Wedding Planning Tips for Choosing Menu | Green Turtle Catering

Hey we’re back with more wedding planning tips today and this time we get to talk food! In our effort to share useful information with all our AGP friends, we’ve offered fashion tips, maternity photography advice and a handful of wedding tips from choosing a venue to wedding planning to a stationery road map. (See the link to our Tips page here!)

So there’s (usually) a checklist that brides follow when they start planning their wedding. Wedding date – check. Wedding venue – check. Wedding photographer – (AGP right?) check. Desired wedding atmosphere – check. Wedding food – whoa. This is one of those areas that brides (sometimes) feel a bit overwhelmed. The choices are endless and there are lots of important decisions to be made.

Lindsay Richer, Director of Catering at the Green Turtle Market in Indian Harbour Beach has graciously offered the following tips to help brides who are planning their wedding food. We’ve seen Green Turtle catering in action many times and have always been really impressed with their food quality, taste, presentation and service so we feel super confident in any advice Lindsay might have.

Make sure your meal is appealing to all the senses, not just taste. How? Be sure your meal is colorful and that the presentation is up to your standards. Make sure the smell of the dinner is inviting. And, finally, make sure the tastes are different. Don’t offer a steak that your guests could get anywhere. Offer them crab stuffed shrimp or chicken stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes, spinach and pine nuts!



Accommodate your guests, but don’t forget it is your wedding day and the food truly needs to please you. Start by finding out if you have any dietary restrictions within your guest list. Gluten free, peanut free, vegan and vegetarian are becoming more common. Remember that vegan and vegetarian meals don’t have to be boring or just for that specific guest. Ask your caterer to be creative with your menu and offer a main course that could satisfy all the guests. Like angel hair pasta with olive oil, tomatoes, basil, garlic and spinach. You can offer a bruschetta bar as a beautiful option prior to the main meal.



Remember that there are numerous ways to present dinner and how you choose to serve it all depends on how you want your reception to flow. Of course you can offer the traditional sit-down dinner if you’re looking for a formal wedding feel. This would  normally be presented as a salad, main dish (previously chosen) and served with vegetable and starch.

For an option a little less formal, you can offer a plated salad followed by a buffet, this way your guests know their seating arrangement but get the chance to get up and choose from many options for the main course. You can then follow by cutting your cake and having it served to guests at their seats.

For a very mingle friendly event where you want the families to meet, socialize and keep moving, offer heavy hors d’ oeuvres. You can offer a mixture of butler passed, stations or a buffet.

Another approach that comes and goes in popularity is pasta bars, taco bars and seafood stations. These are popular when a theme is in place for the wedding or you just want your guests to build their favorite meal.



Last, think about the meal you are planning! If you are having a sunrise ceremony make sure to have a light brunch offering with coffee, tea and juices along with your mimosas and bloody Mary’s.You want your guests to feel awake and motivated, so don’t over stuff them so that want to go back to sleep! If you do a lunch wedding you may offer a slightly heavier meal, but again not too much! Dinner and evening events need to offer a heavy meal because your guests will tend to over indulge on the alcoholic beverages. You need to slow them down by filling them up!



Thanks, Lindsay, for all these wonderful tips! Of course there are weddings of every size and style including different types of wedding food, so whether yours is a sit down affair with plated dinner or a casual buffet with all your very favorite things, remember that in the end it is still a dinner shared with friends.

Lindsay has been Director of Catering at Green Turtle since 2011. The Green Turtle caters to all size events, from small weddings of fifteen to large weddings with 300+ guests. They offer a full-service catering option as well as delivery and set up options. Lindsay graduated from FSU with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and Business Marketing.  She is also a Crossfit Coach at Crossfit Rise Above.

For more information about Green Turtle Catering, call 321.773.2001 or email