Everyone loves a good wedding. The beautiful couple, the romance, the dress. But let’s face it, planning a wedding can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to choosing what food to serve your guests. When you invite friends and family to your wedding you’re asking them to come and be with you at a meal time, which means you need to feed them with something that they not only like, but is also suitable for their dietary needs. Your wedding spread doesn’t just fuel the party, it’s the perfect opportunity to infuse your personality and style into your special day and ensure your guests have a truly unforgettable experience.
Over the past couple of years, there’s been a trend towards the more exotic and out of the ordinary, but 2019 is seeing a distinct shift back towards the more classic and traditional menu. From aesthetics to flavour here are some of the top food and flavour trends to watch out for this year…
1. Homely Food
The recent trend towards a healthier outlook may conflict with the reported preference towards more homely comfort foods, but healthier versions of comfort foods are starting to make a regular appearance on wedding menus. The rise in demand for comfort food relates to the familiar and joyful experiences they provide, conjuring up emotive words like ‘smothered’ and ‘loaded’.
Expect to see healthy variations of classics such as Hot Pot, Macaroni and Cheese as a wedding is the perfect time to indulge in and experience those warm and nostalgic, fond feelings.
Offering an experience that feels tailored and personal will ensure that your special day is an unforgettable one for your guests. With diet choices like veganism and plant-based growing an impressive 360% in Great Britain over the last decade, menus need to reflect the change in eating habits. The fact that 26% of people consider themselves something as extreme as a picky eater, means your guests are likely to be looking for more choice.
After recent food scandals and greater awareness about sustainable living, guests are looking for alternatives to the industrial food system and mass production. Guests are increasingly looking to fresh local produce and clarity about where their food came from.
Just like location and flavours, guests are looking to experience something out of the usual. Beer and wine from local microbreweries and distilleries will provide your guests with a truly local experience. Another growing trend in restaurants is offering locally made spirits.
4. Grazing Tables
Grazing tables are brilliant for creating an informal vibe at a wedding and ensuring everyone gets a little of what they fancy. If there’s one thing that gets guests mingling, it’s a table piled high with delicious food choices. Whether you chose to skip the canapés and offer grazing tables as a cocktail-hour option, replace the main course with a family-style spread, or bring them out for late-night snacking, this is a fun and delicious way to look after your wedding guests. This is your opportunity to showcase local seasonal food and produce and adding personalised signage, flowers, herbs and greenery will guarantee a show-stopping spread.
This year no food is off limits in miniature form. What’s cuter than a massive cheeseburger? A tiny one. Instead of going for traditional canapés at your cocktail hour, consider shrinking down a few of your favourite mains. If you love ramen, do a soup shot. If you’re head-over-heels for tacos, ask your caterer to fashion bite-sized versions. Just about anything can be made miniature.
6. Late-night Wedding Food
Wedding receptions are now lasting longer, with 23% more couples opting to extend their festivities to run into the small hours. Looking after guests through the evening part of the celebrations is a rising requirement to keep everyone fully energised. After all the dancing and emotion of the day, typical late-night heavy snacks like pizza and bacon sarnies just won’t cut it anymore and are being replaced with unique eats that reflect a couple’s favourite comfort foods.
Adding a mix of sweet treats to balance out the savoury nibbles will also keep energy levels high and obviously a small taster of a tipple, or two.
7. Bowl Food
A big feature at Harry and Megan’s wedding, bowl food is here to stay in 2019. Larger than a canapé and around a quarter of the size of the main course, it’s served in miniature or hand-sized bowls and comes ready to eat with a small fork that can be eaten standing up.
The concept isn’t new, Asians have been practising it for centuries in different forms: Vietnamese Bo bun, Korean bibimbap or Japanese chirashi.
The star bowl food comes from Hawaii, The Poké bowl is healthy, pretty and tasty. Typically consisting of small dice of raw marinated fish, thin slices of fresh vegetables, and rice or quinoa. This trend is not for everyone and has been described by The Telegraph as “good news for dry cleaners.
8. Vegan Wedding Food
2019 heralds a shift towards more inclusive options. With more than an estimated two million people in the UK living with a diagnosed food allergy (Food Standards Agency, 2017) menus are now being considered from a reduced-allergen focus entirely. Guests will like to know that their dietary requirements will be taken care of whilst still being able to enjoy a delicious meal. The core of this trend is creating a menu that works for everyone, so the same experience can be relished regardless of dietary requirements or allergies.
9. Edible Flowers and microgreens
Bringing a touch of the outdoors inside will be a huge trend this year. Expect to see floral flavours incorporating into and adorning cocktails, cakes and favours. Bold flowers are set to continue to decorate the wedding plate in a big way this year. Flowers make a perfect decoration for food photos and Instagrammers.
Contributing powerful aromas and flavours to dishes, this trend will delight and surprise your guests. Some are spicy, and some herbaceous, while others are floral and very fragrant. From calendula, dandelions, hibiscus and roses, there’s sure to be floral addition that will perfectly compliment your menu choices.
10. Elevated more formal food experiences
Brides.com suggests that after years of seeing the wedding industry move towards an ‘unconventional’ food experience, they’re seeing a trend towards a traditional plated experience with elevated service,” says Bill Coyne, director of business development at Cloud Catering & Events. “As the industry continues to seek exciting, innovative new ways to integrate food and beverage into weddings, there seems to be an appetite and nostalgia for formal dinner service’, much like the trend towards more traditional and homely dishes.
Getting married this year? We’d love to hear what you’ll be serving on your special day.