Food & Cocktails

For the overwhelming majority of people, food is the most important part of the wedding guest experience. They may not notice the extra strand of orchids strewn above a doorway, or how the votive candle holders matched the lace pattern on the bride’s dress; but they’ll always remember whether or not they enjoyed the food and cocktails served throughout the event. This section is dedicated to inspiration and advice from experts for choosing the perfect food and cocktail selections for your own bespoke wedding menu.

With so many Wedding Style readers being international couples from a wide variety of backgrounds, it’s important to note how food is one of the best ways to share and experience one’s culture. Brides and grooms may opt for non-traditional wedding décor or a more modern aesthetic, but the food is almost always used as a way to showcase their heritage and personality. In essence, a carefully planned wedding menu will tell a story and highlight the aspect of that couple’s relationship they wish to share.

Each detail of a menu can allude to a special moment or characteristic of a couple’s love story. The wine selection, for example, may include bottles from wineries they’ve visited together. The main course may be a gourmet version of the meal they had during their first date or highlight spices from the bride or groom’s homeland. The raw bar may be displayed on an ice carving of one of their favorite monuments. And the wedding favors may be a personalized version of their favorite sweets.

Meeting with the executive chef or catering team is truly an opportunity for couples to get creative in designing a one-of-a-kind wedding menu for their big day. Presentation is everything, and the best caterers can even make Happy Meals look chic by customizing the boxes with photos of the couple. Another favorite is taking casual classics like grilled cheese sandwiches, burgers, or fish and chips, and transforming them into chic, bite-sized versions to serve during cocktail hour.

Food and cocktails have evolved over the years, but there are always the favorite standbys served throughout the wedding day: Welcome drinks served prior to the ceremony; signature cocktails named after the couple; creative food stations and passed hors d’oeuvres for cocktail hour; showstopping wedding cakes and dessert tables; and indulgent comfort food served as a midnight snack.