We’ve covered a lot during our month of wedding trends but what we haven’t talked about yet are food (yay!) and drinks (double yay!). Depending on the style and theme of your wedding, the location and venue, and the season you’ll be getting hitched, there are lots of options to consider for receptions and pre-receptions. All month long we’ve been sharing thoughts from top wedding and event planners, including yours truly, from the 2018 International Wedding Trend Report. As you embark on menu creation and bar selections, here are the top wedding food trends for 2018!
Creating A Festive Feast
Stick to what’s fresh and in season! This is my number one rule—and for good reason. Because you may love peaches and be from Georgia and want to make a personal statement, but if you’re getting married in December the fruit won’t be fresh (or easily found) not to mention your guests will think it’s just plain weird! Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way…
Still want to personalize things? Use stencils! One of the top wedding food trends event planners are seeing is a desire to have stencils for monograms or objects that have personal significance. Cakes can be dusted with cocoa using stencils and savories can have designs created from herbs or spices.
Under The Sea Trends
Hannah Martin of Goose & Berry Catering has noted another trend toward raw items such as sushi, ceviche, and poké. These kinds of foods work well with beach themed weddings. And speaking of surf, if you are getting married on the sand, other menu items you’ll want to consider are tropical fruits, grilled seafood, shellfish appetizers, and cold desserts. Martin also notes a trend toward more casual menus but with beautiful presentation and she’s seeing a lot of requests for charcuterie platters.
The Quest For Quality
Similarly, I’ve noticed that brides and grooms (especially my celebrity clients) want really high quality foods. Speciality artisan cheeses, premium grass fed meats, truffles that have been foraged from forests in Italy. They really want the intense flavor of the foods to be as special and fresh as the presentation.
Vegans & Vegetarians… More Than You Think!
Approximately 30% of guests request vegan/vegetarian foods and in general, clients now want to provide healthier foods with sustainable and organic origins says Andy Snow, President of Feastivities Events. In California, where I’m located, this is definitely the case!
Bar & Beverage Trends
Just as couples are asking for sustainability when it comes to food, they are asking for sustainable options at the bar as well—this includes paper straws rather than plastic.
Couples are also leaning toward craft cocktails rather than full bars. (This saves you money people!)
Lucy Barrow, Director of Mix & Twist Bartending is seeing an increase in requests for tea infused gin cocktails as well as coffee based cocktails. Small batch bitters are also trending. Overall, people are definitely getting away from sweet drinks in exchange for fruit infused liquors or flavored sparkling mixers. Looking for more party tips to help you plan your own super fab event? Check out our 65 Super Secret Party Tips Guide!
Seasonal Menus To Inspire You
Shutterfly was gracious enough to share with us a few seasonal menu options. Depending on whether you’re having a sit down dinner, a buffet, or hors d’oeuvre and cocktail stations, a little inspiration never hurt! Check it out…
Spring Wedding Menu
Include chilled appetizers, seafood, and cocktails infused with fresh basil and mint.
- Assorted charcuterie board
- Colorful fruit bar
- Mixed green salad with a raspberry infused vinaigrette
- Deconstructed bruschetta
- Mini shrimp salad rolls
- Raspberry coolers (champagne and raspberry sorbet)
- Mint Juleps
- Make-Your-Own Mimosas
- Assorted flavors of lemonade (such as lavender, raspberry and peach)
- Orange-soy glazed scallops
- Lightly seasoned trout with parsley-caper vinaigrette
- Spring vegetable risotto
- Grilled rack of lamb with asparagus
- Herb roasted chicken and rice with fresh apricot
Cake and Desserts:
- Lavender wedding cake
- Petit Fours
- Colorful candy bar
- Grab-and-go cotton candy stand
Summer Wedding Menu
Include cold soups like gazpacho, fresh fruits, and cakes embellished with lavender or edible flowers.
