The food is one of the highlights of a wedding reception. To help showcase the special dishes that you have selected, consider designing menu cards for the reception tables. Placed at each setting, and artfully displayed, the menu cards can help your guests to enjoy their dinner even more.
A menu card should give guests an idea of what to expect as the meal proceeds. It also helps to let the guests know how many courses to expect (as in, a five course dinner – better not fill up on the early courses, or you will not have room left for cake!). Keep the language fairly simple; if your your menu menu is in French, it might look pretty, but it will not do your guests much good if they can not read it.
Some guests with dietary restrictions can also use the details of the menu to help them know which courses are best for them. For instance, a vegetarian guest who sees that beef is to be served as the main course will be forewarned to fill up on soup and salad. In addition, if you are serving dishes with any common allergens, it would be nice to put that information in the title of the dish, when possible. In other words, "couscous with pinenuts" instead of just "couscous".
The design of your menu cards should complement the rest of your wedding. If you are having a very fancy evening wedding, with the bride in a cathedral length veil and dazzling crystal bridal jewelry, your menu cards should also be incredibly glamorous. A very stylish look would have to have crystal embellished menu card stands to echo the elegance of the bridal gown and jewelry.
Another way to display a wedding menu with panache is to put it in a frame. A beautiful picture frame can be chosen that fits in with the rest of the wedding design, anything from classic silver to beachy rattan would be great. The frame can then double as the wedding favors. A really fun idea would have to have a photographer on hand who can take and print photos that the guests can put into the frames as a memento from your wedding.
One of the most classic ways to display wedding menus is to lay them on the place settings. A heavy ivory card stock with a gold border would be ideal for a formal wedding when engraved in black ink. For a spring afternoon wedding, choose a more lighthearted stationary in a pastel color with an organza bow on the top. If your wedding will take place by the ocean, anchor each menu card with a seashell. There are infinite variations to fit with any wedding theme.
Flowers are a beautiful part of any wedding, and they can also be used with your menu cards. Rather than setting the napkins to the left of the plates, they can be placed directly onto the plates with a fold in the bottom third. The menu card gets folded into the fold, and a single flower is set on top of the card to make it even lovelier. This is a simple idea that always looks wonderful.