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Gino Spano

 Tags: Wedding Food

Every couple wants their wedding day to go off without a hitch and to make sure their guests have a great time at the party. Weddings today typically revolve around the food and drinks so this is often one of the most anticipated parts of the day for your guests.

Standard chicken or beef entrees are fine, but if you really want to wow your guests and show what a trendy, foodie couple you really are, you'll love these unique wedding menu ideas. Consider one of these four alternative wedding menu ideas to set your big day apart from the rest.

1. Cocktail Hour

For as long as we can remember, the typical wedding dinner routine was all about a big sit down meal, but these days, more and more couples are opting for something a little lighter—without sacrificing tons of flavour.

Rather than a formal seated dinner, consider planning a more casual meal of appetizers and a spread of bite-sized portions. This typically takes place during the cocktail hour after the ceremony, but consider extending it the whole way through dinnertime. Everyone loves appetizers, and your guests will also be able to decide exactly what and how much they eat. Everyone will go home happy and no one will feel like they’ve overstuffed themselves on a big, heavy meal.

Another excellent alternative wedding menu idea is to have food stations set up around your reception area during cocktail hour. Fun comfort foods work well in this setting, like a slider station, taco bar, or stir-fry station. Or for something a little more upscale, try a raw seafood bar or prime rib carvery.

You can even do a themed menu and bar—if you're going for a Mad Men theme, for example, set up a martini bar and have popular foods from that era served. Your guests will love circulating around and deciding what they want to sample. Rather than having everyone sit down, where they may start to feel the fatigue of the big day, this format gets people up and moving, which is more likely to keep the party going. 

2. Global Flavours

We don’t have to tell you how popular ethnic food is, especially in a multicultural city like Toronto. Favourites like curries, dumplings and sushi don’t just have to be for nights out, they can definitely have their place on the menu for your special day.

Consider doing a wedding menu consisting of flavours and foods from all around the world. Start with some tapas-style appetizers from Spain before whisking over to South America for some Argentinian steak with chimichurri. Head over to Italy for some pasta before sampling authentic Chinese dumplings. Round out the menu with some sweet treats like Indian mango kulfi or fancy French pastries. At the end of the night, your guests will feel like they've been on a whirlwind trip to all seven continents of the world. 

For a unique personalized spin on this idea, choose dishes from countries that you've visited together as a couple to make it a really special and memorable meal. 

3. Personalized Favourites and Fusion Foods

Is a wedding really for the couple or is it for the guests? This question seems to get asked time and time again, and while the great debate continues, trendy couples can put their own unique spin on things to really make the day their own.

One of the coolest wedding menu ideas that really adds some personality to your dinner style is choosing a meal made up of your own favourite foods. Is the groom known for his love of barbecued ribs? Or, like many ladies, maybe the bride has a never-ending obsession with cheesecake. Whatever your favourite foods are, showcase them and share them with your closest family and friends as part of your uniquely personalized menu. 

You can also integrate fusion foods into your menu by blending the bride and groom’s distinct cultures and coming up with unique dishes. Or, try coming up with a “his and hers” wedding menu where the bride selects dishes for one half of the menu, and the groom has his picks for the other. To add some fun to your night, create signs and have your guests try to guess which food item was chosen by the bride or groom.

The Guide to Planning Your Perfect Wedding 

Gino Spano

Starting with roots in a kitchen at 14 years old, he worked his way up the ranks and by the young age of 17 was responsible for daily events of 50 to 600 people. Gino continued to use his talents to work in catering, banquet and restaurant kitchens across the GTA. His love for Italian, French and Asian cuisine paired with his wide variety of knowledge brought him success in his new venture at Seventh Heaven in 2001. Over the past 12 years, he has cooked many meals for social events, corporate events and government officials. His love for new challenges brought him into corporate sales where he and the Seventh Heaven team won Best Catered Event for Canadian Linen’s “The Great White North” – Facility Grand Opening in 2009.
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