, The best wedding food menu ideas, Nzuchi Times

The best wedding food menu ideas

Weddings are as individual as the people getting married, but one thing they all have in common is food. At some point during your big day, whether it’s at a country house, in a marquee or in a converted warehouse, you’ll need to feed your guests.

And while you might want to stick to a traditional three course dinner, it’s not your only option thanks to the huge number of creative caterers out there, who provide innovative and interesting ways to make your wedding as delicious and different as possible. 

But what should you take into account when planning your feast? And what style of service or cuisine should you go for? Here’s our complete guide to what to serve.

Go with your personal taste

Katrina Otter, a high end wedding planner based in Suffolk, says not to be afraid when choosing your wedding food. “So many couples try to please everyone,” she explains. “It’s such a shame. So if there’s something you would like then don’t be afraid to have it and for your guests to have it as well. And if they don’t like it then they’ve had a free meal anyway, quite frankly.” So if, like Otter, you love pie and mash, have pie and mash. And just because you’re having your wedding in a classic venue it doesn’t mean you can’t have fish and chips if you want it. But most couples do tend to extend their overall theme and aesthetic to the food they serve.

, The best wedding food menu ideas, Nzuchi Times


Katrina Otter has seen wedding food trends change in the last few years  


Credit: REBECCA GODDARD PHOTOGRAPHY/KATRINA OTTER WEDDINGS 

Consider the time of year

With food tastings in February and March for a July wedding, it’s easy to pick out roast beef and mashed potato, followed by a sticky toffee pudding, but keep the month you’re getting married in mind. In most cases you won’t actually want to eat something so heavy in the middle of summer.

Forget canapés at your peril

“Canapés are the one thing guests turn up at a wedding and expect,” says Otter. “I’ve done ‘on the day’ management before and the couple hadn’t organised canapés and people were complaining to the caterers. They have a drink and they want to pick up something to eat.” 

It’s worth remembering that your guests will be getting peckish during the period between the ceremony and the sit down meal and they’ll need something to soak up all that champagne, of course. The Brewery in London has some show stopping canapé options. 

, The best wedding food menu ideas, Nzuchi Times


Canapés are made with cubed salmon, sour cream and caviar with pea veloute pipettes by The Brewery

Midnight feasts

You know that late night hunger you get after a big night out? Well most of your guests will be feeling the same way after an hour or so on the dance floor. So keep their energy up with some evening snacks. “It doesn’t need to be elaborate, you don’t need to spend loads of money,” says Otter. “But it’s those extra things that make people remember the catering.” 

So how about cheese toasties, bacon butties, sliders or just a load of amazing cheese and crackers? And Otter says you don’t need one per person for this part of the day either – just cater for 75% of the guests.

Don’t worry about dietary requirements

Got a vegan friend? A gluten-intolerant sister-in-law? These are no longer things to be worried about as most caterers are incredibly clued up about dietary restrictions and specifications. Not only will they ensure those special meals are just as tempting as the main menu, but they won’t necessarily charge you extra to provide them.

, The best wedding food menu ideas, Nzuchi Times


Tom Gore is the Food Director at The Brewery in London

Ten mouth-watering ideas for wedding food to remember

1. Classic

Just because your hipster friends like Vietnamese street food, it doesn’t mean you can’t stick to an elegant plated or even silver service wedding breakfast. Three or more courses of beautifully prepared dishes are always welcome. 

“I think classic is always going to be popular,” says Otter. “It’s good British food and it’s still very tasty.” Think smoked salmon, a summer salad or a goat’s cheese tart for the starter, followed by a lamb dish and desserts like lemon posset or crème brulee. This is the kind of food most in-house caterers will be good at, so ask to see sample menus or consider caterers that specialise in more traditional fare.

