There was a time when you’d go to a wedding and know, more or less, what you were going to get to eat and how it would be presented. But times change, and 2019 looks like it is going to be the year when individuality reigns supreme with interactive drink stations, personalized keepsakes and late-night food that you haven’t had since the last time you were wandering home after last orders.
It’s becoming quite popular for couples to want to tell a story through their food choices, for example if they had sushi on their first date then they might want it as part of the wedding food. And then there’s the move to more activity-centred stations where a chef is preparing food as they go along. Not to mention make-it-yourself cocktail stations.
And for couples who want to keep things relaxed and casual, smaller snacks and grazing tables seem to be the way to go – likewise, being eco-friendly is increasingly becoming a consideration, with locally sourced food and plastic-free items moving higher up the agenda for both guests and hosts.
Even the shape and layout of the tables is a discussion point in some venues, with combinations of round and rectangular tables creating different textures, shapes and dimensions rather than being placed in the same old positions. And the rustic theme is popular with wooden market tables, picnic-style seating and even pass-the-plate serving.
Another popular trend this year is for food to be both the décor and… well...the food. For example, it could be placed strategically around the venue to be admired as well as eaten. Or a champagne tree could be a visual invitation for guests to help themselves to a glass (from the top hopefully) rather than taking it from waiting staff holding a tray.
Tasting menus of 6-7 smaller courses are increasingly popular as a change from a sit-down three courser. In fact, the more informal the better for some people as they choose a ‘roaming dinner’. At these, there’s no actual sitting down at formal tables, but food is available for people to constantly graze on as it keeps on coming.
And then there’s the cake. Once it was white, iced and tiered, and that was that - save for a few flowers. Not any more…ombre cakes have lots of colours speckled onto a white background and there’s a definite move towards a more sophisticated style of smooth buttercream and fondant. A little more unusual is to have the cake replaced entirely with a stack of waffles, pancakes or even donut walls.
In terms of gifts for the guests, edible keepsakes are on the increase. For example, personalised cookies or cakes for the guests to take home, rather than more ‘stuff’, and if it’s a real late-nighter, then pizza trucks or fish and chip vans that roll up just when everyone’s getting hungry all over again are the way to go.
So, the wedding trends for 2019 seem to be along the lines of ‘do whatever you like’.
Which is probably just how it should be.