As we all know, food is a major deal at any wedding event.  If anything, this is the parameter using which most guests gauge whether your wedding was a success or not.  Getting your menu right is, therefore, paramount to ensuring that your wedding day is one of the best days of your life. Having established how important your menu is, how best can you go about planning for your wedding catering menu?

Consider Your Guest List

Chances are, as you are preparing for your wedding, this is the largest part you are ever going to host in your life.  It is, therefore, wise to not only serve foods that appeal to you and your fiancée, but serving dishes that will cater to what most people will be comfortable with.  You can opt for popular dishes such as beef and chicken which will satisfy most people’s appetites instead of highly specialized meals such as specific kinds of seafood.  A surf and turf option also works well for most weddings.

Wedding Timeline

How long do you intend to have your guests seated for a meal during your wedding?  A serving of two courses typically suffices for most weddings, which translates to approximately one and a half hours of eating time.  This time is usually sufficient to also squeeze in a welcome and brief speech to thank guests for attending your wedding and also to celebrate the newlyweds. As a rule of thumb, envision your dream wedding timeline and opt for a two-course meal.

Cocktail Hour

The cocktail hour significantly impacts the timeline for your wedding and could result in either an extended meal time or a fairly shortened one.  Cocktail hour can take the form of a precursor to dinner or a hearty meal by itself.  For cocktail hour, you can determine how much drinks will be served during this time. The longer the cocktail, the more drinks you will have to serve to serve your guests during this period adequately.


As is known, food catering services contribute to a huge chunk of any wedding budget.  You should, therefore, be realistic about what you expect your budget to get you.  Do you really need the fine dining experience or would you rather opt for a buffet setting?  If you opt for the former, a small gathering would be ideal, but for the latter, a bigger crowd can be adequately served despite the fact that it may take longer before all your guests finish their meal.  Additionally, can you cut back on the cocktail hour?  This will spare you excess expenditure.  You can also put a cap on the amount of liquor each guest can take on your tab as the host.  This will ensure that you stick to your budget and save you any embarrassing incidences with your alcohol providers such as cases on non-payment that could result in a legal suit against you and your spouse.

Wedding Season and Setting

You should pay extra attention to the season and setting you intend to host your wedding.  Some meals are best served during specific seasons.  For example, there are seasonal crops.  It is, therefore, unlikely that you may get some meals prepared when the necessary ingredients are not in season.  It is also not wise to opt for foods that easily melt during extremely hot weather.  Additionally, you should try to match your menu according to the theme of your wedding.

A lot of planning goes into getting your wedding menu right.  With proper research and the services of a professional caterer, you should be able to get it right and be free to enjoy your wedding together with your guests.

Written by bleu events, one of the top caterers Columbia, MO has to offer.