Your wedding guests might not remember the title of your first-dance song or which flowers were in your bouquet, but chances are they'll remember the food. To help you plan the perfect reception, we sought the help of Columbus catering professionals who highlight the latest trends in food and drink.
Your wedding guests might not remember the title of your first-dance song or which flowers were in your bouquet, but chances are they'll remember the food. To help you plan the perfect reception, we sought the help of Columbus catering professionals. They've highlighted the trends: What's hot, what's not and what's up-and-coming when it comes to food and drink.
Keep it local
"If it's made in Columbus, it's part of their reception," says Cynthia Savely, event consultant at Bosc + Brie. Couples focus on where meat and produce are coming from, and incorporate local favorites like beer or desserts into the menu.
Similarly, couples can draw upon their favorite Columbus haunts for inspiration. Is The Pearl one of your favorite restaurants? Why not bring a taste to your reception? Cameron Mitchell Premier Events can work with couples to create a "tour" of Cameron Mitchell restaurants for guests.
"We'll tell the guests to pick out three or four of their favorite restaurants and we'll do stations with food from those restaurants," says Melissa Johnson, director of Cameron Mitchell Premier Events. "I can do stations and call it Short North bites, and it's a taste of that area's restaurants. Our own company gives us a lot of extra creativity. You can have a burger bar with a Pearl burger, a Hudson 29 burger, and an M slider."
Mix and mingle
In lieu of a plated meal, food stations are on the rise. "Food stations allow guests to mingle a lot more, and it lets people have that celebratory experience," says Brooke Kinsey, chef and partner at Bleu & Fig. "There is more of the variety [with food stations]. The traditional, plated, one-entrée meal is certainly not as popular with our clients."
Johnson agrees, saying that hors d'oeuvres and dinner stations are the most popular type of reception her company caters. "We'll usually choose three to four different stations of food, and it could be themed by cuisine," Johnson says. "It could be themed with a place they met, a color or a type of food." But, she cautions, this isn't always the most inexpensive way to have a wedding. "This lasts for two hours with small bites being replenished," she says.
"Stations are definitely here to stay," Savely echoes. "It really depends on if the client is going for something more upscale or casual. Street-food style is very popular, like tacos and kabobs and that sort of thing."
Think beyond standard beer and wine and incorporate handcrafted cocktails. These type of beverages are "definitely making a big comeback," Savely says. "Couples are barrel-aging Manhattans. Even Patron has a new small-batch tequila folks are using for Old Fashioneds."
And it's not just alcohol: Savely also suggests an organic coffee-roasted in the couple's hometown, perhaps-or a specialty iced tea or lemonade. And don't forget the mocktails. "Make sure there's a balance of those as well for people who don't drink," says Johnson.
The ever-popular post-wedding Sunday brunch is still a fixture during the wedding weekend. It serves as a send-off for guests after the fun of the wedding, and allows everyone to gather one last time. To keep the brunch stress-free, stick with something simple, says Kinsey. "It's creating an experience for [guests] the whole weekend."
In the end, the aim of the reception and its fare is to supplement the experience of your wedding day. "The big trend, really, is door-to-door food and beverage to create a guest experience that starts as soon as they walk in," Johnson says. "It creates a way for the couple to tell a story or convey something about themselves through the food and drink."