by Dylan Bartlett June 25, 2020 3 min read

Few things are more exciting than planning a wedding. You get to determine all the details of your big day! As you’re piecing things together, you’ll need to figure out what you want on your reception menu.

You might consider seafood, and it makes sense. It’s low in calories and elegant with the right presentation. That said, you want to handle seafood carefully, as it can be a bit tempestuous.

Here’s what to keep in mind as you continue.  

Wedding Meal Planning Considerations

Seafood is incredibly versatile, and it pleases the majority of folks with dietary restrictions. Those following low-carb plans like keto will find it works with their limitations, and while vegans won’t indulge, many vegetarians include fish in their diets. It’s a low-calorie protein and won’t threaten those with heart conditions. 

Offer an alternative if you plan to make lobster or salmon the main course, though. Some people have seafood allergies and can suffer a rash, as well as swelling and tingling in their lips and mouth. In severe cases, it can cause nausea and vomiting — not something you want for your guests.

Tips for Adding Seafood to Your Reception Menu 

If you want to add seafood to your reception menu, how can you incorporate it creatively? You can find scores of ideas, but here are the top six to get you started. 

1. Use It to Welcome Guests 

As guests trickle in, they often like something other than champagne to whet their appetites. An oyster bar adds elegance to any wedding — it doesn’t matter if you’re throwing an outdoor affair or renting a lavish hall.

Alternatively, you can have the wait staff bring around trays of panko shrimp or sushi rolls as celebrants arrive. 

2. Incorporate a Nautical Theme 

Are you thinking of throwing a seaside wedding? If you are, why not go all out with a nautical theme? If you want the ultimate in glitz and are planning a smaller event, you could even charter a boat to exchange vows at sea and return to land for the reception. Make sure you check the weather report first, though — late summer is hurricane season, and waters can quickly grow rocky. 

If you select this approach, it’s natural to add seafood to nearly any course of your reception menu. Many ocean-inspired picnic recipes translate naturally to beachside pavilions. 

3. Start the Meal With a Chowder

There’s something about soup that satisfies, and it can help your guests with their weight loss goals — not that it’s your concern, but health matters. Studies show that people who eat soup before lunch consume 20% fewer calories than those who don’t. 

4. Make a Lobster Bar 

Do you want to wow your guests and make them feel like royalty? Why not set up a lobster bar so they can eat all they want of this delicious seafood treat? You have ample options for doing so. 

If you choose to steam the entire crustacean, you’ll probably need bibs and tools to crack the shells. You’ll also require trays to serve the meal, as steamed lobster contains liquid that drips out as soon as you split them. A slightly more expensive choice involves only the tails. This style costs more because of the work entailed in preparing the dish, but it’s considerably less messy for guests dressed in their finest. 

5. Offer It as an Entree 

You can serve a fabulous salmon steak with a side of asparagus and ample hollandaise sauce as your main entree to delight most guests. You’ll still want to offer an alternative to those who follow a vegan lifestyle or whose dietary restrictions leave seafood off the menu.

Fortunately, you don’t have to spend a lot to do so. Pasta is a wise choice because it costs little and fills hearty appetites with ease. Perhaps you could go with a gluten-free primavera with or without fish. 

6. Make a Beach Wedding a Clambake 

When you’re on the beach, your mouth starts to water for a clambake. You can set up a bar and let guests select the ingredients to include in their steamer pot. You can also get preassembled bags that are a snap to prepare with a minimal number of caterers necessary. 

Adding Seafood to Your Reception Menu Is a Smart Choice

Adding seafood to your reception menu is a great idea. Follow the tips above and wow your guests with an elegant and nutritious meal.