Find the Perfect Menu for Your Summer Wedding

It’s a given that guests always look forward to indulging in fabulous food at a wedding. At the many I’ve attended, I’m always amazed at the presentation, the quantity and the taste of the food, from cocktail hour to reception dinner. Long after the big day, your family and friends will probably regale you with how much they ate and what dishes they loved!

summer wedding in a barn

As the busy summer wedding season approaches, we spoke with caterer Jeannette Maier of Fancy Girl Table, a catering and event design company, for tips on how to plan a unique summer menu. Jeannette only uses ingredients from local farms and can create options for every type of celebration (barn wedding, summer picnic, rooftop party), as well as for every type of wedding guest, whether they’re vegan, vegetarian or a meat lover.

Here, a few of her suggestions for sure-to-please summer menus:

Summer Barn Party Menu

Hors d’oeuvres:
Grilled Sourdough Spelt Pizza with Potatoes, Summer Herbs, Aged Goat Cheese, Caramelized Onions & Truffle Oil:

sourdough pizza with potatoes onions and goat cheese

Squash Blossoms with Smoked Ricotta:

squash blossoms with smoked ricotta

Zucchini Fritters with Smoked Pepper Romesco:

zucchini fritters with smoked pepper romesco

Main course:
Guests can choose from Chicken Grilled on a Plank with Grilled Corn and Lovage Relish:

grilled chicken with corn and lovage relish

or Grilled Porterhouse Steaks with Smoked Black Pepper & Sea Salt, served along with Pickled Blackberry & Nectarine Salad with Cherry Tomatoes & Mint Dressing:

nectarine salad with cherry tomatoes and mint dressing

and Summer Succotash over Dandelion with Opal Basil Vinaigrette:

summer succotash over dandelion with opal basil vinaigrette

Mouth-watering S'mores Cupcakes:

smores cupcakes

Summer Picnic Wedding

Hors d’oeuvres:
Roasted Butternut Squash & Local Mushroom Phyllo Turnovers with Sage & Goat Ricotta:

roasted butternut squash and local mushroom phyllo turnovers

Enchilada Corn Summer Tarts in a Smoked Crust:

enchilada corn summer tarts in a smoked crust

Flatbread with Steak, Tomato Chutney and Kale Pesto:

flatbread with steak tomato chutney and kale pesto

Main course:
Serve small plates for a buffet dinner that includes barbecued chicken breast with roasted corn and cherry tomato relish, a fresh green salad with roasted grapes, smoked pecans and goat cheese, and orchiette with corn pesto, butternut squash, vegetarian sausage and fried sage.

Whimsical Butterfly Cupcakes are guaranteed to enchant:

whimsical butterfly cupcakes

Summer City Rooftop Menu: For Vegans & Meat-Lovers

Hors d’oeuvres:
Vegan: Flatbread with Opal Basil Pesto, Sun-dried Tomato Relish & Grilled Summer Squash.
Vegetarian: Parmesan Cups with Roasted Root Vegetables and Smoked Tomato Pesto:

parmesan cups with roasted root vegetables and smoked tomato pesto

Meat: Skewered Blackened Grass Fed Hanger Steak with Herb Remoulade Sauce.

Main course: Family-style dinner
Vegan: Summer Succotash Salad with Sweet Corn, Edamame, Heirloom Squashes, Rainbow Carrots, Basil & Extra Virgin Olive Oil:

summer succotash salad

Summer Vegetable Skewers with Pressed Tofu & Chimichurri Sauce:

summer vegetable skewers with pressed tofu and chimichurri sauce

Vegetarian: Orchiette with Corn Pesto, Butternut Squash, Vegetarian Sausage & Fried Sage.

Meat: Barbecued Chicken Breast with Roasted Corn & Cherry Tomato Relish:

barbecued chicken breast with roasted corn and cherry tomato relish

Festive Floral-Topped Cupcakes:

floral cupcakes

Remember to start searching for your caterer about six to 11 months before the wedding, make a list of questions to ask that will help narrow down your choices. Meet with potential caterers about four to nine months before, and plan a tasting (the fun part!) about three to eight months before the big day. After receiving proposals from your “finalists,” you should then be able to determine which caterer best suits your needs and make a decision at about two to seven months before the wedding. In the meantime, enjoy all the tasty treats that await you!

—Diane Forden