Making Better Meals

Wedding Reception Catering Ideas For Country Barn Venues

If you and your fiance enjoy a relaxed, country-inspired lifestyle, a barn may be the ideal wedding venue for you. For a cohesive feel, plan a casual lunch or dinner menu that will tempt guests with plenty of comfort foods, as well as fare that can be prepared outdoors on the grill.

Even though your wedding reception venue is rustic, you can still serve creative dishes made with gourmet ingredients along with the down-home delights. A mixed menu will be especially ideal if you'll be decorating the barn with some luxe touches, such as crystal chandeliers and shabby-chic-inspired table linens and centerpieces.

You can either hire a professional catering company to prepare everything from the appetizers to the desserts on your big day, or have your favorite local barbecue restaurant to do the work for you. Share your country-themed menu vision with a few different options before deciding on the best caterer. 

When preparing the list of food you want to serve, consider any dietary restrictions that your guests may have. For example, since country-inspired fare is typically heavy on the meat, make sure you offer a few different vegetarian and vegan dishes as well. 

Here are some more catering ideas that will work well in a laid-back country barn venue: 

1. Local and Homegrown Foods 

In keeping with the homey feel of the event, plan the menu around food that is sourced from local farms whenever possible. While you may not have many options during the winter months, depending on your location's climate, you should have a wide range of produce to choose from for a summer wedding.

As an appetizer or even a main course with topped with a type of protein, serve green salads full of lettuce, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions and radishes. Other seasonal offerings may include grilled corn on the cob, vegetable skewers and stuffed peppers served with roasted red potatoes. 

Try to use locally-sourced meat and seafood whenever possible as well. 

2. Barbecued Fare 

Take advantage of the rustic outdoor setting by serving plenty of grilled food and other barbecue restaurant-themed fare. Along with barbecued chicken, steaks and seafood, treat guests to classic side dishes such as creamy coleslaw, zesty potato salad, regular and sweet potato fries and even twice-baked potatoes.

Get creative with marinated, grilled portabello caps,shrimp, pineapple and mango skewers, grilled romaine lettuce cups filled with chicken and other vegetables, and even pizza and flatbreads.