Planning an outdoor wedding is a lot of fun, but when it comes to your menu, put safety first. Consider a tent to keep bugs and heat at bay, and make sure you have supplies to keep hot foods warm and cold foods cool so that you don't inadvertently give any of your guests food poisoning.
Old-fashioned cookouts have become popular for outdoor weddings, according to The New York Times. Caterers or a few handy guests can keep the grills going through the dinner hour so guests can grab a grilled burger or hot dog and head to a fixings bar to customize their meal with a creative mix of condiments. Veggie burgers and dogs mean this menu can accommodate vegetarian guests, too.
Real Simple magazine recommends kicking the traditional cookout up a notch and serving a selection of barbecued meats, including chicken, smoked sausage, pork ribs and beef brisket. For this menu, the sides are almost as important as the main courses: It wouldn't be a barbecue without grilled corn on the cob, baked beans, coleslaw and three-bean salad.
If your outdoor wedding is on the beach, you can't beat the fun of a classic clambake—a favorite outdoor food choice for Emma Roberts, the owner of Capers Catering in Boston, according to Boston magazine. The combination of steamed lobster, cod, mussels, clams, sausage, potatoes and corn has something for everyone and makes a fun group activity for wedding guests.
Couples planning an outdoor reception can consider having food stations with themes like seafood, Thai cuisine and chilled soups. Guests will be spoiled for choice and get to mingle and circulate as they keep coming back for more. Do take into account that several stations means several sets of equipment to keep foods appropriately warm and cool, which might be more expensive.
Plenty of liquid refreshment is an essential for an outdoor wedding. Though themed cocktails, like frozen margaritas or sangria, are fun, make sure you also have plenty of non-alcoholic refreshment for your guests. Set up several drink stations with lemonade, cranberry seltzers or iced water so it's easy for guests to help themselves.
- Photo Credit homemade lemonade image by Steve Lovegrove from Fotolia.com
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