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Are you getting ready for the summer wedding season? Between the sunshine, the flowers, and the lazy holiday feel, summer weddings are often more relaxed and casual than those at other times of year. But that doesn't mean that the food becomes any less important!

If you've got summertime weddings on your catering calendar, take a minute to get to know some of this season's most popular wedding trends. When the time comes to make those final arrangements, you'll be ready to wow your brides and grooms with your creative (and delicious!) ideas.

Bright and bold

The trend: Summertime weddings are all about the color of the season. This includes bright colors, geometric patterns, and metallic surfaces.

What to offer the bride and groom: Instead of playing it safe with traditional white linens and place settings, pull out a variety of colors or even patterns. Give the bride and groom a choice of options within their color scheme. Encourage them to think big with their design choices. For food, take advantage of the chance to play around. Offer festively plated fruits and veggies for a pop of color during the cocktail hour. If you have a pastry chef on staff, put together an array of mini desserts decorated with edible gold. Encourage each bride and groom to think of the food not just as something to eat, but as part of the decor.

Keep it local

The trend: Couples are becoming more health- and eco-conscious than ever, and their food preferences are beginning to reflect that.

What to offer the bride and groom: On your website, share information about where you source your food. If you have arrangements with local farmers or co-ops, be sure to display that prominently. If your ingredients come from a variety of places, offer """"local sourcing only"""" as an add-on for couples that are interested. And make sure you have a menu that features seasonal summer produce, rather than the same options you have in winter.

Unexpected spice

The trend: This summer, wedding menus are getting a little less conservative. Foodie brides and grooms aren't afraid to make choices with a little (or a lot) of spice.

What to offer the bride and groom: Turn up the heat on the menu with additions such as cayenne, chili oil, or sriracha. Don't limit your spices to main dishes: appetizers, cocktails, and even desserts can all benefit from a little extra kick. If couples do decide to go big with the spices, encourage them to balance the menu with plenty of drink options. Carafes of fruit-infused water, sparkling juices, or lemonade will help guest cool down if they get a little too adventurous with their taste-testing.

Casual and comfortable

The trend: This year's summer weddings are going to feel more like a family reunion than a formal reception. Many couples want to keep their style simple and casual as a way to urge their guests to relax and have fun.

What to offer the bride and groom: Find out what foods most remind your couples of summertime at home. Do they come from families that barbecued outside? Did they pass around platters of home-cooked pasta and fresh salads at the dinner table? Find out what the bride and groom's favorite food memories are, then recreate them. To keep the laid-back feel of a summer party, set up serve-yourself food stations around the reception area, or give each table several family-style platters that can be passed around.

Make your own

The trend: This summer, make-your-own bars are popping up everywhere. These fun options highlight the casual feel of summertime, allowing guests the chance to play with their food just a little.

What to offer the bride and groom: Use make-your-own bars to highlight the couple's favorite part of the meal. Do they love a good cocktail? Set up martini bar or lay out planters of fresh herbs that guests can snip and add to their drinks. For a breakfast reception, allow guests to design their own omelets. If the couple wants more than just cake at dessert, put out a frozen yogurt bar with a dozen topping for guests to choose from, or set up a place where they can decorate cupcakes. Make-your-own bars allow your creativity and presentation skills to really shine in a way that is different from traditional catering. Take time not only to come up with several options that highlight the bride and groom's favorite parts of the meal, but also clever and beautiful ways to display them.


Lockhart Catering on 23 July 2014 8:47 AM

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