The Hottest (and Coldest) Wedding Food Trends of 2018

Posted on 10/11/18

Your dress is exquisite. The lighting is perfect. Your venue choice is to die for.

But let’s be honest, if you really want to have your guests raving about your wedding for weeks afterwards, your food has to be top-notch.  While there’s nothing wrong with a traditional chicken and/or beef and/or salmon approach (tradition is for a reason), for some of this year’s more adventurous couples, the bar has been raised.

Here are four ways you can have food that guests won’t stop talking about…at least, after they finish chewing.

Quality Over Quantity

It can be tempting to go for volume, but this year has shown us that smaller may actually be better. We’re talking about smaller portion sizes, smaller plates, and more focus on the details and unique presentation that catches the eye and doesn’t let go.

In many ways, this reflects a new way of thinking about the reason for having food. Moreso than just a functional need to slake our hunger, the wedding menu can be something truly exciting!

Surprising flavors. Atypical cuisine. Concoctions that are more Iron Chef than Pampered Chef.

Have you thought about a bread and oil appetizer? What about a build-it-yourself slider bar? The ideas are endless, but they are definitely not ordinary. The focus is more on the experience than whether the plates are heaped to the brim.

Local & Sustainable

It can hardly be a surprise that couples getting married today are thinking about the impact of their food decisions. This means offering healthy options for both the body and the planet.

Your reception menu should reflect your value system. Whether that means opting for cruelty-free meats, keeping vegan options available, or catering local (almost our entire list of trusted caterers are local small businesses) is entirely up to the bride and groom.

For many couples who host their wedding reception here at WinMock, this means working with Providence Catering. Not only do they consider special dietary needs and customized menus, but all proceeds support culinary training for those trying to start over or improve their life.

Need some inspiration? Local breweries are rarely subject to the same seasonal limitations as vegetable and fruit farmers, making them a popular choice for adding local flair to your open bar. Not only that, but microbrews on tap also give your guests a chance to experience something new.

Speaking of seasonal, consider time of year when choosing your menu. Opting for in-season fruits and veggies makes local sourcing drastically more viable. That means less preservatives, less shipping, and less ecological impact.

Classy but Comfortable

Comfort food may make you think of lazy Sunday afternoons or messy restaurants, but there’s a popular trend around presenting classic staples in a brand new light. We’re talking about mini tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, fried chicken and waffle dippers, or shrimp and grits on a tasting spoon.

Especially in the south, these glammed up throwbacks are the perfect blend of traditional and modern. And talk about buzzworthy, who wouldn’t want to Instagram their mac and cheese shooter?

Beyond the Cake

For years, cake has been the top dog in the reception dessert game. But the times are a-changin’, and couples are looking at alternatives for their sweet tooth.

Imagine your guests grabbing a plate and customizing themselves a fried circle of deliciousness at your doughnut bar, or picking from a visually delightful cupcake tower. Notice the pattern? That’s right, these are as much a feast for the eyes as for the stomach!

Perhaps you want something more plated? Then you might be interested in single-serving shake-ups like mini ice cream sandwiches, bite-size s’mores bars, or strawberry shortcake tarts.

If you’re a bit of a caffeine-snob (or maybe your new mother-in-law is?), then you won’t want to whiff on the coffee dessert options. We’re talking about espresso-spiked brownies or frappuccinos piled high with homemade whipped cream and chocolate shavings. And for your decaf drinkers, chocolate milk shake shots or flavored frothed milk close things out well.

The beauty of what our team is seeing is clear: the rules have been made, now it’s time to break them. Food is love, so show your guests how much you care with a personalized, focused menu filled with your fingerprints from top to bottom.

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