Step aside, cupcakes-as-cake trend. We hear there's a new batch of food trends ready to impress your wedding guests. We asked some of the top catering experts from around the country what they see as the menu trend for the upcoming wedding season. Join us in making bets on which will rise to the top.
"Couples are putting faith in their caterers. It's a trend that you find your vendor, they ask you the right questions, and they produce something that's very uniquely yours based off your experiences. It's not an A or B choice, but it's a menu based off of your travels and any memories you've built around dining out together. We ask, 'Is there anything fun you make each other for brunch on the weekends?' And we use one of those items as an appetizer. Or, 'Have you done any travels together that were memorable?' And they say, 'Oh, we had steak frites in Paris around New Year's.' We'll use that as a component of one of their entrees." —John Silva, Culinary Eye Catering and Events, San Francisco
"People are striving to create unexpected wedding experiences, with the goal of really wowing their guests through food. This season, we've designed some truly customized, out-of-the-box menu items. Some of our new favorites include house-made pastrami empanadas, oxtail croquettes with shallot jam, and chicken-fried cauliflower bites with buffalo sauce, celery leaves, and Gorgonzola." —Brenton Schumacher, Pink Avocado Catering, Austin, Texas
Dietary Restriction-Friendly Menus
"People are definitely, definitely going gluten and dairy free — more than you'd even expect. You'd think that the trend would be over. It is definitely not. More and more people are also doing all-vegan and vegetarian weddings. A potpie is a great way to get around that. As a main course, a beautiful French potpie dish is filling and feels like you're eating meat and potatoes." —Leslie Nilsson, Bartleby & Sage, New York
"Brunch weddings are a refreshing departure from the expected. Couples have come to us wanting to host something sweet and intimate, with a bit of surprise worked in. From tea sandwiches made with the freshest seasonal ingredients to passed mini egg muffins or Monte Cristo brioche rolls, we've been creating custom menus full of creative and classic dishes." —Jodi Fyfe, Paramount Events, Chicago
Small Plates of Local Ingredients
"We're seeing a lot of items that are locally sourced. Not necessarily organic, but people are looking to highlight a name of an actual farm where ingredients for the salad came from. People love the idea of having things that are representative of local cuisine. People are also doing more small plates — almost like tapas-style menus — and doing those with either a beer or wine pairing. For a couple that's looking for a more interactive experience where guests can move around and go to different stations, this would be a great menu for them." —Tina Guenther, Greens Point Catering, Denver