The pandemic forced planners, vendors, and couples to think outside the box when it came time to sit down and plan out a wedding, ensuring everyone’s safety throughout the event. But while it was definitely a stressful time, it resulted in the emergence of some creative trends that we hope are around for years to come. Case in point: The growing popularity of individual servings during the cocktail hour and reception.
"Whether it’s an effect of the pandemic or just a shifting of the trends, the way we do weddings is changing,” explains Gita Parekh of Koyal Wholesale. “Even the menus have changed, with couples forgoing traditional buffet, family-style, or plated sit-down dinners in favor of individual servings that cut out cross-contamination and utensil sharing.”
Here are some of the latest food trends to look forward to in 2022!
Personalized Charcuterie Boards
Katie Elder of Overlook Barn had one couple who not only served guests mini charcuterie boards, but each one was custom built and served as the wedding favor. “It was so beautiful, delicious, and also a wonderful and thoughtful keepsake for guests,” she explains.
Handheld Hors d’Oeuvres
One trend that will continue to be popular in 2022 and beyond are mini hors d’oeuvres, which eliminates the need for guests to gather around an appetizer station, explains Jennifer Price of Hill City Bride. Caterers are making mini fruit and veggie cups, and even tiny grilled cheese sandwiches coupled with a small portion of soup. All of these handheld appetizers control portions while ranking high on the adorableness scale.
Serve your sushi-loving guests a sampling of handmade rolls on individual plates, along with their own pair of chopsticks and sauces.
Beer & Wine Flights
While we’re on the subject of flights, you can cut down on overcrowding at the bar by offering flights of the couple’s favorite beers and wines.
Modified Family Style
Cathy O’Connell of COJ Events planned this for a couple, where the sides were pre-plated and the servers came around with the protein and served them tableside to the guests. “Full plated meals are still the COVID standard to keep everyone from sharing utensils,” she explains.
“We have several weddings doing ‘small plate’ chef-manned stations,” says O’Connell. With this option, guests get the experience of interacting with the chef and choosing their food choices, but they are small individual plates that encourage grazing the food stations without actually having to touch anything.
Grab & Go Desserts
Instead of large, extravagant wedding cakes, more and more couples are opting for grab-and-go desserts, such as cupcakes with customized wrappers, and even other styles of desserts (think chocolate-covered strawberry sticks) that make it easier for guests to simply take and enjoy. “No crowding around the cake or having people get their fingers on someone else’s plate—individual desserts make the reception safer for guests, caterers, and couples alike!” says Elder.
Mini Wedding Cakes
Don’t want to forgo the wedding cake? Opt for single-serve wedding cakes, which aren't only beautiful, but a unique way to present each person with an individual portion while going well beyond the cupcake, notes Price.
Hero photo courtesy of Honey Gem Creative