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Setting the Menu

Ah food. One of my favorite subjects! Planning the menu was so much fun.

wedding-dessert-display
{Our dessert table – more on this later… Image via Jenna}

Starting out, I knew a few things regarding the food that we would serve. First of all, because I was holding people hostage for over six hours, I knew we needed a lot of it! Secondly, my husband and I both wanted simple, well-made items that reflect quality, not creativity. Third, this was not a wedding, and I wanted no part of wedding cake. Fourth, I needed the caterer to understand my vision for the event and potentially contribute to it. And lastly, there would be nothing at my event that I personally would not eat.

We met with four caterers in Atlanta and quickly narrowed the choice down to two. One choice violated criteria 2-it was a bit frou-frou for our tastes. Another choice was nixed due to criteria 4-they were too mainstream. After tastings with our final two choices, I had a clear winner – Bold American Catering. William Neal at Bold was the epitome of criteria 4. He not only took our choices and ran with them but he also suggested several ideas on how to present and pair the menu, as well as contributing his knowledge to the overall direction of the cocktail hour and reception, even advising on the lighting.

So what did we end up with, you ask? A veritable smorgasbord of our favorites!

Cocktail Hour:
We knew we wanted passed hors d’oeuvres and drinks. We also had passed bellinis (which went out on trays with my glass charms adorning them!). The white-glove service and passed drinks added to the vintage atmosphere we wanted our cocktail hour to convey.

Final choices
Angel Hair pasta with zucchini, squash, pesto, and shaved romano on a fork
Bruschetta with sundried tomato, basil, and reggiano
Duck confit, raspberries and shallots in a crispy french crepe
Roasted and thinly sliced beef with sharp cheddar and horseradish cream on crispy french bread

cocktail-hour-appetizers

bellinis

{Images by Jessica Claire}

Seated Dinner:
There would be steak. Plain, served rare to medium rare, paired with mashed potatoes and haricot verts. Of this, my husband and I had no doubt. Naturally, there would be a vegetarian entree as well, and on the recommendation of William, we chose cheese agnolotti.

filet-mignon
{Image via Jenna}

Our biggest obstacle here was the accompanying courses. A caprese salad topped our list of choices, however, the availability of beefsteak tomatoes is an issue in December. Eventually, I had to abandon my beloved tomatoes and mozzarella in favor of a classic Caesar. French onion soup also was a must for me, however, our venue had no broiler, so melted cheese and a crock were not to be. We compromised with an onion soup with cheese crouton.

french-onion-soup
{Image via Jenna}

As we were sans wedding cake, our seated dinner also contained a plated dessert of creme brulee, not only a favorite of ours but also in line with our slightly French influence.

creme-brulee
{Image via Jenna}

Last but not least, our beloved dessert buffet!  We chose:

Taste of twix
Caramel apple crisp
Raspberry green tea tartlets
Lemon meringue tarts
Red velvet cakes
Cheesecake dipped in chocolate on a stick
Cherry pies
Carrot cakes
Egyptian dark chocolate cakes

(all in miniature of course!)

wedding-dessert-buffet1

mini-desserts

mini-dessert-buffet1

chocolate-dipped-cheesecake-on-a-stick

{Images by Jessica Claire}

Did you encounter difficulties in planning your menu? Has your caterer been accommodating to your needs? And what do you think was the most important / least important decision you made when setting your menu?

PS – For more of my vow renewal recaps, visit the archives!

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5 comments on “Setting the Menu

  1. Looks delicious! Bold is catering my wedding next May as well and I’m super excited. The fifth group restaurants are all delicious so it will be hard to go wrong. I’m glad it came out wonderfully for you!

  2. Since I planned my wedding long-distance we weren’t able to do any taste testing (darn) so I had to go with what the caterer suggested based on the dinner I knew I wanted (kobe steak). I was VERY happy with the end result!

    We ended up with…

    Apps = bacon wrapped filet minon bites, shrimp and basil, tomato and mozzarella bites.

    Caesar Salad

    Dinner = kobe steak, lobster, asaparagus over lemon chili vinegarette pasta (SO GOOD!)

  3. From my point of view wedding planning should be done with fun and excitement. All the arrangements should be done on time. Before making any arrangements a well planned list of things should be maintained and followed. Decide about whether you will make all the arrangements by yourself or you will hire a wedding planner.

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