Sitting around the table enjoying a Sunday roast with family; the smell of nan’s apple crumble baking in the oven; sharing sugared donuts on the pier with friends during a beautiful summer’s day – the smell and taste of food has a way of bringing us right back to so many wonderful moments in our lives and the ability to bring people together even during some of the toughest times. So, it is no surprise that food plays such a big role in weddings – one of the most special days in a couple’s life where they gather their closest family and friends to celebrate their future together. Whether it be creating new memories with the ones they love or sharing the flavours and aromas of their past, most wedding couples are looking to wow their guests with the food and drinks they serve on their wedding day.
In order for our couples to do just that, we are taking a look at the top 5 wedding catering trends that we expect to see in 2023. Some of which draw inspiration from the individuality of each couple’s own history with food, taking their guests down memory lane, whilst others seek to buck tradition and impress with new, innovative ways of treating food as an experience, rather than just a meal.
- Late-Night Bites
Evening food is nothing new to the world of weddings, as couples over the years have offered their guests something in the wee hours of the night in hopes to keep the party going. But for 2023 we expect to see these late-night bites become more personalised and tailored to each individual couple. From hiring your favourite street food truck to set up shop outside the venue, to serving international delicacies, evening food is becoming a way for couples to get creative with catering and show off a bit of them in their food choices.
With the help of RSA House’s executive chef, Darren Archer, CH&CO (RSA’s in-house caterer) has developed themed menus for market stalls, drawing inspiration from traditional street food from around the world, including Japan, Greece, India, England and America. These can be a great alternative to the standard evening dishes and can offer guests a window into the bride and groom’s culture whilst providing an opportunity for them to interact with our chefs, watch their food being created and enjoy the sense of theatre involved in its preparation.
One of our favourite market stalls is the London Larder, which brings together a specially selected group of local suppliers whose commitment to quality in their field is unmatched and whose products reflect our London heritage and base. With Cobble Lane cured meats, Paxton and Whitfield cheeses, Paul Rhodes breads, and hand carved cured aged ham, among many others, how can you go wrong?
2. Theatrical Food Displays
Speaking of theatre, our second wedding catering trend for 2023 is all about theatrical food displays or show cooking. These days wedding couples are focusing more and more on the guest experience and want to provide their loved ones with memories to last a lifetime, including when it comes to food. This could involve having your wedding breakfast outside where your chef cooks the meal over an open fire as guests look on, to hiring aerial bartenders to serve drinks from above. It could also include creating a hibachi style dinner for a more intimate reception with the chef slicing and dicing tableside creating a true spectacle for your guests, to letting your guests build their own desserts, like ice cream sundaes or roasting marshmallows over a bonfire to make the perfect s’more. There are endless possibilities when it comes to being creative with food and this trend is one that we look forward to seeing develop throughout the year.
One way that the RSA plans to deliver on this budding trend is with their pudding at the theatre. A real showstopper (or should I say ‘smokeshow’), where our team of chefs will build a pudding table in front of your guests. Tailored to your event, this is a sweet treat that is sure to delight and surprise your guests.
3. Wedding Cake Alternatives
Not everyone loves cake. I know, I said it. But it is true. And many couples have felt obligated to have a cake at their wedding because it is traditional – its roots dating back to ancient Rome! However, what most couples don’t know is that over the years, somewhere between when the tradition involved a wheat or barley cake being broken over the bride’s head to today’s beautifully tiered, multi-flavoured masterpieces, it was customary to create towers of spiced buns, scones or cookies which the bride and groom would lean over to kiss (hopefully without knocking it over). The point is, traditions evolve and change over time, and there is no rule that says you must have a cake on your wedding day. So why not have a selection of cookies, a doughnut wall, a pick-n-mix station or even a tower of cheese (a ‘cheese cake’ if we may)?
These wedding cake alternatives are becoming more and more popular as couples are putting their own stamp on their day and throwing away traditions that don’t suit them. And we think that this trend is here to stay in 2023, with more creative dessert displays as a key focal point for many couples. Some even having a bit of both, with a small cake as an ode to tradition, and an assortment of their favourite desserts to share with their guests. And that is what we call having your cake and eating it too!
4. Unique Food and Drink Pairings
Pairing wine with food has always been around, but what about pairing food with cocktails or beer? Another area where couples can be creative is with food and drink pairings and we believe that this wedding catering trend will grow in 2023. Unique cocktails, mocktails and craft beer are on the rise and showcasing fun, innovative drinks (other than the traditional his and her cocktails) has become a great way to add some personality to your wedding. Why not pair your canapes with mini drinks such as a taco and margarita, fried clam and bloody Mary or mini burger and beer? Or offer a dessert cocktail such as an espresso martini, which will also help give your guests that extra dose of energy right before the party begins!
RSA House offers an assortment of amazing cocktails hand-crafted by Edmunds and hand-finished by our team. It’s up to you when and how you want them to be served, but get creative and your guests will definitely be impressed.
5. Sustainable Catering
Sustainability is finally becoming top of mind for so many, and it’s about time! The wedding industry is no different and it is truly inspiring to see how many suppliers and couples are making decisions that prioritise the environment and a commitment to a greener future. One big way we are seeing this shift in mindset achieved in 2023 is through sustainable catering. Couples want locally sourced meat and produce with minimal waste. There has also been a rise in demand for plant-based menus. We hope that this trend is here to stay, as contributing to a greener more equitable future for people and planet is central to RSA House’s core values.
In fact, in 2023, RSA House will be offering a Sustainable Wedding Package for those couples that want their wedding to reflect their values and what is important to them. The package will include: exclusive hire of RSA House and a variety of dressing rooms; a three-course vegan, sustainable wedding breakfast menu; Ridgeview sparkling wine reception; red and white wine for the table from our selection of ‘Wine with a Conscience’; vegan evening food selection; and choice of tableware and glassware. Let’s make a different one wedding at a time!