How to choose the perfect wedding menu
By Rob Walker, executive chef at the Deckers Group
Contrary to many wedding guides or general tradition, when we advise our happy couples on planning their wedding breakfast, we tell them to choose whatever they like from the menu.
We find that many couples feel they have to choose a traditional roast dinner meal to please the majority of people with a simple meal. And of course, that’s completely fine – if that’s what they want.
It’s their special day so we always tell the happy couple to think about dishes that they want to eat. The wedding breakfast is really special because it’s the first meal you will share as a married couple – and one that you will remember for the rest of your lives.
Catering is often one of the biggest costs of your wedding – so it’s far too much to be spending on food that you feel indifferent about. We want your wedding breakfast to be really special and we really do love working with couples to create a bespoke menu they’re really excited about.
Of course, this will affect which venue you choose, as if you want specialist cuisine, it’s always best to choose a venue or a caterer that provides this. At our two AA rosette rated restaurant, The Peacock Room, many of our wedding couples choose the venue specifically for the quality of the food, as well as our art deco glamorous interiors.
So, after being a chef at the Deckers Group for seven years, and the executive chef for four of those year, I do have some advice for couples planning their wedding to help them plan their wedding breakfast menu.
1. Don’t create a menu that is too long or too heavy
You might be intense foodies (and we are too!) but a six course meal with a cheeseboard to follow might just be too much for a wedding breakfast. Don’t forget you want your guests to hit that dancefloor shortly after the meal is cleared away!
2. Work with the chefs on dishes and flavours
We believe that the happy couple should plan their wedding menu around their tastes and favourite flavours. However, it’s always a good idea to work with the head chef about what flavours work best together. Also in terms of logistics, they will know which dishes can be made for 150 people and those that just won’t work for mass catering. Remember, catering for a wedding is nothing like cooking individual dishes to order.
3. Do make sure you have a tasting session Here at the Deckers Group wedding venues, we do offer the opportunity to come in for a menu tasting well in advance of your meal. It’s worth making sure you are 100% happy with every aspect of the menu before your big day. Check the flavours work well together and check all the elements are how you imagined them.
4. Take the chef’s advice on your budget
Yes, take our advice! We work with budgets constantly, and at our two AA rosette rated restaurant The Peacock Room, we change the menus every six weeks so we are constantly working out the best quality food and the best flavours at the best price we can offer. The cost can also depend on seasonality too – so it would help to get your chef’s advice on what is in season and how that affects your budget too.
If you tell your wedding chef your budget and the types of food you love, they can work out the perfect menu for you.
5. Always cater for allergies and preferences
Although you shouldn’t cater towards people’s individual whims, we always offer a vegetarian, vegan and allergy options. Vegetarians are used to being served the same old meals, so we always think it’s nice to come up with something really delicious.
If someone can’t tolerate gluten, all of our chefs are well versed on creating gluten-free options, and the same goes for any other allergies, such as nut allergies.
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