What's Trending: An Inside Look at 2017 Weddings

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October 12, 2017

Whether you love them, like them, or would rather escape them, weddings are a fact of life for most caterers. Fortunately, many caterers delight in sharing this special celebration with members of their community. We spoke with two of these love struck caterers to get a glimpse at what it's like to cater 2017 weddings.

Why is wedding catering growing?

Each year, the ICA takes a survey of all of its member caterers to get a more complete picture of the catering industry. At the end of 2016, 37.6% of surveyed caterers reported that wedding catering was their largest area of growth—it was second only to corporate catering. But what's generating this growth?

Cory Gosik, sales director at Sensational Host Events & Catering in New Jersey, suggested that this was due to the recent increase in available information for young couples. "They have grown up with cell phones in their hands, and with platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, they can visually see what others are doing at weddings and get excited about it."

Similarly, the director of wedding planning at Connecticut Wedding Group, Mary-Beth McDowell, attributed this growth to, "buzz in [their] marketplace."

What kinds of weddings are most popular?

If weddings are growing for over a third of ICA caterers, then they must be noticing new wedding themes. McDowell's three most popular kinds of weddings are barn/rustic style, farm-to-table style, and tented. Further down the East Coast, Gosik's three most popular wedding styles are black tie, barn, and backyard. Whether wedding clients choose a luxury celebration or something a bit more rustic, they clearly want to differentiate their wedding.

Autumn grilled pork chop, rosemary and sage rub, boursin whipped potato, spaghetti squash, orange balsamic reduction. Photo Credit: Connecticut Wedding Group

What types of cuisine do wedding clients want?

Last but certainly not least, let's take a look at the food that wedding clients want in 2017. Gosik shared that many couples in his market are returning to the traditional wedding foods: "filet mignon, salmon, crab cakes, etc." But, he has also had many couples get creative with their favorite foods. For the couples who want to bring in their favorite foods, like a groom who loved burgers and beers, Gosik's team created "a passed hors d'oeuvre of a mini burger served with a two-ounce mini IPA beer."

McDowell also loves to cater to clients' appetites, which tend to prefer "local, sustainable food at their wedding," and they also want "locally brewed beers and ciders." Seasonal flavors are a favorite, too, and right now that means ingredients like "apples, corn, squash, and pears" for McDowell in New England.

Lyman Orchards Chicken, Lyman’s apple and aged cheddar stuffing, roasted carrots, cranberry farro pilaf, bourbon cider glaze. Photo credit Connecticut Wedding Group

No matter the flavors, themes, and creative flairs of the weddings in your market, we're excited to see what innovation and other trends the growth of the industry brings.

Sensational Host Events & Catering and Connecticut Wedding Group are proud members of the ICA, and both Cory Gosik and Mary-Beth McDowell will be presenting education sessions at Catersource 2018. To learn more about the ICA, visit http://internationalcaterers.org/. Click here to view a list of scheduled Catersource 2018 sessions.

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