Glass jars of lemonade and decor on wedding candy bar

Photo by Green Shoot Media

There’s likely a vision in your head about wedding food, perhaps positively or negatively influenced by past weddings you may have attended.

Maybe it was a buffet or limited-choice meal delivered by waiters. But don’t let the past lock you in. There are lots of new choices to consider this year. Here, we’ve collected a “buffet” of trends happening that will hopefully spark your culinary imagination and kick your own wedding event up a notch.

Drinks

Stations are in. Instead of a standard bar or roaming waiters, interaction is the keyword for wedding cocktails this year, claims an expert on the website Delish. Flavored syrups, fruits, edible flowers and herbs can be featured for guests to add to their drinks. Signature cocktails never go out of style, says another expert — but plastic straws have. The movement to eliminate single-use plastics is also trending at weddings, where you’ll see more paper straws and bamboo stir sticks.

Dinner

Wedding planner Kylie Carlson reports that the popularity of intimate weddings is leading to couples — especially foodies — developing tasting menus featuring six or seven small courses. The trend toward the less formal continues with wedding dinners. Roaming dinners in which guests visit food stations turn the event into an extended cocktail hour. The popularity of healthy, locally sourced ingredients is filling the choices at those food stations.

Dessert

The iconic wedding cake also changes with the seasons. Simple cakes have given way to elegance and sophistication with wedding experts seeing more polished creations. To create a fun feel, alternative cakes made of Belgian waffles or pancakes, cinnamon buns and donut cakes are trending options.

Late-night snacks

If you expect your wedding bash to extend into the wee hours, late-night snacks are an expected (and necessary) final touch to the party. Expect to see the food station and healthy trend extend to these snacks, featuring such items as açaí bowls, vegetarian options and cheese and fruit pairings.

For more substantial fare, food trucks continue to dominate in popularity. Look into reserving one.

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