The truth about your wedding menu: Nobody cares what it is as long as it's hot and tastes good.
Consider all the weddings you've been too. Is the meal what you remember most about them? Doubt it.
Think about the BEST wedding you ever attended. Was the meal what made it? Doubt it.
Chances are that the best thing about your favorite wedding was the great time or feeling you had there. It's probably the memory of a band so amazing that you were dancing for so long your feet were swollen into your shoes. Or your lack of memory due to a really great signature drink. Or maybe it was how incredibly romantic and intimate the night was. Or perhaps it was how gorgeous the ceremony & reception looked and made you feel. But like I said, chances are- it wasn’t the meal.
My point is this, don't stress about what you put on your wedding menu. It's one of the elements of planning a wedding that I have noticed clients get more stressed about, and they just don't need to. So with that said:
***Feel free to serve chicken. These days, you can get some mighty good chicken! Chefs are amazing with their accompaniments and presentations, let them kick it up a notch and get creative with it. Why chicken? It is almost always the least expensive entree on a catering menu. Those savings mean you can bump up your budget on the things that really do make a huge difference in your wedding memories (the band, the flowers, etc.).
***Have a shorter dinner. Go the 3 course route rather than the 4 course. Again, there is the cost savings. Even better though, the time savings. That 4th course could easily eat up another 30 to 40 minutes of your "party" time.
***Do go all out for dessert. It's consistently a big hit when it’s done, and because it happens later in the evening- guests do remember it.
Cool ideas: add a dessert buffet, candy bar, Venetian table, or fresh doughnut bar.