To cook that someone a special meal filled with his or her favourite dishes has always been seen as a romantic gesture, so why does that someone special have to try and stomach completely different food at his or her wedding? Could the caterer actually have the last say on what gets served and what not?
Menus have changed over the years, not because the couples were more health concious or food availability changed. The reason for this change is even more complex. Food had to succumb to the will of the overall theme of the wedding. It seems that even the most humble of weddings have a food theme – rustic in this case. City weddings serve sleek food and hotel weddings serve designer food.
To fully comprehend the impact of theme on food, you should take a few considerations into account: Firstly, what will the food look like? Will it be large bowls that require self serve or will individual potions be plated and carried on finger tips to diners? Surely you have seen those buffet islands at weddings where people line up and serve themselves – well if caterers had their way, these islands would sink away into oblivion. ‘The waste from these are tremendous’ a caterer said. People tend to dish way too much food and then it gets dumped.
A second aspect of food is what colour will the food predominantly show? Weddings with pastel coloured themes tend to move away from bright and bold dishes settling on more toned down foods. Sushi and fish dishes that show pale colour fills the plates and works effortlessly to support the low key theme.
You also want to look at pace of service as depicted by theme. Guests stuck on a boat for a few hours will be fed almost immediately after sailing. Courses will follow fast and furious to give the reception a chance of settling down and people having fun. All day weddings force the catering staff to keep some food flowing all the time, so dishes are stretched out into teas, light lunches, afternoon teas and evening meals.
It is thus clear that your wedding theme is more than selecting your favourite colour scheme, you have to think about the overflow effect it will have on your food, drinks, entertainment and all those aspects. Best to sit down with your caterer and talk about your theme ideas. Listen to them, they do this every day and will warn and guide you to the best solution. Once you have a menu, you can take the next step.
Insist on a tasting menu for you and some of your guests. The caterer prepares one of each dish for you to see and taste. Keep in mind that an ox on a spit will not be served as a tasting menu. Have a good look at the dishes presented to you. Are they looking the part? Are the colours on the plates perfect for the rest of the table? What about portion sizes – are you feeding two twigs and a scallop to a team of footy players? Before you devour the plates, take a picture. This will come in handy if the actual dishes at your wedding do not remotely look like the tasting dishes you photographed.
Enjoy working with your caterer to find your favourites. To see how they cope with stress, why not introduce cabbage as a main dish after the caterer finished telling you about their idea of a menu. Watch them work their way out of the cabbage request and you will know precisely how this caterer will handle your wedding.