Backyard Barbecue Wedding Menu Cards

Creating your own backyard barbecue menu cards is a fun way to express your unique personality.

Backyard barbecues for a wedding can be so much more than hamburgers and baked beans. Couples today are hosting themed gatherings such as garden parties, tropical luaus or county hog roasts. All these options are great ways to put your own spin on the traditional backyard steaks and hotdogs, but they can present some challenges for creating menu cards. Traditional menu cards don't have the right tone and trendy menu cards will look out of place. Finding a happy balance between these two ideas isn't as hard as you think.

Whether you are a successful crafter or glue stick-challenged, there are easy ways to create personalized menu cards with the perfect tone and wording. All you need is access to a computer and a printer. Here are some do it yourself suggestions to get you started.

Try out a background pattern to set the tone for your backyard barbecue wedding menus. A parchment scroll border will announce a meal based on the Wild West or a Victorian garden. Use block letters and bold colors for western flare. Delicate shades of green or blue inks combined with an elegant cursive font will take everyone back to the artistic days of bustled dresses and handmade parchments. For a garden themed barbecue, try out a subtle watermark design such as snapdragons or daises. These types of backgrounds will add subdued theme touches without overpowering the overall design. Gingham checks come in many different hues to match your wedding colors. These would be perfect for a country wedding reception theme. Placemats or table clothes can highlight one of your wedding colors and the menu cards can add the complimentary shade.

Once you have selected your background, begin to add detailing images to highlight your theme. Delicate line drawings of flowers are available in various shades such as green, yellow and lavender. For a fall wedding, consider leaf and vegetable clip art images. A single leaf on the top and bottom of your menu card will signal fall without overshadowing the celebratory side of your menu card. Graceful seashells with turquoise borders will highlight a luau style party and continue your beach theme. Grape bunches and picnic basket art can become focal points for the top of your menus or subtle corner art for a winery theme. Try using images as bullet markers for different courses or as a midline border to separate main courses from desserts. Any of these images can be printed on a wide selection of papers for a personal and creative look.

The way you display your backyard barbecue menu cards can add high impact and style to your reception. For a Western buffet, menu cards can be tied to cowboy boots or hats and placed behind each dish. Or staple a full course description to the shaft of a boot and list all your main course options. Its mate can detail your salad options and a hat holds the card for desserts in its crown. For a garden them, tie your menu cards around bundles of your wedding flowers and place urns behind specific dishes or at the beginning of course offerings. Barbecue utensils such as tongs and forks can be placed in terra cotta flower pots with floral foam. Tie your menu cards to the handles with wedding colored ribbon or raffia for a less expensive option.

The great thing about creating your own menu cards is the flexibility you have at your fingertips. With clip art images, you can create a totally unique menu card with as much color, detailing, and wording as you desire. Play around with different weights and colors of papers to see how different images and lettering affect the overall tone. Add pumpkins and then change them to cornucopias with the click of your mouse. When the caterer calls to let you know there will be no truffles due to a shipping glitch, simple delete that item and replace it with mushrooms. Easily carry over the images from your invitations to your menu cards for a completely unified look.

Wedding menu cards are more than a place to express your creativity. While these details do add style to your reception, they also impart important information to your guests. For parents with small children or those with dietary concerns, menu cards can help your friends and family make the right food choices. Specialty dishes or home made creations can be honored or highlighted. Let your imagination take over and see what you can create that is uniquely yours. When you find out how much fun you're having, you might want to give making your own invitations a try.

Written by: Caroline Retzer