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Wedding Menus & Wedding Menu Cards

The wedding menu cards are an all-too-often overlooked element of a suite of wedding stationery. Although it is easily forgotten about, it is an important piece of communication with your guests: one of just a small number of chances you have to express something to your family and friends in writing on the actual day of the wedding (along with the order of service).  


Where are wedding menus found?

Menu cards are usually found at the reception, since this is typically when food is served. If you are going to have food at your ceremony as well, you may wish to have two different menus printed, the menu for wedding and a ceremony menu. A wedding ceremony menu will be less important, though, since food served is likely to be nibbles rather than a full meal.


When to prepare the wedding menu?

First things first: you need to plan ahead. Discuss the wedding menu with your caterer early. Let them know when you need the finalised wedding menu details to get them printed with plenty of time to spare, and settle with them a realistic timeline for final decisions.


How many wedding menus to print?

Once that is sorted out, you need to decide how many wedding menus you want to print. You may choose to place menu cards at every place setting, alongside the place cards – one per guest – or you may opt to print a couple for each table and have guests share among themselves. Having menu cards for a wedding is a personal choice and both these options are perfectly fine, and your choice will depend on the function your menu is intended to have.


Why have wedding menu cards?

The menu card can serve several different purposes:

  • Simply to state what food will be served at the wedding

  • To communicate dietary/allergy information

  • To serve as a schedule indicating when speeches, dances or other such events will occur

  • To be a memento or souvenir guests can take home with them

  • To tie the table settings stylistically to the ceremony and the invitation suite

An alternative is to have a wedding menu card is to have a wedding menu sign. Whilst this can save money on printing costs at a larger function if not large enough or prominently displayed guests may miss what is being served. This can be an issue where guests have dietary requirements and allergies which need to be observed. 


The basic sections of a wedding menu:

  • Most wedding menus will include:

  • Menu title

  • Date

  • Appetizers

  • Entrée

  • Dessert

  • Beverages


The Wedding Menu Card Title:

The ‘title’ of the wedding menu is usually just the names of the bride and groom. It’s entirely up to you how formal or casual this is: feel free to use first names, nicknames, or full names. If someone is changing their last name this can be a nice opportunity to display this.

For example:

  • E&J

  • Ella & Jamie

  • Eleanor & James

  • Mr & Mrs Ella & Jamie Wilson

  • Mr & Mrs Wilson

  • Mr James Oliver Wilson & Mrs Eleanor Louise Wilson


While you may wish to let the names stand alone, you could also opt for something a little different and use the names as part of a phrase. Some people also include the date as part of the ‘title’. This is especially nice if you intend for the menu to be a memento for guests.

For example:

  • Welcome to the wedding of Eleanor & James

  • Celebrating Ella & Jamie

  • Introducing Mr & Mrs James & Eleanor Wilson

  • Ella & Jamie tied the knot

  • E&J Hooray!

  • Ella & Jamie – December 4, 2016


Wedding menu design

A monogram is often featured on a wedding menu cards. This, too, can be as fancy or casual as you like. Some people will simply use their two initials as a feature, while others will have a traditional monogram designed with plans to incorporate it throughout the wedding and their wedded bliss. Monograms were historically created when a couple married and used on letterheads, luggage, towels and all manner of things. Of course, you don’t have to have a monogram at all.

There’s no rule that says you have to have a title, but many couples like the chance to customise the design and help everyone get used to the look of their two names together.


Other Writing:

Note to guests

Some people choose to use the wedding menu to write a note for their guests. This will usually consist of a basic thank you.

For example:

  • Thank you so much for joining us today. We are so grateful to have you in our lives.

  • Thank you for celebrating with us!

  • Thank you for your love and support. Without it, we would never be where we are today.However, the wedding menu card should not be seen as a replacement for a thank you card. Paperlust has a large range of thank you cards for weddings which can be found here


Instructions to guests

This space could also be used for instructions or communication as regards the wedding reception itself.

For example:

  • Food will be served from the buffet at the back of the hall.

  • Dancing encouraged (the dorkier the better!)

  • There are Polaroid cameras circulating. Please make sure you don’t leave before you take a photo of yourself and stick it in our guest book!


The Food:

The format of this section will depend on the way the food is being served. There are more options here than you might think. Food may be served at a central buffet, circulated around the room cocktail style or delivered in table-sized portions for guests to share among themselves. For individual meals, some weddings will have guests select a preference of meal on their RSVP card while others will alternate two dishes and guests can swap among themselves. Discuss this with your caterer early to make sure you are on the same page about how this will work.

Typically, the wedding menu will list each of the different food options under the appropriate courses: Usually appetizers, entrees, mains, and dessert. You may wish to leave the appetizers off the written menu, especially if they are circulated rather than served at tables.


Food chosen in advance

If guests selected their meal in advance, it may be a good idea to specify what their choice was. It is easy for guests to forget, and marking it on the menu card will help the wait staff to deliver the correct meals with little confusion. Similarly, it can help to state on the menu card (either verbally or with a small symbol) that a specific guest has an allergy or dietary requirement. Again, this helps the waiters as well as helping keep guests from wondering if their needs have been remembered. It also helps to prevent guests trying to swap to the vegetarian option at the last minute.


Describing the food

Consult your caterer when wording your wedding menu card to ensure you have described the food accurately and in a way that makes their food sound delicious. You might not know the difference between a vignette and a jus, but the chef may be quite disappointed to see their hard work described incorrectly!


Handling Food Allergies

It is a good idea to make sure any common allergens are noted to avoid having to rush a guest to hospital. Never label something as allergen-free unless you have clarified this with the caterer and are absolutely certain no cross-contamination could have occurred. A meal might not contain any ingredients with gluten, but some people can have a severe reaction to a small trace, even just a crumb, so you should not list something as gluten free unless the chef has stated that they will follow certain protocols in the cooking process.

