The relationship between a bride and her photographer is one of the strongest ones you’ll have during your wedding planning process. Along with your wedding planner, your photographer will be there by your side to capture all your favourite moments during the day. They need to know exactly where to point the camera and when to take pictures, emphasising the moments they know you’ll want to look back on in the years to come.
As more bride’s bond with their photographers before their weddings, the trend of photogenic wedding menus is coming up more often. Brides want everything to look perfect, since the pictures that will come from your wedding will be the ones you keep in frames forever. That means everything around you during your big day should look its best, including what you choose to serve guests at your reception meal.
To get picture-perfect food, you have to start by planning a photogenic menu. Read on to learn what makes a menu camera-ready, and all the elements you can personalise to make your wedding menu your own. With a little bit of extra planning, you’ll have gorgeous food ready to please your guests and wow anyone looking back through your wedding photos.
1. Rent White Plates
The plates you use to serve your guests have a significant impact on how any food will look at your wedding. Plates that have themes that don’t match with your wedding, such as stripes or shape designs, will clash immediately with even the centrepiece on each table. You may worry using white plates will look boring, but it’s the best thing you can do for your food.
White plates make every dish look more vibrant, enticing people to take a closer look and maybe even a bite or two. They’ll especially stand out in pictures. They’ll be crisp and have clean edges against any tablecloths you might use. Check out trendy square plates to give your reception meal even more character.
2. Plan for Colourful Vegetables
Imagine a boring dinner. What colours do you see in that mental image? A boring meal may look to you like roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy. While that’s a delicious and classic pair to serve together, there’s nothing about it that makes it very visually appealing. What you need is colour, and that’s where vegetables come in.
Vegetables pack a bright punch in any course during your reception dinner. Plan to load up salads with bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers or even fruits like blueberries or strawberries. Mix veggies like carrots, cauliflower and broccoli into the main course. Decide what your main dish will be before pairing it with sides, but when you do, look for veggies that are the most colourful.
3. Research Food Preparation Techniques
Your chef or caterer might know how to make food taste exquisite, but if the presentation looks lacklustre, the whole dinner might fall flat. Research food preparation techniques for whatever you decide to be your main course. See if you can talk with your caterer not only about how they will prepare the food, but also how they will serve it.
4. Decide on a Serving Style
Making your wedding food look pretty will depend on how you choose to serve it. Have you thought about that yet? Your guests can get their food from a buffet-style setup, or have servers bring the plates of food out to them. Dressing up buffet food versus plated meals will be different, so be sure about your serving style before you start planning how to make the food as appealing as possible.
5. Talk with Your Caterer
Most likely, your wedding is not the first event your caterer has worked. They’ve probably helped serve food at many kinds of weddings over the years, so they’ve probably met with several brides who wanted their food to look pretty. Talk with your caterer to see if they have a history with making food into picture-perfect plates. They might be able to suggest types of food or preparation techniques that will change what you picture people eating at your wedding.
6. Consider the Lighting
Your photographer will know more about the specifics of lighting, but you’ll want your reception venue to have good enough lighting to capture the reception meal in all its glory. Tour the reception venue if you’ve already chosen it or keep lighting in mind if you’re still looking around. You may want to fill your reception venue with fairy lights or other aesthetically pleasing light fixtures, but those may not be the best options for capturing the food as well as the people at your reception.
7. Aim for Variety
Variety is the spice of life, especially when it comes to planning your reception menu. Your guests will want at least some kind of choice in their food. Whether they get to serve themselves at a buffet or choose between two entrees on a menu, they’ll appreciate having a variety to choose from. It especially helps those who have food allergies or kids who are picky eaters.
Having a variety of food will also make your pictures turn out much better. You won’t end up with a million identical photos of baked potatoes. Instead, you’ll get to look back on guests having a great time while eating different salads and desserts.
What variety would you look forward to if you were attending a wedding reception? Starting from there might help you decide which foods to include. If you remember any food allergies your guests might have, variety will get you one step closer to that perfect menu.
Your photographer will also love having multiple food subjects to work with. Talk with your photographer about what you want from pictures of the food you end up serving. They’ll discuss lighting, angles and what courses you specifically want photographed. Together, you’ll end up with happy guests and fantastic photos.
Kacey Bradley is the blogger behind The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Along with writing for her blog, she has written for sites like U.S. News, SUCCESS, Guides for Brides, Hotel Online and more!