4 Easy Tips

To Plan an Unforgettable wedding Menu

Food brings people together. It’s enjoyment, comfort, and a connecting point for tradition. Ever notice how food is the focal point of holiday celebrations and family get-togethers? Few things are more satisfying than enjoying a delicious meal with people you love. There will be laughter, conversation, and memories that’ll last for years, guaranteed.

When guests sit down to eat at your wedding reception, you want them to experience the camaraderie of a loving dinner party with the satisfaction of a fine dining meal. It’s only natural to put a lot of consideration into your wedding menu; after all, this might be the largest party you’ll ever throw. Abernethy provides in-house catering to make the process of planning and executing your wedding meal seamless and stress-free. Ready to get started? Here are 5 easy tips to plan an unforgettable wedding menu!


Pick Your Service Style

Although creative couples have come up with a myriad of ways to serve their guests, we typically get requests for two types of meal service buffet and plated. There are benefits to each, so let’s take a look!

Buffet Service

Buffet service is most popular at Abernethy. It allows guests to peruse the options and enjoy what they like. Plus, it doesn’t require assigned reception seating. The key is to create a menu with various food items to accommodate your guests.

Plated Service

Plated meals are served individually to guests at their table, like a restaurant. Commonly, guests choose a dinner option that they select from on the RSVP card. Keep in mind assigned seating is an absolute must with plated service to ensure everyone gets the proper meal.

We are IN LOVE with The Abernethy chefs!!! They worked with us to create food that was special to us, unique to our wedding, and absolutely delicious. I cannot begin to tell you the number of compliments we received on our dinner.”

Hayley, Abernethy Bride


Consider Your Guest List

Sure, your celebration should include the foods you and your fiancé love, but remember you’re also hosts. Consider food allergies and dietary needs when selecting menu items. It is nice to include a note in the invitation to contact you for special dietary requests. But there’s no need to plan the entire menu around a few guests. Our chefs can easily make special plates that are vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free — You name it. Just be sure to let your Event Specialist know with plenty of advance notice to prepare the chefs.


Think About The Flow Of Your Event

You don’t want guests to end up hangry! It’s essential to plan for the proper timing and quantity of food. Suppose you have a long ceremony or plan to take a lot of post-ceremony photos. In that case, guests could be waiting a long time before dinner, so you’ll want to order ample appetizers to keep them satiated. On the other hand, you could be planning an all-day event or high-energy reception. If this is the case, consider ordering some late-night bites –more casual, fun foods served as a snack after dinner.

The key is making sure your guests feel taken care of. Put yourself in their shoes, think about the flow of the wedding day, and plan to keep them fueled accordingly.

Our reception was a delight! The late-night coffee and snacks (tots!) were such a huge hit guests are still talking about them as a favorite. Our wedding day was perfect!

Adrienne, Abernethy Bride


Be Realistic About Your Spending Plan

There is a direct correlation between catering cost and how many people you’re feeding, your guest count. If having a culinary extravagance is a priority, then maybe you’d prefer to have a small wedding and an over-the-top dinner? Or you could invite more people and opt for one of our reduced-priced menus like a classic Italian dinner. Evaluate your wedding resources and prioritize what matters most to you.

Pro Tip: There’s a misconception one can save money by opting for “heavy appetizers” rather than a meal. That’s not usually the case. Appetizers are priced ala carte, and you need to order a lot to substitute a meal, so you’ll likely end spending more to satiate your guests.


Incorporate Your Favorites

Dinners with close friends aren’t stuffy and formal, so there’s no reason why your wedding reception should be. Love Oregon outdoors, why not incorporate a cute little s’mores bar at the reception? Kid at heart, how about mini mac ‘n cheese cups and tots to fuel the dance party? The options are endless. Remember your wedding is an expression of your unique love story, all the ways you can personalize it will make the vibe feel more special.

Abernethy Center is committed to providing exceptional Northwest cuisine for your wedding reception. That means every meal is freshly prepared, beautifully presented, and tastes delicious, with sizzling entrees and cold crisp salads, just as you expect in a fine dining restaurant. You can learn more about Abernethy Center catering in a previous post HERE. Feel free to email your Event Specialist with any questions. They can provide more information, photos, and reviews.

Smooch is the official blog of Abernethy Center. A full-service wedding and reception venue just on the outskirts of Portland in the heart of historical Oregon City, Abernethy Center has two distinct gardens, a gorgeous chapel, and an elegant Grand ballroom spread out over 9 acres. With twenty years in business, an expert culinary team, and a tremendous staff experienced in providing exceptional service, we have everything for the perfect, uniquely yours Oregon wedding. 

Abigail’s Garden —– Veiled Garden—–Abernethy Chapel—–Grand Ballroom