Weddings are a grand celebration, and whether yours is big or small, black tie or DIY, it’s important to have a party that represents you and your love. I encourage my clients to throw a party that represents them as a couple. It’s a big day and as the saying goes, “Food is love!” But that doesn’t mean you have to go overboard with the butter and the trimmings. It’s hip to serve healthy food at your reception now.
If you’ve adopted a healthy eating mantra to get ready for your big day, why not stick with it through your reception? I recently worked with a bride and groom that don’t eat processed meats, so they didn’t serve bacon or sausage at their brunch reception—and none of the guests missed them. Heavy, run-of-the-mill dinner buffets, and fat-laden passed apps are no longer expected or required. In fact, the catering trends for 2014 are looking fresher, healthier, and tastier than ever! Here’s how to break away from the usual sad-looking chicken drowned in cream sauce:
Join the Farm-to-Table Movement When interviewing caterers, ask where they buy their ingredients. Look for companies that source food locally, and use as many fresh, organic ingredients as possible. The demand is there, so the right caterer is there, I promise!
Keep Cocktail Hour Light and Creative I love working with caterers who really care about the food and the overall guest experience. (Event caterers should not serve frozen mini quiches!) Culinary Eye in San Francisco picks up produce from farmer’s markets and sources meat from local ranches to create dishes that are simply delicious. Fresh foods always taste better than processed ones—and no one will miss the old standbys! Here is some of the low-calorie fare Culinary Eye will be serving this summer: canapés of heirloom melon, Thai basil, torn burrata, and balsamic reduction; pea tartar with mint, Meyer lemon olive oil, and shaved Manchego cheese; and compressed cucumber, smoked salmon, and fresh chive on silver spoons. Yum!
Serve Dinner Family-Style This option allows guests to pass platters to each other, so it’s perfect for those big round dinner tables, and it’s a cool way for guest to get to know each other and break bread—literally. Family-style menus also present an opportunity to serve more dishes. Typically, you can choose three main course items and several sides, which means you can have waist-friendly entrées placed on every table. When beautiful salads and bright veggie platters are being passed from guest to guest, everyone will partake. Of course, you can still serve your great-aunt’s famous mac and cheese—but with so many options on the table guests are likely to take a smaller helping so they can try a little of everything.
Beer and Wine Only, Please! This trend in beverage service is here to stay—and I love it! Not only does skipping hard alcohol cut down on your reception costs, just serving beer and wine also prevents guests from taking shots at the bar and potentially getting rowdy quickly. Plus, beer and wine offer more heart-healthy antioxidants and often contain fewer calories than mixed drinks made with sugary juices and sodas. This is one idea even a Jameson loving groom can get behind!
Christy Daly Matthews is a certified wedding consultant and a busy mom of two boys (both under 5!) in the San Francisco Bay Area. Christy believes in marriage equality, to-do lists, and parties. She enjoys creating a seamless event that celebrates your love, you way. @ChristyDaly has a weakness for stinky cheese; she relies on classes at The Daily Method and a trusty jogging stroller to help her stay fit. (Photo Credit: Gavin Farrington)