Expect to be hungry on your wedding day! From tasty appetizers to divine dinners and delicious desserts, your wedding will be one yummy celebration.
"A lot of couples we work with want their individualities and personalities to shine, so they look for menus that reflect their own interests," says Joyce Malicse of PopKitch, a boutique catering and events company. Malicse finds that couples often choose "elevated versions of their favorite everyday foods," like grilled cheese, barbecue and chicken and waffles.
Plated dinners may be traditional, but these days, wedding food service isn't predictable.
"People want to switch it up. They are done with boring plated meals and they want their guests to be able to taste food from the destinations they're hosting in," says event planner and designer Alison Laesser-Keck of VLD Events, who notes that family-style dining is also popular because it's intimate and interactive.
She says farm-to-table cuisine is also trendy as it showcases local food.
Pairings are popular as well. "It's no longer just about an appetizer spread but passed apps that have beverage pairings," says Laesser-Keck, noting pairings may include sushi and sake or charcuterie displays served with wine from different regions.
Comfort foods are a big part of many wedding menus.
"Couples are steering clear of the pricey, traditional feasts and opting for comfort, finger foods," says Jessica Newton of Pechanga Resort & Casino, noting one of their couples served up Mexican food featuring tacos with made-to-order meats, fish and veggies wrapped inside mini corn tortillas.
Menus are full of flair and flavor.
"Our clients also try to incorporate the international flavors that were part of their childhood," says Malicse, who's dishing up global dishes including tandoori chicken skewers, Korean gochujang dumplings and tequila-marinated chicken sopes for tray-passed appetizers.
Other comfort foods include mac and cheese, cornbread, tater tots and candy snacks.
Even fair snacks are taking center stage at receptions.
"Carnival food such as Cracker Jacks, funnel cakes and cotton candy are go-to carnival necessities and now they're perfect for your formal affair," says Kim Forrest, editor and trends expert at WeddingWire.com. You can dress up the carnival classics to make them a bit fancier or simply serve mini versions.
Make a statement by hanging wedding treats on the wall at the reception.
Kerri Sholly at Four Seasons Hotel Austin says the hotel gets many requests to hang or "float" food. For example, doughnut walls are fashionable, where doughnuts can be suspended on shelves hanging from the ceiling. Additionally, guests can nibble snacks from "clotheslines" of candied bacon and late-night pretzels.
It's easier than ever if you or your guests have dietary concerns or allergies. Many caterers can serve up vegetation options, as well as nut-free and low-carb foods.
Those with gluten intolerances have choices, too, especially when it comes to ordering a wedding cake.
"The best part is that their guests won't ever know the difference," says Nick Nikolopoulos, chef and owner of Gluten Free Gloriously, a bakery that ships nationally and serves the gluten-free and dairy free communities. "When we create these high-end cakes, we use the highest quality products that make it difficult for anyone to detect that the cakes are gluten-free."
Boozy ice pops are popping up at parties, too.
The icy treats from FrutaPOP, for example, are available in a variety of flavors like cranberry mojitos, strawberry mint julep, pina colada and coconut rose sangria. The company also offers coffee, fruit and juice pops.
Another spirited option? Spoonable Spirits, boozy puddings and jellies, which are served in mini shots. Each contains 5 percent alcohol by volume. Flavors include spiked cake shake and cookies and cream.
Kristen Castillo is a three-time Emmy Award-winning journalist. An
editor and writer for wedding magazines, she's written hundreds of wedding articles, as well as an e-book, "Weddings on a Dime."