New Wedding Food Choices For New Couples
There is an old saying that goes something like, “…nothing brings people together like food” however, the one exception that seems to remain is choosing the wedding day menu.
Although the same menu options that existed when your parents were wed may have appeared safe options, the current wedding climate makes them now seem anything but safe. Who wants to be “that” couple? “That” couple is referring to the Newly Weds who served yesterday's tired menu of Swedish meatballs and finger sandwiches to a much trendier crowd. Millennials are ditching most of the wedding day norms, some of which decide not even to have a wedding ceremony at all.
When it comes to menu planning for a modern-day wedding, the latest food trends may surprise you. Some may be borrowed, and some may leave you blue, but today’s wedding day food choices are certainly new.
Maybe it is from generations of the bride to be waking up before the sun to get ready, but brunch as a wedding meal is a popular change of menus. The most important meal of the day (or true brunch style food and beverages) are making an appearance at many modern weddings.
Considering how hot donuts, pancakes, waffles, and other traditional breakfast foods have become in recent years, this trend makes more sense than one might think. Many couples today are choosing to be married earlier in the day, as well as during a weekday rather than the weekend. The early bird can be seen catching a pancake or waffle bar station, colorful Instagram-ready donuts, and celebratory mimosas and Bloody Mary’s.
Funnier still is the fact that breakfast can seemingly be served all day when it happens to be the day of your wedding. Even ceremonies taking place in the afternoon and evening are beginning to feature breakfast and brunch items. This trend does not focus on one form of brunch – there are plenty of examples to be found featuring classically made breakfast, and brunch, as well as more elegant and refined takes on 11:00 am classic meal dishes.
Fusion (Sort of)
Fusion has been a mainstay of cuisine since it became popular in the late ‘90s/early 2000s. However, rather than playing by the old rules of east meets west food choices, brides and grooms are making up the rules as they go. This is honestly a refreshing idea; rather than have yet another explosive argument concerning the wedding plans, this idea is far more amicable.
More than likely, this wedding season food trend started by a couple that just could not compromise over the menu. As a result, it is becoming gradually more common to see two separate menus or food styles that have nothing in common. While traditional fusion has elements of each dish working together, this may not always be the case when you are a wedding guest.
Whether the couple in question is simply indecisive, stubborn, or all of the above, this wedding season is on track to feature many interesting menus being offered side by side. Having vegan choices served alongside traditional pork barbecue is going to be as frequent as Surf ‘n Turf.
One word of caution would be to try and find foods that at least smell and look cohesive. Two different cuisines that both feature strong aromas and unique appearances can quickly become unappetizing. Before you wind up serving spicy Indian curry and pungent seafood, keep in mind both cuisine’s strengths and weaknesses.
Farm to Table
Everyone knows the importance of sustainability, and nowhere is this more prevalent or common than with the farm to table trend. Simply put, this means that the same company who grew the produce, meat, and/or dairy choices is also the ones to serve them to guests, or at least deliver them to the cooking and wait staff.
While this does seem a bit dramatic, it can be difficult to argue with the results; these food planning options are inherently organic, and most will swear that the taste and freshness cannot be beat.
It may surpise one to notice just how many different ways that food can be served with other food, especially among couple from the various ethnic backgrounds. Rather than struggle to find some common ground, why would you not simply serve food you know your guests will enjoy?
From “food to table” does not mean all vegetarian dishes, either. It is a common sight to see elegant slider burgers served from locally raised cattle, cheese and fruit platters from just-ripened fields, and other choices that look and taste amazing. In fact, choosing a local source of food may make meal planning easier as it is all based on what they have grown that particular season.
For some unknown reason, the era of the Roaring ‘20s is always just beneath the surface of being a mainstream idea. This is nothing new; remember the days that Zoot Suit Riot topped the charts? The fairly recent release of The Great Gatsby with Leonardo DiCaprio still has the masses wanting glitz, glam, and swing dance.
