Your wedding dinner can either make or ruin the special occasion. It is important that you select the appropriate menu to serve your guests. What separates the wedding menu from typical party food? Are there certain guidelines that couples should follow? Is there a difference between wedding catering and party fare?

When we say “party”the first thing that typically comes to mind is an informal social setting. It most likely is a group of people, often with the same interests, whom are grouped together for a specific purpose or task or simply to have a good time.

The type of affair, the age of your guests and and the formality of the wedding are three  factors that dictate the food to be served.  Some appetizers are a great idea as they help to absorb the party drinks.

Wedding events are a much more anticipated and formal gathering. Although you can have a luxurious theme or a casual one, the term “wedding” is thought of as a formal affair. What makes wedding parties stand out from others is the diversity of the people attending.  Your guests may also have varying religious faiths, cultures and education. Aside from your wedding theme, consider all of these factors when planning your wedding reception.

There are various considerations to make when you begin to create a menu for your wedding. The first thing to think about is what time of day your reception will be. Unlike the usual gatherings where tradition dictates a time of day, (Christmas parties at night, kids celebrations during the afternoon) wedding receptions can vary. They can be anywhere from early morning to late evening. The food should be adjusted for the hour. Buffets and finger food can be prepared at mid-day wedding celebrations while a more formal meal is a better choice for an evening reception.

For sunrise or breakfast receptions you can serve croissants, waffles, muffins, pastries and other fancy breakfast items. Beverages may include coffee, juice and in some instances mimosas. Luncheons work well for those who are tying the knot late morning to noon. For afternoon or early evening events, you can circulate hors d’oeuvres and alcohol for the evening wedding. A traditional dinner with more than three courses is appropriate.

Can you always tell the difference when comparing wedding reception menus and party food? Sometimes, as wedding foods and regular party foods sometimes overlap. The important thing to remember when you choose your menu – theme, time and guests.