Catering is one of the most important parts of a wedding, not only does it bring guests together, but offering colourless cuisine can kill the mood faster than a caffeinated fashionista on her way to the latest Zimmerman sample sale.

So, to keep your next wedding <party, anything> on the lips of guests long after the digestif has been sipped, it’s essential to know what works with your theme, but also know what’s on trend.

To take the hard work out of trying to guess what’s hot when it comes to an autumn menu, we’ve spoken to executive chef at Chefs About, Ray Wehbe.

1. Food stations

Creative and engaging food stations are instant crowd pleasers, as they encourage guests to mingle and interact around shared tables. A well designed food station can also serve as a centrepiece or focal point at the event and if you have live cooking demonstrations, it’s also a source of entertainment – tick and tick!

“Undoubtedly, the king of the food station is a grazing table of cheese, charcuterie, seasonal & dried fruits. This is the perfect combination of flavours for an autumn event,” says Ray.

“More and more brides are requesting raw bars stocked with fresh oysters and sashimi. This is meeting the brief of a healthier menu option and it also caters to a number of popular dietary requirements including paleo, Atkins, raw food and Mediterranean.”

For real visual impact, consider a display of seasonal fruits – think pears, apples and figs. Alternatively, you can never go wrong with a colourful dessert buffet.

2. Table Props

First impressions are everything, so when your guests enter the dining room, it’s essential that they instantly recognise the theme and messaging you’re wanting to impart.

One way to tie in your dining with your theme is to incorporate table props. 2015 will be the year of the customised rustic wedding, with brides continuing to add personal touches to every aspect of their Big Day, whether it be with old family photographs or personalised scented candles. Pushing this trend even further, we will start seeing brides designing each of the dining tables differently to match the tastes of those guests who are seated there. Although it means a whole lot of extra work, sourcing new centrepieces and researching every guest, it adds another personal touch to the event that will leave a lasting impression.

 3. Finger food 

Fret not, when we talk finger food, we’re not referring to frankfurts and devilled eggs. The finger food of autumn is all about elegance and simplicity, mixed with a dash of imagination.

“This time of year, I love taking classic dishes and turning them into bite-sized and reconstructed versions of themselves,” explains Ray.

Another trend in finger food for autumn involves pushing the boundaries of traditional flavours and merging cultural influences to create a fusion dish.

“A favourite canapé for autumn is created using fresh slices of salmon sashimi on a crispy pita bread with aioli, black sesame seeds and lime.”

4. Food Favours

Sending your guests home with chocolates or cupcakes is so 2014. This year, it’s all about meaningful favours that your guests will actually use long after you’ve said I Do.

Brides are now searching for personalised favours like home-made conserves, jams or marinades. Not only can you ensure each guest gets a favour that they’ll love, but every time they use some of the sauce, they’ll be taken back to the happy memories of the day.

5. Dare to be Different

“Traditions and habits can be hard to break, especially when they’re cultural, but oftentimes the most memorable weddings, are those that reinvent the norm,” Ray says.

Don’t be afraid to take risks and try something unique, whether it’s in the flavours of a dish, the menu or the serving style.

When engaging a private chef or caterer, Ray advises brides to ask lots of questions, get case studies of their past work and seek out the innovators and rule-breakers in the industry.

“Never just rely on social media imagery, as it’s easy to be fooled by photo-shopped photos. Arrange a face-to-face meeting and don’t be afraid to ask for the details of a past client,” says Ray.

And for those brides who still are convinced of the importance of the wedding feast, I encourage you to think back to that time you tried any form of liquid detox diet. Point proven; no one’s happy when they’re hungry.

Love and Sparkles,


Posted in Expert Advice, Food, Planning, Style by wedded wonderland

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