The Knot recently shared that destination weddings make up 25% of all nuptials and with that, we have welcomed in a new wave of culinary trends that couples are embracing. From a focus on sustainability to incorporating local flavors, foods are now finding their own place in the destination wedding market.
A commitment to sustainability is on the rise, with menus featuring fare that is sourced locally, in-season, and processed in an environmentally conscious way. This farm-to-table movement has been prevalent in the culinary industry for some time and now, destination couples are following suit.
Local ingredients provide the opportunity to incorporate native flavors into the menu. Including fruits, vegetables and spices that may be unavailable to guests back home is what makes a destination wedding unique. For example, a rich Mediterranean feast of olives and moussaka makes for a memorable Greek wedding experience while a traditional Maori hangi feast will wow guests at any New Zealand fête.
These days, it seems like everyone is watching what they eat – between raw foods, paleo, and any other diet trends, there can be limitations when planning the menu for a destination wedding for larger groups of people. Luckily, local foods are often the freshest and healthiest choices around, so pulling from nearby sources can open up more options on the menu.
A successful destination wedding menu is one that anticipates guests’ dietary restrictions and preferences in advance, which can be determined through the RSVPs with relative ease. If it’s found that quite a few guests abide by a similar diet, then it may be easier to a have a menu that is designed to work for all, but if there are only a few, a specialty meal can be made to accommodate.
Just like foods, drinks are getting the local treatment as well. From Italian wine to Jamaican rum, every destination has its own beverage of choice – why not bring it to the party? Signature cocktails are a great way to incorporate some of the regional liquors while getting a little creative. Margaritas are perfect for a Mexican fiesta while a refreshing sangria pairs well with a celebration in Barcelona. If celebrating in the City of Love, a traditional sidecar makes for a great complement to Parisian foods.
Craft beers and fine wines are also a fun way to bring in some local sips for guests to try. Couples and guests alike will appreciate trying out the best drinks of the nearby area, so it may make sense to incorporate these beverages into the bar menu for the night.
Planning menus for destination weddings just got better – with more trends to come, we anticipate lots of creative menus no matter where the destination is!
Rebecca Hochreiter is the Vice President of Marketing & Customer Engagement at DestinationWeddings.com, the world's leading destination wedding and romantic travel planning company. DestinationWeddings.com has worked with nearly 25,000 couples and half a million guests to plan dream destination weddings. DestinationWeddings.com is one of the award-winning brands in the Celebration Travel Group collection.