Italian wedding menus at wedding receptions

Posted by on Apr 16, 2012 in Italian food, Menu, News | Comments Off

Wedding menu time!!! No panic!

Italian wedding reception

Even if you have never done something similar, this is going to be a relatively easy time if you follow our expert advices. Guests attending a wedding banquet in Italy will have a good time and the chance to eat many delicious and authentic Italian food.

Italian wedding banquet

Let’s start with a true / false game about Wedding banquets!

  • Italian Wedding banquets include a large amount of food, up to 15 courses. FALSE! It is true that weddings can be really huge celebrations in some regions in Italy but the sample menus you will receive from our Wedding Planners start from a 4 course menus and can be totally customized according to your preferences. When more courses are offered, the quantity and timings will allow your guests to eat all the food, cake included!
  • Order French Champagne if you want the best wine for your guests. FALSE! Champagne is for sure a good wine but Italy offers a wide range of excellent sparkling wine such as Prosecco or Franciacorta. Once you have selected the courses for your  ideal wedding menu ask for wine recommendations, some may be available to taste in your country or you may come to Italy a few months before for a wine and menu tasting.
  • Speeches are not traditionally part of Italian Wedding Banquets. TRUE! In Italy a common cheer for the newlyweds is simply “evviva gli sposi!” therefore if you think you will have proper speeches, discuss this with your wedding planner because it has to be coordinated with the kitchen.
  • You need to check what your guests wish to eat because you need to please everybody. FALSE! How can you please everybody’s tastes? We recommend our Bride and Grooms to select the menu they like and we will then discuss alternative courses for those who have special diets for religion or other reasons, for those who have allergies, are vegetarian, vegan or oceliac. Children menus are also available in any restaurant.

Informal wedding banquet

Different type of food can served in Italy, based on the tastes of the Bride and Groom and of the region of Italy where the event takes place. Of course there are similarities. Typically, an Italian wedding banquet starts with a standing welcome cocktail that lasts approx one hour. At the tables guests receive two or three appetizers that can be served in the same plate, a first course or a mix of two and then one or two main courses with side dish. Follows a limoncello or sorbet, a buffet of fruits or desserts and then the Wedding Cake.  Italian Wedding banquets always end with an expresso coffee.

Here’s an easy step-by-step guide to setting the menu for your wedding:

APERITIVO = COCKTAIL HOUR
Hors d’Oeuvres are usually served during the welcome cocktail. Either left on tables or passed around to guests on trays by waiters. They can include simple salted bites like olives, crisps and nuts, or include some old cheese like Parmesan Cheese, mozzarellas and cherry tomatoes, salami, fried vegetables, mini quiches and a refined selection of canapés and appetizers.

ANTIPASTI = STARTERS
This is the first dish served at the tables, can be a single course or a mix of different food. Depending on the season appetizers may include bruschette, mushrooms, shrimp cocktail, ham and melon, smoked salmon or grilled seafood.

PRIMO PIATTO = FIRST COURSE
Usually consisting of pasta (spaghetti, fusili, paccheri, lasagne,penne, linguine, etc.), gnocchi, risotto or ravoli/tortellini

SECONDO PIATTO = MAIN COURSE
Can be made of fish or meat such as beef, pork, lamb, guinea fowl, check local specialties! Chicken and Rabbit are not very much used at wedding meals.

CONTORNO = SIDE DISH
Depending on the main course, it may consist of vegetables such as eggplants, spinaches, mixed salad or herb roasted potatoes

SORBETTO = SORBET
It is similar to ice-cream but mixed with some alcoholic drinks like prosecco or vodka. Considered fundamental as palate cleanser to remove all flavours allowing you to taste the next course. Typically flavours are lemon, strawberry, mint, ginger or mandarin.

DOLCE=DESSERT
In some cases wedding cake can be served as dessert or you can select a typical Italian dessert such as Tiramisu to be served before the cake. During the summer an ice-cream with some Italian cookies or strawberries as dessert can be a good idea!