If you have been considering the idea of a, ‘20s themed wedding party, good news – chances are, it will be a big hit. You can even take the idea a step further by having it set in a speakeasy bar or a classic hotel.
Just what do you serve for a ‘20s party? I would not recommend enforcing a prohibition on alcohol, but food selections are generally choices that satisfy a crowd. These selections are often some form of upscale finger food, with choices such as Oysters Rockefeller, Prime Rib medallions, fried ravioli, fried potato cakes, and even caviar. Think decadent, easily manageable, and classic American fare.
Best of all, many cocktails that people still enjoy today have their roots in and around the ‘20s. This makes pairing drinks with food much easier than with other wedding day themed cuisines.
One way to guarantee that everyone has the ideal amount of food is just to keep serving a ton of small dishes. While this may seem unusual when compared to the portions found in many restaurants, serving more small, tapas style dishes may wind up being more economical. Think back to how many plates you saw at the last wedding you attended where guests left more than half of their food on their plates?
Rather than risk throwing hundreds of dollars of food away at each table, you may be able to cut food costs on a tapas menu. Tapas origionated in Spain and are more common in the Mediterranean. However, there has definitely been a trend tword tapas style all over and almost anything can be converted into a tapas-style dish with a little creative planning. Besides looking more elegant, guests dininng on tapas style meals will be left feeling lighter than and more energetic then if left to feast on a heavy portioned meal of prime rib.
The one rule of tapas is ease of eating. Most tapas can be enjoyed either as finger food or with minimal utensil use. You probably do not want to offer a ton of soups, pasta, and saucy foods together. Instead, try items that involve puff pastry, breading, or some form of wraps.
You could even get creative by offering other smaller foods such as sushi. Whatever combination you feel is best, just make sure that no one is going to wind up wearing more of it than they can eat.
Tapas menus are also a simple solution to offering several types of foods without winding up stuck on a strict menu. If you are struggling with a way to make sure that all of your guests find something to enjoy, a tapas menu just may be the answer to your prayers. By offering more food types in styles in a reduced capacity, no one has to be stuck with a meal that they do not enjoy.
If you want your guests to go over the moon truly, consider adding a satellite bar into the mix of food and beverage choices. For the uninitiated, a satellite bar is a smaller secondary bar offered in addition to the standard list of libations. These bars usually feature bartenders who can create craft specialty drinks, generally focusing on one type of alcohol. Popular satellite bars include vodka, gin, and even tequila bars.
The beauty of the satellite bar idea is that you can truly cover all of your drink bases. These bars do not have to focus on mixed drinks, either. If you know that a lot of your guests are big fans of wine or craft beer, you can easily add this along to the standard brews and beverages already offered.
One thing that satellite bars should not do is try and take the brunt of the crowd. Some have made the mistake of only providing a craft cocktail bar at their big party. While these drinks are of a far better quality than anything out of a bottle or can, they can also take several minutes to make. Before you know it, your thirsty party goers are going to be stuck in a long line, bringing the celebration to a halt.
With the recent push towards gluten and dairy free options along with vegan added to the mix the choices can seem endless. An entire afternoon may fly by as you taste the many different combinations of this one or that, agonizing over buttercream or Fondant. If you have a hard time choosing you can always opt for smaller cakes that can be presented off to the side. While some may argue that cupcakes are, “so last year” it can be argued that they can be perfect choice to giving your guests a variety of choices while cutting down your personal agony of having to choose.
Keep Sight of What is Really Important
At the end of the day, this is your wedding party, and whatever menu you have chosen goes. However, if you truly want your wedding day to be memorable for the right reasons, you will want to take a moment and make sure that it all makes sense. Consult your partner and even though it is your, “big day” remember that it is their, “big day”, also. Possibly the most important thing to do is compromise. You are in this together, so don’t quibble about the little things and above all, have fun!
LA Wine Expert "RG"
Life is better with Catering because improves our lives.