Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Day 16--Food

First, I apologize for not doing this blog post yesterday. But, I had a very good reason for it---after being gone for 5 1/2 days, my husband came home yesterday. I missed him lots while he was gone! So we spent the evening together. I told you it was a good reason :)

Now back to wedding planning business. Almost all weddings include some sort of food for guests. Choosing a food/meal option comes with another decision, which you may or may not have already made--time of day for your ceremony and reception. The time of the day does dictate what sort of meal you should provide and what guests will expect. If you have your wedding during a regular meal time, it is polite to feed your guests that meal. If you have your wedding in between meal times, you can go with hors d'oeuvres, a light meal, or even a candy or dessert table. Choosing a non-meal option is cheaper since you will need less food per guest. Of course if you want to do a meal, there are options to reduce costs.

The food also depends on your venue and style. If you are having a formal wedding at a venue with catering included, your meal might be a sit-down, served, multi-course spread. A more casual wedding could be a buffet line. If your wedding has a theme, it is a good idea to carry the theme with the food as well. There are lot of decisions to make with food. Here are some things to think about:
  • The number of guests. The price of food will obviously increase as your guest count goes up.
  • How do you want it served? Servers to the table? Food line dished out by servers? Buffet?
  • How many options do you want? If you are having your wedding catered it is easier to provide more options than if you are choosing to do food yourself. It is popular these days to include a vegetarian option as well.
  • How do you see food fitting into the night? Do you want there to be a good amount of time set aside for a sit-down meal or would you rather have a quick meal so you can get the party started?
  • What food do you like? What food would fit with your style of wedding?
Here is what we chose to do for our wedding. We picked a 5pm ceremony time. This lends itself to a dinner reception. You would not expect guests to come to a 5 o'clock wedding having already eaten dinner. We knew we would feed guests a meal but then we chose this time for non-food related reasons. We chose 5 o'clock because it would be starting to get cooler and we could hopefully avoid the mid-July heat as much as possible with an outdoor wedding. The lighting for pictures would also be getting better throughout the night. It wasn't too late for guests who had to drive an hour or so to get home afterwards. Once we knew we would be serving dinner, we thought about our style: simple, country, backyard. I really wanted my guests to stay, and have a good time. I wanted this to be very simple and just a big party with all our favorite people. We chose to have it be a backyard barbeque. Once we decided that, we discussed different menu options and finally nailed it down. We had hamburgers, pasta salad, fruit, and chips. For beverages we had lemonade, water, and iced tea. I will say the food was probably the most stressful area for my mom. We were providing the meal ourselves and it can be really hard to figure out how much to buy/make for your guests. We did our best to guess, made a few trips to Costco and ended up with a lot of extras that we were able to give out to people. If you have more specific questions about quantities, just leave a comment and I can help based on what we did. My mom asked some people to help by cutting and prepping food, making the pasta salad, cooking the burgers, and working the food tables during the wedding. It all went so well. Sure, it wasn't a fancy meal and probably not what guests will remember about my wedding. But that doesn't bother me. I didn't the food to be the most remarkable or most expensive thing. Looking back, I am really pleased with the decisions we made about food and so thankful for all the people who helped pull it off!

Burger Masters
Not messing around with the grilling

Setting up the food line

Backyard BBQ

We didn't eat much, but what we did have was very good!

Lemonade, fruit, burgers, chips, and pasta salad. Gotta love summer food.

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