The Southern Wedding Reception Food and Beverage Trends Summer & Fall 2017

“Menu trends today are beginning to shift from ingredient-based items to concept-based ideas, mirroring how consumers tend to adapt their activities to their overall lifestyle philosophies, such as environmental sustainability and nutrition.”- Hudson Riehle, Senior Vice President of The National Restaurant Association’s Research and Knowledge Group

From cactus wedding cake toppers to Frosè (made famous by Downtown Tampa bar Franklin Manor), new trends are dominating the Southern wedding reception scene. Opting out of ordering champagne, many wedding couples are instead, featuring two choices of wedding cocktails, known as ‘3-ingredient wedding cocktails’. If you are debating on “beer and wine” versus “open bar,” hesitate no more! The 3-ingredient cocktails, Frosè, Spritz and Mojito, are replacing the “open bar” concept. The cocktails are usually served during the reception and pre-entrée course.

Have you tried tiny handheld pies? Blueberry or cherry, small enough that you can try one of each, can cater to you and your wedding guests’ nostalgic heritage. Although the South probably boasts the most extensive fried pie history, many cultures claim tiny pies as their own. They are fast becoming a chef’s favorite and are spreading like wildfire in private and special events.

In general, there are two styles of wedding venues: on-site and off-premise. All-inclusive ones with on-site caterers may not allow an independent caterer unless they provide specialty foods (Kosher, etc.) The event venues that allow outside vendors may require or suggest to you to get wedding insurance to cover property damage, vendor failures, etc.

A Great Venue Can Guide Your Menu in Florida

Hiring a caterer can be one of the most daunting tasks when planning a wedding. It is the most talked about topics following a wedding event. People may forget about the decorations, favors, or music, but they will not forget about the wedding food. Quality of the wedding food, attention to detail, making sure the bridal party is fed are details that can make or break a wedding. We spoke with Michael Lamando owner of Amici’s Catered Cuisine in Oldsmar, FL, on the most important tips for couples when picking a caterer. According to Mr. Lamando; “Reading reviews to see how other clients experienced the company at their event, experience of the culinary team, willingness to provide a tasting, ability to deliver to location, and responsiveness to their needs are necessary qualities to look for.”

For over 35 years, award winning Amici’s Catered Cuisine has earned a stellar reputation for excellence as one of the leading Tampa Bay caterers. By presenting the finest quality gourmet foods, delivering impeccable service and dazzling with spectacular presentations, Amici’s has made thousands of events a triumph! What differentiates them from other caterers is their action stations where a chef prepares per person meals. Of course, they also provide the traditional plated and staffed events or a warm buffet of your choice. This amazing company does a lot for their community and has stayed in business because they truly love what they do.

Inspiring and Innovative Reception Trends from South Carolina

In South Carolina, food is more than sustenance. For most culinary leaders, wedding events bring forth the perfect stage to perform all the richness and flavor that the state has to offer. From Hilton Head Island/Bluffton to Myrtle Beach on the coast and from Greenville to Aiken, a menu of Lowcountry specialties and fresh seafood will always be available. Food in South Carolina is deeply-rooted in tradition: Grits, fatback, macaroni and cheese, deep fried chicken, blacked-eyed peas and rice, cornbread, Beaufort stew, Catfish stew, Huguenot torte, are just a few options that wedding couples can add to their menu.

Quintessential Lowcountry Cuisine for Weddings

South Carolina is home to several superb catering companies that offer extensive menus and price ranges. Seafood dishes are offered at every meal. Hence, crabs, shrimp, fish, and oysters form the basis of any traditional wedding menu. This year, Millennials are shaping new trends regarding the type of food service in South Carolina:

  • Service à la française, the practice of serving various dishes of a meal at the same time
  • American/plated service
  • Buffet
  • With the growth of green and rustic weddings celebrated outdoors, the latest service trend is offering a Hors D’oeuvres service following the ceremony until the wedding cake is cut. Hors d’oeuvres are presented to get the reception started. The menu goes from light to heavy options as the reception continues into dinner. Throughout dinner, caterers incorporate Southern infused action stations and keep the event social and casual.

    Table Set UP For Rehearsal Dinner

    Advice from Wedding Specialists at Wedding Protector Plan

  • Book one location for your ceremony and reception. You won’t have to pay multiple site fees, plus there’s no need for transportation.
  • Articulate what is special about the reception location and the food & beverage options. A great venue can guide your menu, reception decorations and other necessary event details.
  • Avoid Saturday weddings from May through October, when everything costs more.
  • Friday and Sunday weddings afford more flexibility in options and pricing with all vendors & venues.
  • Make sure you have a backup plan for the unpredictable weather, if you are planning an outdoor reception.
  • Bon Appetite!

    Learn More Trends

  • Simply Sunshine Events & New Jersey Weddings
  • Sweetgrass Social Event and Design & South Carolina Weddings