Being a foodie I have had at least a million dreams about what food will be served? How will it be served? Who will be serving? All this at my own wedding.
There is a very beautiful concept of manuhaar in Rajasthan. The host and the hosts family welcomes and greets the guests. The host provides royal hospitality and serves good food. Manuhaar is often done to politely feed (read force feed) guests, as it is very difficult to say no.
Planning is key
Wedding food needs planning and tasting. I have done at least 5 rounds of tasting and 20 hours of discussion just about the food that would be served for the 3-day wedding affair. An easier way of tasting and service quality check would be to attend as many weddings possible(read the best way to find a good menu and deciding location with catering).
Rajasthani wedding food is a huge spread. Tasting each meal takes at least 50 mins to an hour. With all the manuhaar it should take another 30 minutes.
Every event and ceremony at a wedding goes hand in hand with food.
Wedding food for ceremonies
Check this list and you will get to know what I mean.
- Roka lunch
- Roka snacks
- Roka dinner
- Mehndi snacks
- Mehndi dinner
- Arriving day dinner
- Sangeet day breakfast(Ganesh pooja and sthapna)
- Sangeet day lunch(dance practice)
- Sangeet day snacks
- Sangeet day dinner
- Wedding day breakfast(bhaat ceremony)
- Wedding day lunch(Mayra ceremony)
- Wedding day snacks(Varmala)
- Wedding day dinner
- Vidaai breakfast
- Vidaai lunch
This is just from what I remember. When you plan for a wedding the lists won’t end.
Theme lunch for wedding
Planning a theme for meals is a very good idea. I have always dreamt to have proper Rajasthani meal in Rajasthani village like setup with the turbans, so my parents even arranged for it during one of the lunches. Since it is costly and takes more effort so one or two themed meals are enough.
Having a polite serving staff and overlooking family members is the biggest key to manuhaar.
Anyways I am still not done I had so many things in my list for must-have for food I am trying to jot them below. Hope you get some ideas and practical tips out of it
Tips on How to plan indian wedding food menu
- Handing over all food-related responsibility to a family member rather than doing everything myself
- All my favourite dishes were on the menu. Recommendation – Ask the caterer to add bride/groom’s special tags on their favourite dishes
- We set up a Sajjan bhoj for the bride, groom and close family (special table service)
- Jain food option was made available
- Snacks and drinks were presented to all guests at their seats
- Tasting is must for at least half of the menu (in multiple rounds not necessarily at once)
- Do include your close ones suggestions too. Jalebi was included in all the breakfast, lunch and dinner menu for my sister
- Dal baati churma is a must. It makes for the perfect traditional Rajasthani meal
- Different cuisines were included in lunch and dinner
- Desserts must include a variety. Kulfi, ice cream, jalebi, badam doodh malai, dal halwa, ghevar for the Rajasthani feeling, were some served in my wedding
- Rajasthani theme set up for lunch
- Food options should be enough, such that it takes at least 30 mins for a person to just taste every dish
- Small counters for snack items pakoda, chilla, dahi wada etc. for kids
- If possible have a pre-decided deal with catering based on the number of plates
- A friend or family member should keep feeding the bride and groom while the photography session tires them out
- Have a plan to provide any leftover food to workers or any NGO nearby
- Funny but true – get photographer to click food and guests eating food. It makes for a great memory later
- Bride and groom feeding each other is a must click. It’s so much fun to watch it on the video and pictures
- Non-stop tea and coffee
- Last but not the least, dry snacks and fruits all the times in all guest rooms
Some great feedback I received were I have the best parents, uncles and aunts who wouldn’t let my friends stay hungry, the Rajasthani kachi rasoi was the best lunch theme, my sister said she actually got time to eat food and enjoyed Jalebi’s despite the fact that she was so occupied with functions arrangement all the time.
Having a smile all the time in the wedding is so critical. So eat good food and give an awesome smile
Think positive and be happy!
Stay tuned for more tips, more fun, more wedding stories