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Unique Wedding Menu Ideas According to Professional Caterers

Get ready for some serious foodie inspiration! We've rounded up the best crowd-pleasing wedding menu ideas, from classic dishes to seasonal delights

spread of food including loaf of bread, loaded toastadas, glass of wine, salad and cake

When it comes to your wedding day, there's one thing you'll want the guests to be talking about long after the celebrations have wrapped up - the wedding food! Using delicious and creative wedding menu ideas is a great way to ensure that your guests are satisfied and that your wedding is one to remember. 

Whether you want food for weddings to be seasonal, budget-friendly, healthy, vegan or gluten-free, there are plenty of ways to incorporate you and your guests' preferences and dietary requirements into your wedding menu. 

From light summer starters to hearty winter mains, we’ve rounded up wedding menus ideas that have a high success rate when it comes to delighting guests. Of course, you don't have to have these exact ideas in your wedding menu - think of them as a springboard to what will hopefully become your perfect meal. The best part about your wedding is that it’s your day, your way. 

Spring Wedding Menu Ideas

Lamb shank with asparagus and jus

We love the idea of a spring wedding here at Hitched. What better time to tie the knot than when the birds are singing and the flowers are in bloom - just as long as you manage to stay clear of those April showers! 

It's important to choose some dishes to complement the season. Laura Spencer, Admin Manager at Ridgway Caterers, advises couples to choose "fresh, bright and flavoursome dishes for when the Earth re-blossoms and comes back to life."

Dave White, Owner and Head Chef at Peninsula Catering, agrees, proposing: "Spring menu ideas that incorporate the abundance of fresh produce and lighter flavours that characterise the season - perfect dishes to celebrate the return of warmer weather and the renewal of nature."

So what does this look like on a menu? Ridgway Caterers suggests Minted Pea and Smoked Bacon Soup, Corn Fed Chicken wrapped in Pancetta served with a wild Mushroom Jus, Salted Caramel and Chocolate Tart with Toffee Sauce and Fresh Dairy Cream.

Peninsula Catering offers equally delicious three course wedding menu ideas: Grilled Asparagus with Lemon Aioli to start, Herb-Roasted Chicken with Spring Vegetables, Sautéed Potatoes, and White Wine Sauce for the main, and Lemon Posset with Meringue and Fresh Berries for dessert.

Summer Wedding Menu Ideas

Bride with floral crown and bouquet eating an ice cream from an outdoor truck

If you've decided to tie the knot in the warmer months, it's a good idea to opt for lighter dishes to complement the season. While the weather here may not be the best in the summer months, you shouldn't have to compromise on your summer wedding menu ideas in the UK. Refreshing and light dishes are the ideal choice, as these will keep your guests cool and satisfied. 

Starting with a salad is a great way to kick things off, and a crisp and refreshing watermelon and feta salad provides refreshment perfect for a summer celebration. Gazpacho shooters or another type of cold soup is another excellent option, but if you'd rather go for a more filling starter, spring rolls with a garlic and chilli dipping sauce are a guaranteed hit (despite the seasonally inappropriate name!). 

Fillets of fish or grilled chicken accompanied by salad or vegetables . If you decide to go for a sauce-based dish, like pasta, be sure to go for a lighter sauce. Also, if you're having celebrations or food outdoors, then now is the perfect time to consider a hog roast, BBQ or open-fire grill as one of your wedding main course ideas. 

Lighter dessert options include things like mousse, berry tarts and fresh fruit-based dishes. If you want to really jazz things up, why not go for an outdoor ice cream van?

Kathryn Collier from wedding caterer Blame Frank explains which dishes they recommend for summer couples: "In summer we recommend some canapés that are light, and fresh. You want to whet your guests' appetites but not overwhelm them with too much food right away.

"Try our Seabass Ceviche Tortilla, or the Whipped Blue Cheese, Pear, and Parsnip Crisp Cup. And then a brilliant option for a summer fiesta is tacos, they are festive and fun to eat, and we have a variety of options for fillings and sides."

