Planning an Indian summer wedding menu? After all, isn’t it the food and the flavours which entice people to come for weddings? The Big Fat Indian Wedding is incomplete without delectable and scrumptious foods. From the refreshing drinks to the spirited ones, tasty starters, and yummy mains, and of course the indulgent sweets - knowing what you pick for your guests is really what makes for a savoury memory.
Traditionally, When we think of Indian wedding cuisine we automatically think of heavy foods, laden with cream and ghee, hot Indian breads and extensive choices of vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods. Continental foods have also been on the cards for years. These days, people don’t stick to a single cuisine and guests can hop from Italian dishes to Mexican, Oriental and more.
That said, a wedding menu is only a hit when it is planned according to the season. Picture this - you enter a wedding in the sweltering Delhi summer season and are offered a hot cup of coffee as a welcome drink, instead of Thandai or an iced lemon mojito! Avoid this kind of a goof-up, by this Wedding Menu planning guide.
Planning Food For A Summer Wedding:
Remember, your wedding menu is first and foremost, dependant on the wedding season.
So, a summer wedding menu has got to pick up on the flavours and the foods that make eating in summer just as much fun as gorging on food in chilly winters.
How to begin planning The Wedding Menu?
Cool foods, fruits, mild flavours or pairings of hot foods with ideal beverage options should be your first point of call. You can also consider iced treats and sweets. And those are the questions you need to ask in terms of offerings you expect from your wedding caterer.
The first step is to book the venue and the very next is booking the caterer. And to do that, you need to be clear about the number of guests, location, venue and an average understanding of the different courses you want. Of course, the caterers will help you understand this better and give you more details, but being prepared always helps.
Start doing your own research for your menu by:
- Seeking inspiration online - through Pinterest, Forums, Instagram and other platforms
- Asking friends and family who may have hosted a wedding in recent times
- Recommendations from other vendors, especially from the venue
- Attending Food tastings
NOTE - Some Wedding Venues have their own specific wedding caterers, so you may want to check that first.
When should you begin planning your wedding menu?
The planning for the wedding menu begins right after you have chosen your wedding caterer. Ask for options, go through the existing menus and understand what the caterer has to offer for a summer wedding. You need to see how flexible the caterer is and how willing is the caterer to include your specific demands. Start looking for summer wedding menu options. Think of all the possibilities and definitely don’t skip your own favourites.
Who to plan the wedding menu with?
Include your partner, both the families and even your bridesmaids/groomsmen. More thinking hats more creativity!
Things to keep in mind for the summer wedding menu:
Ready to plan your summer wedding menu? Here are the key points to consider before you finalize the details:
1. Wedding Banquet Budget
Weddings are a huge event which require a lot of money, especially our very own ‘Big Fat Indian Weddings’. Working on a budget helps you plan things better without leaving you deep in debt in the end. What's more, it's better to keep a separate budget for wedding catering and try to stick to it. It may be tempting to splurge and get everything, but don’t lose your budget focus.
2. Add Your Individuality:
This is where your Inspirations and scope of creativity comes into play! Think of your favourite summer treats and try adding them to your menu. You and your partner definitely need to have your favourites included. Since it is a summer wedding menu, think of cool and refreshing food options instead of the boring, the mundane and the expected. Focus more on refreshing drinks and snacks like coconut water, mojitos, lemonades, Dahi Papdi chaat, Ice Golas – the options are endless!
3. Balancing with crowd-pleasing items:
Even though it’s a summer wedding and it’s YOUR wedding you can’t completely skip the ‘wedding favourites’. The summer wedding menu you choose must incorporate something for everyone, whether you personally like it or not. For example, if you feel it’s too hot for butter chicken and naan and you’d rather eat a pasta; does not mean all the aunty ji’s will be happy with that too. So yes while you can choose a special summer wedding menu and personalize that, balance it with what people are ‘expecting’.
4. Choosing the different courses for the menu
How lavish are you planning the wedding and the wedding menu to be? Will it be a fancy 7-course meal or simpler foods? The different courses must be filling but for a summer wedding, the menu can be simpler and options lesser.
Summer weddings are more focused on cool drinks, refreshing snacks like pani puri and then the much-awaited ice creams. The main course can thus be simpler because people don’t tend to overeat and indulge too much during the summers.
- Think cool and refreshing
- Keep your Main course simpler, with lesser options
- Bring in all the fresh vegetables and their many vibrant colours- salads, juices, fresh fruit desserts, colourful coolers and drinks...
- Choose options that won’t easily go bad in the heat, avoid rich dairy products.
Add personalized corners like a Nariyal Paani cart, crushed ice gola, Candy Floss etc.
How to ensure things happen, as planned?
You may have chosen the best of the wedding caterer in town and planned the most amazing summer wedding menu; always be prepared for failed plans. Anything can happen last minute to disrupt your well-made plans but that’s not the end of it all.
Always have a Plan B in place, especially when you are planning something as important and crucial as your own wedding. Choose a Plan B caterer who may have shown similar prospects and also have a backup plan for the summer wedding menu. For example, if coconut water was your ‘welcome drink’ but the coconut vendor decided to go MIA last minute, have chilled glasses of lemonade ready.
You get the point right? Every plan must have a backup plan and if you start this planning process in time, you will have the time to formulate this equally efficient Plan B too.
Ready to make the most of that bright sun and brighter daylight? Soak in the sun as you indulge in some delicious foods and flavours that will keep your tummy full and spirits high.
What will you add to a summer wedding menu? Share your ideas with us and help us make summer weddings ‘cooler’.