Choosing the right menu for your big day can be as important
as choosing the right dress. So, following the UK launch of reality
TV programme 'Say Yes to the Dress', which puts a spotlight on
brides choosing their wedding dresses, Russ Brown, Food and
Beverage Director at QHotels, gives his tips for creating the
perfect wedding breakfast and saying yes to the chef.
On your wedding day, the only thing you want to see going back
into the kitchen is empty plates, so you need to be confident that
your menu choices will keep your guests happy.
Here's my advice for working with your wedding venue's chef to
make those important culinary choices for the big day, to put your
mind at ease and serve up a treat…
1. Meet your
Start by meeting your chef. By meeting the person responsible
for designing and preparing your meal, you can explain your ideas
for the wedding breakfast and get valuable advice for making the
most of your budget and catering for a large party.
It's also really important for chefs to see the big picture, to
understand what else is going on at the wedding and how the meal
fits into your special day.
QHotels' chefs are heavily involved in helping couples make
their food and drink choices, by attending regular wedding tasting
evenings at our hotels. It gives them the opportunity to talk with
couples face-to-face about their plans for the day and to make menu
recommendations. That way they can ensure couples are completely
happy with their choices.
2. Be creative
When it comes to choosing your menu, there are plenty of ways to
add creative flair. Some couples include their theme in the wedding
breakfast to add something extra to the meal.
We've seen a wedding where the menu was designed around the
couple's hobby, scuba diving. It was no surprise that the couple
chose to have a fish course, but they even opted for a fish-shaped
lemon tart dessert! Although scuba diving was a fairly unusual
theme, it went down a storm with guests.
Adding extra courses can also work really well. We've seen
seven-course tasting menus and multiple small tapas dishes, to
break up the meal and add more of an intimate feel to the day.
If you're unsure of how to add some creativity to your meal,
don't be afraid to ask your chef for some guidance and tips.
3. But keep it
Remember who you're catering for, whatever your choice of
cuisine. You might have young children, vegetarians or people with
other special dietary requirements attending your wedding, and
fancy menu choices may not tick all the boxes.
Also, finger food or food with fiery spices might not be the
first choice for every guest, so you need to ensure there is an
alternative, simpler option for those with different tastes.
If you're catering for a lot of guests, ensure your meal is
practical and can be served on a large scale. Again, your chef
will be able to help here.Our chefs always try to include a chicken
or beef dish in any sample menus, as they are fairly safe options
and preferred by a lot of wedding guests.
4. Let your drinks bring
your menu to life
Choosing the right drinks to accompany your meal can help bring
your menu to life and add the wow factor.
Work with your venue's sommelier to decide what wines, cocktails
and spirits go with each of your courses. It's important to bring
out the right flavours to complement your meal choices, such as red
wine with lamb or beef, or strawberries in Champagne to make your
dessert even sweeter.
To really get creative you can infuse botanicals in gin or
vodka, like lemon and orange or cucumber and mint, to bring out the
aromas and flavours of your meal.
Or you can personalise your drinks. One wedding at QHotels had
two bespoke cocktails named after the bride and groom. This was a
great way of personalising the menu and creating a memorable
5. Experiment with evening
After a long day of celebrating, guests look forward to soaking
up theChampagnewith a hearty feast. And we're seeing more and more
couples choosing alternatives to the typical evening buffet that
would have been expected many years ago.
I've seen everything from steak and ale pie with chips, to
curries and sushi. As long as it fits with your wedding style and
theme, you can experiment with foods that you both really love and
will keep guests going. Bacon sandwiches and hog roasts are great
crowd pleasers and will help guests fill up and re-energise.
Whatever menu choices you make, ensure your chef is involved in
the decision-making process and can offer advice and tips. After
all, the wedding breakfast will play a big part in your special day
so it's important to give it as much care and attention as other
aspects of the wedding…including the dress!
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