6 Menu Mistakes to Avoid

Good food makes a great wedding, but creating a sumptuous spread mightn’t be as straightforward as it seems – dodge common pitfalls with our must-read guide

  • Story by Photo Anna Kidman & Words Margot Marshall

Good food makes a great wedding, but creating a sumptuous spread mightn’t be as straightforward as it seems – dodge common pitfalls with our must-read guide.

Not starting early enough

Like everything in life, the best gets snapped up early, so research caterers early on to ensure you’ve got the best chance of booking one that falls within your budget and offers the style of food you’re after. 

Not setting a budget from the start 

Establishing a budget early on (and sticking to it) helps you stay on track with your wedding planning. It also means you’re less likely to be faced with last-minute compromises in other areas because you’ve overspent on catering. Be honest and upfront with your caterer about what you can afford.

Not matching the number of guests to the type of menu

If you are having a small, intimate wedding, a decadent five-course meal might be achievable. But if there are 200 guests on your list, this probably isn’t an option – both from a budget perspective and what your caterer can realistically achieve. Your guest list and budget should help determine your menu, so stick with a smaller group for a more lavish spread, or go big with your guest list and create a more budget-friendly feast of rustic platters and cocktail-style nibbles. 

Not keeping it seasonal

Discuss with your caterer what ingredients will be in season at the time of your wedding – then base your menu around these foods. Aim for local produce where possible to reduce food miles and ensure you’re getting the freshest ingredients. If you’re planning a winter wedding, think of warming, hearty fare and for summer weddings stick to refreshing options that will appeal to guests on a hot day. 

Not catering for dietary restrictions 

It’s a good idea to ask for dietary requirements as part of your guests’ RSVP. If there are gluten-free guests or guests with allergies or other specific dietary requirements, you’ll have this information early and can discuss with your caterer to overcome any unforeseen menu challenges. It’s also a great idea to have at least one vegetarian option available to assure every guest is served a dish they will eat. 

Not providing enough food 

No matter what, never ever skimp on portions – not having enough food at the reception is guaranteed to be the only thing your guests remember about the day! There’s nothing worse than hungry guests at a wedding, so make sure you’ve got all bases covered and confirm serving sizes and the amount of food being served with your caterer, so you know you’ll have a full house of satisfied bellies. 


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