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How to Personalize Top Wedding Menu Ideas

We know that every detail of your wedding matters to you, and it does to us too! Because we want each element to perfectly reflect your style and tell part of your story, we’ve made all our wedding packages exceptionally flexible. When working with us to customize your wedding menu ideas, you will have a plethora of enhancements from which to choose to personalize your guests’ experience—what is sure to be an equally delicious, beautiful and memorable one.

Donut wall at a wedding
Photo Credit: Mark Trela Photography

With these food and beverage upgrades, you can treat guests to an unforgettable experience in any of the incredible Galleria Marchetti wedding venues that match your vision.

How to Elevate Your Chicago Wedding Menu

Expand Your Cocktail Hour Offerings

If the Italian term “abbondanza,” which means “abundance,” strikes a chord with you, then you are probably looking for ways to squeeze more delectable food into your wedding. Fortunately, from your first choice of food items to the last, we love to give guests this lavish experience.

You can open your cocktail hour with an exceptional variety of gourmet butler-passed hors d’oeuvres such as:

  • Antipasti Bites: artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, bocconcini and basil on a genoa salami “chip”
  • Brie Cheese & Green Apple Canapés: wedges of brie cheese and green apples served in phyllo cups
  • Nori-Wrapped Tempura Ahi: served on a wonton crisp with soy mustard sauce
  • Prosciutto-Wrapped Grilled Shrimp: with garlic, olive oil and Italian herbs
Brie Cheese & Green Apple Canapés
Photo Credit: Victoria Sprung Photography

If you will have an exceptionally large wedding topping a 250-guest count, facilitating guest flow and ensuring everyone finds a satisfying bite with ease is an extra challenging task. Fortunately, our experienced team can help you make and execute a solid plan. One of the best ways to encourage guests to move about is by spreading platters and stations throughout your venue space. There is no easier way to draw guests into an area than by setting up chef-attended stations like:

  • Sushi Station: a selection of maki rolls and nigiri sushi for your guests to enjoy during your cocktail hour
  • Caprese Salad Carving Station: delicious fresh mozzarella cheese and a selection of roma tomatoes with balsamic vinegar and an assortment of flavored olive oils and salts
  • Satay Station: chicken and shrimp satay with pesto and peanut sauces
  • Pasta Station: homemade pasta sautéed with a selection of sauces and garnishes
  • Holy Cannoli Station: a create-your-own station of this traditional Italian dessert featuring pastry shells, mascarpone cheese and several delicious garnishes
Sushi station
Photo Credit: Victoria Sprung Photography

Personalize Your Cocktail Hour Beverages

One of the best ways to share your story and make sure every guest gets a taste of it is by having your signature cocktail butler-passed during your cocktail hour. Whichever part of your story it shares—from your first date to your latest vacation together—we can help you design a signature cocktail that tells it in an exceptionally refreshing way.

Passed champagne

But don’t stop customizing your beverage service with a signature cocktail. A variety of innovative offerings can showcase your personality. For example, imagine a nitro martini bar where vodka is frozen with liquid nitrogen to create an awe-inspiring visual display. Or for an atmosphere that is more sparkly than mystically foggy, consider selecting a six-hour open bar including prosecco or Italian sparkling wine that remains open from start to finish.

Add Courses That Cultivate Your Desired Dinner Atmosphere

Stuzzichini and intermezzi are two courses that can be added to your seated dinner to ensure guests enjoy as formal or relaxed of an experience as your wedding calls for.

Being reminiscent of family-style dinners, stuzzichini, or snacks, help guests feel at home. As they pass around plates and sample tasty treats before being served a wonderful plated meal, a relaxed vibe comes forth. Some of our most popular stuzzichini to place on dining tables include:

  • Zucchini Chips: flash-fried chips of thinly sliced zucchini
  • Bresaola & Parmigiano Reggiano: air-dried beef and parmesan cheese topped with arugula and extra-virgin olive oil
  • Fried Calamari: fried squid served with lemon wedges and marinara sauce
  • Goat Cheese al Forno: baked goat cheese with toast points and homemade marinara sauce

If you are looking to embrace grandeur in your dinner service, think back to aristocratic banquets filled with traditions including the serving of intermezzi or “palate cleansers.” Serving sorbet of your liking (lemon, raspberry, orange or mango flavor) before the entrée is a great way to add your taste and an element of gravitas to your formal reception.

When it comes time to indulge in an entrée, no doubt guests will be enraptured by luxury dishes such as a beautiful duet plate of filet mignon with rosemary red wine reduction and halibut with a golden parmesan crust and cream sauce.

Give Guests Reasons to Reminisce

When dinner service ends, guests know the big party is soon to begin. But first, take them back in time by offering cordials at the bar. Embrace the theme that “what’s old is new again” and bring generations together with beverages like:

  • Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • Kahlua
  • Romana White Sambuca
  • Grand Marnier
  • Di Saronno Amaretto
  • Frangelico
  • Hennessy VS

Captivate Guests with Sweet Choices

After enjoying an impressive dinner service and cake cutting, help guests finish off their culinary experience with a bang. You can expand their dessert options and put on a big show with chef-attended action stations:

  • Flaming Donut Station: composed of glazed donuts flambéed with liqueur and topped with ice cream
  • Dessert Pancake Station: with mixed berries, maple syrup,whipped cream, and gelato
  • Sundae Station: a selection of gelato or frozen yogurt served with a variety of garnishes and sauces
Flaming donut station
Photo Credit: Jennifer Lawrence Photography

Every guest is sure to be tantalized by the act our talented chefs put on as they cook these fun desserts in front of them. However, to ensure every guest finds the sweet treat they are craving, you may want to also set up a chef’s sweets station with these alternative desserts:

  • Miniature Cheesecakes
  • Miniature Cannoli
  • Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries
  • Assorted Miniature Tarts & Pastries
  • Assorted Truffles
  • Assorted Cookies & Biscotti
  • Fresh Cut Fruit & Berries

Miniature Cannoli

Open Up Late Night Bites and Your Venue Space

The opening of late night bites stations signals to guests that the formal part of your wedding is over and it’s time to let loose and simply celebrate. When displayed in the annex at the south end of The Pavilion, a retractable roof and sides give you incredible flexibility to open up guests’ whole experience. They may even take their late night bites out to the 72 feet of linear fire pits in the adjacent terrace—there is no better way to relax on a beautiful evening than by roasting s’mores!

Bride and groom kissing

For decades, our family has been passionate about incorporating couples’ stories into charming wedding experiences. That is why all our menus are custom designed to be as unique as your wedding vision.

To find out how we can fine-tune your food and beverage selections to embrace all your wedding dreams, contact us online or give us a call at (312) 563-0495.

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