Guest blogger: Melanie Kiani – wedding planner

In the next of this occasional series of guest bloggers, I’m delighted to welcome Melanie Kiani of Bellissimo Weddings. Melanie runs a very successful wedding planning and event management business in Bournemouth and has put together some excellent advice for Brides about planning that all-important wedding breakfast –

There are so many hints and tips out there for selecting your menu for your wedding breakfast and many a bride-to-be has probably got her hands on lots of lists.  BUT we wanted to share just a few of the very important things that we’ve been picking up along the way at some recent weddings which could help you on this very point (and being a BIG foodie this is something which is very close to my heart to get right on the day!):

Food image

Image credit: Beales Gourmet

– Do pick foods which you love as the couple of course, but also remember that if you’re feeding a lot of guests something quite unusual it may not appeal to everyone – so try to select dishes which please you but will also please the majority of your guests

– But remember you’ll never please everyone all of the time, so don’t beat yourselves up about this.  If you feel you’re going for a menu or a dish which is slightly more “out there” in terms of adventure then include a short mention with your wedding invitation ….. i.e. “we will be serving lamb at the wedding breakfast – please let us know if you prefer an alternative” etc.

– We find that pork is usually not such a good choice because of religious issues so that could be a meat to avoid unless it’s in a more casual setting such as a hog roast for an evening “do”, or if you mention it in advance as above

– Think carefully about where your speeches will take place during the day. This is particularly important if you’ve given your caterers strict instructions on rare beef or pink lamb – don’t then go for pre-dinner speeches which could quite easily run over and mean that your caterers don’t have a good chance of delivering the good quality of food you expect. It’s not fair on them and will only mean that they can’t bring you the quality they’d like to. Time your speeches carefully – if you do prefer to have the speeches completed pre-dinner then why not opt for a meat which is less likely to spoil if the speeches do run over a little?

– You must insist that you have a full tasting in good time before your wedding.  Try a number of dishes to make a selection and try to taste with your selected wines too so you can ensure that the wines complement the dishes

– Try to select ingredients which are in season and local if you can – not only will you be bringing some environmentally friendly elements to your day but your guests will appreciate the seasonal and local touches and you should hopefully help to keep costs down and your dishes will be fresh, current and tasty

– Communicate with your caterers and make sure that your full menu complements each course – its amazing how many times we see canapes and starters which clash with the main course or the evening food – think about the day as a whole and take their advice on a well balance menu for the whole day

– Make sure the pudding complements your wedding cake – there little point in having a chocolate dessert if your wedding cake choice is chocolate!

– If you are working to a budget you could ditch the dessert and use your wedding cake cut down and served with a Chantilly cream or coulis to save on costs.  Or why not opt for a cheese wedding cake which can be cut down and served after the wedding breakfast or in the evening with a selection of breads and fruits in a lovely display? You can even add to the cheese wedding cake with soft cheeses in the kitchen – best not to have soft cheeses as part of the cheese wedding cake display as they can become too soft when on display and look unsightly

– If you’re choosing canapes during your drinks reception, think about how many you should serve to your guests based on the time they’ll have to wait before they’ll be served their wedding breakfast – this is particularly important if you’re planning to have your speeches before the meal is served as guests will be waiting a long time and guests don’t like to wait to be fed!  If you’re giving them too much to drink and not enough to eat this is a recipe for disaster – especially in hot weather.  We would suggest 4-5 canapes per person for a 60-90 minute drinks reception or if you’re planning on keeping them waiting for a little longer then increase by another 2 per person. Have a good selection and make sure you have plenty of non alcoholic drinks on offer as well such as an Elderflower presse or non alcoholic punch, or sparkling waters with fresh cordials and fruits

– Think about presentation and how the food will be presented to your guests.  Ask your caterers how the food will arrive to the table (i.e. will all the vegetables be plated on the same plate or will this arrive separately – how much room will you need on the tables?).  If you’re restricted for space then avoid having separate vegetable bowls arriving and ask if this can all be presented neatly on the same plate

– If you can’t decide on a single pudding to end your meal (or this can even work well with starters too) how about a duo or a trio – smaller portions but a well balanced selection of dishes for your guests. This can also work well on a tapaps/mezze style of dining for your guests so rather than a single plated dish why not serve your guests 3 or 4 smaller starters each which guests select from passing around the tables.  This works well for breaking the ice with guests who may not know each other so well

– There is nothing to say that you can’t offer different puddings – one for the ladies and one for the gents?  That’s a good way to offer something different

We hope you find this useful for your own wedding – we would love to hear your comments

Image credit: Creative Catering

Above all – eat well and enjoy!

Melanie Kiani – Bellissimo Weddings

Bellissimo Weddings is Bournemouth based business planning weddings across the South West for couples.  For more information or to arrange a complimentary consultation about your own wedding please visit or telephone Melanie on 01202 533014 and find out how you can have someone else plan your wedding to save you time, stress and money.


Dorset wedding and portrait photographer

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