When it comes to wedding planning, one of the main concerns is what food and drinks to serve to your guests and how to serve them. Luckily, contemporary weddings have menus and formats that fit all budgets and tastes. Beyond the budget, there are a few factors that affect your options, such as the space where people are going to eat, the number of people attending, the time of the reception, and having a varied menu that encompasses diverse preferences and dietary restrictions.
Tapas, the Elegant Finger Foods
Yes, what you have heard is true: mini is where it’s at. According to The Wedding Café, bite-sized foods with beautiful presentations are the elegant alternative to the sit-down dinner. Add some spice to the occasion with Spanish-style tapas such as bits of Manchego cheese with marinated olives, Serrano ham croquettes, stuffed mushrooms, and pint-sized empanadas. Over at Offbeat Bride, the buzz is over a couple that had an inventive reception with a tapas bar followed by an open cupcake bar.
Photo: “Frittata” by Nathalie Dulex
Food Truck Fiesta
Go on-trend by hiring food trucks to serve your wedding guests. You can either arrange for a food truck catering service with traditional entrees and appetizers or reserve the hippest trucks to serve gussied-up street food to your loved ones. Pop Sugar recommends broadening guests’ horizons with some fusion foodie choices, such as Korean tacos, Cal-Asian cuisine, or Caribbean crab cakes.
Photo: “Street Vendor” by Noladoc30
While some couples opt for afternoon tea receptions due to price concerns, others go over-the-top with a decadent afternoon repast worthy of royalty. In the mood of the latter option, British purveyor Careys Manor hosts a vintage afternoon tea that is smashing, opening with canapés and champagne, proceeding with tiered stands filled with sandwiches and cakes, and closing with a round of croquet on the lawn and a slice of wedding cake. Less formal is the tea described in Boho Weddings, consisting of cucumber sandwiches, cream scones, lemon tarts, carrot cake, and tea in mismatched cups.
Photo: “Black Country Museum, Birmingham UK” by Lettieb
An Unbeatable Brunch
Are you a morning person? If so, an intimate midmorning to afternoon wedding is the ideal opportunity to host a classy brunch reception. JET Magazine recommends a midday Waffle Bar, complete with toppings such as fresh fruit, dark chocolate chips, dried fruit, jams, and Nutella. Another inspiring idea, described by Wisconsin Bride, is to start with hot cider, doughnuts, and coffee and then serve a full brunch of mimosas, quiche, roast beef, fresh fruit and pastries.
Photo: “Bakery” by Vina V.
Napa Valley wine. New York cheesecake. New Orleans jambalaya. Wherever you are having your wedding, there is bound to be a local tradition or specialty that can make the reception shine. This is also true for international destination weddings, so serve up some spring rolls at your Thailand beach reception or pour the mezcal for your guests in Mexico. The Washington Post describes this locavore reception as a marriage of sustainable and trendy. Guests will describe it as delicious.
Photo: “Spring Roll” by Salsa Chica