Between the millions of Instagram #EEEEEATS pics and the bounty of food publications, pop-ups, festivals, and mash-ups out there, it’s overwhelmingly clear that Millennials are good eaters. And since our generation is packed with veritable food monsters, you can bet that our weddings are far more creative than the traditional “chicken or fish” of old. Nay, gone are the days of boring wedding food that you eat just to avoid getting too drunk. Today, Millennial weddings make food the focus, with wild options that reflect our zest for life. Getting ready to pick food for your big day? Here is some serious inspo, care of four super-talented planners across the country.
Melissa McNeeley of Events by Melissa McNeeley: Before she started her own events company, McNeeley trained in front-of-house catering. While she now focuses on wedding planning, she is still laser-focused on offering an incomparable dining experience. What’s her take on Millennial dining? She’s seeing a lot more casual food at weddings these days (Pies 'n' Thighs and Frankies 457 catered her own wedding). “People are done with filet mignon and haricots verts,” she says. Instead, they get experimental with dim sum stations, homemade pasta, and food trucks. Her suggestion: make even the most decadent comfort food look refined with beautiful serving platters. Toss the aluminum trays and almost anything can look like a 5-star meal.
Robin Baab Olascoaga at Ro&Co Events: Olascoaga is the founder of Ro&Co Events, a company that produces seamless (and timeless) weddings across the country. In her experience, she says that Millennial couples want to stand out, impress their guests, and do what feels authentic to them. Some go for unique food and drink stations, like an after-dinner whiskey tasting area, while others branch out with unconventional desserts (forego the cake for It’s-It Ice Cream Sandwiches). She also notes that well-traveled Millennials want to incorporate dishes that reflect where they’ve been, from mini tacos to far-out sushi rolls.
Juliette Lys Shulman of J. Lys Events: Shulman has worked on a number of gorgeous weddings in the Hamptons area and has noticed that her Millennial clients love to showcase the location, with guests enjoying everything from mini lobster rolls to local day boat scallops and plenty of Wolffer Estate Rosé. Occasionally, they also like to celebrate where they’re from: One client from Vermont displayed a 20-pound block of cheddar cheese that his father transported all the way from home. (Can he send some our way?)
Haley Harper Kelly at A Charleston Bride: Kelly has been in the wedding-planning industry for four years, and in that short time, she has overseen some wild food options. Among her favorites are boozy popsicles, a bacon bar (with piggy pops and pork belly sliders), and “Roaming Oysters” from a company called Oysters XO, where servers wear a belt that has compartments for oysters on ice, condiments, and napkins. She’s even had pizza shipped down south from NYC. Another trend she’s seeing is that the bride and groom want to incorporate family recipes into the menu, like a passed-down recipe for catfish and gravy. Late-night foods are another big one, with to-go options like chicken and biscuits and mini pizzas.