Autumn Wedding Menu Ideas

Autumnal seasonal vegetables on a plate on top of a tablecloth

Ah, autumn - falling leaves, pumpkin spice lattes, cosy candles, knitted blankets. Whether you're tying the knot by a roaring fire or choosing your favourite spooky haunted wedding venue for Halloween, there are plenty of ways to make your wedding autumn-specific - especially when it comes to food. 

Colder weather requires some warm, hearty, filling meals to keep your guests' bellies happy. Laura recommends "Warm, vibrant and hearty dishes to go with the change of seasons, cooler weather and warmer colours," whilst Dave suggests "Autumn is a wonderful season that brings a bounty of delicious flavours and ingredients."

These delicious flavours and ingredients at Peninsula Catering can include Pumpkin and Sage Arancini, Maple-Glazed Salmon with Roasted Root Vegetables, and a Warm Pear Tart with Honey and Almond Frangipane. 

Ridgway Caterers offers up some mouth-watering three course wedding menu ideas, including a starter of Spiced Parsnip Soup with Parsnip Shavings, Braised Rib of Beef in Guinness as a main, and a Raspberry and Blackcurrant Crumble with Cinnamon Custard to finish. 

Winter Wedding Menu Ideas

Roast beef dinner with medium rare beef, parsnips, broccoli and a yorkshire pudding

Winter is the time for heavier meals with rich sauces washed down with red wine and stout. There's a reason why they call it the most wonderful time of the year!

The colder months are traditional British dishes' time to shine. Think Sunday roasts, beef wellington, pies - basically anything you could imagine eating beside a roaring fire. You could even try out a cheeseboard with some local cheeses and chutneys. 

It's also a great time to sample some classic French cuisine. Dishes such as boeuf bourguignon, chicken supreme and tarte Tatin are ideal choices for couples looking for filling meals to line stomachs on colder days. 

Kathryn agrees that in winter, being cosy is a priority: "In winter you want something warming and cosy feeling, for canapés perhaps Roasted Pork Belly Bites with Apple & Chilli Jam, or hot pastry rolls with both meat and plant based options.

"We have hot and delicious festive bowl options such as Pulled Turkey with all the trimmings, or a Pumpkin & Mushroom Roast, they'll fill your guests to the brim just in time to get them out on the dance floor!"

Vegetarian Wedding Menu Ideas

Bowl of green salad with yellow peppers and radishes

It's important to make sure all dietary requirements are catered to at your wedding, especially if you or one of your guests is meat-free. Dave expands: "A vegetarian menu provides a range of delicious and thoughtfully crafted vegetarian options catering to a diverse customer base and ensuring an enjoyable and flavourful dining experience for all."

The beauty of a vegetarian wedding menu is that many of your favourite meaty dishes can easily be made meatless by using meat substitutes or hearty vegetables. Suggestions from Laura at Ridgway Caterers include Leek Potato and Chive Soup, Roasted Beetroot, Kale and Goats Cheese Crumble, Lemon Citrus Tart with Strawberries and Chantilly Cream. 

Indian wedding catering is a great option for those seeking to make their menu meat-free, as many traditional Indian dishes are already made without meat, or can be easily made vegetarian by swapping out meat for paneer. 

Vegan Wedding Menu Ideas

Gobi Vada Pav with selection of sauces

The explosion in popularity of vegan food in recent years means that nowadays there's no shortage of vegan and vegetarian wedding caterers offering delicious vegan food. Whether you're a practicing vegan or you're simply trying to have a more eco-friendly wedding, there are plenty of options to choose from when creating your vegan wedding menu. 

With the recent development of vegan meat substitutes, vegan cheeses and new vegan recipes, it's easier than ever to design your wedding food menu without using any animal products. 

Start off with a range of appetizers to cater to different tastes - think pitta with hummus and other vegan dips, bruschetta, vegan sushi and spring rolls. For your main course, you want to ensure it's hearty and filling. Stuffed roasted peppers are always a crowd please, as are pasta dishes with plant-based sauces and the less-traditional vegan paella. 

