If you’re planning for a fun, casual backyard wedding, your catering menu should reflect it! Caterers are used to working within specific venues, so make sure to discuss all the details of your backyard together. As soon as possible, decide where your caterer will set up their equipment, their power requirements, your wedding’s timeline, any extra staff requirements and how accessible your backyard is to catering vehicles transporting large stoves or grills.

1. A Classic Barbecue

Create an outdoor wedding menu that reminds guests of an awesome backyard cookout. Have your caterer bring a smoker or grill for ribs, chicken, hamburgers, veggie burgers and/or kebabs. Choose classic summer sides, like potato and pasta salads, a green salad, grilled vegetables, mac and cheese, coleslaw and a corn or fruit salsa.

2. A Festive Picnic

Eliminate the need for a large grill or warmers with a simple menu of sandwiches and wraps, fresh salads, fruit, cheese and crackers, and brownies and cookies for dessert. This menu is easy to prepare and set up, so you may be able to reduce the number of staff you hire. It’s also great for tight spaces or an usual timeline, because much can be done ahead of time offsite.

Incorporate your picnic menu into your backyard wedding’s décor. Gingham linens or wicker baskets to hold cards and favors will add to your choice of food.

3. A Food Truck Rodeo

If you have the space, hire a few of your favorite food trucks to cater anywhere from a single item to your entire backyard wedding menu. All the necessary equipment is built right in to each food truck, so you won’t need to worry about extra power or tents. This is without a doubt a great way to add entertainment, scenery and variety to your backyard wedding.

4. A Casual Potluck

Hire a professional caterer to drop off a main course or two. Then, ask wedding guests who aren’t traveling far to bring a dish or two to pass (perhaps in lieu of gifts). If there’s a dish a family member or friend makes that you especially love, ask for it specifically. Just like any potluck, aim for a varied menu and have ideas in mind for people who aren’t sure what to bring.

5. A Warm Pasta Bar

For fall days with a bit of a chill in the air, consider a backyard wedding catering menu centered around authentic pasta dishes. Various styles of lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs or Bolognese, gnocchi, ravioli, fettuccine alfredo and chicken parmigiana are all delicious options.

Balance your pasta-heavy menu with light side salads and fruit-based desserts, so your guests aren’t asleep before they have a chance to hit the dance floor!

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