18 April 2011
Posted in WEDDING IDEAS
In Italy you are spoilt for choice as far as your wedding meal goes. With some of the world’s best cuisine and finest fresh ingredients to choose from, you might feel you need a few pointers on what kind of thing to serve at your wedding day feast...
In Italy, there are three main ways of going about your wedding meal. You can choose a traditional sit-down meal, a buffet or a cocktail party, each having their own menu kinds, strengths and weaknesses.
The traditional sit-down meal
This is definitely the most complicated of the options to organise, but it does allow guests to sit and enjoy delicious Italian cuisine and it is by far the best option for a traditional wedding in an elegant location. As well as the menu, you need to think about the service, the table decorations and the seating arrangements.
The level of service depends on how formal you want the event to be. You can go for normal service or for silver service, you can have the antipasti and desserts on a buffet and have main course served by a waiter, you can have a bar open for guests to use during the meal, or have waiter service for the drinks too. It is very much up to you.
The table decorations can also be as formal or as informal as you like, from traditional flowers and colour coordinated napkins, to themed centrepieces and personalised favours. As for seating arrangements, you will know your guests better than anyone... just make sure everyone is likely to feel comfortable and have something in common with those at their table and all will be fine!
The menu will be the most traditional of all, and in Italy it will be BIG! The traditional Italian wedding meal has five courses, starting with antipasti, followed by a primo, usually rice, pasta or gnocchi, a second of meat or fish accompanied by a side dish or contorno. This main part of the meal should be followed by a fresh fruit sorbet to freshen the mouth for the pastries and wedding cake served to accompany the coffee.
This is a more informal version, and is great for more relaxed parties as the guests can mingle. The venue can be a large hall or outdoors in a garden or on a beach, with drapes or a marquee and informal seating areas for guests to rest their feet and, in the case of an outdoor wedding, escape from the heat or the rain!
For the buffet itself there are various options. You could choose a traditional buffet table with the food, plates and cutlery laid out on it. This can be self service or served, although there will have to waiting staff to collect the used crockery and glasses. This kind of buffet table needs to have a variety of interesting dishes that are easy to pick up, including plenty of starters, some pasta dishes, lemon chicken legs, salads, cheeses, cold meats, fruit and deserts such as mini tiramisu, profiteroles, and cantucci with vin santo.
An alternative is to have stations, perhaps separated out into courses, or style of cuisine. A very chic option, is also that of having a series of chefs cooking at each station, offering different styles and dishes.
The cocktail party
The best choice for a very large or informal party, as most people will be standing during it, is the cocktail party. This flexible option can take place indoors or out, in any location. The drinks menu will be very important, with a series of pre-chosen cocktails depending on the season and the wedding theme, as well as a choice of wines, beers and spirits. Delicious canapés are always popular, and most of the food can come in this format. A hot dish, perhaps on a buffet table can be offered, and the wedding cake can be self service while small deserts are handed out as sweet canapés with a selection of desert wines and liqueurs.