Your wedding day is approaching, and all the facets of the celebration and ceremony are spinning in your head. You need to coordinate locations, invitations, band or DJ at the reception…and the food. Food is probably one of the most vital aspects of a successful wedding. You surely want your guest to leave talking about how lovely you looked, but if they complain about the food, your wedding could be considered a flop if you are not carefully selecting the best wedding food.

Years ago there were few options for food. They usually consisted of:

1. Meat and potatoes

2. Meat and potatoes

3. Meat and potatoes.

Nowadays people are more ‘food savvy’ with all the cooking shows on television and enough cookbooks to fill a small library. As good as Grandma’s home cooking is, today’s wedding guests expect something different. Read on to get some ideas.

Time of year.

The season can provide an idea for a unique menu that not only satisfies the guests, but it can also honor the season as well. Spring means Easter, so perhaps lamb or Cornish hens with a fresh green salad would be appropriate. Cold salads and fruit will compliment a summer wedding when served with entrees. The autumn…Thanksgiving…is evident. Choose a harvest menu including turkey and ham, roasted vegetables with apple and pumpkin pie. For the winter you could feature traditional entrees like venison or quail.

Ethnic options.

We are in a worldwide community so that tastes can vary significantly. Opting for an ethnic meal can create a distinctive setting. If one or both of the partners come from a particular ethnic background, you could elect to concentrate on food from that culture. Another way would be to celebrate both ethnicities by blending the culinary traditions and have the main course from one culture with the appetizers and desert from the other.

If you have no particular ethnic identity, it doesn’t rule out the possibility of providing ethnic foods. Italian food, Chinese fare or Eastern Indian are popular choices. Pick a type of food you enjoy. It’s your wedding!

Talk to your caterer about the possibilities. They can give you recommendations from their past experiences.

What Time of Day?

The type of food can vary with the date of the day for your celebration. Dinners are traditionally more formal, but a lunchtime or brunch ceremony and reception can allow you to be more creative. Either a buffet-style feast or a more simple sit-down meal are just a few choices. Your caterer might provide attended stations for lighter entrees, letting guests dine according to their appetites.

Afternoon weddings are becoming popular, too. Receptions can be quite stylish with an afternoon tea reception providing finger sandwiches, cake, sweets, hors d’oeuvres and scones. Be sure to notify your guests, so they aren’t expecting a typical sit-down meal.

After dinner weddings are another option, you should consider. Cocktail receptions with excellent dessert buffets will make an impression on attendees. This choice lets more guests dine on a more reasonable budget.

Regardless of your choice, it is important to make it a memorable dining experience for the guest…but it is equally important to do what “you” want to do. It’s your wedding, after all. Bon appetite!