With summer about to begin, thoughts invariably turn to the wedding season. You may have already set your heart on a theme, or you might be struggling to decide, but either way, it is always interesting to discover the latest trends where weddings are concerned.
2017 sees the back of traditional food and drinks and incorporates a more relaxed, informal feel to the day. Understated, yet elegant. Like the messy bun of wedding receptions! It looks effortless, but it all comes together perfectly (and not a sausage roll or vol-au-vent in sight).
I Dough (Nut)
Wedding cakes are not what they used to be. I mean, be honest, who actually likes wedding cake? I learned to my cost a long time ago that eating rich wedding cake is way too much dried fruit in one go. It’s a recipe (see what I did there?) for disaster. Now all I do is strip the icing and fruit away and eat the marzipan, and that’s such a waste!
Luckily for all those kindred spirits out there, there is a new trend that is going to be a hit with everyone – doughnuts! Yep, doughnuts are huge news this season and are taking over from the cutesy cupcake-wedding-cake trend of recent years. And with the arrival of more and more Krispy Kreme shops on this side of the pond, you can colour-scheme to your heart’s content. What could be more delicious (and more fun) than a pyramid of doughnuts, sitting pretty and waiting to be devoured?
Spills and Thrills
But, if you really do want a cake cake, and you’re trying to save money by making your own, (but you’re more Mary Queen of Scots than Mary Berry), there’s good news. Are you ready? Drip Cakes. Yep, cakes with icing literally dripping and running down the sides. They’re everywhere this year. And with the average wedding cake costing in the region of £500, it will be well worth having a go at making your own. My efforts at icing regularly end up with the topping running down the sides – I could make a mint selling them at bridal fairs this year!
Alternatively, if money is no object and you really want a designer cake made professionally, Geode and Gem wedding cakes are also rock-ing it this year. With sugar crystals coloured to look like Quartz, Amethyst, or Emerald to complement your colour theme these really do look too good to eat, if a little unusual. But that’s what this season is all about.
In keeping with the relaxed refreshments, Food Stations is where it’s at. Think street food. If you’re having an outdoor reception this is easy – ice cream vans, burger vans, fish and chip vans, anything vans. But even indoors this is a growing trend – different tables laden with different foods…cheese and bruschetta, tapas, pizzas – or how about a nachos and taco stand? Simply lay all the ingredients out, and the implements to put them together, and let your guests graze at will. This isn’t restricted to savoury foods, of course. Doughnuts aren’t just for the wedding cake, they also look great stacked up in piles on a table, or even hung on a giant board with pegs (as long as they are ring doughnuts, otherwise there is going to be a hell of a mess!). Sweet ‘shops’ are also a big hit at weddings, as are candy floss stalls. Unless you want the formal sit down dinner, grazing stations are perfect for the relaxed party.
Keeping Your Gin Up
Gin is the spirit right now. Gone are the days when gin was a slightly chemical-tasting fast track to oblivion, it now comes in every conceivable flavour and colour. Clotted cream gin makes a beautiful summer wedding tipple and looks so pretty with a couple of strawberries. Shiraz gin is ideal for the spirit AND the wine drinkers, a beautifully coloured Saffron flavoured gin will match a peach colour scheme, and there’s even a Yorkshire Tea variety for Auntie Mabel. And if you are planning a Christmas wedding, why not raise a toast with Christmas Pudding flavoured gin? Whether you are a hipster or a “hick”-ster, there will be a gin to suit you and your guests.
Of course, if you are planning a long way in advance, you can flavour your own. Herbs such as lavender and mint, or fruits like strawberries, rhubarb, and cranberries can make delicious fruity gins. There’s no end to what you can add – even garlic, although I can’t imagine there would be a whole lot of kissing going on! Whether home-made or bought in, a gin-bar is a great addition to a 2017 wedding.
A Nice Relaxing Bubble Bar
Some wedding traditions never go out of style, and bubbly is one of them. So how about keeping with the food stations idea, and have a stand where the guests can ‘fancy up their fizz’? The things you can add to champagne to pimp it up are endless. Herbs like rosemary and mint add flavour and look great, and fruit has always been a winner when coupled with champagne – don’t stop at strawberries though, pomegranate seeds are also good. Citrus fruits add va-va-voom to champers with both bubbles and taste, so have plenty of lemon and lime wedges available. If you prefer spice with your fizz, dropping a chunk of candied ginger in the glass will have those bubbles going into overdrive as well as dialling up the heat slightly. Simply lay all the ingredients out and let your guests bling their bubbly.
Thinking outside the box is really the key to a wedding reception which is bang on trend this year, and hopefully for years to come. Nothing is better than a relaxed atmosphere, where the guests can loosen their ties, kick off their heels, and just mingle. Classy just got chilled.
With thanks to LoveMyVouchers.co.uk for this analysis of 2017 wedding food and drink trends. You can find more advice and tips on how to save money on your wedding by visiting their Lifestyle blog.