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The food at your wedding should be one of the most memorable parts of the big day for both you and your guests, but how do you choose what to feed everyone? Dorset-based Beales Gourmet share their award-winning know-how.
The most important thing to remember is that whatever you choose, as well as what your guests will enjoy, make sure you opt for something that will make you happy too!
Start at the beginning - Canapés
The first thing you'll need to consider is what your guests will be nibbling on when you have your drinks reception post vows. This is a really sociable part of the big day, and you'll more than likely want to be off having photographs taken and enjoying some alone time with your other half, so while you're away treat your guests to a few drinks and some tasty canapés that can be passed around. The choice has come a long way since the infamous vol au vents of the '80s. You can opt for something modern like little parcels of Thai beef salad, with sesame vegetables and a citrus soy dip or pulled pork and sage sausage rolls, a delicious, modern take on the Great British classic. Nowadays, you can even choose sweet options, like seasonal Chantilly meringue kisses or mini pots of praline semifreddo (the perfect semi-frozen treat in the summer!). Aim for around six canapes per guest for a 90-minute drinks reception.
The Main Event – Your Wedding Breakfast
Time for the main event, but do you want a traditional three-course formal wedding breakfast or something a little bit different?
The formal three-course wedding breakfast is still by far the preferred option for millions of couples getting married each year. If choosing this option, make sure your caterer gives you plenty of choice for each course. A good caterer will use fresh, seasonal ingredients of the highest quality to create every dish. For example, as a starter in the spring, you might choose something like a tasty smoked Atlantic haddock fish cake, served with truffle tartar sauce and stunning local asparagus salad. Perhaps you’ve chosen a winter wonderland wedding and would like to enjoy something more warming and filling like pork belly which has been slow-roasted with super crispy skin, served with a sweet potato gratin, glazed carrots, purple sprouting broccoli and an apple and elderflower compote. Summertime, it’s the perfect time to take advantage of local strawberries (and indeed the myriad of delicious berries grown at this time of year) – serve with meringue, Chantilly cream and strawberry sauce to enjoy a kind of Eton mess.
Going Modern – Sharing is caring
You might, however, decide that you want to serve something more interactive to help your guests break the ice. There are so many fun and exciting alternatives to traditional wedding breakfasts – from the classic roast dinner (complete with roast potatoes, veg and gravy); a Spanish feast of paella, breads and salad; big pot centrepieces, such as stews, tagines, and pies for the whole table to share; posh table picnics including classic items like Scotch eggs, pork and cranberry pies, quiches, and delicious sweet treats like filled scones, fruit kebabs and berry trifle shots; and finally the ever-popular barbecue or hog roast – the ultimate summer satisfier!
Evening buffet experiences
Finally, later in the evening, you’ll want to provide your guests (including those only joining you for the evening celebration) with some tasty sustenance. From platters of cheese and charcuterie, to hog roasts, and everything inbetween, any good caterer should give you an abundance of choice. Look out for interesting options like curry night or fusion dining experiences with popular snacks from around the globe.
Special dietary requirements
Your caterer should also be prepared to cater for all manner of special dietary requirements. These may include guests with specific allergies, to more common gluten or dairy-free and vegan options. There's usually a way to accommodate all of these with advance notice.
Most importantly, remember to make sure that the food you serve reflects you as a couple. If you have a favourite dish you always eat on holiday together, or something that your family has always enjoyed, speak to your chosen caterers and see if they can help create a special interpretation of those special dishes.
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