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Food and drinks (how to choose)

Wedding receptions are often remembered for the sheer splendor of the arrangements. The food, drinks, music, venue and the decorations all add to the ambiance of the occasion. People are willing to spend extravagantly on receptions to ensure that is a memorable affair. The food and drink has to be just perfect for the wedding reception.

Regardless of the scale of the wedding reception, planning and details are very important. As with many areas of wedding planning, the budget will dictate the venue of the reception, the type of food and drinks to be served and the number of people to be invited. Since this will be a special day, most couples don't refrain from spending large sums on good food and expensive wine.


Choosing a menu

Once the budget has been set, it is time to choose between in-house catering, hiring outside caterers or self-catering. Many reception halls have in-house caterers that can provide all the necessary food and drink for such celebrations. These in-house caterers may not be able to provide for certain requirements like Halal or Kosher meals. In this case, it is advisable to book outside caterers. Asking for recommendations from friends and family is a good idea. Ask for sample menus and enquire about the types of wedding packages that the different caterers offer. Check with the caterers if wine and soft drinks are included in the package price.

A caterer will be able to provide food and drink advice to match the budget. A traditional wedding feast has three courses. Many caterers offer a large variety of menus to select from. Opt for a balanced menu. If the appetizers and main course are heavy, then go for a lighter dessert.

Starters should complement the main course. Include some vegetarian starters to cater to the needs of vegetarian guests. Mushroom soup with bread, smoked salmon salad with avocado sauce, tempura of squid with seasoned vegetables, risotto cake with grilled corn and goat's cheese with grilled vegetables are some of the popular options for starters.

The main course should be served hot. Roast chicken with all the trimmings, rack of lamb served with vegetables, breast of pan fry duckling served in honey sauce, blue cheese soufflés with asparagus are good options for the main course. A fish course is also a good option for a long meal.

The dessert is the culmination of any feast and chocolate is always a favorite with the masses. A fruit based dessert or pudding is also a good option.

Deciding upon the ideal beverage list

Check what drinks are included in the wedding catering package. Most wedding venues include a basic drink of house wine or a glass of champagne per person. Just like the food, it is always best to serve a large quantity of quality drinks. The most important drinks at any reception are water, wine, beer, champagne and soft drinks. Try looking for local vineyards to obtain a fine range of wines.

While welcoming the guests into the reception area a glass of sherry or champagne should be served. Alcoholic fruit cocktails can also be served. For non-drinkers and children, offer soft drinks and bottled water. Wine is the most popular choice of drink that is served with them meal but beer can also be a popular substitute. Make sure non-alcoholic drinks like fruit juices are also provided. Red wine should be served with red meat while white wine with white meat. When choosing wines, opt for one that will complement the menu. Newly-weds are traditionally toasted with champagne but good quality sparkling wine can also serve the purpose for such an occasion.

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