- Miniature crab cakes
- Antipasto display
- Caprese salad
- Shrimp gazpacho
- Frozen watermelon slices
- Cocktail Paletas
- Basil Gimlets
- Mai Tais
- Sweet tea
- Cold sodas
- Pulled pork sandwiches
- Grilled chicken with sweet summer vegetables
- Brisket with mashed potatoes
- Lobster mac and cheese
- Shrimp and grits
Cake and Desserts:
- Naked wedding cake
- Strawberry shortcake
- Ice cream sandwiches
- Snow cone cart
- Peach blueberry cobbler
Fall Wedding Menu
Include savory selections, seasonal herbs like sage and thyme, and warm dessert options such as a s’mores bar.
- Filo tarts with spinach, pumpkin and pine nuts
- Potato leek soup shooters
- Bacon wrapped dates
- Cranberry and brie bites
- Sweet potato rounds topped with cheddar and chives
- Spiked apple cider with cinnamon
- Moscow mules
- Honeycrisp apple sangria
- Hot apple cider
- Cinnamon rosemary old fashioneds
- Grilled petite filet with roast potatoes
- Roasted pork loin with sauteed apple slices
- Cornish game hen with wild rice
- Butternut squash ravioli with brown butter sauce
- Wild mushroom risotto
Cake and Desserts:
- Decadent chocolate cake
- Spiced carrot cake
- Mini apple and pumpkin pies
- Make-your-own s’mores
- Caramel apples
Winter Wedding Menu
Include robust dishes, meat carving stations, and holiday flavors like gingerbread.
- Pancetta wrapped asparagus
- Mini grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup
- Butternut squash soup with bleu cheese
- Baked brie with blackberry compote
- Pear bruschetta
- Hot toddies
- Mulled wine
- Sparkling apple cranberry juice
- Poinsettia spritz punch
- Salted caramel white Russians
- Filet mignon with green beans
- Herb crusted lamb and mashed potatoes
- Stuffed portobello mushrooms
- Beef tenderloin with roasted potatoes
- Chicken pot pie with winter vegetables
Cake and Desserts:
- Red velvet cake
- Dark chocolate cake
- Hot chocolate bar
- Donut bar
- Homemade toffee
Wedding Cake Trends
Okay, we’ve gotten to my favorite part… sweets! Wedding desserts are a HUGE focal point at weddings and it is becoming increasingly popular to create stunning “dessert rooms” as part of the great reveal. Elaborate painted backdrops, mirrors, flowers, flower walls, cherry blossom trees and even balloons are commonly used to dress the area in coordinating colours to create impact.
Caterer Rosalind Miller has seen a lot of interest in croquembouches this year. (I love them because they double as a centerpiece!) What’s on its way out? Naked cakes, buttercream cakes with lots of sweet treats thrown on as decoration, and marbled icing.
In keeping with the Wabi Sabi theme for 2018 (if you don’t know what that is, you have to check out the 2018 International Wedding Trend Report!) Sugared greenery/leaves and sugar dusted edible flowers are being used as decoration to create a more natural organic style. Metallics are also here to stay! Gold is still popular but we’re also seeing rose gold for spring and summer and coppery tones for autumn and winter.
I’ve been told doughnut walls continue to be popular (YES!) as well as waffle bars, choux buns and modern takes on croquembouche. Likewise, other caterers are seeing cronuts, dipped strawberries and cherries, eclairs, cheesecake bites, colorful macarons, flavoured meringues and royal iced cookies trending this year. Also popular are non-conventional flavors and a return to grander cakes, with lots of tiers and varying heights, covered in fondant icing rather than buttercream.
Until next week, here’s the world’s rockinest party guide, on the house, cuz I love ya!
Missed our other April 2018 Wedding Trends? You can find them here!
P.S. If you love this article be sure to share it with your friends! And, don’t forget to check out Shutterfly’s Wedding Menu Ideas By Season and the complete 2018 International Wedding Trend Report (with input from moi on pages 36-37, 40-42 and 122)!