As a caterer living and breathing the events industry, you’ve probably noticed the tremendous uptick in summer weddings this year. There’s a reason for that. The Knot reported that 2022 will be a record-breaking year for weddings, with over 2.6 million on the books. That’s an estimated one billion meals served and a whole lot of craft cocktails. These numbers have only been seen historically one time prior, in 1984. With the number of weddings postponed during the pandemic, plus the new demand to celebrate love after years apart, it makes sense!
Since it will be the busiest season most caterers have had in years, how do you prepare? Or, how do you land new business that will exceed your projections to make up lost pandemic revenues? It should come as no surprise that the answer is creativity.
During a recent ICA monthly roundtable discussion, Lee Ann Kelly, VP of Sales, Marketing, and Sourcing for American Metalcraft, joined Jeffrey Selden, Managing Partner of Marcia Selden Catering and Events, and Robin Selden, Managing Partner and Executive Chef of Marcia Selden Catering and Events. Together, they shared the top trends they see for summertime weddings. There’s no shortage of creativity in these plates; take notes!
Artistic small plates
Small plates in their own right aren’t a trend. But they’re ever-evolving, so designing them in a way that incorporates a unique presentation is trendy! You can easily use trendy vessels like mini angled round melamine bowls or stainless-steel double wall bowls for cold treats like berries and ice cream.
Healthier options (that incorporate fresh local vegetables and fruit) are in demand for weddings. Ideas can include charcuterie and crudité in mini melamine pots for a garden vibe or a peach Caprese salad in a melamine “cast iron” skillet. Photo courtesy International Caterers Association
Marcia Selden Catering and Events has been offering desserts in the form of an amuse-bouche, typically reserved for pre-dinner or between courses. These bite-sized desserts are essentially mini versions of their larger desserts, but are a hit for couples and guests. Another popular year-round option is the chicken and waffles with slaw and a pipette of siracha syrup served in a carbon steel vessel.
Garden grab & go
There’s definitely a push for healthier options at weddings. (Or, if they’re not healthier, at least they incorporate fresh local vegetables and fruits in the mix!) Fun ideas could be charcuterie and crudité in mini melamine pots for a garden vibe or a peach Caprese salad in a melamine “cast iron” skillet.
Dinnertime for weddings and events doesn’t necessarily mean steak and potatoes. Couples are asking for more internationally-inspired dishes every season. In fact, this year, American Metalcraft’s number one selling new item was noodle bowls. Pho, anyone?
Couples are asking for internationally-inspired dishes, such as pho, tacos, and wontons. Marcia Selden Catering and Events serves complex dishes like Spanish paella, Indian curry dishes, or artful Italian crudo. Photo courtesy International Caterers Association
Marcia Selden Catering and Events serves complex dishes like Spanish paella, Indian curry dishes, or artful Italian crudo. It’s time to get more authentic to the cultures and flavors that clients love and connect with!
Time to cheers
Most couples are featuring a simple signature cocktail for guests that offers a pop of color and juicy botanicals to their bar service. The simpler, the better. Feature only three to four ingredients to let the organic flavors shine vibrantly. A few cocktails that couples working with Marcia Selden Catering and Events love include:
Most couples are featuring a simple signature cocktail for guests that offers a pop of color and juicy botanicals to their bar service. Photo courtesy International Caterers Association
Spiked Berry Lemonade
There’s nothing more refreshing than a summertime lemonade! This cocktail features lemonade spiked with vodka mixed with blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and mint.
Blackberry Bourbon Smash
This favorite features bourbon, simple syrup muddled with blackberries, and the secret ingredient—a small drop of mint oil.
Guests are getting their greens more festively with this fresh favorite! You’ll want to mix Hendrick’s cucumber gin with mint and lime and then employ a great upsell—a large globe-shaped ice cube—to seal the deal. Custom ice shapes continue to be all the rage to shake it up this season!
Join the ICA for more seasonal catering inspiration, education opportunities, and peer collaboration As a catering company helping a couple celebrate the most important day of their lives, you want to delight, entertain, and impress.
Each month, the ICA hosts educational roundtables like this to help inspire, brainstorm, and educate on industry trends. With a mission to help caterers learn, grow, and thrive, we aim to spark collaboration opportunities that can help every caterer succeed!