Vendors to try: 

  • Headed by the renowned service choreographer Bertie de Rougemont, Cellar Society is known for catering for the the fashion crowd including for Kate Moss’s wedding.
  • Bourne and Hollingsworth offers a modern take on a classic English fare which can be tailored to suit your wedding style.
  • Ren’s Kitchen tailor the food not only to your taste, but to the time of year and even gives you ample choice in the way it’s served, from canapés to feast style.
  • With beautiful private rooms in Mayfair, Hakkasan is the ultimate chic reception venue, with the menu highlighting the Cantonese classic dishes for which they are best known.

2. Creative displays

This is where food service meets art. Instead of canapés being served on silver trays, they arrive in a birdcage, a jewellery box or planted in edible soil. “It will look really enticing but done in a way that’ll get people talking,” says Otter. And it’s not just passed food that gets the creative touch. Grazing stations and dessert tables become works of art too.

Vendors to try: 

  • The way the food looks is key to award-winning catering specialist Hattie Mauleverer, who is known, creating elegant presentations.
  • Kalm Kitchen is a family-run business dedicated to elevating event catering to a whole new level.
  • Arnold and Henderson is all about creating a menu with personality using much-loved British vendors and will oversee other aspects of the day including music and lighting.

, The best wedding food menu ideas, Nzuchi Times


Otter loves Kalm Kitchen’s displays

3. Sharing platters and feasting

You’ll find ‘family style’ service in lots of restaurants and pubs and if you enjoy this casual way of dining, then why not bring that to your wedding day? Starters, mains and puddings are all served to the table for sharing. Your guests can pick a bit of what they fancy and some caterers even do ‘build your own’ desserts like Eton Mess. 

Vendors to try: 

  • Beautiful and the Feast specialises in incredible sharing platters whether in hampers for picnic weddings or as three course extravaganzas.
  • The popular London-based restaurant Honey & Co can offer your guest the ultimate Middle-Eastern feast.
  • Food Made By Bob create a bespoke menu to suit a variety of tastes and budget sizes, offering everything from sharing platters to Asian-fusion.

4. Local and seasonal

Ah buzzwords a-plenty here. Locally sourced, organic, seasonal and farm-to-table; this is apparently a huge trend for Katrina Otter’s clients. “Supporting local producers is probably the biggest thing I’m seeing,” she says. “It is really popular, especially with marquee weddings.”

One couple she worked with planned to get married in Suffolk, so brewery Adnams provided all the drinks, from the beer to the sparkling wine. The couple wanted every part of their meal to be from somewhere in the county and to know where the meat was from and where the vegetables were grown.

, The best wedding food menu ideas, Nzuchi Times


The Pantry in Edinburgh uses locally sourced food

Vendors to try: 

  • Lettice Events is the leader in luxury seasonal catering, offering a unique and personal approach to event catering.
  • The Pantry in Edinburgh is all about this kind of catering. Any style of service can be provided but no matter whether you opt for a feast or a formal supper, every element will be sourced from Scotland and the events menus change regularly to include what is in season.
  • Rocket has catered for Burberry and the Royal Academy of Arts using local suppliers to source the highest-quality ingredients.
  • Riding House Café in Fitzrovia has the perfect private room which seats 16, with guests invited to feast on menus for the table with a wide range of choices on offer. Further venue hire options are also available, to include the Dining Room which seats 55.

5. Afternoon tea

Who says you have to serve an evening style meal to your guests? Let’s face it, most wedding breakfasts are eaten in the late afternoon or very early evening anyway, so why not do a decadent afternoon tea? Elegant finger sandwiches, pastries, scones, jams and plenty of champagne will ensure a delicious experience for everyone. 

Vendors to try: 

  • Fingers and Forks has a garden party menu that’ll be just the ticket.
  • The renowned Admirable Crichton is known for creating memorable weddings and holds a Royal Warrant to HRH The Prince of Wales.
  • Blue Strawberry & Table Talk is much-loved for its consistently innovative food and is one of London’s most talked about caterers.

