What Is A Deconstructed Menu?

Ashley Nicole Events Deconstructed Wedding menu

Deconstructed Wedding Menus

Have you ever heard of a “deconstructed wedding menu”? No? Please allow me to explain! Deconstructed Menu: a meal or dish that is pulled apart to allow for guest customization. Mashed potato bars are an excellent example. The catering team would place mashed potatoes in a martini glass and make an array of toppings available for self service. Toppings might include bacon bits, vegetables and an array of sauces/gravy.

mashed potatoes

Another deconstructed option is a salad bar. By offering a salad bar, you are providing your guests a healthy option but still allowing them to have fun with their meal. Start with one or two lettuce types and then go to town on the dressings and toppings! Ranch, Italian, Thousand Island, Poppyseed, Caesar, tomatoes, broccoli, corn, peppers, croutons, etc. Salads are tricky. Either people love them or hate them. Providing options increases the chance that your guest will actually eat a salad! 

Dan Gold/Unsplash

Now for dessert, my favorite part! Who doesn’t love s’mores? Leave out heaps of graham crackers and a whole lot of marshmallows, but don’t forget the chocolate! Your guests can roast their own marshmallows and then add any additional toppings if they wish. You can offer peanut butter, whipped cream, sliced fruit, etc… Not only will kids at the reception love this, but adults will too! 

The Shirley Journey

If a completely deconstructed dinner menu is not up your alley, you could incorporate this idea during cocktail hour. One fan favorite is a French Fry Bar. Provide pre filled cones of french fries and an assortment of toppings such as ranch, ketchup, mayonnaise, honey mustard, bacon bits, pulled pork, cheddar cheese, etc… I could go on forever!

A deconstructed menu might not be for everyone, and that is okay! This type of meal tends to be more casual.  A few years ago, I attended a wedding with a similar menu. My husband and I still talk about how fun it was to create “our own menu” at the wedding. 

Have you ever hosted or attended an event with a deconstructed menu? I recently posted about a Thanksgiving dinner party where we featured deconstructed pumpkin soup. You can check out that story here! If so, comment below with recipes, tips and tricks. I can add them to future posts!

Happy Planning!


Cocktail Hour: Miniature Versions of Your Favorite Foods

When it comes to cocktail hour, some couples want to serve what they’ve seen at other weddings. Whether it be bruschetta, meatballs, a cheese and cracker station, etc… However, there are couples who are on the edgier side of things when they choose cocktail hour food. These couples don’t serve the standard, they serve unexpected appetizers that the guests will be thrilled with.

 Photo Credit: Deer Petal Flowers
Photo Credit: Deer Petal Flowers

Maybe it’s just me, but miniature versions of things are just so darn cute! I mean come on, who doesn’t love puppies? They are just so much cuter when they are little! The same goes for appetizers. By doing smaller versions of classic foods, you are giving your guests a small taste of something scrumptious.

 Photo Credit: Happy Wedd
Photo Credit: Happy Wedd

Being a Pinterest fiend, I’ve seen some pretty creative hor d’oeuvres that can be served at almost any party, let alone a cocktail hour. The options are almost endless, just pick some regular sized food that you and your fiance enjoy and ask the catering company if they can make it into a miniature version. It may help to go on Pinterest to see what you like first, and then have a frame of reference for your caterer when they ask about appetizers.

 Photo: Wedding Party by Wedding Pics
Photo: Wedding Party by Wedding Pics

Some minis I’ve stumbled upon are miniature grilled cheese with a shot of tomato soup, a fork with nicely twirled spaghetti, sliders, mini caesar salads. I could go on and on, but you’d be here for hours!

 Photo Credit: You and Your Wedding
Photo Credit: You and Your Wedding

No matter what you and your partner decide to serve, try to keep it unique to the two of you. Remember that there’s no other couple in the world like you, so why not make your special day even more unique? A selection of miniature appetizers will keep people talking about your wedding for months, maybe even years. They will be so blown away by this trend that they will keep telling friends about it. And who knows, you could be a trendsetter for your group of friends who have not yet tied the knot!