How to Create the Perfect Menu for Your NYC Dinner Cruise Wedding
Among the million and one decisions you’ll make about your wedding is choosing the menu. One of the advantages of having a dinner cruise wedding is that these vessels are all inclusive: you get the wedding venue, the reception venue, the meal, the wedding planner, and much more, all for a single package price. You save money, but also get one of the most romantic, scenic wedding and reception venues available anywhere in the NYC area!
Selecting a menu shouldn’t make you lose your mind. Yes, there are tons of options. But you can quickly and decisively narrow down the menu quite quickly with these brilliant ideas.
Count Your Guests Before You Count Your Chickens (or Steaks or Fish … )
Your price depends much more on the number of guests you have than it does on whether you choose turkey, ham, or salmon. With a guest list in mind, you can quickly figure the total for any of the menu offerings you want to consider, immediately eliminating those outside the budget and zoning right into the options that are realistic for your crowd.
The Right Meal for the Right Time of Day
A ‘dinner cruise wedding’ doesn’t have to include a full, sit-down dinner. You can opt for a seated, plated meal or a buffet. Or, offer cocktails with hors d’oeuvres instead of a full meal. Similarly, you can bump the wedding earlier in the day, and choose a cold cuts lunch, plated or served buffet style, or even brunch. Changing the time, naturally, alters what’s expected on the menu. But you still have a wide range of options no matter when you want to serve the meal. Many couples like to shake it up by serving omelets and breakfast items for dinner. People love eggs in the evenings! Get jiggy with it.
Seated & Served or Buffet Style?
Set aside the budget considerations for a moment and think practicality. Will your crowd be served best standing or seated? Let’s think through it. If you and your fiancé have many elderly or handicapped guests, they might best be served seated. Otherwise, they’ll have to ask someone else to go serve their plate and bring it to them, which many hate to do. Also consider whether your guests mostly know each other, in which case they’ll want to be up milling about and visiting with each other, or are mostly strangers. Strangers probably appreciate having a designated seating arrangement where they know there’s a place for them, even if they don’t recognize any of the faces around them. Picture your crowd and decide whether they’re the wandering kind who would enjoy the buffet or the sit-and-stay types who’d like a served meal.
Decide How Formal or Informal Your Dinner Cruise Wedding is Going to Be
Buffet style wedding dinners are a bit less formal, usually, than seated, plated meals. If you opt for a cocktail party style reception, that’s also considered fairly formal compared to the buffet. But any of these options leave your menu wide-open for salads; entrees; “stations” like baked potato, tacos, and ice cream stations; pasta dishes, seafood dinners, burgers and sliders, and much more. Some couples like to stick with the marine theme of the charter cruise and select seafood, but don’t let your venue hem you in when it comes to your menu.
Work in as Much Variety as Possible
Typically, guests expect at least two menu options, whether the meal is served buffet style or as a plated, sit-down meal. Make the options as different as possible, such as a meat and a pasta dish or poultry and a seafood. Offering a variety makes it easier to please a wider range of wedding guests. For example, if you offer “chicken or steak,” you haven’t left many options for your vegan and vegetarian guests.
Consider Guests With Special Needs & Requests
Speaking of vegan and vegetarian, today’s brides and grooms find themselves trying to meet the needs of a host of special needs and requests. Some guests may have potentially life-threatening allergies, meaning they can’t eat anything that’s been near shellfish, peanuts, or whatever they are allergic to. Others might have religious beliefs that prevent them from eating pork or food that isn’t certified Kosher. Then there are those who try to eat “as humanely as possible,” which is wide open for different interpretations. Try to construct a menu that allows people to eat by their convictions, while keeping your dinner and budget within the bounds of reason. Having said that, don’t be afraid to draw the line. You are not obligated to cater to every whim. If you’ve got vegetarian options and satisfying meats for the rest of the crowd, don’t feel like you have to add another $200 to the price tag for Aunt Sally, who won’t eat eggs, or Cousin Stewart, who doesn’t like turkey.
The wedding ceremony is all about you. The dinner and reception are all about your guests. Consider it your “thank you” to them for coming and helping you celebrate such a radically special occasion. Once you settle on a menu, the rest of the wedding plans seem to just fall into place.
From picking the perfect yacht for your dinner cruise wedding to planning the menu, turn to the pros at Yachts for All Seasons. We have an unbelievably wide selection of menus and menu items to choose from, including elegant brunch buffets, stylish cocktail and hors d’oeuvres served butler style, cold lunch buffets complete with salads and meats, and a full wedding buffet with an eye-popping array of entrees and side dishes to choose from. Plus, you can benefit from the extensive experience of our wedding planning staff. Visit our website to start planning your ultimate dinner cruise wedding now!