When it comes to food, no one knows it or does it better than the Italians. Food is a way of life under the Tuscan Sun, and the reason so many eager brides and grooms choose Italy for their destination wedding. Food in Italy is a cause for celebration every day, however during a wedding it really becomes the star of the show. You want your guests to spend the meal gushing and excited about the menu you have prepared for them. Which may have you asking yourself, how do I plan an Italian wedding menu? Your Italian wedding planner will be a great resource in this department; just keep in mind, it is all about pairing the courses.
First, start with the Antipasti, literally translating to “before the meal”. Though it has “pasti” in the name, this is not where you and your guests will find the beloved Italian pasta. At Italian weddings, there will often be an aperitif, which is similar to a cocktail hour. Guests will arrive here after the ceremony and enjoy a wide variety of Italian appetizers, both hot and cold. The aperitif is often a combination of cured meats and cheeses, such as salami, mortadella, prosciutto, etc. to be uniquely paired with Italian cheeses like pecorino, mozzarella, or parmesan. You may also find bruschetta, toasted bread topped with tomatoes and other toppings, in the mix. When eating in Italy, the idea of eating local is a given, so you will surely taste the freshness in anything you chose. Incorporating different food stations, such as a caprese station, or Tuscan station featuring all your favorite meats and cheese, is a great opportunity to showcase a wide variety of Italian food. The antipasti is best paired with a Prosecco to drink.
Following the aperitif, comes the Primi. You and your guests will now relocate to the reception hall where you will discover that delicious pasta you have travelled so far for. While many pasta dishes boil down to the same simple ingredients, the variety of styles, textures, shapes, and sauces create and endless variety of unique experiences from one pasta dish to another. With so many to choose from, it is common to pair a selection of two different dishes. Perhaps a risotto and a ravioli, or a fresh pasta with a dry pasta. Choose your favorite combination and expect to be wowed.
If you’re keeping track, we are now at our third course, aptly named Secondi. Now that your palette has caught up with your luggage, it is time for another fresh and delicious Italian course. The secondi offers the main dish. Pollo (chicken), Manzo (beef), Agnello (lamb), and Pesce (fish), can all be found on this portion of the menu. If you still have room, consider adding a Contorni, or type of side dish, such as sautéed vegetables to accompany your meal. Here you can enjoy a fine Vino Bianco (white wine) with your chicken or fish, or a more classic Rosso with pasta and red meats.
A great meal must end with a great Dolci (dessert). Italy is home to many delicious desserts to satisfy any guests’ sweet tooth. Panna Cota is a sweet cream dessert served in a gelatinous, flan like state, and can be topped with chocolate or fresh berries. For a treat in the heat, there is nothing finer than Italian ice cream, or Gelato. Nevertheless, if you want to truly celebrate your wedding in authentic Italian style, you do so with a Millefoglie. A large, flat, circular cake, with layers of pastry, sweet cream, fresh berries, and powdered sugar. For more fun, the pastry chef ceremoniously assembles the dish, right in front of you and all your guests! It is an absolutely delicious dessert and comes with a one of a kind experience. Wash it all down with some tasty Muscat—Moscato and you will be ready to kick off the heels and dance the night away!