Food savvy brides and grooms know exactly what they want to serve their guests and many are forgoing traditional and sometimes impersonal wedding food. Instead, they are looking to fun food trends to surprise and delight their guests, as well as create a meaningful and tasty menu that their friends and family will remember long after the "I dos."
Here are a few of the top catering trends that you are sure to find at a wedding this year.
Brunch, that lovely meal served sometime between breakfast and lunch has become popular at restaurants around the country. Anytime breakfast also is a food trend that has even made McDonalds reconsider its long-held breakfast routine.
Couples are capitalizing on the popularity of brunch and combining it with the money-wise option of planning a day wedding. Brunch menu options are fun and flavorful (and often less expensive than dinner choices). A few examples include omelets, pancakes, waffles, breakfast tacos and fresh fruit. And who can forget brunch beverages such as mimosas, bloody marys, and fresh-roasted coffee.
A brunch menu is a wise way to save money, yet trendy enough to make a memorable statement.
2. Local and Fresh
Seasonal menu items can help feature the theme of a wedding. Autumn-style foods and flavors can be the perfect fit for an outdoor wedding held in the fall. Or lighter fair such as seafood and garden-fresh fruits and vegetables can be a hit in the summer.
Organic foods that are sourced locally can provide a seasonal taste and ensure that you are getting the most flavorful food available. Caterers can help you decide which ingredients will be at their peaks at the time of your wedding. Seasonal ingredients are often the freshest, healthiest options since they are not processed or frozen.
3. Customized options
Instead of passing hors d'oeuvres during cocktail hour, many wedding planners are getting their guests involved. Wedding caterers can set up special food tasting stations to help your guests create their own customized bites.
Make-your-own salad bars, guacamole bars, Bloody Mary bars or omelet stations are a few examples of how guests can pick the exact ingredients they want for their food and drinks.
4. Comfort food
Couples are falling in love with refined comfort foods. Traditional and fancy wedding food is just too impersonal for many people. Instead, they are opting to serve elevated, comforting classics that can appeal to a broader audience. Think pulled pork sliders, burgers, short ribs and mac and cheese.
Brides and grooms also are choosing foods that represent their heritage or home state. For example: Maine lobster rolls or Texas barbeque. Keeping the menu comfortable and accessible is a way to serve the couple's favorite foods and provide a welcoming, laid-back experience
Rustic weddings are still extremely popular right now. Outdoor affairs held on farms or inside barns or pavilions are cozy and casual but upscale touches such as sparkling chandeliers, just-picked seasonal floral arrangements and vintage furniture as seating can elevate the event.
The rustic theme often carries over in to the food served at the reception. Couples are choosing to serve meals family style or with a buffet.
Rustic weddings incorporate homemade touches, including the food. Handcrafted menu items made with simple ingredients is key. Down home meals, made-from-scratch recipes and simple, flavorful food are all components of rustic wedding food.
6. Beverage Stations
Couples are thinking outside the bar box and offering beverage stations that may feature coffees, tea, fruit-infused waters or homemade lemonade. Food/beverage pairing stations also are growing popularity. A few examples include milk and cookies, tacos and margaritas, beer and pork sliders.
These stylish self-serve stations help reduce long lines and are fun ways to keep your guests hydrated and happy.
7. Nontraditional Desserts
There is nothing more traditional than wedding cake at a wedding. And while many couples still enjoy the tradition of slicing and hand-feeding each other cake, there are many more sweet treats popping up at modern weddings now.
Homemade pies, customizable ice cream sundaes, brownies, cookies, cobblers, donuts and more are all nontraditional wedding desserts that are popular options for couples who want to offer their guests plenty of options to satisfy their sweet tooth.
8. Late Night Snacks
If your wedding is still rocking in the wee-hours, it's a great idea to serve a small snack to appease the crowd. Couples are choosing to offer guests a late-night snack to hunger wedding guests after a night of drinking and dancing . Many opt for warm comforting snacks such as milk and cookies or late-night treats such as burgers and fries, hotdogs or tacos. It's a fun way to end the night or keep the party going.
9. His and Hers Menus
Couples who can't quite decide what to serve can split the menu into his and hers. He may prefer heavy food, barbeque, pastas, fried appetizers and bourbon. She may prefer lighter fare such as salads, seafood and margaritas.
By splitting the menu into two themes, couples can serve a more diverse menu and guests can pick and choose what they like.
10. Chef Stations
People are increasingly interested in finding out exactly how a meal was prepared and watching chefs prep, cook and plate their food. Couples can bring that open kitchen concept to their wedding with chef stations. These stations can offer a glimpse into the process and guests can even ask the chef questions about the food they are serving. A few popular chef station options include onsite grilling, oyster shucking and sushi rolling.