A successful wedding includes good food and the right drinks. We'll tell you what is important when it comes to food and drinks for your wedding and what options you have. Starting with the champagne reception to the buffet or menu and ending with a midnight snack, we will introduce you to all the options for entertaining your guests. We also have tips for you in terms of organization and budget.
Brunch and buffet
If your wedding takes place in the morning, you can entertain your guests with an extensive brunch. This is suitable for wedding parties of all sizes. A combination of a cold and warm buffet is particularly suitable. This means that your guests are taken care of for several hours and you can even use it to bridge lunch.
The buffet - a good choice for many guests
The buffet is also popular for lunch and dinner. It is particularly suitable for a large number of guests. Many locations offer a catering service for this. If this is not the case, you should start looking for a suitable caterer in good time. It is best to get recommendations from friends, family and acquaintances. In addition, a test meal helps to assess the quality of the catering.
A buffet with a selection of hot and cold dishes has the advantage that each guest can choose freely. In addition, there is a larger selection here than in the menu. In addition, it is easier to meet many needs at the buffet . Meat eaters get their money's worth as well as vegans and vegetarians. Classic dishes can be supplemented with variations for food allergy sufferers.
The buffet is also more dynamic than the classic wedding menu . The guests mingle with each other. This way, guests who are not in the immediate vicinity can also talk to each other. However, the queuing can be a disadvantage. Another disadvantage is the faster cooling of the food. To prevent this from happening, you should discuss with the caterer in advance how he will keep the food warm.
Motto or season buffet
You can choose the hearty German cuisine for your wedding buffet or design the buffet to match the motto of your wedding . For example, country-specific dishes in Mediterranean, Asian, Oriental or Latin American style are possible.
Depending on the season, guests can also enjoy a summer barbecue buffet. Finger food based on recipes from all over the world is particularly popular at the buffet.
Make your own wedding buffet
Making the buffet yourself is particularly budget-friendly. You can also involve your guests in the planning and preparation . A DIY buffet is a good alternative, especially for casual celebrations such as tent or garden weddings. However, it is associated with more planning effort.
If you decide on a DIY buffet, you should clarify in good time which dishes it should contain. It is important to cover starters, warm and cold main courses and desserts. Meat, cheese and fish platters, salads, baked goods and fruit, for example, are suitable for the cold buffet. For the warm buffet, soups, meat and fish dishes, vegetable dishes and side dishes such as potatoes, French fries and croquettes can be served.
You should clarify in advance who will take care of the decoration and the serving of the buffet . For the warm buffet you also need warming devices, such as so-called chafting dishes (water baths) or hot plates. If you make the buffet yourself, you will also need crockery, cutlery and glasses . Do you celebrate in the garden or in unusual places, there should be a power connection and cooling facilities.
The multi-course wedding menu
The wedding menu has the advantage over the buffet that guests relaxed at the wedding table can sit or at the wedding tables. For smaller wedding parties, it creates a harmonious, sociable atmosphere . It also offers a visual highlight on the nicely laid and decorated table. In addition, there is no queuing and no additional space is required for the buffet.
Wedding buffets usually consist of at least three courses. If there are more than three courses, the wedding cake often replaces the last course. At least the wedding menu consists of a starter, main course and dessert . There can also be intermediate courses in the form of soups, fish dishes, salads, sorbets, cheese or fruit.
Tips for preparing the wedding menu
Since the selection of dishes in the menu is smaller than in the buffet, you should ask early about the special needs of your guests . When sending the invitations, you can ask the guests to point out special features with the confirmation. This includes food intolerances, but also the avoidance of meat in general or certain types of meat. If children come to the wedding celebrationa children's menu should not be missing.
When looking for a location or a caterer, you should also ask about the possibility of a test meal in the menu . With it you not only test taste and quality, but you can also clarify details.
Save money and nerves with good planning
Once you have put together the menu for all guests, the menu plan is passed on to the chef and kitchen. The service staff should also receive this. So it can match the menu plan with the seating arrang ernent and make sure everything goes smoothly during the wedding. The timing is particularly important here so that there are no delays. In this way you avoid your guests waiting hungry for their food or overcooking it in the kitchen.
As with the buffet, you can also save on the wedding menu. If you use local vendors and suppliers and seasonal foods , this is mostly noticeable in the menu price. You can also save by doing without exotic dishes and spices.
Live cooking, food truck and Co.
As an alternative to the wedding menu and buffet, you can turn the meal into a lively highlight at your wedding . Live cooking is suitable for this, for example in the form of a wok station or a BBQ, where you can look over the shoulder of the cook. You design the wedding menu with live cooking at the fire barrel to be sociable and rustic at the same time.
You are particularly flexible with a food truck. This makes entertaining your guests particularly easy and possible almost anywhere . You don't have to worry about a banquet table, cutlery or crockery. Only a power connection is required for some food trucks.
Which food truck is right for your wedding?
There are food trucks for a wide variety of dishes. Which food truck suits your wedding depends on your style and the preferences of your guests . Burgers, BBQ, burritos, tarte flambée, international finger food and Asian street food are just as much on offer as entire multi-course menus, cake or ice cream food trucks.
With food truck catering, too, it is important that you clarify certain needs of your guests in advance and inform the caterer about them. Most caterers, however, have gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan alternatives ready by themselves .
