The wedding menu isn’t just about feeding your guests. Today’s catering trends revolve around the sensorial experience of eating: of how your menu looks, smells, tastes and feels.
Your culinary choices can have a huge impact beyond sating hunger. Think about the best meals you’ve savoured and I’ll bet they involve something other than the food, such as an exotic locale, the company of your beloved or charismatic waiting staff.
With careful consideration of every element of the dining experience – from the setting and ambience to the presentation and edibles – couples are designing a gastronomic journey as beautifully bespoke as it is eye and mouth-wateringly good to eat.
We’ve picked out some of the latest wedding food trends to whet your appetite.
Originating as a way to minimise contact during Covid, individual food servings continue to treat guests to their own, often customised, mini feast. It’s the ultimate way to consider and spoil each of your guests’ dietary requirements, and is especially effective for small and intimate weddings with an extra attention to detail. Think mini charcuterie boards, individual wedding cakes, miniature platters and micro picnics all presented with idiosyncratic panache.
Introducing your guests to new flavours both locally and globally is a great conversation starter and way to inject extra personality. You might wish to take them on a tasting journey through the countries you’ve travelled to together, or simply share your favourite dishes – all of which will add to your day’s sense of love storytelling. Consider anything from caviar tastings to sushi flights and, of course, Cornish pasties and cream teas.
Couples are increasingly sourcing every element of their wedding as ethically and locally as possible – and wedding catering is no exception. Not only does choosing seasonal, local produce decrease your carbon footprint and support smaller businesses, your menu will be fresher and better tasting to boot! Check your food’s provenance with your caterer and discuss your requirements or add extra local flavour and thoughtfulness by handmaking certain elements yourself, such as the jam for your cream tea, or inviting guests to make and bring their own dessert.
Dessert bars, tables and platters are all the rage as couples pique their guests’ palates with sweet aplomb. You could pick your favourite puddings or opt for an eclectic mash-up with the likes of mini doughnuts (or a doughnut wall), Belgian waffles, churros, cake pops, macaron towers, mini pies and tarts, croquembouche, trifles and pastéis de nata.
Add another dimension to your dessert course with an ice cream trike, cotton candy, coffee and Bundt cake van, adult sweetie table (think gourmet marshmallows, handmade Turkish delight and chocolate truffles, jars of mini family-recipe cookies) or a help-yourself s’mores bar by the firepit.
istock credit: vifoto
The perfect way to add an interactive element while allowing guests to individually choose their food (and drink) fancies, pop-ups, street food vendors and mobile catering allow greater freedom over what and when everyone eats. From burgers, wood-fired pizza and classic fish and chips to world foods like roti, Thai cuisine, tacos and Indian curry vans – there’s an array of lip-smacking options to ensure the most flavoursome wedding.
Set the mood
Enhance the immersive effect of your menu by making every part of the dining experience as unique and pleasure filled as possible. It’s all about either transporting guests elsewhere or heightening where they are (or both!). So beyond the food itself, think about the entire experience: what will your guests be hearing, looking at and feeling? Pick a soundtrack to reflect the venue or food type (pair tapas with the Spanish guitar or play Ibiza chill-out tunes on the beach during a Mediterranean-style supper), and style the setting to match. You might recreate the Berber tents of Morocco with sheepskin rugs and leather pouffes while serving giant pots of tagine; hire a circus act, colourful crockery and folk band for your festival-themed menu; or arrange charcoal grills or portable stoves and floor seating for a Korean barbecue decorated with the country’s traditional wedding colours of blue and red.
words Hannah May