Everyone I follow on Instagram seems to be attending weddings nonstop so I think it’s safe to say that there are lots of weddings happening on any given weekend. In this sea of weddings, it can seem daunting to stray from the cookie cutter wedding mold and have yours reflect you and your partner. Don’t panic though because it’s easier than you think! Since my wedding was just over a month ago, I thought now would be a great time to share my tips on how to use food to personalize your wedding.
PICK YOUR FAVORITE FOODS
This one seems obvious but it has to be said because the important part of this is compromise. I love mashed potatoes, but my husband is not a fan. Since mashed potatoes are such a classic wedding food, I assumed those would be a given but once we started hashing out the menu, we realized we were going to need to find another starch that we BOTH loved. Luckily we both love patatas bravas so we came to a consensus fairly quickly. On the potatoes at least!
Colin’s only request for the menu was to have lots of meat, something we actually both enjoy eating. My request was for lots of sweets (obviously). In addition to the lamb kofka, the cod in chermoula sauce and the peri-peri chicken, our guests were served a selection of tiny sweet treats on our dessert bar as well as a selection of fun ice cream flavors and toppings at our sundae bar. If you asked our friends two types of food that perfectly summed up my husband and I, meat and dessert would definitely be at the top of their list so it was pretty perfect.
Too often the bride and groom don’t have time to eat at their own wedding but I made sure to eat lots. Seriously, lots. My husband and I both made sure to load up on the cocktail hour bites we carefully picked out (there was no way we were not going to get our hands on those mac and cheese balls). I was even the first in line when the late night food truck opened its window! Pick foods you both love and make sure you designate someone to keep an eye on you and make sure you eat.
INCORPORATE YOUR CULTURAL HERITAGE
This will probably be more subtle than you think but nods to your culture through food is a nice way to pay homage to where you and your partner come from. I grew up in Quebec so it was really important to me to have poutine at the wedding. Similarly, my family has been based in South Africa for over a decade so the peri-peri chicken was a nod to that.
Don’t worry about having an entire menu dedicated to your heritage, but think about elements that you can pull in here and there. Sometimes they’ll be so subtle people won’t even notice! Our wedding cake is a great example of that. Since I was born in France, we went with a croquembouche on top of a regular funfetti cake, a typically French dessert (the croquembouche, not the funfetti). Sadly the weather got the best of it so the caramel melted and it ended up being more of a cream puff mound than a tower but it was the thought that counted.
BE MINDFUL OF HOW YOU SERVE YOUR FOOD
How you are eating food is just as important as what you’re eating. We served our dinner family style because we wanted everyone to share and converse with their fellow table-mates over the food. In anticipation of that, our table decorations were created to accommodate platters. Birch tree stumps that seemed decorative were in fact stands for bowls of seasonal veggies. Who knew?
If you have a wedding theme or wedding colors, picking table settings is a great way to incorporate them. I didn’t realize how many plate options there were until someone asked me to pick one. Whether you’re throwing a fancy traditional wedding or a rustic woodsy wedding, there are so many platter options to choose from that will help make your wedding more ‘you’!
THINK BEYOND THE DINNER
Sure there’s food at dinner but there are so many other places that food can play into personalizing your wedding. Are you making gift bags for your guests? These are a great place to show off your personality. We put some of our favorite chocolate from a local Maine chocolatier in ours because utilizing local food was important to us at the wedding but also, we both LOVE chocolate. I went to a wedding last year that had old bay chips in the gift bags because the wedding was in Maryland – such a cute idea! Think about what’s special about you and your partner or your wedding location and pick a snack for the gift bag accordingly.
Similarly, there might be other times during the wedding celebration that food is being served. During my wedding, guests walked 10 minutes between the church and the reception venue so I made sure that they all had little bags of flavored popcorn to take with them on their walk!
There’s a fair amount of overlap between all of these tips so don’t think of them as stand-alone items. Rather, look at the list as a whole and think about how you can work these tips together to personalize your wedding through food!