Five ways for food lovers to get wed and fed in style by a man who knows – our photographer foodie, Robin Goodlad…
As a wedding photographer, I see a lot of food pass in front of me, and it is inspiring to see the range of creativity and options available to the modern bride and groom.
Good food can make the difference between a lovely wedding and an incredible one. More and more of us are fond of fine food and food is much more of a focus, providing an amazing culinary experience for your guests at your wedding is now a big thing.
This is one area where you can really push the boat out and help make your wedding stand out from the crowd. Food can inevitably be one of the biggest spends on a wedding day, as you are feeding a large group of people. But by moving away from the traditional three course wedding breakfast, it is possible to make that budget go further, while also allowing the day to flow more smoothly and keep guests well fed. And a well fed guest is a happy guest!
Rather than worrying too much about the latest trends and whether they may be out of fashion when your day actually arrives, I feel it is more important to follow some basic and timeless principles and choose food which serves your day perfectly. Make the food fit your day, not the other way around.
1. Get Sociable
Gone are the days of a stuffy, long meal, where guests have to sit for three hours, making awkward conversation. People love to be more sociable and move around, so make the food work for you in this way by making it mobile and interactive. A reception should be about fun and laughter, rather than the fear of a lengthy sit down. Weddings can often wreak havoc with guest’s eating habits, with food served at unusual times. If you have a lunchtime wedding, then it is possible guests won’t have eaten since breakfast.
Canapes are a great way to get food into your guests straight away, and keep them happy. How about some freshly shucked local oysters? Another great choice is to upgrade the canapes to ‘manapes’, making them bite-size starters. This way guests can eat while they socialise, and if you follow with a sit down meal this only needs to be two courses, rather than three, reducing that long sit down, and letting guests mix with a wider range of people. Try soup shots, or asparagus with dipping eggs for example.
2. Afternoon Tea
Another great way to make the most of summer, is afternoon tea. It is certainly very trendy, but then it has been around for years, and is never going to go out of fashion. This can be as informal or elaborate as you like, inside or out, and it can be served with the speeches, as a real celebratory affair. It can also be much more cost effective that a three course meal. Beautiful china can be hired, and get creative on the cakes. You could even ask guests to contribute their favourite bakes as great way of making savings.
3. Street Style Food
Street food is a great way of making the most of the evening in style, rather than the old fashioned buffet. Wood-fired pizza vans are hugely popular, as is street food, or the classic fish and chip van, with all food cooked to order by vendors who really know and love their craft. Evening and day guests alike can get creative and make their own, and enjoy as much or as little as they need. This can add a real festival feel to the day and street food is simply delicious! Serving ice creams from a van can be great fun, and much more cost effective than a formal, sit down dessert.
4. Get Interactive
While still opting for a sit down meal, sharing platters and family style dining work really well in place of individual courses. It’s less fussy and guests have more interaction, which makes the meal much more relaxed and fun. Nominate servers on each table, and add a sense of fellowship.
5. Self Service Bars and Food Stations
Champagne served on trays has led into signature cocktails and now we are seeing drinks stations, either DIY or staffed. A lemonade bar is super popular currently, and great for children, as are prosecco bars, infused waters and cocktails. A great way to have fun with the reception drinks. Sweet tables are hugely on trend too.
Good Enough to Eat
Robin Goodlad is a veteran of countless weddings across the region and a self-confessed food lover too. Check out his award-winning photography at: www.robingoodlad.com