Many bridal couples simply want to organise their wedding in a completely different way. Celebrating this unique occasion in a restaurant like all the other wedding couples seems trite and boring to them. Sometimes the budget is also not sufficient for a large celebration in a restaurant. These are good reasons, for example, why more and more wedding couples are opting for a barbecue wedding. Celebrating in the countryside under the stars rightly seems much more romantic than having to sweat with your guests in a room on a hot day. Mild nights, moonlight and the chirping of crickets create a romantic atmosphere close to nature, which is certainly worth striving for at a wedding.
What could be more fitting for an outdoor wedding than a barbecue menu? A barbecue wedding doesn’t mean you have to do without culinary delights at the highest level, because real barbecue connoisseurs know what to put on the barbecue for an unforgettable flavour experience.
Planning and organisation are the be-all and end-all
Once you have made a decision in favour of barbecuing at the wedding, you need to draw up a plan. Many things that are automatically taken care of at a conventional restaurant wedding must be organised, decided and delegated by you. As the groom, you can hardly stand behind the barbecue at your own wedding and serve the guests.
Before a guest list is drawn up, a budget should be created specifically for the barbecue. The budget also determines which barbecue food is bought, as pork loin is of course significantly cheaper than a fillet of beef.
The guest list
You need to draw up a guest list right at the start of the planning process. Firstly, you need to determine the dimensions of the party. The size is important as it has an impact on many important points. The number of people quickly makes it clear how many wedding barbecues need to be ready for use. You also need to calculate the quantities of barbecue food and drinks. Plan generous quantities for the wedding, rather more than too little. Nothing would be more embarrassing than guests leaving the wedding hungry and thirsty.
The perfect location
Wedding with barbecue
It is certainly easiest to celebrate in your own garden, but unfortunately not every bridal couple has one. Ask your neighbours who has a spacious garden. Perhaps the garden owner will be persuaded to host your wedding ceremony in their garden. Municipalities often also have areas available, but here the problem of not having toilets and washbasins quickly arises. Electricity connections must also be available.
Which barbecues are suitable for the wedding reception?
Determine the type of barbecue, although the decision will certainly be easy. A charcoal barbecue is not really ideal at a wedding. Flying sparks, coal dust and charcoal particles are not advisable at a celebration where the colour white dominates. The electric barbecue is not designed for large dimensions, so the gas barbecue is the clear winner of the three. Make sure you have enough gas in reserve. There are many interesting possibilities on the gas barbecue, even food from the wok or pizza are not impossible. However, one barbecue is certainly not enough, so you should think about hiring barbecues. We have already written an informative report on this. If friends or relatives are doing the barbecuing, it is important to give them a good introduction to the operation. However, if you want exclusive dishes, it is essential to have a professional at the barbecue.
The weather and plan B
Once a wedding date has been set, it usually takes months before the wedding takes place. One problem is always the weather, because no meteorologist will be able to predict the weather for the special day that far in advance. That’s why there should always be an alternative location for a barbecue wedding. Weatherproof tents are ideal for an outdoor wedding, so you don’t get into an emergency situation in the first place. Shelter options should also be planned for in the event of heavy thunderstorms.
Avoid trouble with the neighbours
A barbecue wedding is naturally associated with odours from the barbecue, loud music and general noise from the revellers. Before a neighbour calls the police at 10 p.m. and you get into trouble, make smart decisions about the guest list in advance. If you are having a barbecue wedding in a residential area, be sure to invite your immediate neighbours. If they are sitting at the wedding tables themselves, they will certainly not consider it an odour or noise nuisance. The celebration should be announced to the nearest neighbours so that there is no unpleasant surprise for them and they can prepare for it.
Choosing tempting treats for the wedding barbecue
With perhaps 100 guests, it is difficult to decide how much of which barbecue food to have in stock. Ideally, you should include a small questionnaire to tick in the invitation. Of course, this should not be binding for the guests, but it should at least guide them. It is always ideal if different flavours can be catered for so that no guest has to miss out on culinary delights. Some people love a well-marinated grilled steak more than a very unusual grilled dish for gourmets. Then don’t forget the children, whose taste is more for sausages or hamburgers.
If you are organising the food yourself, we recommend ordering the meat from the butcher of your choice. If it’s a small barbecue wedding, you may want to marinate the meat yourself. If you have a long list of guests, it makes sense to ask the butcher to marinate the meat and prepare various salads. Be sure to arrange a fixed collection date. Due to refrigeration problems, it is advisable to arrange for a relative or friend to collect the food shortly before the barbecue. Relatives and friends often offer to help with the salads. Make sure you take advantage of this offer, as it means you can quickly create a really varied salad buffet.
The home-style and rustic barbecue wedding menu
Burgers, sausages, steaks, meat kebabs, spare ribs and poultry are all good plain fare. Potato salad, other refreshing salads, baguettes, barbecue sauces and herb butter are always popular accompaniments. If the majority of guests share this taste, you will certainly have an easy time deciding on a wedding menu. Nevertheless, try to conjure up something special from rustic grilled food. Make sure there are ways to keep the grilled food warm. Special warming devices are ideal for this.
