Creative Catering Ideas For Weddings

Every couple spends hours planning their wedding day to the tiniest of detail. Like them, you want your day to reflect you both. You want it to be remembered by your guests as a fabulous celebration of your union, but also as a day that spoke of you and your partner. With elements that were personal and intimate. Your big day.

Luckily, one easy way to stamp personality onto your wedding is with creative catering.  With so many great ideas around, this part of your wedding preparation can (and should) be fun to organize. Let your imagination run wild as you explore all the fun options within the organic catering realm!

It’s All About You

eco caters - creative wedding ideas
Geoff & Lyndsi Photography

What was the very first meal you shared together? Do you have a regular breakfast hang out that became a romantic part of your courtship? Did the proposal take place during an incredible adventure traveling across a particular continent, or did you pop the question over a Sunday roast chicken, like Prince Harry? Elements from any of these occasions can be recreated with your wedding catering services to share your story. Whether it’s pancakes on your dessert bar or a Thai curry as a main, let your food represent your journey together.

Be the Difference

These days, couples are throwing the wedding rule book out of the window, and wedding food catering is no different. For example, building your own food station is a great way to showcase your individuality: mashed potato bars, baked potato bars, mac and cheese bars. No food is off limits! Can’t get enough french fries in your life? Skip bread and butter on the tables and have big bowls of fries instead (don’t forget lashings of ketchup or mayo on the side).

Get Local

eco caters - creative wedding ideas
Geoff & Lyndsi Photography

A friend of Eco Caters, Wedding Planner Stephanie Wooding recently hosted a wedding in Julian, Southern California. Everything had an apple flavor to represent all that’s great about this famous orchard area–even the cocktails got a fruity makeover with apple mojitos.

Whether it’s your wedding destination or your hometown, location can be the inspiration for a host of themes.

Sweet Treats

The dessert bar is the place to mix it up, to hell with convention. Pass around mini sugary bites for an informal end to a traditional meal. Churros with hot chocolate sauce work so well for this. Over recent years, even the wedding cake has been reinvented to be bite size and less expensive, with some couples foregoing cake altogether, choosing cupcakes and cookie tables in its place.

Also, when it comes to sweet treats, the mighty donut is so in vogue right now. Love a particular cereal? How about Captain Crunch donuts? Are you a sucker for spice? Turn up the heat with sriracha donuts! Or if donuts feel like too much, go for the holes instead!

Dessert can be reworked into so many different guises, from pie pops (your favorite pies in miniature) to caramel apples. The list is endless.

Cocktails All The Way

creative wedding catering - eco caters
Geoff & Lyndsi Photography

Do you live to party? Then don’t let the wedding formalities stand in your way. Emily Brune from Eco Caters has catered and planned more weddings than she’s had hot dinners (and she’s married to Chef Nick Brune so that’s saying something). Her advice is, ‘To keep that party vibe all day long, switch out the wedding food catering to be a non-stop happy hour!’

Passed hors d’oeuvres alongside stationary hors d’oeuvres means you and your guests can graze and socialize at the same time. Find a great barista to fuel the cocktail bar and it’s just one long celebration of you and your beloved.

With the drinks covered, let’s make sure your guests are fueled for the long-haul.

Keep the party going

No one wants to be the first to leave. Late night munchies can sneak up on you after a sensory-overloaded day. Want to keep your guests fired up long into the night? How about grilled cheese and tomato soup as a pick-me-up?

Espresso bars will also give everyone a quick late night caffeine fix to keep them dancing. However, if you’re looking for something a bit different, how about boba bars?  What about a hot cocoa bar with all the fixings (be sure not to skimp on the marshmallows), cookies and milk bar, or an ice cream soda float bar? Come on, who can resist big bowls of multi-flavored popcorn or soft pretzels?

Cultural Vultures

creative wedding catering - eco caters
Geoff & Lyndsi Photography

Weddings are a beautiful melting pot of families and, often, cultures, too. Wedding catering is the perfect way to infuse elements from both of your cultures and make everyone feel welcome.

Pam from wedding planners LoveAnneJoy has had fun hosting a wide variety of events in her L.A. hometown, where so many cultures collide. She loves using the cocktail hour as a way to highlight a particular heritage. For example, a recent Filipina bride used traditional lumpia (traditional egg rolls) as an hors-d’oeuvre. In addition, instead of the traditional Filipino roasted pig lechon, her bride used the roast pig for lechon tacos to add a Mexican twist to the menu. Figuring out how to fuse cultures together helps you or your planner to get the creative juices flowing.

Koreans are easily as famous as the French for their divine pastries. Korean pastries as a dessert are delicious when paired with a traditional western wedding meal.

Perhaps your partner is British or you’re both serious Anglophiles, in which case afternoon tea with scones and cream alongside mini sandwiches lends a refined feel to your special day. Remember, tea must be served in vintage china cups!

Cultural inferences don’t have to be limited to those overseas–different states provide plenty of ways to showcase their origins through food. Kentucky guests would love to incorporate bourbon into barbeque offerings, and those from the Deep South would be thrilled to see grits served with everything! Look around you, those creative catering inspirations are everywhere.

Share the Love

Millenials are nothing if not communal. Family-style service allows you to, quite literally, share your table to bring your two families together. Sharing delicious food is a great way to bond with your newly extended family.

Family service can be a cozier experience than a buffet service, which some feel to be more isolating for guests, albeit easier to manage. So when you’re considering full-service catering, speak with your team to work out which style suits you and your budget best. A plated food service (think high-end fine dining) feels warm and celebratory, treating your guests to an exquisite dining experience.  

Weddings are a beautiful way to tell your story and journey together. After all, food is a gift from nature that is tailor-made for sharing. All you need is a sprinkling of imagination to blend your taste, personalities, and experiences to create a unique wedding reception dining experience.

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