Choosing Your Wedding Menu: A Timeline + Considerations At Every Stage

Choosing Your Wedding Menu: A Timeline + Considerations At Every Stage

Choosing Your Wedding Menu: A Timeline + Considerations At Every Stage. Mobile Image

Apr 01, 2024


A wedding planning timeline helps you stay on track when crafting an exquisite and memorable experience for your wedding guests. It also ensures that you won’t overlook any details in the flurry of excitement leading up to your wedding and avoid overwhelm by the overall planning process. A customized wedding planning timeline breaks down the entire process into manageable segments and attaches them to specific periods to help you remain organized and stress-free! While couples can find a general wedding planning timeline from an online resource and tweak it according to their needs, not many actually think of a wedding menu timeline and how it can simplify the arrangement of wedding meals.


Why You Need a Wedding Menu Timeline


Planning a wedding menu involves researching caterers, scheduling tastings, communicating special requests, reviewing contracts, and finalizing the vendors. Without a wedding menu timeline, and with all the other wedding prep tasks you are bound to have on your plate, it can be easy to forget or miss important menu-related tasks. To avoid this, we've put together a timeline that breaks down the process step by step, helping you manage these tasks effectively.


Getting Started: 9-12 months before


Start researching catering companies that serve the area around your wedding venue. Gather information about their menus, services and pricing. Keep this information organized in a spreadsheet or wedding planner to make it easier when comparing your options. Once you've narrowed down your choices, begin scheduling tastings!


Deciding on Dishes: 6-9 months before


If you and your partner are foodies, this will be the fun part! Go to tasting sessions together; maybe even make it a part of a date. During tastings, inquire about incorporating your preferred dishes into the menu. For instance, if you’re having a beach wedding, and would love lobster to be on the menu, discuss options such as grilled whole lobster, lobster bisque soup, or lobster tail entrees.


Make final decisions about what’s going to be on the wedding menu, including the appetizers, main courses, and side dishes. If you wish to include any special options in the menu, such as signature drinks, family dishes, or late-night snacks, communicate this as well. Choose your final caterer only after sampling the food, discussing menu options, and checking their pricing total against your budget.


Communicate any preferences for locally sourced, organic, sustainable, or ethically produced ingredients. Bear in mind, that these may affect final prices, so speak about this before you finalize the caterer. At this point, you should also take into consideration dietary restrictions among your guests and discuss these with the caterer.


Double Check the Details: 3-6 months before


Make sure that all your menu selections, pricing, and details are reflected accurately in the contract, and take some time to sit down and review your contract with your chosen caterer. Let them know your expected guest count so that they can prepare for the right amount of food and start finalizing those details.


Final Touches: 2-3 months before


This is the time to discuss aspects such as presentation and serving style (buffet, plated, or family style) with your caterer. A final walk-through at the venue with your caterer will help you discuss setup and logistics for the reception.


Remind your caterer about dietary accommodations for guests with dietary restrictions. If your caterer is responsible for providing equipment and rentals such as tables, chairs, linens, and dinnerware, confirm the details and arrangements.


Countdown to the Big Day: 1-2 weeks before


At this stage, you’re basically ironing out the wrinkles. Inform your caterer of last-minute adjustments if any and confirm the final menu details and timing. Pay attention to factors such as delivery or setup times and staffing requirements. Discuss seating assignments with your caterer and provide special instructions for guests with different needs. Finally, arrange for payment to the caterer according to the terms of your contract.


Remember, setting a timeline is not just about ticking off boxes, it’s about enjoying the process by minimizing stress, savoring each moment, and ensuring that your wedding dining experience will be remembered long after the last course has been served!

Image Credit: Pinterest