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Wedding Catering Trends for 2017

In our third annual International Wedding Trends Report, we asked 50 industry experts to weigh in on the hottest trends in weddings for 2017. When it comes to food and beverage, the experts overwhelmingly agree that 2017 will be the year of small portions, interactive presentations, French service, and sustainability.

Small plates & beyond

Planner and designer, David Tutera, describes the small plate trend he believes will dominate catering in 2017: “We will see more stylized tasting menus with tableside service rather than your traditional full course meals--think refined small plates like artisanal Tuscan flatbreads or shrimp and filet mignon skewers.” According to Tutera, the experience will be more engaging and fun for guests.

Small bites are best, as shown in this example from Catersource's Monday Night Party in March 2016.

Minneapolis, MN caterer D'Amico recently promoted its new event and dining services (Q4 2016) at the Minnesota History Center which included these darling burger/beer and margarita/taco pairings.

Celebrity wedding planner Brit Bertino agrees and adds that, “heritage dishes from your ethnic background,” as well as “perfect pairings like tequila and tacos, or milk and cookies will be popular as well.

Meryl Snow of Feastivities expects that, “Late night bites will continue in 2017 and the innovativeness in the menu and vessel will be welcoming.” On the contrary, she feels that food trucks will decrease in popularity because they clear the dance floor, making it challenging to get the energy of a celebration back.

Sustainability will be important to celebrities and every day folks alike. Emma Riddell of Goose and Berry ranks “keeping it local and using local produce” as one of the top 10 catering trends for 2017. She also includes raw foods, superfoods, and interactive family-style or table service meals on the list.

Portland, ME's Vena's Fizz House offers a pine syrup and gin-based cocktail with rosemary and lemon garnish. The aroma itself is heavenly, not to mention how great the drink is. Photo by Kathleen Stoehr

The UK’s Mix and Twist predicts that the hot trend in cocktails will continue to be botanical flavors. “Consider tossing a spring of rosemary or sage to your final product as a tasteful garnish and flavor booster, “ they suggest.

The geode-style cake, as also mentioned in this recent article by Kevin Dennis

Finally, no 2017 menu would be complete without dessert. According to Elizabeth Solaru of Elizabeth Cake Emporium, “The top most popular wedding cake choices for 2017 that we are seeing include fairy tale inspired cakes, botanical inspired cakes, geode cakes, marble cakes, and of course, tall wedding cakes.”  She says that metallics are still in, although they’ve changed to shades of rose gold and copper. She does not anticipate that we will see as many rustic weddings or dessert tables this year as both are waxing in popularity.

For more wedding trends to be on the look-out for next year, please sign up for our report today!

Kylie Carlson is with the International Academy of Wedding & Event Planning. With six online campuses globally, the International Academy of Wedding and Event Planning boasts an internationally recognized accreditation program that brings professional training to wedding planners, event planners, event designers, and wedding stylists.






Kylie Carlson

Founder / CEO, The Wedding and Event Institute
Kylie Carlson is the owner of ...