving size. When guests are building their own plate...some get "happy" with the serving size. But, a general rule when serving any food to guests, is to make sure you have MORE than enough! When choosing a buffet style meal, you will also want to make sure service is included for refills, clean up, and organization!
4. For the more formal occasions, there are grilled chicken, pork, or even steak dinners (among others). These are often served already plated with your choice of sides. In this case, the caterer will be full service- offering table clean up, dish washing, refills, and cake cutting! You, and the guests, just sit back and enjoy the finer things in life! This is great when considering food portion and knowing (without a doubt)it is all taken care of. You are often able to have "real" dishes with a more elegant feel with this kind of service. The caterer often bring their signature dishes and tableware AND have it set on the tables to add to the elegant atmosphere. This kind of service and accessories come with a price (that should be planned ahead of time), but it adds a very special touch to your occasion.
These are obviously not the only details to contemplate when planning your reception and food choices, but we hope it gives you a great start. You coordinator, planner, and often your venue can help with tips, contact information, and things to consider based on your individual needs. Remember, intentional planning, budget, and things that celebrate who you are as a couple are always the top considerations when planning every part of your wedding and reception! There's a start...1-2-3-GO!!!