When it comes to food at the reception, you are faced with a lot of decisions! You want to impress your guests with a tasty meal that will energize them for the rest of the night! Choosing a course that will satisfy everyone’s preferences and needs might seem overwhelming, but the most important thing to remember is to keep it simple.

Before you decide on the meal itself, you’ll want to decide whether to serve it buffet or sit-down style. Much of this decision depends on your budget and your venue. A buffet is usually a more economical option, but a sit-down meal is definitely more formal and leaves you with more control. Regardless of this decision, here are some main courses that will work either way:



Though this option is pricier, it will likely leave a classy, positive impression on your guests. Similarly to the chicken option, there are many ways you can successfully serve fish. Here are some examples:

  • Lemon Caper Butter Tilapia, Cod, or Halibut – this would be a good dish to serve alongside the similar chicken dish (below because it will give you more options while keeping the preparation simple.
  • Swordfish with Mango Pepper Salsa – this option will add a refreshing spice to your meal. Add some steamed veggies for an impressive presentation!
  • Salmon with Orange Ginger Butter Soy Sauce – this dish is definitely a healthier option that your guests are sure to love. The bright, smooth sauce has just the right amount of “zip”.



If you’re worried about budgeting, this is a safe route to go! Chicken is definitely one of the cheaper options and it can be served so many different ways. Here are some tried-and-true variations:

  • Chicken Marsala – chicken with a light sauce of wine/sherry and mushrooms. This classy option guarantees your chicken will not be served dry!
  • Chicken with Herbed Butter, Lemon, and Capers – this arrangement will look great on a plate and your guests will love the rich flavors!
  • Chicken Parmesan–  this dish is always a hit! Use a simple tomato sauce, light breading, and add a sprinkling of mozzarella and herbs on top.



If you’re looking for beef, choose the right steak and keep your budget in mind because steak prices can vary quite a bit! Here are some options to consider:

  • Filet – a more expensive option but always a hit! Kick it up a notch with a unique presentation–try a parmesan-crusted filet with a port wine sauce.
  • Tenderloin Tip – a good option if you’re looking for something less expensive. Add more flavor with a mushroom sauce or grilled onions.
  • Strip Steak – a great option with the right preparation! Go for a mushroom or pepper-crusted steak with a red wine-based sauce to keep it moist and flavorful.



This is a good option to include not only for the vegetarian guests but also for meat-eating guests who prefer a lighter meal! Here are some tasty vegetarian options:

  • Pasta Primavera – this dish is satisfying and simple. Choose your favorite pasta shape and add fresh veggies, a light olive oil, a fresh herb sauce, and some garlic!
  • Spring Vegetable Risotto – this option is rich and hearty. The spring vegetables will make for a beautiful presentation.
  • Vegetable Quiche quiche is a good go-to! Try spinach or asparagus for the veggies. This meal goes great with a little side salad.


Choosing a main course is an important part of planning your wedding reception. No matter what you decide to serve, it’s best to be confident in your choice and keep the preparation simple. After a carefully-chosen and served meal, your guests will be more than ready to dance the night away! More helpful tips & tricks to help you plan your wedding can be found at www.ringcam.com/beforethebells.

This post was written by Ring Cam blogger, Monika DeWitt