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Adding Your Own Flavor to the Reception Menu: Less Formal, Traditional Menus Becoming the Norm

Jun 24

Adding Your Own Flavor to the Reception Menu: Less Formal, Traditional Menus Becoming the Norm

So often we follow tradition for the sake of formalities. So many social constructs exist in our culture, but when it comes to your special day, you have the license to step to the beat of your own drum. Why offer a generic menu, without any personal touches, just for the sake of appeasing your guests? You have the opportunity to incorporate meaning into your menu and your own flavor, with actual flavor. 


Consider using a family recipe or family-famous dessert. Don’t have one? What about the meal you shared on your first anniversary? First date? Or the very first time you cooked for one another? If one family is significantly in touch and influenced by their culture and heritage, why not put an ethnic meal on the menu? 

Sure, people might be expecting the classic “beef, chicken, or fish,” selection but they’ll remember the Nguyen family’s pho, the Chopra family’s curry, the MacPhersons’ haggis pudding, or the DaSilvas’ bacalhau. 

Besides, you could always give them options within a particular category of cuisine like pollo Parmigiana (chicken), eggplant parmigiana (for the vegetarians), or add the Italian element with antipasto options of zuppa toscana or insalata caprese. 


Finally, to get the best of both worlds really… (and to appease everyone), you could offer a main meat option, a main veggie option, and [insert ethnic culinary option here]. Of course, all these decisions definitely factor into your overall budget for food at your wedding, but the meal is certainly not the place to cheap out! Guests always seem to remember the food… whether with rave reviews or otherwise. Nonetheless, the trend and recommendation remains: go off-script for your nuptial celebratory menu!


Whether you’re a planner or designer, make sure to keep these tips in your back pocket to stay ahead of the competition. When it comes to a non-traditional, or more complex menu at a reception, you’ll need to prepare for that in your tabletop design. This means leaving ample room per more elaborate place setting, remember the difference between a 3- or 4- 4-course meal often includes an additional bowl or plate, and fork or spoon. 

Adding more culinary utensils at the table comes the need, potentially, for added space, or fewer people per table, and then more tables to compensate. Make sure to factor in these things in your design and anticipate necessary accommodations. You’ll need to verify details with your client(s) and the venue in terms of space and logistics as well. 


Make sure to stay up on everything happening in the event world by following our IWED Blog. You’ll get more content like this about what is trending for your upcoming wedding planning and event design. 

If you want to learn everything you can about tablescapes; coordinating and consultations with clients; and the benefits and drawbacks of renting vs. owning your event equipment, particularly, tables and chairs… then you should consider enrolling in our signature program, AED® | Accredited Event Design. You’ll walk away with all that knowledge and more! Accredited Event Design teaches your core backdrop designs, uplighting programming and setup, as well as ceiling draping. Don’t miss out! Come see us in Florida and get all the hands-on skills and practical knowledge you need to succeed and take your career and business to new heights!