Destination Wedding Bliss: Cuisine and Catering for a Dreamy Reception

Destination weddings are trending today as more couples plan to tie knots at beautiful places. According to Statista, the global destination wedding market was worth $21.6 billion in 2021. So if you are all into marrying into this new trend culture, it is excellent.

But while you may be dreaming of the perfect destination wedding location, it’s easy to overlook the importance of your reception. After all, it’s what everyone will remember. From the moment they arrive at your reception venue to cocktail hour, dinner service, and even dessert, every detail is critical to creating a dreamy experience for your friends and family.

This guide will explore some of the essential elements that make up a delicious dining experience, as well as some tips for how you can create one at home or on vacation:

Planning Your Wedding Menu

Planning your wedding menu is a big part of the wedding planning process. You’ll want to consider what food you want served at your reception, how much it will cost, and who will provide it. Food services account for a 39% share of the destination wedding market.

Here are some things to think about when choosing your reception menu:

  • What type of food do you like? Do you have any favorite dishes or cuisines? If so, then choose those types of dishes for your guests. For example, if someone loves Thai food, then they might not be happy with steak or chicken wings as an option at their wedding reception.
  • How much money do I have available? Make sure that whatever foods, catering services, etc., fit within what budget has been set aside for this part of our wedding expenses before going forward with any decisions on vendors or menus since we don’t want any surprises when bills start coming in.

Choosing Your Catering Style

Wedding catering
Photo by Craig Adderley:

The choice between a sit-down dinner and a buffet often hinges on the size of your guest list and how many people you want to be able to seat at once. For example, if fewer than 100 guests attend, you’ll likely opt for a sit-down meal.

This is because larger groups can get lost in the shuffle if everyone tries to find their seats simultaneously. Still, with smaller gatherings, it’s easier for everyone to find their place cards and settle into the conversation before the food arrives at the table.

If your wedding has more than 100 guests, though, or if you simply prefer having an open bar throughout the cocktail hour, then opting for a buffet may be best since it allows guests time before dinner starts where they can mingle freely with one another while also enjoying appetizers from around several stations.

Considering the number of wedding guests is vital. If the food is less, it will be like a stain in the picture; if it is more, it’s a waste. Per the data from Businesswire, the wedding guest figures are back to the pre-pandemic levels.

Getting the Utensils and Equipment for Dining

When it comes to your wedding reception, you want everything to be perfect. That includes the dining experience for your guests. The first step in creating this dreamy atmosphere is choosing a venue accommodating your needs and expectations.

If you’re hosting an outdoor event with limited space for tables and chairs, consider renting linens from a local linen rental company. A skilled team will help coordinate the setup so everything looks seamless on the big day.

Besides arranging the dining tables, you also need to worry about tablecloths. Tablecloths can increase the beauty of your wedding tables. There are many factors to consider when selecting a tablecloth. For instance, Premier Table Linens states that size, color, and texture are all important when selecting tablecloths.

You also need to consider the beauty and design of tablecloths. While a plain one can also improve the appearance, stylish round tablecloths may be the best for aesthetics. They can make all the guests get awed by their beauty.

If you have chosen an indoor venue but still want some natural elements besides your centerpieces or other decorations, consider adding greenery around each table and candle. You might also want extra lighting near each location so guests can see their food better when eating off china rather than paper plates.

Infusing Local Flavors

As you plan your menu, consider the importance of using local ingredients. When possible, it’s always best to use ingredients that are grown within a short distance from where your wedding will be held. This helps support local farmers and businesses and allows you to create a menu that reflects the flavors and traditions of your chosen location.

If you’re having trouble finding anything but non-local produce or meats at your market or grocery store, don’t fret. There are plenty of ways to work around this issue:

  • Look for alternatives unavailable locally but still have similar flavors and textures. For example, if you want fresh strawberries in June but aren’t grown locally yet, or even at all, try replacing them with another berry like raspberries or blackberries instead.
  • Infuse some creativity into how these substitutions are made:
    • Maybe try adding some mint leaves to an otherwise classic strawberry salad recipe.
    • Maybe pair goat cheese with figs instead of blue cheese crumbles on grilled flatbread pizza slices.
    • Maybe drizzle honey over grilled chicken thighs before throwing them onto skewers next time someone comes for dinner.

Beverage Selections and Pairings

A beverage selection is only as good as its execution. Whether you’re hosting a casual backyard gathering or an upscale cocktail party, guests will expect their drinks to be delivered promptly. The waitstaff should also know how many glasses are needed at each table to anticipate demand and avoid running out of ice or glasses during dinner service.

Suppose your venue has specific rules regarding alcohol service, such as requiring all servers to wear gloves when handling wine glasses. In that case, your catering company must understand these policies before the big day arrives.

Also, consider adding sparkling wines to the beverages list. A Forbes article states that the market of sparkling wines was almost 22% among all wines in 2021. This can make a great addition to your drinks list at a destination wedding.

Presentation and Service

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Besides the dining and beverages, the presentation and service also matter a lot.

  • Presentation is key. Before you start, consider how your food will look on the table. Will it be plated elegantly? Or are you going for something more rustic and casual? The look of your reception can help set the tone for your guests’ experience.
  • Make sure service is seamless. Your wedding planner should work with a catering company with experience providing top-notch service at weddings so that everything runs smoothly from start to finish when it comes time for dinner service.


We hope we’ve helped you plan the perfect wedding menu and catering experience. The key is to balance traditional and local flavors, so your guests can enjoy something new while staying true to their traditions. It can be a little daunting at first, but if you take it one step at a time, whether choosing food for your reception or deciding where to hold it, everything will work out just fine.

Featured Photo by Carsten Vollrath: