Italian wedding menus at wedding receptions

Italian wedding menus at wedding receptions

Wedding menu time! No panic!

Italian wedding reception
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
Italian wedding banquet

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

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 celiac. Children menus are also available in any restaurant.
Informal outdoor wedding banquet
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:


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.


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.


Usually consisting of pasta (spaghetti, fusilli, paccheri, lasagne, penne, linguine, etc.), gnocchi, risotto or ravioli/tortellini.


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.


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


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.

Mint, lemon or fruit sorbet for Italian wedding menu


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!


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.

Multi tiered wedding cake + dessert table

Classical “Confettata all’Italiana” (Sugar Almonds)

"Confetti" (sugared almonds) traditional Italian wedding favors

Sample of a Traditional Italian Wedding Menu

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

* * *
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
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

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


  • 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

Things that cannot be missing 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!