Friday, February 19, 2010

Wedding Trends

I love weddings! I’m not talking about the weddings of my mother’s generation, where you served mints and nuts, punch and wedding cake. These days Brides are setting trends and creating unique events that reflect the personalities of the couple. The old style “formula” receptions are being replaced by ever changing tastes and fashion. Keeping up with these trends is a full time job which requires reading wedding blogs, magazines and anything else I can get my hands on to anticipate the needs of my clients.

One trend that has been around for a while but is still going strong is to provide a Sweets Table which features anything from apothecary jars to simple glass cylinders or compotes filled with color coordinated candy, with silver spoons or scoops and glassine or paper bags for guests to fill. In addition to the candy we are sometimes presenting Petite Desserts on trays, Truffle Pops, French Macaroons and Cupcake Towers all arranged in sophisticated but simple presentations. We are also seeing the traditional Groom’s cake being replaced by a favorite dessert of the Groom. Milk and Warm Chocolate Chip Cookies, Krispy Kreme Donuts, Star Crunch Cookies, Peach Pie and Cheesecake have all made appearances at recent weddings.

Wedding beverages have also evolved from Punch , Coffee and Highballs to Signature Cocktails that usually continue the color scheme and offer another design element to the reception. We love the Champagne Infusion Stations where guests can flavor their Champagne with a variety of Syrups, Fruit and even Hibiscus Blossoms. Non Alcoholic Beverages need not be relegated to the Punch Bowl or Pitcher. Lemonades, Fruit Juices and Teas allow for another fun presentation using large barrels and cute labels.

Comfort Foods are still strong especially in the new economy. We are taking familiar favorites, upgrading the ingredients and presenting them in out of the ordinary fashion. A childhood favorite Chicken Pot Pie can be updated to include Artichoke Hearts or even changed to Lobster Pot Pie and served in tiny individual ramekins, or demitasse cups. Macaroni and Cheese, Mashed Potatoes or Risotto can be elevated to “Party Food” status by serving in a Martini Glass and accompanied by an assortment of toppings for customizing by the guests. Sliders have been around for a while but they have grown to include Crab Cakes, Pulled Pork and Lamb. Any favorite food can become party fare as long as the presentation is fresh and unique.

Brides will often feature a variety of Ethnic Cuisines within the reception menu. This allows you to have a diverse menu that will keep guests interested and taste buds piqued. Some popular station ideas are Latin, Asian, American Graffiti, Paris Café, Mediterranean Tapas, Schnitzel, Whistle Stop Café, and New Orleans Jazz.

The fun thing about these stations is that they are usually interactive with foods being prepared at the station, which creates enticing aromas. At the Asian Station we utilize colored takeout boxes with chopsticks, china spoons and we can even order fortune cookies with customized fortunes. The Whistle Stop Café Station features Fried Green Tomatoes with Spicy Remoulade Sauce and Bacon along with Pulled Pork Sliders with Cole Slaw. American Graffiti Station combines Shoestring Potatoes, Sliders, and Milk Shake Shooters.

Another trend that we are seeing lately is the addition of Late Night Snacks. These can be anything from Beignets and Café au Lait to Corny Dogs, Sushi, or Breakfast Tacos. S’mores Stations have been very popular along with Ice Cream Sundae Bars. Again, anything goes, you are limited only by you imagination.