Kathryn shared some of her top suggestions for vegan wedding catering: "Our Korean Sticky BBQ Cauliflower Bites are a hit with guests of all dietary preferences, and are fully vegan friendly. Many of our clients select them for vegan sides and then choose to order them for everyone because they taste so out of this world!

"For mains we have a glorious Roasted Aubergine with Miso Glaze and Sesame that makes the meat-eaters jealous without fail."

If you'd rather go for more traditional wedding dishes with meat substitutes, you can opt for some vegan lasagne, meatballs or dairy-free mashed potatoes. Dessert offers a range of options, such as vegan versions of classic desserts, and fruit-based sweet treats. 

Another thing to consider is the wine you may decide to serve at your wedding breakfast. Due to different fermentation processes, not all wines are vegan, so it's important to take this into consideration when you're making your choice. 

Healthy Wedding Menu Ideas

Box of colourful root vegetables with a selection of dips

We all know the important of having a balanced diet. If you and your partner are nutrition obsessed, you may want to opt for a lighter menu for yourselves and your guests, and our suppliers have offered up their advice on how best to do just that. 

Holly Congdon, Director of Lettice Events, describes how choosing healthy wedding food doesn't have to involve counting calories: "At Lettice we champion eating seasonal, local produce throughout our menus. We have created monthly menus that allow us to create dishes that are the perfect snapshot of what is in season for our couples. This is the foundation of developing healthy menus.

"It is super important to make sure we offer a balanced menu on the day, that also ensures everyone is fed properly."

Craig Floate, owner of Citreus Catering, suggests, "If you're wanting to keep things healthy and lighter for your wedding day feast then I'd suggest going down the meats and salads route. This can especially be beneficial in the warmer months with loads of fresh salads down the centre of the table for people to tuck into, and some lean grilled meats and fish."

Budget Wedding Menu Ideas

Buffet wedding food including salad and pasta

No matter the size of your wedding budget, there are plenty of ways to save on your wedding food, without compromising on quality. 

One of the best ways to cut prices is to think for some wedding reception buffet ideas on a budget instead of three-course wedding menu ideas. Not only will this help you save, it also means that guests can easily select their meals according to their tastes and preferences. 

Craig agrees, saying, "The only practical way of saving money with the forever rising costs of foods is to look at your service offering, and maybe opt for a buffet style service rather than the traditional seated option.

"Budget friendly options we usually refer to a hog roast or something on the grill, something that is easy to feed mass numbers without lots of staff. It's labour that usually pushes your costs up for the catering. Maybe opt for biodegradable disposable plates, bowls and cutlery - also good for the planet."

Holly offers some other suggestions for couples hoping to keep catering costs down: "Everyone has a different budget for their wedding and we want to make sure we create menus that make people smile and keep them well fed!

"One of our favourite ways to finish the meal is with dessert canapés instead of a plated dessert. These are great served with a cocktail and the perfect way to get guests out of the seats and dancing!"

Gluten-Free Wedding Menu Ideas

Beef short rib with tenderstem broccoli in a cast iron dish

When it comes to dietary requirements, gluten-free is one of the most common ones. Gluten intolerance can range from mild to very serious, so it's important to talk to your guests and understand the precautions that need to be taken. 

There are plenty of gluten-free alternatives to staple foods, such as bread and pasta, available. However, Craig shows how dishes can be made gluten-free without using alternatives: "Once again to focus on the gluten free side of dining, I'd go for lots of fresh salads and meats/veggies/fish.

"Not only does this all taste great it leaves people with the full feeling and not feeling bogged down with the carb overload."

Holly adopts a similar approach, where dishes are created without gluten: "We want to create dishes that are incidentally gluten free, rather than simply removing the gluten. We have some amazing dishes, such as our favourite, Chocolate Delice, cocoa nib crumb & raspberry sorbet. This is not only gluten free but dairy free and vegan, offering a totally indulgent dessert for everyone to enjoy."

When you're putting together your wedding menu, don't forget to consider how your cake will fit in. We've found the most unique wedding cake flavours to get guests excited - even after they've tucked into the wedding breakfast!