Time To Eat!
Wedding cuisine is making strides these days to satisfy a more demanding, sophisticated clientele. Plated four or five course banquets are giving way to serving stations, food trucks and dessert-focused receptions. Lounge furniture and long communal tables are replacing the ubiquitous rounds of eight. In short, the dining experience at weddings today is anything the bridal couple desires.
One of most entertaining trends is the late-night snack, according to Gretchen Culver of Rocket Science Weddings. “I now do these for almost every wedding,” she says. “It keeps the guests interested and staying later to see what the treat will be. By having food at 10:00 or 11:00, people want to stay, have fun and see what’s coming.”
Culver has done a crepe station for a French-themed wedding, and fair food for a state fair-themed wedding. Some couples are opting to have a food truck or two waiting outside the door as guests leave for home.
The traditional tiered wedding cake is rapidly disappearing, replaced by dessert stations full of pie or other delicacies, or plated and served treats like Bananas Foster. When there’s a cake, it’s usually an over-the-top work of art inspired by the plethora of cake shows on cable TV and themed to fit the event. And, the groom’s cake tradition is spreading across the country and becoming decidedly more upscale.
In terms of menu items, the Wedding Guys are predicting more farm-to-table events, taking advantage of local farms and even vineyards. And they say that more couples are opting for a small family dinner following the ceremony, then moving on to the reception for dancing and drinks.
Some planners are noting that pre-ceremony cocktails are being seen more often, especially when the venue is not a church. “This is a great time to host a signature drink, and really set the tone for the whole wedding as the guests arrive,” Culver says.