weddings 101

5 Scrumptious Wedding Food Trends

Gone are the days when wedding food consisted of buffet trays filled with penne and greasy chicken. Millennial couples want the food at their wedding to be a highlight of their event, not an afterthought. We caught up with Russell Day, Vice President of Toronto-based Daniel et Daniel Event Creation & Catering, and Joe Grado, executive chef at One King West Hotel & Residence, to chat about the yummiest wedding food trends.

Catering_BaconCocktail1. Tell your story: “The menu must reflect the couple, their tastes, their heritage and their life,” says Day. If the couple met in college, they might consider doing “an upscale mac and cheese station with their university logo on the box because that’s what they lived on when they first met,” as Grado suggests. Themed menus are becoming increasingly popular, and chefs are helping couples design menus around the first place they vacationed together, or the restaurant where they had their first date. Or, as Day suggests, a couple might create an entire menu around their favorite food. For example, bacon lovers might use “a bacon salt rimmer for their signature cocktail, serve peameal-and-beef slider hors d’oeuvres, use bacon dust on the main course and offer mini waffles with bacon ice cream for dessert.” Are you drooling  yet?

Catering_FishTaco2. Have Fun: “The food at weddings has become more playful,” says Day, adding that breakfast sandwiches, poutine, and biscuits with fried chicken are commonly served as part of the ever-popular late-night menu, and that food truck-inspired eats, such as deep-fried fish tacos, are also popular among couples and their guests. Grado adds that dessert tables are also becoming more interesting as couples request entire stations dedicated to donuts or candy. And it’s not just the food that’s becoming more playful: couples are also having fun with the presentation. Day suggests serving snacks and desserts in mini takeout boxes, mason jars or mini fry baskets to add that extra level of whimsy to your wedding fare.

Catering_MiniFryerBasket3. Get People Mingling. While the sit-down meal is still very popular, many couples are choosing to include food stations at their reception. “Elements such as food or beverage stations that get people moving around are on the rise,” says Grado. Day agrees: “People want to mix and mingle,” he says, and points out two other perks of having food stations: 1). You don’t have to worry about making a seating plan, and 2). Guests get to sample a wider variety of food!

Catering_RoastTomato4. Be Accommodating. Unlike your wedding dress or flower arrangements, it’s important to consider your guests’ tastes when selecting your menu. Both Day and Grado agree that offering gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options will go a long way with your guests. No bride or groom wants to hear that someone went hungry at their wedding because they couldn’t eat anything on the menu. Ask guests to state any dietary restrictions when they RSVP to your wedding so that you can accommodate their needs in advance.

Catering_Flatbreads5. Mix High and Low Options. There’s no doubt that catering eats up a large portion of your wedding budget, but that doesn’t mean that couples looking to save money on their food can’t join the fun! “Don’t get caught up on the fancy,” says Day. “Balance meals with lower-priced mini pizzas or French fries. People love these foods, especially late at night!” Grado emphasizes the importance of choosing a date when it comes to cutting food costs: “Fridays and Sundays are typically in less demand, which can help couples stretch their dollar further,” he says. But here’s an even more fun suggestion: brunch weddings! “They’re a great way to save money overall, and they allow for totally different menu choices,” says Grado. Yum!

Images courtesy of Daniel et Daniel Event Creation and Catering. Fish taco image by Katia Trudeau.

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