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How To Pick Your Debut Menu

Consider these factors when choosing the menu for your debut.
PHOTO Michelle Pineda Photography

The food you'll be serving at your debut party matters just as much as your other details. Of course, you want your guests to remember your celebration for the right reasons—and part of that is serving good food. Here are five factors to consider when planning your debut menu.

Variety
Don't expect all your guests to be have the same taste as yours. Have a variety of dishes to cater all guests, from kids to adults. If you wish to introduce new food ideas, also include classic well-loved dishes in the menu—remember, not everyone is willing to be adventurous with their food choices. Also consider dietary preferences, as some guests might be vegans or vegetarians.

Food serving style
Aside from choosing the dishes, think how food will be served. For example, if you've chosen to serve lechon at your party, you might want to set up a carving station so that the staff can assist your guests with their food. If you want a party where guests can freely mingle, you may consider serving heavy cocktails instead of plated meals. Think of how you want your guests to enjoy their food, and consider dishes that will complement your chosen food service.

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Time or Season and Venue
If you opt to hold an afternoon debut party outdoors, you have to consider light dishes that won't spoil easily. Also, make sure that your menu includes finger food and lots of refreshments. For a summer celebration, include cold desserts in the menu. On the other hand, hot soup will be perfect for a debut in a cooler month.

Budget
If you've got a tight budget, check if your caterer's set meals are more reasonable than choosing individual dishes. Also ask your caterer for more affordable alternatives to your preferred dishes, as your caterer can tweak the ingredients to better suit your budget. (Read: 4 Affordable Ideas for your Debut Menu).

Number of guests
Essentially, you want to keep track of guests' RSVPs to determine how much food your caterer needs to prepare. Ideally, your caterer will prepare extra food to ensure that there won't be shortage at your event. If you're expecting a lot of guests, consider choosing yummy dishes that are easily filling, like viands with thick sauces.

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