Wedding catering has come a long way from deciding between the obligatory chicken and the fish. Food is one of the essential ingredients to creating a successful wedding reception but choosing something that suits the diverse guest list, and pleases the couple, can be difficult. Liz Taylor of award-winning wedding planners the Taylor Lynn Corporation advises keeping things simple in the ingredients, but creative, and theatrical in its presentation. Here’s Liz’s advice on preparing a wedding meal that lets you feast with your eyes:
Make a Feature of Food
Menus are tending to be sophisticated in their simplicity and a sit-down wedding breakfast is not always the key to success. Wedding catering has adopted a less formal feel – with more than a touch of Mediterranean relaxation – but should still be a key feature of wedding celebrations.
Vogue; simple ingredients that are cooked to perfection and creatively presented. Sharing plates, grazing tables or tapas style banquets are very much on trend. Long tables lend themselves to an assortment of dining options, both formal and informal, and allow guests to make new friends across a beautiful sharing platter placed in the middle.
Try polished tables, tarnished metal or rustic wood, with an eclectic mix of painted chairs or benches with brightly coloured cushions and faux fur throws. Line with simple candles and delicate flowers in an assortment of jars, cans and pretty jugs. Bo-Ho, barn, continental or cutting edge – it suits them all! Add plates of tapas along the centre and a Lazy Susan adorned with miniature desserts – and you have a feature feast fit for any celebration.
Al Fresco Dining
Not only does outdoor catering create a relaxed atmosphere, it also gives you more options to ‘make a meal’ of the food being prepared and served. Tapas, for instance, can be upgraded to huge pans of paella cooked to order in front of guests. If there’s plenty of outdoor space, give each guest their own personal picnic basket and blankets to lay out across the lawn. Include a personalised miniature champagne bottle as favours.
The informal, fun aspect of weddings also sees the continued growth in the variety of food trucks and culinary campers. Fresh coffee, wood fired-pizza, burger sliders and ethnic favourites, are hugely popular. The choice is mouth-watering, from VW camper gin bars, to traditional fish and chip vans, vintage bus wine emporiums to afternoon teas! Great as the main event, and even better for those evening guests! This year will see lots of wood-fired ovens serving pizzas late into the night, accompanied by craft beers and fireworks! The perfect end to a wonderful day.
Polish your Presentation
Sometimes it’s not what you feed guests but how you serve the food that makes it memorable. Fish and chips in vintage newspaper cones, individual bags of popcorn, waiting staff on roller skates delivering miniature burgers to hungry guests.
Canapes served on coloured light boxes instead of trays and food incorporated into theatrical party props. Or, canape trays resting on the hips of gorgeous people. Afternoon tea delicacies presented in mouth-watering, bite-sized proportions and served alongside Champagne poured from vintage teapots. Presentation is king.
We’ve even served canapes and drinks from backlit vintage suitcases; complete with dry ice for added drama. Think about what makes you and your partner unique and ask your wedding planner for their best creative ideas.
Put on a Performance
Immersive dining (enjoying dinner in theatrical surroundings) is a huge trend in the UK’s nightlife scene and there’s no reason you couldn’t emulate this on your wedding day. Cabaret, burlesque, a Shakespearean tragedy or a 1920s speakeasy party – whatever the theme, ensure the action unfolds around guests as they dine for a truly unforgettable experience.
As founder and managing director of the Taylor Lynn Corporation, Liz Taylor has worked in the wedding industry for over thirty years.
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