4 Reasons to Have Custom Wedding Menus
Earlier today I met with a client to discuss wedding day items. Escort cards or a seating chart? Place cards or free seating? Do they need special signage beyond what the venue was providing? What about menus?
In her case, the wedding venue is a ballroom within a bigger estate used frequently for events. Giving them the ability to provide things like place cards and menus, which can be a nice perk as it's one less thing to think about. She was pretty much aghast at the drab design and wanted to get my take on the situation. Should she get custom menus? Or should she just go ahead with what they provide—menus in a “horrible shade of yellow with a hideous border”.
It turns out her venue offered to print on whatever paper she provides, so she was contemplating finding crisp white paper, which would solve only part of the problem. I told her not to underestimate the value of a beautifully designed menu. Sure, they’re mostly utilitarian, but in my opinion, I think menus are worth doing well for the following four reasons.
Reasons not to skimp on your wedding menu Designs
1) Everyone is going to read the wedding menu
Guests love anticipating what’s to come. They will almost always whet their appetite by checking out the menu when they find their table. Plus, if guests need to place their order with a server before the meal, they will have to look to make a decision!
Not everyone will see the cute photo booth signs you’ve made, or spend time looking at the pictures in each photo frame you’ve laid out, but they will read about the food they’re going to put in their bellies! You don’t want it to be the one printed piece that doesn’t jive with the attention that's been put into the rest.
2) Menus are a part of the TABLESCAPE!
Love scouring Pinterest for wedding inspiration? I’m sure you’ve come across hundreds of beautiful “tablescapes” that feature gorgeous plates and chargers, glassware, napkins, flowers and centerpieces, perfectly coordinated to match. Don’t forget that at your wedding, your menu will be a part of this view! Sloppy menus at every place setting will be noticed. Take the opportunity to enrich the scene with a menu worthy of the rest of the decor. Also, if the pictures are important to you, chances are the table settings will be photographed!
3) Well-done menus will elevate the space and atmosphere
Think about it—if you have a menu at each place setting, not only will they not escape the eyes of each guest, but they also can contribute to the look and feel of your whole event. And this will be at a fraction of the price of other touches too. A beautiful wedding menu doesn’t have to be elaborately designed or expensively printed, but it should be carefully considered. A simple pop of color, or a unique border or handwritten touch can really make a difference and bring some texture and visual interest to a place setting.
4) You can get really creative!
Beyond your typical rectangular format, menus can be all sorts of fun and unusual. They can be circular or other unusual shapes, printed on cloth, written on leaves…you can even customize each one with the guest’s name to double as a place card and menu. It’s a great opportunity for unique ideas, personalization and even interactivity.
Do you have other menus to work with? Even better!
Bar menus, signature drink lists, cocktail hour canapé sign boards and more can be tailored to seamlessly integrate with your overall look and feel, or designed to stand out and be a focal point of the whole party.
Compared to the cost of more flowers, more linens, special glassware and the like, the inclusion of a well designed menu can truly be a difference maker without busting your wedding budget.
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Planning your wedding? Read more from our Wedding 101 series of posts!