Meals for the Wedding Weekend

Brides and grooms often take great care to plan the menu for their wedding reception.  There are; however, plenty of other meals throughout the wedding weekend to plan. Whether the bride and groom are eating alone for these days or entertaining many guests, it is important to have them planned in advance so no one winds up skipping meals or eating on the run.

Planning a menu for the Rehearsal Dinner - Many couples no longer have a formal reception dinner. Pizza, a few tables at a restaurant and even nights at the bowling alley are taking the place of more formal reception dinners.  Even with such casual affairs it is important to plan ahead.  Figure out how many pizzas are needed and talk to the manager of the local pizza place about a week in advance.  It can save a long wait and there may even be a discount to be found. Book some tables at the intended restaurant, even if it is just a few hours early.  This way the restaurant can set aside a section and stop seating those tables shortly before the arrival of the party which can greatly reduce wait time, especially on busy evenings.  It is also a good idea to call again shortly before leaving for the restaurant to tell the staff to expect you very shortly. Bowling lanes can be very busy especially on prime evenings.  Calling to reserve lanes in advance for the bridal party can usually be done with a very small deposit.  Many bowling lanes have leagues all week and this will allow the staff to position the league games accordingly. The staff may also be able to inform you of a group discount they have available or deals on food served at the bowling alley.  No matter where the rehearsal dinner will be held, a little bit of planning can help it go more smoothly and save the couple money.

Menu for breakfast on the morning of the wedding - It is important that no one in the bridal party, including the bride and the groom, skip breakfast.  Between nerves, extra layers of clothing, and plenty of other factors, it is easy for a nervous couple to have a stomach seized by nerves.  A light breakfast high in protein can help give the energy needed to get through the day and keep a stomach settled.  Consider a bagel bar while everyone is getting ready.  Provide various bagels, butter, cream cheeses and fruit. Orange juice, water and tea are great beverage options.  Be sure to have plenty of straws to reduce the chances for spills while drinking.  If money is not an issue ask the event venue staff if you can have an omelet bar available for the wedding party that morning.  The key is to choose foods that are high energy and light enough to settle and digest easily.

Menu for the wedding day lunch (for an evening reception) - If the wedding will be in the afternoon, lunch will also be an issue.  Sandwich platters in the rooms where people are preparing are a popular choice.  Even granola bars and yogurt will provide the needed energy to get through until dinner.  Just make sure no one skips eating, especially the bride.  

After party snacks (evening of the wedding) - If the wedding reception was in the afternoon or goes very late, many guests will want a snack at the end of the evening.  Make plans to all meet at a local restaurant or bar for some snacks. Serving late night snacks as the dancing winds down right at the end of the reception is becoming a popular trend as well.  Finger foods like chicken nuggets, mozzarella sticks and fries are popular.  Even lemonade and cookies is a nice gesture. Just something that isn’t put out until the end of the evening so guests aren’t scrambling for a snack on their way home.

Thank you brunch (day after the wedding) - An after wedding brunch is often traditional when there are a lot of out of town guests.  It gives everyone a last chance to catch up and say goodbyes.  Even if the bride and groom have been spirited off to a honeymoon, sometimes the parents will still hold the brunch. The key here is variety. An omelet bar, a bagel bar, granola bars, toaster pastries and anything else you see as a breakfast food can be laid out buffet style. Omelet bars may require someone to be making the omelets.


General Diet Tips

Dairy in moderation - In the weeks before the wedding dairy is important to help keep a strong immune system. Dairy has long term health benefits as well.  Avoid high fat dairy products and focus on skim milk, fat free yogurt or Greek yogurt.

Lean meat only - Avoid fast food meats with lots of fillers.  Choose lean meats for energy and limit fat intake.  Fish is an even better option for long term health benefits.

Drink lots of water - Staying hydrated is great for the health of skin, the digestive system and overall general health. Always keep water on hand, especially in the weeks leading up to the wedding day and on the day of the wedding.

Eat healthy snacks - High protein snacks will give the energy needed to make it through the weeks leading up to the wedding without all the fat and sugar that can wreak havoc on the skin, not to mention the waistline.  Consider wheat crackers and low fat cheese with grapes.

A wedding is a great reason to make some diet changes for healthier living and to ensure a bride looks her best on her wedding day from the inside out.

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