Create the Perfect Wedding Menu

Capers Catering owner Emma Roberts shows you how.

Photography by Allegro Photography

Photography by Allegro Photography

You love food. You’re foodies. You enjoy all cuisines, all ingredients, all seasons, all food groups. But when it comes time to build your reception menu, you’ll have to narrow it down a bit.

Wedding food expert Emma Roberts, owner of Capers Catering, can help with a few tips on how to create the perfect wedding menu.

“We believe couples should build a menu that’s meaningful to them by incorporating their diverse ethnic and regional backgrounds, travels, interests, and experiences,” she says. “The more personal, the more special the evening feels to both the couple and their guests.”

To start off the event, Roberts suggests serving at least six passed hors d’oeuvres for the cocktail party: two each of seafood, meat, and vegetarian. Once guests are seated for dinner, most weddings tend to have a salad course, but Roberts really enjoys creating signature appetizers. “Cold heirloom gazpacho with a crab salad timbale is always a favorite, and guests love the novelty,” she says.

Stations are the perfect way to add a little outside-the-box thinking. “The classics are carving, pasta, raw bars, and salad,” she says. “But we love to infuse some more exciting elements into the mix, such as taco bars, wood-grilled-pizzette bars, slider stations, gourmet grilled cheese bars, antipasti displays, ‘American Pie’ dessert bars, and more.”

According to Roberts, no matter what food you choose for your big-day menu, you can fine-tune the feel of the meal through décor and table-top design. “If a couple falls in love with Southern food, but wants a formal seated meal, even a fried chicken dinner can be interpreted into a formal meal,” she says. “We could create a fried Statler chicken breast atop a grits cakelet with wilted greens, and a confetti of cornmeal okra.” Conversely, if you wanted a less formal shindig, they could do family-style fried chicken, cheese grits, platters of wilted greens with bacon, fried okra, and succotash. Anything’s possible.

For entrees, the majority of couples opt to offer their guests a choice between tenderloin, fish, and vegetarian. Next on the list is choosing a chicken option instead of a fish option, according to Roberts. “Many also choose to do a duet, with no choice other than a vegetarian,” she says. “We believe you should choose what you like, and simple isn’t always the most special option.”

No matter what, don’t forget the veggie lovers. While most vegetarians will let you know in advance that they’re hoping for a vegetarian/vegan meal, you should plan to have vegetarian meals on hand for at least 10 percent of your guests.

Bon appétit.


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