Jon Curtis, our Operations Manager, had the honor of speaking at a recent National Association for Catering and Events (NACE-Greater Detroit Chapter) meeting on February 20, 2013. The monthly meeting featured wedding trends from industry professionals. Jon spoke about Wedding Food Trends. Other speakers included representatives from Parsonage Events, Top That! Event, Mike Staff Productions, Buttercream Bakeshop, Studio Bridesmaid, and The White Dress. Here are some of his insights for planning out your menu for your big day.
- What is a DIY Wedding? The Bride and Groom are budget conscious, and are still able to have their dream weddings. While a little more work and elbow grease will go into certain aspects of the weddings (creating your own centerpieces, recruiting bridal party/family/friends to put in some extra work), that dream wedding is still attainable on their budget. What it means for their reception is having no servers or catering attendants for their food.
- What will the food look like? From a menu aspect, it means working with a planner or consultant and getting input on the menu planning (when preparing, it’s always important to ask the professionals, they know things like how long certain foods can stay out, what will be crowd-pleasing, how much of each you will need, where to get a bartender, etc), once the menu is set the food will be delivered/dropped off at the reception site, and set up in a visually appealing manner. From there, it is up to the Bride and Groom how they would their guests to be served. This style of service has become increasingly more and more popular.
- Michigan Made. Products made or grown locally in the state of Michigan–or the state where the ceremony will take place–have been very sought after. Not only does this show support for the local economy, it makes the destination of the wedding more personal. These items range from beer to tomatoes to bread, and have an emphasis on seasonal availability.
- Diverse Menus. There are many special dietary needs that must be taken into account when planning a meal for 10s-100s of people, from vegan to gluten free to nut allergies, and everything in between. While you are inviting guests to your Wedding, you don’t want to make them feel as though they are being needy. After all, it’s a party, and you want everyone to feel welcomed and at home. If you know ahead of time someone will be needing a special menu, make it easy for them to have that option, almost all caterers will be able to provide that with no problem.
- Going Green. We mean this in two ways: leafy greens and eco-friendly. Iceburg lettuce is no longer the center of salad plates anymore. Many are looking to other greens for their nutritional benefits as of late–kale, collards, spinach, arugula, swiss chard–so why not feature them in your menu? It’s also a fun way to break out of the norm, especially when many guests have a Summer full of weddings to attend. It’s also important to limit your carbon footprint when possible, and almost all vendors have eco-friendly products for your big day that can help with that. The easiest step you can take is making sure you have a compost pile and recycling bins near all the trash cans to sort the food, plastic, bottles, and real trash.
- Dark and Savory. Have you ever had a bacon-maple cupcake?? We’ll just leave it at that…
- Dessert and Candy Stations. Rather than having one HUGE cake to serve your guests, you can set up a fun table full of a variety of items to satisfy any sweet tooth. Cupcakes, pies, cakes, candy, and more can all be offered in this Serve-Yourself-style of dessert. When setting up a candy table, why not set out some small bags for your guests to fill up and take home as a souvenir (those are always a big hit with the kids).
- Small Bites and Shooters. Often guests will be quite full at the end of the meal and ready to dance. Offering smaller bites of desserts in “shooter” form (in small containers resembling shot glasses) allows them to indulge, and even try a variety of items, while still staying light on their feet.