So you’re getting married…

And you have no idea how to even start selecting a wedding reception menu.

Initially, you thought it’d be your Top Chef dream come true. You sat in your pajamas every Wednesday night eating Ben and Jerry’s and dreamed up themed menus for your trendy gastropub pop-up: small plates, family style, fusion everything, and liquid nitrogen everywhere! You even pretended to be Gordon Ramsey and deemed your Pop-Secret “Exquisite! Delectable! Scrumptious!”

But now that you’re getting married and get to throw what is essentially, the biggest dinner party of your life, your mind is blanking and your inner Padme refuses to show. Whether you’re a proud foodie, a vegan bride, or just want to feed your guests something they’ll enjoy, narrowing down a menu is one of the most common challenges that our brides face.


On one hand, there’s your future mother-in-law who is insisting the “safe” route is the best type of menu, and on the other, your fiancé won’t stop saying that he just wants a burger on his wedding day. You’ve realized quickly that you are not a candidate for the Next Food Network Star. But you still have to feed your 100+ guests something – so the heat is on, and like the old saying goes, you’re ready to get out of the kitchen.


My rules are: there are no rules. Stand behind what you believe in, and everyone will follow suit. Your menu, just like the rest of your wedding, should be a reflection of you. Long gone are the days of dry chicken breasts and skewers of something slightly reminiscent of an edible substance.

You don’t have to determine your dining selections around the one guest who has special food restrictions (we’ll accommodate them separately anyway). And there’s inevitably going to be someone who has something to say (we know, we know, it’s usually great aunt Margaret), but if you love your menu, then I guarantee you’ll be happier for it, and we’ll avoid all kinds of “hangry” bride scenarios.

The best place to start, is figuring out what type of service you want. Do you want an elegantly plated meal or a casual backyard buffet? Perhaps some interactive stations, or my personal favorite: heavy tray passed hors d’oeuvres through the reception. At first glance, service style might seem trivial, but it really contributes to the flow of your event and the experience that people have. You and your fiancé know your guests better than we do, so let us know if you want a communal dinner or if you want dessert first – we’ll make either (or both!) happen.


Pick something you love. If you and your beau met at the fair, then serve mini corn dogs. If you come from a huge Italian family, where everyone talks with their hands and laughs from the depths of their bellies, then let’s make sure we have a great wine to pair with each course. Maybe you don’t want a traditional four tier wedding cake, and the good news is: you don’t have to! The wedding industry allows you to personalize everything, and that includes your menu. So if part of your vows includes supporting him in his dreams and wishes, then maybe, just maybe, you do serve a gourmet burger station as a late night snack.

Couple Photo: Nathan Nowack Photography
Burger Photo: Studio EMP