8 Months to Go: Decide on Your Menu
Hire a caterer!
It’s time to choose the food you’ll serve at the wedding. Your groom will want to tag along on this wedding assignment! After all, he'll get to sample Arkansas' amazing caterers' specialties as you create a menu for your wedding day.
Tips for Your Wedding Food
1. Does your reception venue allow off-site caterers to feed your guests?
- If the answer is yes: Proceed No 2.
- If the answer is no: Schedule a tasting with your reception venue's catering staff right away. They'll help you plan a menu that suits your theme, your budget and your number of guests.
2. Hire one of these amazing Arkansas caterers. Ask your caterer if they do wedding cakes, too.
3. Consider a custom menu matched to your theme, your heritage or your personal preferences as a couple.
4. Factor gratuity and service charges into your catering budget. There’s often an additional 18-20 percent charge for service added to your bill. Bartender fees and bar tax also may apply.
The inside scoop: The food usually tastes better at your tasting than at your actual reception. This is because the chef carefully prepares one plate for the couple to sample. Remember, they're aiming to wow you at this tasting. Come wedding night, whether it's chicken or filet, the culinary staff can't spend that same careful prep time on each guests' plate (generally speaking). They're going to have to produce a large quantity of the food — timed to be served all at once. So, make sure whatever you order is extra amazing. If it's mediocre at the tasting, it's going to be even more so come wedding day.
Know before you go...
- Wedding cake prices start at about $3 per serving (consider a serving to be one guest) and climb from there.
- Expect to pay anywhere from $300-$1,000 for a bridal cake, depending on the number of tiers, ingredients, and intricacy of design. Groom’s cakes are generally less expensive.
- Fondant icing is more expensive than buttercream.
- Styrofoam tiers can be purchased to save money on increasing the height of your cake.
- You’ll be asked to pick from an assortment of cake flavors, icing types and flavors, and different fillings.
- It’s best to come to your tasting with inspiration photos.
Other things to do this month:
- Stay on budget with our budget worksheet.
- Order your wedding dress.
- Send save-the-dates.
- Hire a florist.
- Order wedding cakes.