6. Food stations

This is an American trend that’s becoming more popular at UK weddings. Think of it as an upgrade on a buffet. You can have three or four ‘stations’ each offering a different style of cuisine so your guests can mix and match. So a carving station in one corner, sushi in another, maybe even an oyster bar and of course a dessert station is a must. And these can be either Do It Yourself where guests build their own burgers and crostini, or they can be manned by a chef or two depending on how informal you want the day to be.

, The best wedding food menu ideas, Nzuchi Times


Rhubarb is based in London and Surrey

Vendors to try: 

  • Rhubarb, based in London and Surrey, can provide food stalls serving tacos, ceviche and ramen as well tables loaded with tempting puddings.
  • For dessert why not have a waffle station. The Waffle Float can park their van at your wedding to serve up some tasty treats.

7. Street food

Who doesn’t love a food truck? If you keep your eye on food trends at all then you’ll know some of the most delicious and creative dishes are coming from street food culture. And more importantly for your wedding, it’s just a lot of fun. 

Pizza vans, taco trucks, high-end burgers, pulled pork, noodle bowls, middle eastern skewers; your guests will be spoiled for choice. “More and more companies are converting vans and providing these services so I think this is a trend that’s going to continue for a long, long time,” says Otter. And she says don’t worry if your wedding is more of a timelessly elegant affair, as you can always bring in a food truck for late night snacking: “Any style of wedding can pull that off.”

Vendors to try: 

  • Patty & Bun can offer their much-loved restaurant burger menu or, if you’d prefer, can create something more sophisticated.
  • The London-based Rainbo is inspired by street food in Tokyo and has both vegan and non-vegan offerings for guests. The Japanese restaurant can also provide small plates and canapés if you wish.
  • En Root is a food truck that provides vegan Indian food make with authentic spices and a range of vegetables.

8. Street drinks

, The best wedding food menu ideas, Nzuchi Times


Bubble bros does prosecco vans 

And if you love street food then why not do street drinks too? There are double decker buses converted into bars, prosecco vans and gin bicycles all available for hire or you could have personalised, bespoke cocktails served from the side of a truck. Whatever you want, there’s a mobile service that can provide it.

Vendors to try:

  • For the ultimate prosecco van try Bubble Bros.
  • Honest Folks offer handcrafted cocktails, beers and wines that can be served using their handmade two custom 6ft bars that can be combined to make a 12ft full size bar. They also offer the option of customising the display.
  • Tinwood Estate, based in West Sussex, can provide the finest English sparkling wine including a Brut, Blanc de Blancs and Rose for your caterers to serve.

9. Comfort food

Following on from the food truck trend is a rise in brides and grooms asking for luxury comfort food from their caterers. Think truffle mac ‘n’ cheese, sausage and mash, burgers and fried chicken. These delicious classics are guaranteed to go down a storm with guests of all ages and will make a change from the wedding menus we’re used to. If this style of food appeals to you then ask your caterer if they can provide it. You could always do mini versions as part of your canapés if you don’t want to stray too far from a more traditional wedding breakfast.

Vendors to try: 

  • Baz & Fred can provide pizza for your wedding made in a wood-fired oven. Who could say no to pizza?
  • 10 Greek Street’s seasonally-inspired sharing menus, from executive chef Cameron Emirali, served in their intimate private dining room in the heart of Soho, highlight the best of local ingredients

10. Brunch

It’s called a wedding breakfast but rarely do you find breakfast food served at a wedding. So why not enjoy a tasty brunch? With the trend for all-day breakfasts and bottomless brunches still going strong, delight your guests with huevos rancheros, avocado on toast, eggs royale, pancakes, waffles and French toast, not forgetting Bloody Marys and mimosas.

Vendors to try: 

  • Petrossian is a renowned French caviar house that supplies a lot of top restaurants with a range of produce. Their smoked salmon topped with caviar will go down a treat.
  • No. Fifty Cheyne in Chelsea, offers the full ceremony and reception experience with the ceremony taking place in their romantic Dining Room which overlooks the Albert Bridge. Food is taken care of by executive chef Iain Smith, with the menus focusing on seasonal British classics.
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