For most couples, their wedding day is the biggest and best day of their lives. Surrounded by loved ones, great friends, it’s a celebration of two households uniting and carving a piece of family history forever. Such an important day requires careful planning – from the bridal gown to the cake stand, every detail is significant.
A vital part of any wedding is the food. For many, paying for it can absorb up to 50% of their overall budget. It is therefore a critical part of the planning to get right. Ensuring guests are given high quality, meticulously prepared, accurately cooked food and drink creates a fantastic atmosphere and controls the rhythm of the day. At Llansantffraed Court, we know picking the right dish is important to you, so here are our tips on how to choose perfect wedding cuisine:
Taste is everything
As catering performs such an important role on your wedding day, it is helpful to ensure that you are familiar with the style and provenance of the ingredients and finished dishes available at your chosen venue. Any good quality caterer or venue will be pleased to arrange for you to try samples of dishes and preview the presentation, for instance, here at Llansantffraed Court we offer a tasting to the couple and parents a few months before their big day. Another useful tip is to get references from previous brides and grooms, perhaps check some internet resources such forums; that way any reservations can be put to rest.
Food isn’t a solo affair
Whether it’s post ceremony canapés, the wedding breakfast or a grand evening buffet, your wedding food should mirror the day’s theme. For a summer wedding, an lighter option might include a stunning carved buffet comprising of fresh salads or tapas and cold cuts of Welsh charcuterie. If, however, you’re planning on having a wonderful winter wedding, think about a more traditional Welsh themed meal such as Loin and shoulder of Monmouthshire lamb, butter braised potato, and seasonal garden vegetables. If you’re after something a little quirkier, an interesting option may be to have a wedding cake made out of cheese to be served with a selection of biscuits and homemade chutney. Whatever you choose, do be careful not to overload your guests if you’re expecting them to throw some shapes on the dance floor later. Take advice from the Head Chef and Management at the venue as they will have a wealth of experience about how to balance a menu carefully.
Feel free to make requests
Many suppliers or venues can tailor dishes to meet your requirements. If there’s a particular meal you love, they may well be able to adapt it for your wedding. Don’t rule out personalising your day by bringing your ideas for Chef to adapt for your wedding breakfast: it would certainly make your wedding unique. After all, your day should reflect your personalities and tastes.
Location, location, location
A little trick is to always be mindful of the seasons. Using non-seasonal ingredients may result in some consequences, for instance winter strawberries are often flown in from overseas, with transport costs passed on to the customer, and the taste will not reflect your surroundings. Buying seasonal ingredients always improves the taste too, as discussed in our previous blog on ‘food miles’. An ingredient that has been grown within a few miles will save you money and create a more delicious dish. For a great example of this, here at Llansantffraed Court we grow an abundance of seasonal vegetables in our large restored walled garden, and use preferred local suppliers to ensure food is consistently fresh all year through. Be sure to ask the venue about what fruit, herbs and vegetables and even meat, will be in season when your big day comes around, and how they source it.
Be on trend with dessert boards
Wedding cakes are traditionally the centrepiece of any wedding, but why not try an additional dessert board instead? The latest trend is having a dessert board comprising of either full-size or mini versions of family favourites for your guests to choose from. This modern twist on classic desserts means you can customise options, for instance providing wheat and dairy free alternatives for your guests. An advantage is that more of the wedding cake will be left over for you to take home – think of it as your first wedding present!
Don’t be afraid to be different
Your wedding day is about you. However, choosing menus for the big day often involves attempting to balance what you’d truly like with crowd-pleasing dishes. Your wedding day should reflect your tastes and values without being insensitive to guests’ palates, but don’t be afraid to be different by going for having a ‘feasting’ menu to surprise your guests and get them mingling, or a full vintage themed afternoon tea. Focussing on food that reflects your individual personalities will showcase something unique about you as a couple on your special day.
We hope these top tips will solve your wedding food issues in no time, so you can enjoy your big day! For more advice and friendly chat feel free to just give us a call anytime.