The Do’s & Don’ts of Personalising your Reception Menu

Yes brides-to-be: Wedding food has come a long way since the 1980s and 1990’s with venues all over the country serving fresh, seasonal, local produce and working with preferred suppliers. The truth is, you could have the cuwww.claregalwayhotel.ie chair signage and fabulous table plan but unless your Wedding Meal is up to scratch, your guests will not be happy. For this, it makes sense to plan and put a lot of energy on the food, drink, service and atmosphere of your reception.

"A wedding meal should be a narrative of you as a couple and the foods you love”

If you are getting married in a hotel then your job of choosing what to eat gets very easy as the hotel provides the chefs, food, cutlery, crockery. On the other hand, if you are planning a Marquee or a Buffet, you may require outside caterers and all the other items that go with it.

The first rule in menu planning for a Hotel

Starters

It's about you. Start by choosing two entrees, using the proteins you and your groom love most. Think about the time of year here: summer weddings v’s winter weddings, hot starters or cold starters; like hearty root vegetables during winter and plump tomatoes during the summer months.

Go for fresh salads full of local, seasonal veggies, like tomatoes, asparagus and basil in the spring and summer months, flavours should be light and fresh.

Soup Course

If you wish to have a soup course you can, if not, you can have the option with us at the hotel whereby you can serve soup on arrival, this goes down well for winter weddings accompanied with a selection of finger cut sandwiches.

Sorbet

Choosing a refreshing sorbet and serving after the soup course is very refreshing and cleanses the pallet.

Main Courses

If he wants beef, there's no reason you can't choose fish or poultry to accompany it. Offering three main course options is becoming more and more popular and gives the guests more choice on the day.

All hotels now offer Gluten and vegetarian dishes and provide allergen menus to notify the guests of the ingredients in each part of the menus.

Desserts

this would be my favourite part of the menu so anything sweet is fabulous

Buffet Menus

If you are having a Buffet Wedding, plan that there is one station for every 50 guests attending.

Marquees

you will be looking at adding in caterers here. Each company’s policies will be different. It’s important to ask what they offer from the onset, do they allow tastings: if they don’t can you taste and pay for one, if you really want one, set up/break down etc

Wedding menu tasting

Your menu tasting is a very important part of your wedding planning and one you should take time to do with you and your fiancé. Normally held three months before your wedding and this gives you both time to relax, enjoy the food and choose your options.

Few tips for this:

  • Plan the menu items you wish to taste with your hotel
  • Set a date for your tasting
  • Bring 2 other guests with you, just in case there are some food or wines you do not eat and they can taste on your behalf
  • Taste your actual menu items, you can taste everything but you should select the fewest possible number of different menu items to try because the whole purpose is to narrow down your options and select what you actually want to eat for your wedding day.
  • Do not take a whole peanut-gallery of guests to your tasting, maybe 2 guests like mums or best man and bridesmaid.
  • Have a designated driver!

Tip of the week:

When you are visiting wedding reception venues, don’t bring the whole family. While it’s great to have feedback from parents, maid of honour, limit your first appointment to just you and your fiancé. You can always bring them to a second visit as it can be very daunting at first, exciting, lots of emotions and who wants what.