Your wedding menu needs to show off your tastes and style. While you must consider some of the guests’ needs by having dishes for vegetarians and pickier eaters, it’s equally important to make sure you love, and don’t just like, the foods your caterer serves.
Many brides and grooms are shifting from classic dinner menus to trendier, memorable food bars, intermezzos and desserts. Sit down meals with waiter service still draw interest, but buffets where guests pick what they prefer to eat are gaining steam.
Think outside the box. When planning your wedding menu, consider some of these trendy wedding meal ideas.
Intermezzos are small palate-cleansers served between hors d’oeuvres and the main entree. They are truly in fashion. Traditionally, most intermezzos are a scoop of sorbet, but granitas are very fashionable now. Trends are leaning towards granitas in flavors that replicate alcoholic beverages. Popular flavors include the mint and lime mojito, citrusy margarita or a frozen daiquiri granitas made from fresh strawberries and rum.
Photo Credit: Jay’s Catering
According to a survey done by The Wedding Channel, in 2010, the average per-head cost for a wedding dinner came to $61. If you have guests who are not eating just one item on their plate, that’s money wasted.
Smart couples are skipping the traditional sit-down dinner where much of this waste occurs. Instead, they’re turning to buffets and food bars where guests have control over what they eat. A mashed potato bar is a popular items at wedding receptions. Guests take a dished of mashed potatoes and top them with the selection of offerings. Most mashed potato bars have bowls of fried bacon pieces, chives, shredded cheddar and sour cream. Macaroni and cheese bars are equally popular and follow the same pattern of guests creating their own spin on the popular dish. Salad bars also appeal to modern brides. The bars contain staples, but also include gourmet items like artichoke hearts, feta cheese and locally harvested mesclun. This is an ideal item for couples who have vegetarian guests.
Photo Credit: Short Stop Blog
Another catchy trend is to have a wedding reception that serves local dishes from the couple’s honeymoon destination. For couples honeymooning in Hawaii, a roast pig, Spam musubis and other Polynesian-inspired dishes give guests a sneak peek into the couple’s honeymoon experience. For a Jamaican honeymoon, curries, jerk chicken, Blue Mountain coffee and coconut milk ice cream are excellent options.
Photo Credit: Hawaiian Style BBQ
After a night of drinking and dancing, you don’t want your guests going home on an empty stomach. It’s become very trendy to surprise guests with a late night snack. The catering team comes around with finger foods, such as newspaper wrapped portions of fish and chips. Dishes heavier on starches help absorb some of the alcohol. Other popular late night snacks include wood-grilled pizzas and sliders.
Photo Credit: A Low Country Wedding
With professional wedding cakes costing hundreds of dollars, some savvy couples are tossing out the notion of multi-tiered cakes. Instead, they are turning to dessert bars.
There are great reasons to look at a dessert bar over a traditional cake. Food allergies are the biggest reason. With common allergies ranging from sensitivity to gluten to allergies to nuts and dairy, having a full bar with different options ensures every guest has something he or she can eat.
Rich brownies, cannolis, cream puffs, petit fours, and pound cake are other items appearing on dessert bars. For chocoholics, truffles or individual chocolate tortes work well.
Personally crafted cupcakes are a growing trend. The caterer sets up trays of unfrosted cupcakes in a variety of flavors. Next to those trays are tubs of frosting and decorative touches. Guests build their own cupcake.
Do-it-yourself sundae bars are also novel ideas for a wedding. Guests take their favorite ice cream flavor and then dress up their sundae with toppings like hot fudge, crushed walnuts, sprinkles, whipped cream, and maraschino cherries.
Photo Credit: Bridal Guide
If you still want the wedding cake as part of your wedding, you can pair a smaller, more affordable cake with the dessert bar. Everyone goes home happy with the range of options.
With food trends leaning towards unusual options, feel free to be creative. Caterers are prepared to tackle any request and help you find a suitable meal that fits your budget and sense of style.