From creative canapés and cocktails, to vegan catering and street food vans, these are the top wedding food trends for 2020 that you’ll be seeing at wedding breakfasts everywhere…
Wedding Food Trends for 2020
When it comes to planning a wedding, catering for all your guests – and all their different dietary requirements – can become one of the most expensive and complicated parts of organising your big day.
But if you’re tired of the classic three-course wedding breakfast, why not hit refresh on your big-day menu? Here, we speak to catering experts up and down the UK, to get their insight on what’s in store for wedding food trends for 2020.
Wedding Grazing Tables
Communal feasting remains as one of the top wedding food trends, not least because it encourages your nearest and dearest to be super-sociable.
“There’s nothing better than watching guests digging in, and talking about the delights before them as they do!” says Toria Smith, founder of grazing caterer, Grape & Fig.
Choose anything from speciality cheeses, cured meats and antipasti to dips, bread, crackers and chutney, dried fruit and nuts – the possibilities are endless.
And for lasting impact, keep it colourful: “Grazing should be different to the beige buffets we’re so used to seeing – the most impressive tables should be heavily laden and adorned with props and foliage or flowers,” says Tori.
Roya Nathwani from Top Hat Catering agrees: “Grazing tables are designed to encourage guests to come back for more, and the abundance of food on show always creates a talking point, so get creative!”
Looking to put a twist on your dessert display? “A Sgroppino station is a great way to go,” says Joanna Mood from Zafferano. “This Venetian concept combines a cocktail and dessert – we predict espresso martini tiramisus are going to be huge in 2020.”
Treat younger guests to cute milkshakes with doughnuts looped onto paper straws, or create your own ‘garden’ with edible layers. 2020’s wedding food trends offer scope to experiment with savoury bites, too, including stuffed taco cones and arancini or lamb fritter lollipops. Go wild!
When it comes to big-day beverages, the appetite for gin is not going anywhere with the rise of build-your-own-G&T stations and help-yourself cocktail bars. “These give you a chance to offer up a variety of mixers and basic ‘ice and a slice’ alternatives – pink grapefruit, cinnamon sticks and even peppercorns,” says Roya Nathwani.
Orange is also set to make a splash, predicts James Shelbourne, co-founder of gin distillery Silent Pool. “Earlier this year we saw a spike in coloured gins, with pink driving the charge. Next year, however, brands will move away from artificially sweetened flavourings, and we’ll see a rise in the rich and decadent – this is where orange will come into its own.”
As for your big-day toast, champagne is no longer de rigeur, says Dominique Douglas, wedding planner at Stylish Events. Cava, prosecco and crémant have become more favourable (and affordable) choices. “Cava has a drier taste, making it ideal as an aperitif, a toasting drink or food pairing,” she adds.
Having experienced a resurgence (thanks to Harry and Meghan’s 2018 nuptials), bowl food now means lighter, healthier dishes, like sushi and burrito bowls, are appearing as one of 2020’s top wedding food trends.
Eliza Caminada from The Social Pantry suggests that its rise in popularity – aside from its royal-wedding-menu status – is down to flexibility: “People always want to try something different, and with so many dietary needs to cater for, this style of eating allows guests to choose what works for them.”
“Plus, as more couples look to minimise waste, allowing guests to choose will help with this.” Choices vary from Hawaiian poké to noodles and falafel, but don’t be afraid to offer meatier options too; carnivores will go nuts for chilli and Korean steak bowls.
Farm-To-Table Wedding Food
Farm-to-table food is about making the most of the environment around you, be it growing your own ingredients, seeking out local suppliers, or sourcing produce from nearby farms.
And according to Eliza, this wedding food trend has already reached 2020 couples. “We have three weddings next year that are using their own homegrown produce, such as eggs, dairy and vegetables, which we’ll incorporate into our menus. It just adds even more of a personal touch,” she says.
One thing to bear in mind, however, is seasonality, so if your heart’s set on serving up pumpkin- and squash-based platters, an autumn wedding is your best bet.
Vegan Wedding Food
Veganism is definitely up there when it comes to wedding food trends, and as it becomes increasingly popular, you’ll likely see it cropping up much more in 2020.
If you already follow a vegan diet, you should have a good idea of what to avoid, but if it’s a fairly new thing for you, things to watch out for are meat and poultry, fish and seafood, dairy, eggs and bee products, including honey, bee pollen and royal jelly.
Wedding Welcome Cocktails
Skip the Buck’s Fizz and ditch the Prosecco – this year, we will all be sipping on lavish cocktails as our welcome drink of choice. Elegant-looking cocktails sporting an indulgent mix of spirits and flavours are taking over in the drinks space aiming to woo guests as they enter the reception.
Late Night Wedding Food
As more couples choose to extend their celebrations to run over a two- or even three-day period, wedding parties are lasting much longer. This means your guests need to kept fed and watered throughout – both day and night.
Comfort foods are ideal for night-time snacking – think burgers, fish and chips, cheesy bites and sliders. Add a mix of sweet treats to balance out the savoury nibbles to keep energy levels high.
Want more wedding information and inspiration? Just hit ‘Like’ on our Wedding Ideas Facebook page, and ‘Follow’ on our @wimagazine Twitter account. To join in the conversation, share your stories here.