Yum, yum and yum!  In addition to feeding your guests, food can be a focal point of your wedding, a conversation starter and something that your guests will be talking about long after your wedding day.  One of our first posts on the blog was about food trucks and it got us thinking.  What are some of the other food options growing in popularity?  We caught up with a few of the top caterers in the Washington, DC region and asked about the current food trends for weddings.  We wanted to know the the fun food finds that are popular at DC-area weddings right now.  We also wanted to know those hidden foodie gems that you might not have heard of yet.  Coming soon to a wedding near you, here are the DC area’s food trends for weddings.


Photo by Maria Vicencio Photography courtesy of Truffles Catering


If it is mini, it is for me!  Couples are opting for smaller, miniature versions of anything.  Pies, cocktails, cupcakes, whatever it is just make it bite size!  “By serving miniature desserts, sliders, mini smoothie shooters, mini crab cakes, you can deliver big taste in a little package.  The presentation and look of miniatures always impresses guests and you can try lots of different, little things without filling up too fast,” said Truffles Catering.  Mini food is not only super cute, but it is easy to eat in just one or two bites.  Windows Catering told us about a couple in the region who is cutting a fruit tart and then serving their guests mini versions of what they cut.

Surprise First Courses
Forget the typical soup and salad, and surprise your guests with an unexpected first course like charcuterie!  Occasions Caterers told us that charcuterie makes an unusual and interesting plated first course for a wedding.  Occasions uses artisanal, local VA and MD cheeses and meats, with a whole host of housemade garnishes to make an unexpected dish.  Served with a selection of rustic breads, this course is a tasty conversation starter for sure!


Photo Credit:  Danielle Sara Photography via Occasions Caterers


We are so lucky in the Washington DC region to be influenced by many different cultures.  This area is truly a melting pot of people from all over the world.  It is no wonder that couples are using food to infuse their heritage into their wedding.  Windows Catering told us that couples in the DC area are using their heritage to develop their own unique wedding menu, including cultural dishes like Paella or empanadas.  In addition to cultural heritage, couples are incorporating personal heritage items into their wedding menus.  Purple Onion Catering said that couples are personalizing their menus around their favorite foods and foods that have special meaning to them, from favorite family recipes, to first date meals to favorite foods form trips taken together.

As more and more American’s are aware of food choices, you can also expect to see healthier options at weddings.  According to Purple Onion Catering, healthy wedding ideas can include gluten-free and food allergy conscious items, as well as  whole grains being incorporated more into menus more and portion sizes getting smaller.  Going along with the miniature trend, whether you refer to them as tapas or small plates, appetizer size portions will continue to grow stronger in order to accommodate healthier wedding menu choices.  Healthier wedding eating also includes “farm-to-table” menus, as local food products are becoming the norm and expected source for options in catering.

You’ve heard of a dessert bar.  But, what about the beer bar?  Couples are creating a bar, or unique display of similar ingredients, of just about anything for their guests to munch and sip on during a wedding.  Bars add variety to a menu and are a great way to bring in cultural influences or hometown pride into a wedding.   Occasions Caterers told us about a fudge bar with sweets brought in from Martha’s Vineyard, and a beer bar featuring small batch beer from the couple’s home state of Oregon.   Check out Sasha and Jay’s bourbon bar!




Photo Credit:  The Happy Couple via Weswen Design from Sasha + Jay’s wedding


Brave Dishes
Foodies only!  Perhaps it is the Top Chef influence as couples are branching out in their food choices choosing unique dishes with unexpected flavor combinations.  (Think maple bacon chocolate bark as a to-go favor!)  According to Truffles Catering, “It used to be that clients came in and wanted food that they thought was ‘safe.’  But with all of the television shows out there it’s really fun to see that people are more interested in what they eat and are becoming more adventurous.  Instead of the classic beef Wellington, which has always been a favorite, now people are asking our chef to have fun and get creative with selections.  Instead of people just going for safe, now they’re going for funkier, but still delicious, dishes that will keep their guests talking long after the wedding.”

Non Traditional Sweets
You saw our post last week on donuts, right?  If not, go check it out now, we’ll wait for you to come back!  In the meantime, feast on this:  couples are looking to serve untraditional sweets for their wedding.  Perhaps it is a truly unique wedding cake design or not even a wedding cake at all, couples are opting to do anything for dessert, but a standard wedding cake.  Occasions Caterers told us about the demand for non-traditional wedding cakes such as lemon meringue pies, cream puff “wedding cakes,” ice cream, or even naked cakes – cakes without icing.  Check out Stephanie and Adam scooping ice cream for their guests!

Who is hungry?  More importantly, who is incorporating any of these wedding food trends into their wedding?

Don’t forget to visit our vendor guide to find fabulous Washington, DC area caterers who can help with your wedding, and browse our inspiration galleries for more ideas!


*Windows Catering and Purple Onion Catering are two of our fabulous sponsors.  For information on our editorial policies, please click here.

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