The champagne reception
The champagne reception offers you a wonderful opportunity to toast your wedding ceremony with your guests. It can also be used to bridge waiting times until catering. Depending on the location of the wedding, you can organize the champagne reception immediately afterwards. The best way to do this is to clarify with the city or municipality whether it is allowed to set up a champagne bar in front of the registry office or at an alternative location for the wedding. You can also greet your guests at the place of the celebration with a champagne reception. In summer, it's best to look for a shady spot . You can have the champagne reception organized by a caterer, hire service staff to do it on an hourly basis or hand over the organization to friends or relatives.
In addition to sparkling wine or champagne, you should also plan non-alcoholic drinks . Also, finger food , for example in the form of small canapés, as well as fruit such as raspberries or strawberries welcome companion. You can decorate standing tables for the champagne reception with matching covers and festive decorations or flowers.
coffee and cake
Many wedding couples offer their guests coffee and cake in the afternoon. You can opt for a classic cake buffet . There is also a trend towards candy bars , which hold sweets such as candies, marshmallows, but also mini cakes such as cake pops.
If you organize coffee and cake yourself at your wedding, roughly calculate two to three pieces of cake for each guest. In addition to coffee, you should also offer alternatives such as tea and fresh juices .
Some couples choose not to cut the wedding cake traditionally at midnight, but rather at coffee time. This has the advantage that you can save on the rest of the cake. Especially with a larger number of guests, the wedding cake can be supplemented with small miniature tarts or cupcakes .
The midnight snack
The midnight snack is a must for many at their wedding. After partying and dancing, many people want a hearty snack in the late evening . Cheese and sausage platters, sandwiches, currywurst, meatballs and mini burgers are popular. Many couples also use the midnight snack to offer finger food and dishes that are left over from a champagne reception or buffet.
The trend for midnight snacks is also a salty bar with salty snacks such as pretzels, puff pastry specialties, nachos and salty popcorn.
A fruit platter and a dip platter with appetizingly cut vegetable sticks are ideal healthy and fresh alternatives. Traditionally, the wedding cake is cut at the time of the midnight snack.
The drinks at a wedding
How you organize the supply of drinks at your wedding depends on your budget and the preferences of your guests. For example, if you celebrate in a place that can only be reached by car or if there are many families with children at the wedding, you can count on fewer alcoholic drinks. In summer, when the weather is nice, more non-alcoholic drinks are necessary.
These drinks should not be missing at a wedding
First of all, you should plan drinks suitable for the wedding menu, buffet and champagne reception as well as corresponding non-alcoholic drinks.
For the champagne reception you can count on 1.5 glasses of champagne per guest. There are also two glasses of non-alcoholic drinks per guest. You can offer water, juice and soft drinks.
If you offer coffee and cake , you can expect a flat rate of one and a half cups of coffee or tea and a glass of non-alcoholic drink per guest.
For lunch or dinner you should calculate at least the following quantities per guest:
- Beer: 2 bottles
- Wine: 0.5 bottles
- Water: 0.5 bottles
- Juice: 0.5 bottles
- Soft drinks: 0.5 bottles
Depending on which dishes are offered in the wedding menu or buffet, the drinks list is adapted accordingly . For example, more white wine is needed to go with fish dishes.
Special highlights offer extras at the wedding , such as a cocktail bar, punch or punch or - depending on the season - even mulled wine. A happy hour, where cocktails or long drinks are served, offers you the opportunity to serve something special and at the same time limit the consumption of strong drinks.
Billing according to flat rate or consumption
In a location as well as with catering you usually have the option of billing according to consumption or by means of a flat-rate beverage.
With billing based on consumption , you only pay what your guests actually consume. This is usually worthwhile if your guests only consume a limited amount of alcoholic beverages. The disadvantage is that the actual costs are difficult to calculate. For example, if it is very warm or if individual guests drink more, this is reflected in the final bill.
If you are billed according to consumption, you can limit the costs by limiting the range of drinks. So you can agree with the service staff that high-proof alcoholic beverages are only served after the meal. You should also make sure that only half-filled glasses are not cleared away by the service staff.
With the beverage package, you pay a certain amount per guest. A period is set within which previously agreed drinks are served. The advantage of this is that you know in advance what costs you will have to reckon with. Usually two types of beer and wine are served, as well as water, soft drinks and water.
Save costs on drinks
If you get the drinks yourself , you can save costs. However, not every location is open to it. Some organizers offer a middle ground with the so-called corkage fee. You get the drinks, but you pay a serving fee to the organizer for each bottle you bring with you.
You can also limit the costs by providing wine, beer, soft drinks, sparkling wine, water, coffee and tea, but schnapps and cocktails have to be paid for by the guests themselves. Especially if you have to pay attention to your budget, your guests will fully understand this.
In any case, it is beneficial to design a drinks menu. This gives the guests an overview of the drinks on offer. You can specify which drinks are available at which time of day (coffee with the cake table, sparkling wine at the reception, etc.). You can also note here which drinks may have to be paid for yourself.
The right food and drinks can make a decisive contribution to the success of your wedding celebration. They also play a major role in the budget. Therefore, you should include supply in your considerations when looking for a location. If you organize the catering yourself, it is best to think about what you can give to whom in good time. Then you can enjoy your wedding party carefree.