Menu card for every occasion

Choose your desired menu cards and customize them, whether for rehearsal dinner menu cards, bridal shower menu cards, or Thanksgiving menu cards. Not just for weddings, these elegant cards transition effortlessly between events. From meal choices to dietary specifications, keep your guests informed and captivated. Unify your celebrations with consistent design elements, enhancing the decor and ambiance. Perfect for any festivity, these chic details elevate every gathering.

Wedding menu cards size

When it comes to wedding menu card size, there are no set limits. This is because unlike wedding invitations you are not constrained by standardised postage sizes and weights. The size of wedding menu cards varies greatly at paperlust including our standard size, tall menus, round menus and special die cut menus. 

Paperlust wedding menu card size:

Standard: 5”x7” (127mm x 178mm)

Tall: DL (210mm x 107mm)

Round: 145mm diameter 

Die cut: Various

The size of menu card for wedding can vary greatly but it needs to be large enough to contain all of the different course information without overwhelming the overall place setting. 


Describing the Drinks:

Again, there are many different ways to handle this section. If drinks are available at the bar you may wish to simply include a sentence indicating this, while others may wish to encourage guests to try a specific wine with their meal, or the cocktail the bartender created just for the occasion.

For example:

  • Drinks available on tab from the bar.

  • Alcohol available for purchase from the bar.

  • Meals served with 2005 Parker Coonawarra Estate Cabernet Merlot. Other drinks available from the bar.


Wedding bar menu sign

More recently a trend has emerged for a wedding drink menu to be found as part of a wedding bar menu. This can save the cost of having a separate drinks menu for each table or a separate drinks menu for each attendee. We are asked here all the time for wedding bar menu ideas. We have a range of bar menus we are working on at the moment but in the meantime our favourite ideas are chalkboard bar menus, colour mirror bar menus and acrylic bar menus. 


Summary (Breaking it Down)

There is a little bit of contention when it comes to the wedding menu card. In our Wedding Invitation Do’s and Don’ts, we suggest that you don’t include a menu with your invitations. Maybe have space to indicate food requirements on the RSVP card, but leave the menu for the day itself. Which leaves the question – what’s the best menu card wording? It might help to start by Finding Your Wedding Invitation Wording Style the Easy Way and matching the menu card wording.



Traditionally a wedding menu card will include a title that will have the bride and grooms name, sometimes the date. What follows is a succinct list of the appetizers, entree and desserts. At the bottom, there will be a list of refreshments available in case anyone has forgotten on their way back from the bar.



Where there is food, there is someone who wants you to describe for them how their meal was cut, cooked and presented on the plate. Play with that and use that flowery language you don’t have much use for in your nine to five day. The basics – appetizers, entree, dessert – have to be there somewhere, but make it a journey from the start of the night to your guest’s satisfied stomachs at the end of it.

You might even dispense with the menu title and make things a little bit casual.



Here is where things get to be a little bit fun with your menu card wording. Maybe you don’t need the menu title (we all know whose wedding we’re at anyway, don’t we?). Take a little bit of the flowery language from Food Poetry, or keep it simple.

Where there is fun, there is also the chance to get arty with illustrations and colour. And who says you can’t steal the formatting and style of your favourite café? Ask what that cute little typeface is and set your menu out with their cool grid formatting.


Should I use free menu design templates?

Many people find themselves hunting online for free menu design templates they can print themselves at home in order to save money. This can be an effective way to save, but there are a number of things you should take into consideration before you commit to this, including: 

  • Time - editing and printing your own wedding menus can take a lot of time, even if you are only printing one for each table. Factor this in if you don’t have a lot of time to spend. 

  • Materials required - do you have a printer you can use to print your wedding menus? Do you know what paper and ink to buy, and how much that will cost? Factor these things in when you first make your decision to avoid being surprised later, and remember to plan for some extra in case of any printing errors.

  • Knowledge - do you know how to edit the free menu template and get it all looking right during the printing process? If you’re a novice at printing, are you prepared to learn this by trial and error during the process?

  • Lack of flexibility - a free menu template is designed to look right with lines of a certain length and a certain number of entries/courses/meals included. It can be difficult to make it look right with different information included. 

  • Won’t match - if you’re ordering professional stationery for the rest of your wedding stationery pieces, you might struggle to find free menu design templates to match and to be able to print them to a high enough standard to fit. 

  • Slim range - your range of design choices when looking for free menu design templates will be much smaller than if you are prepared to pay for a design. It may be more difficult to find something you love.

  • Single print type - if you’re printing your own wedding menus, you’re limited to standard ink on paper, and don’t have the option of white ink, foil, and other premium print types. 

If you’ve factored all these things in and you still think free wedding menu templates might be right for you, go for it! It just always pays to know what you’re getting into before you jump in. If you do select wedding menu cards templates for free, paperlust is more than happy to do the printing for you. Our wedding menu printing service is fast and our team will happily assist you with any design tweaks. Contact our customer service team to get a quote and our current production turnaround times.


Printing your wedding menus with Paperlust


We make it an easy and pleasant experience to order your wedding menus. Start by browsing our range of wedding menu templates and menu design templates created by some of Australia’s top designers. Once you’ve found one you love, our menu creator design tool allows you to drag and drop elements of your chosen design, making changes and seeing how they look in real time. Create an account and you can save your edited design and share it with others to see what they think before you commit to purchase. Once you place your order, a member of Paperlust’s specialist design team will review your design to tweak it, make sure everything is perfectly lined up, and assist with any other changes you might require. You approve the final proof, and your wedding menus will be in your hands in no time.