For many couples, the sips and bites at their wedding are the most important factor. And this year will be no different as we begin to gather in large groups again. From custom cocktails to wholesome comfort food and plant-based items, the sips and bites are evolving into a sophisticated experience for guests. See our breakdown on trends in this Wedding Trends Look Book feature.
Who isn’t a “foodie” these days? Thanks to the Food Network, our culinary horizons have been expanded. Food and beverage is not just a part of the wedding checklist. For us, it is an opportunity to treat your guests, expand their palate, and excite their taste buds. We love to open their minds to items they normally wouldn’t ever think to try and watch them be astonished! With smaller guest lists in 2021, we are going to see caterers continue to take on more and more restaurant influence and see menu options really evolve.
The mixology craze has infiltrated the wedding scene and a range of full-service bartenders are now offering a beverage experience, unlike anything we have tasted before.
Cocktails have never been so diverse and for 2021 get ready to taste flavors you might not have considered. It seems there is something for everyone now and the signature cocktail may have just taken a back seat to each person having their own favorite.
One big change we are seeing this year is in mocktails — non-alcoholic options where off-the-shelf fruit juices and grenadine will be replaced with house-made syrups and tonics, fermented ingredients, and non-alcoholic spirits. These festive beverages may be booze-free but are more sophisticated than seltzer or soda and prettier than ever. Garnishes will also make your cocktails Insta-worthy. Watch as mixologists pair gorgeous accouterments with both non-alcoholic and spirited libations. Rosé cocktails are pretty in pink all on their own, but with pomegranate, cucumber, grapefruit, and rosemary, these drinks, above, are picture-perfect.
The mixology craze also has bartenders looking for new flavor profiles year over year. While gin might have been the spirit of 2020, rum is going to be the go-to for 2021. This pairs perfectly with the trend of drinking less but drinking better quality. As consumers are becoming more interested in age and origin, luxury rum is expected to dominate. Options have climbed as artisanal varieties have emerged offering over 200 varieties, up from 50 varieties available just a few years ago.
White rum, in particular, is perfect for high-style cocktails and classics like the traditional lime daiquiri, below, which makes a beautiful and fragrant statement when butler-passed. The fresh and citrusy flavors pair with any season and can be just as festive in mid-summer as they are during the holidays.
After a few sips, you’ll be ready to embrace your inner foodie with a culinary journey. Wedding menus have been forever changed thanks to popular TV shows like Top Chef and Chopped. This appetite for something different has changed the wedding culinary scene, and now the guest experience includes endless menu options. The desire to have a wedding that is both unique and memorable has also increased the experimentation and creativity with wedding menus.
Many caterers now offer an expanded range of options; from farm-to-table, vegan, and even gluten-free. Wholesome comfort foods will dominate menus in 2021. Consider delicious options like this pumpkin soup, below.
Creative culinary design will give your chef an opportunity to play with presentation and make your wedding an incredible visual experience. As you are planning your wedding menu, observe and take note while you and your fiancé are dining out. This can be a great source of inspiration!
Plant-based foods have skyrocketed in popularity over the last couple of years with an increased number of vegans, vegetarians, and flexitarians (those wanting to up their intake of plant-based meals without completely eliminating meat). Legumes will be the staple on 2021 menus as items like chickpeas become the “new cauliflower”. When paired with almonds and peanuts, this legume salad, below, makes a beautiful and delicious course.
Think your desserts should be syrupy sweet? Think again because savory desserts are the next flavor sensation. Look to new savory-sweet pairings in 2021 like sesame macaroons, chocolate and chili combinations, and black pepper ice cream. The lemon tart, below, is sliced and decorated with fresh figs, blueberries, and blackberries. The combination of spices or savory ingredients in a characteristically sweet menu is what will get the creative heads to spin. Your chef can design the plate and select the right complementing flavor combinations. This trend has catering teams crafting a cultural mosaic from all over the globe.
Options for your wedding menu are truly endless. Create a magical feast for your guests that will not only tempt the eye, but also the taste buds.