TORTA NUZIALE = WEDDING CAKE
Italian wedding cakes are generally a one layered cake made with white or choco sponge cake filled with chantilly, choco or lemon cream and covered with icing or whipped cream. However it is possible under request to have a multi-tiered cake.

Classical “Confettata all’Italiana” (Sugar Almonds)

Sample of a Traditional Italian Wedding Menu

Aperitif
Champagne Cocktail, Bellini, Mimosa, Fruit Juices
Salty snacks, Olives, Peanuts, Chips
Baby-pizzas and Bruschette with Cherry Tomatoes

* * *
Appetizer
Grilled Vegetables from ourVegetable Garden, Giant Olives
Air-dried Beef Rolls Filled with Rocket, Ricotta and Mascarpone
San Daniele Ham, Local Bacon & Salame
Fiordilatte Mozzarella Cheese
Buffalo’s Milk Mozzarella and Spiced Ricotta Cheese  

* * *
First course
Homemade Scialatielli Pasta with Shrimps and Rocket

 For vegetarians:
Homemade Scialatielli Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes, Aubergines, Mozzarella Cheese and Basil

Main course
OPTION 1 : Fish main course (31 guests)
Baked Sea Bass with tomato salsa and Sautéed Zucchini
Or
OPTION 2: Meat main course (55 guests)
Lamb Roll and Chops with Herbs on a Bed of Sautéed Apricots and Mushrooms 

Main course for vegetarians:
Zucchine Parmigiana / Vegetables Strudel

***
Dessert:
Fresh Fruit Cut on a Wild Berries Sauce with a Biscuit of Almond Kernels and Caramelized Sugar and Vanilla Ice Cream

* * *
 Wedding cake

Sample of a Vegetarian Menu

Vegetarian menu
Starter:  Aubergine, “scamorza” cheese and tomato timbale (menu 8)
Pasta:  Cannelloni of dough with broccoli and chilli pepper served on a bed of tomatoes
Main: Vegetable tempura on a yoghurt and orange sauce
Dessert:  Traditional Tiramisu

 Sample Pescetarian Menu

Pescetarian menu
Starter:  Lobster salad with citrus sauce flavoured with ginger (menu B)
Pasta:  Cannelloni of dough with broccoli and chilli pepper served on a bed of tomatoes
Main: Vegetable tempura on a yoghurt and orange sauce
Dessert:  Traditional Tiramisu

Vegan/Vegetarian courses ideas

Hors d’ Oeuvre
Tomato Salad
Roulade of eggplant with cherry tomatoes, rocket salad and balsamic vinegar;
“Caponata Style” whole wheat biscuits with Mixed vegetables in olive oil with cherry tomatoes;
Grilled Vegetables;
Salad of celery and olives;
Mushrooms and Artichokes grilled;
Mixed Bruschetta with Cherry tomatoes and Aubergines;
Avocado Sald;
Braised Artichokes;

Meal Course
Risotto (rice) with Mushrooms;
Risotto (rice) with Mixed Vegetables;
Home Made Gnocchi with fresh tomato sauce and basil;
Pasta with Courgettes;
Pasta “Spaghetti” with Pesto;
Pasta “Pennette” with Eggplants;
Fried Artichokes;

Side Orders
Mixed Salad;
Green Salad;
Salad Tomato and Rocket;
Potato Croquettes;
Fresh French Fries;
Steamed Vegetables;
Dishes are prepared with Extra Virgin Olive

 Sample children menu

Mozzarella and ham
Pasta with tomatoes sauce and basil
Veal or Chicken cutlet and French fries
Ice cream

IMPORTANT
Check which are the products typical of the region
Base your menu around the month or season the wedding will take place in.
Check if any of your guests have allergies
Check if any of your guests are vegetarians or vegan
Discuss a children menu based on the exact age of kids

CANNOT MISS ON ITALIAN BANQUET TABLES
Menu prints
Place cards
Table name/number
Floral centrepieces with candles
Favors

Do not hesitate to contact us to organize an incredible Italian wedding meal!

You may also be interested in:

Floral decorations ideas for long tables
The Shabby Chic Style
Balloon decorations for your wedding in Italy