Celebrity blogger Brian Worley is back this week to give us the lowdown on creating a delicious wedding menu. Brian, who stars as the wedding planner extraordinaire on “Shedding for the Wedding,” accompanied the remaining couples in this week’s episode as they met with a caterer and tasted food. Here are some tips from Brian on selecting your menu:
Courtesy of Brian Worley
Eat, Drink and Get Married!
This week’s episode was all about the catering. We were lucky to have Il Cielo and Chef Pasquale, one of the best chefs in Beverly Hills, help create the menus as well as let us taste the amazing food! The remaining couples arrived at Il Cielo all dressed up. It was almost like date night for them, and as usual, it was time to dangle the carrot in front of them as this may have been one of their first real meals in a long time with a ton of flavor and taste. It was going to be fun to see who was going to indulge and who was going to eat like a little bird.
There are five senses and we use all of them when we attend an event or wedding. I have to say that one of my favorites senses to use is taste. Who doesn’t like an incredible filet mignon with two giant shrimp prawns or the delicious wedding cake with a chocolate chip filling and buttercream icing? As we all know, food and drinks are the two things that seem to always be present at any celebration. Whether it is a sit-down dinner, a buffet, a cocktail party or a backyard BBQ, the perfect menu will provide your guests with enough energy to party with you all night.
As a wedding guest, once your senses get past the beauty of the bride, the emotion in the air, the sounds of the “I DO,” and the smell of all the flowers in the centerpieces, you are ready to taste the food. The food has been slaved over, not only by the caterer or venue, but also the bride and groom as they took the time to create the perfect menu for their wedding day that represents who they are as a couple.
When creating a menu for your wedding or any event, there are a few things that I suggest you take into consideration:
1. Even though it is your wedding day, remember that just because you may not like something, doesn’t mean others won’t. It is important to create a menu that will make everyone happy, including you… you are paying!
2. Try to be as eco-friendly as possible when you create your menu. These days it is a lot easier than it was in the past. Take into consideration the 100 Mile Diet (only foods from within a 100 mile radius from the wedding location) and choose free range meats, organic and pesticide-free foods. You will really help to decrease the carbon footprint your wedding creates as a result.
3. When trying to decide on a venue, make sure you request a tasting before you fork down the deposit. Like I said, the food is one of those things that sticks to your ribs, so make sure that you enjoy what is sticking.
4. If you plan to have a sit-down dinner, make sure to provide a few options for your guests to choose from. Not everyone likes beef or chicken and it is important to provide the vegetarians with something delicious as well. Also, if you plan to have a sit-down dinner, they often take a little longer, so make sure to account for that in the timeline for the evening,
5. Buffets and food stations are a fantastic idea if you want to offer a variety of foods and are also hoping for a more casual affair. Keep in mind, a buffet does takes up more space, but it also allows for your guests to interact with each other and often choose where they would like to sit rather than being assigned a seat.
6. There is not much difference between having a sit-down dinner and a buffet. The misconception is that a sit-down dinner will cost more, but in actuality it comes out to be about the same. With a sit-down dinner, the caterer is able to portion the food, but you also need more servers to serve the food. Buffets are perfect for the really hungry guest that will hit it a couple times. More food is needed, as well as serving pieces, tables, and centerpieces.
7. An open bar can be pricey and a cash bar can be construed as tacky. If you are on a fixed budget and want to provide alcohol, choose a beer and wine bar rather than a bar with every type of alcohol there is. If you’d like to provide hard alcohol, come up with a signature drink or two. One of my favorite things to do is have the groom come up with a signature drink for the bride and have the bride invent one for the groom. Give them names that reflect who they were created for and make a bar menu with the names of the drinks, like “Princess Jaime’s Punch” and the “Main Event.” Include the ingredients for the drinks and that will provide a great source of conversation for your guests waiting at the bar. The sillier or funnier the names, the better!
8. Many months typically go into the planning of a wedding, so make sure that you actually get to enjoy the meal that you are paying for. You will be so excited to see your family and friends, that eating sometimes will become an afterthought. Set aside some time to eat, enjoy and also rejuvenate. Food is the sustenance that will keep you from crashing and burning!
9. Last time I checked, a cake was dessert. You are paying for the cake, so cut it and serve it as the dessert. As soon as dinner is over, slice that cake, mush it in each others faces and pass it around. Trust me, your guests will make a B-line to the cake when they get to the reception, they are ready for a sweet treat!
10. Food and drinks are the cornerstone of a celebration, so think outside of the box and create a menu that is unique. Your guests should be talking about the food for a long time to come. These days chefs are creative with their menus and mix ingredients that you typically may not think sound good together!
Read last week’s blog from Brian with tips on picking the perfect wedding flowers.