For discerning gourmets
Table decorations for a barbecue wedding
Beef steaks, lamb chops and exclusive fish dishes naturally emphasise the wedding barbecue with a very fine touch. Pike-perch, scallops and king prawns should definitely be included, as they add that certain exclusive touch. Think of fresh and untreated lemons with the fish! Marinated beef steak and fillet are always a real delicacy from the wedding barbecue. It is important to think about the finesse of this expensive barbecue food, simply putting it on the barbecue would be a real sin. Smoking boards, for example, are an excellent way to bring out the flavour of the salmon. In our articles on accessories, you will find lots of information on the preparation options.
Barbecue food for vegetarians
Don’t forget the vegetarians at your barbecue wedding, because you won’t really be able to impress them with a crispy steak. The options for vegetarian dishes from the barbecue are extremely varied. Jacket potatoes are definitely important. Variously prepared quark, dips and barbecue sauces taste good with almost any vegetarian. Vegetables and salad are very important. Vegetables in particular can be used to prepare marvellous dishes in barbecue trays and on skewers. In a well-stocked grocery shop you will find a large selection of vegetarian steaks, sausages and hamburgers. If you need a very large quantity, be sure to let the store manager know so that they can plan and reserve a delivery for you.
Appetisers with a Mediterranean flair
The light cuisine from the wedding barbecue usually tastes good to almost all guests. Mediterranean dates wrapped in bacon have become a real favourite. Salads with tender strips of grilled chicken breast are also a favourite. Don’t forget the feta, which tastes delicious when grilled. Vegetarians are also no problem for a starter with salad. Don’t forget the antipasti!
A sweet temptation from the grill
Not only savoury dishes can be prepared on the barbecue. Sweet desserts from the barbecue have become increasingly popular in recent years. Grilled fruit, such as fruit skewers, tastes extremely delicious. Grilled pineapple in particular is ideal as a wedding dessert, as it is a real treat with a wide variety of accompaniments. Whipped cream, vanilla sauce, ice cream, coconut flakes and many other sweet temptations put the icing on the cake of grilled fruit.
Barbecue wedding and catering
Of course, it is much easier if you use a catering service. The advantages are obvious! You simply specify the number of people, decide on a menu and don’t have to worry about anything else. You no longer have to worry about barbecue accessories, barbecue food and the barbecues, which saves a lot of nerves during the many wedding preparations.
You can decide whether you want a set menu or prefer everything as a buffet. With catering, guests are presented with live cooking, as the staff of an experienced and sophisticated catering company attach great importance to professionalism.
A wedding with a caterer is generally advisable unless your budget is small and you have to take everything into your own hands to save money. However, many wedding couples miscalculate here, because the bottom line is often not even worth the savings. In our opinion, it is important to have a trial meal so that you can see whether the real barbecue experts at the wedding are professional. Even pulled pork should not be a problem for a professional.
Clear advantages summarised: with catering, you have the option of booking the equipment for the barbecue wedding as a service. For example, you no longer have to worry about the barbecue, tents, tables, chairs, crockery and capable staff. It is of course practical if crockery and table linen are also provided and can be taken away dirty after the party.
A few words about security
If a wedding is being celebrated, many guests will be present, including children. This must be factored into the safety aspects. The barbecue should be protected so that guests do not get too close to it. The long festive clothing of female guests or the bride in particular can quickly catch fire and splashes of fat should not reach their clothing. If a gas barbecue is chosen for the wedding barbecue, the typical safety measures for gas cylinders and hoses are relevant. All gas-carrying parts (gas cylinder, gas hoses, pressure reducer and gas pipes in the barbecue) must be checked for leaks and of course be leak-proof. This is best done before the day of the party so that there is enough time to get a replacement. The gas barbecue must be kept at a safe distance from flammable materials, including the top.
If you have opted for an electric barbecue, there is of course no need for gas-related checks. Otherwise, however, an electric barbecue also gets very hot. Here too, it is important to set it up in a safe place away from guests or flammable materials. The power cable must not be a tripping hazard and should be fitted with a safety catch so that if someone does trip over the cable, the whole barbecue is not pulled down with them. With electricity, it is also important to ensure that no live parts come into contact with water or moisture. Never extinguish a fire on an electric barbecue with water. In general, every barbecue, regardless of type, should be placed on solid ground.
A barbecue wedding can be informal, but also very elegant and exclusive. Basically, it has a charm all of its own. The location is a decisive factor to a not inconsiderable extent. The style of such a celebration simply depends very much on the surroundings and the local conditions. Especially in high-quality party tents, it is possible to create a very elegant atmosphere. But even an old barn can be used to turn a barbecue wedding into something really rustic and traditional (as the Bavarians say), as long as a toilet and washbasin are available. The decisive factors here are budget and personal taste.
The bride and groom who can afford catering services have a clear advantage. However, not being able to do so should not ruin the dream of a barbecue wedding. Family and friends are happy to roll up their sleeves to help.