Are you ready to banish the banquet and buffet? There are so many exciting catering options for weddings now, the choice can seem overwhelming, so we ask award-winning wedding planner, Liz Taylor of the Taylor Lynn Corporation, to share her thoughts on the move towards more casual wedding catering, and asked her why finger foods are proving so popular.
“Where a traditional wedding breakfast is brilliant for those who want a formal structure to their day, it isn’t for everyone,” says Liz.
“In recent years, I’ve found more couples are breaking with formal traditions in favour of a more relaxed occasion. Often the wedding breakfast is abandoned in favour of one incredible party. The same can be seen in the couple’s choice of wedding dining experiences too, with the rise of options like food stations, sharing platters and innovative finger food.”
“Bite-sized mouthfuls of creative foods encourage guests to mingle and chat whilst they eat,” says Liz. “All tastes and dietary needs can be catered for with ease, and there doesn’t need to be any compromise. You can create a multitude of small dishes to suit everyone’s tastes and include the couple’s favourite foods, too.”
Liz continues, “Imagination is crucial. Props, lighting, and a sense of theatre can enhance the dining experience, tying your catering into the wider theme of the day. This is where the culinary wow factor can be seen. I like to serve dinner with a side of melodrama!”
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Here are Liz’s top ten wedding finger foods ideas.
1. Taste Sweet Success: Boondi Balls
Boondi balls are a traditional Indian dessert made from chickpea flour soaked in fragrant sugar. Exotic, very sweet and extremely moreish, they can be made to vegan specification. Serve them on sticks as cake pop alternatives, or ‘grow’ them in a moss-lined ‘planter’ for a rustic wedding twist.
2. Wow with Sushi
Incorporate the ancient art of sushi-making into your wedding day. Combine sustenance with spectacle at a sushi station, where chefs create colourful sushi and sashimi to order. Fresh, healthy, and perfect for modern couples with a contemporary wedding design.
3. A Cheese Feast
Simple and satisfying, heaven is sinking your teeth into a gooey grilled cheese sandwich at the end of a long day partying. Ideal for an outdoor foodie festival wedding and late-night snacks, the aroma of freshly grilled cheese from a vintage street cart signals it’s time for guests to indulge.
Image by Latvian Eats and Inspired by Charm
4. Posh Pies
The upper crust of wedding finger foods. Brilliant as miniature or in heartier portions. Elevate a humble pie with five-star fillings like pheasant, wild mushroom and bacon or cheddar cheese with fig jam. Bite-sized, flexible and delicious, pies are a great food to serve with jugs of real ale for a wedding that celebrates the best of traditional culinary culture.
Image via Tiny Pies
5. Do Your Wurst: Spicy Sausages
If you’re getting married in December, why not recreate the hugely popular festive markets at your wedding by serving up Bratwurst and Glühwein. These spicy sausages smell and taste divine. Just serve alongside jugs of German beer. Iced gingerbread, truffles, and a food station dedicated to continental cheeses are also a must.
An alternative to the doughnut wall and much easier to get to grips with. Channel the spirit of South American cooking with this sugar-coated snacking dessert, and individual sides of gooey chocolate dipping sauce. Combine with Latin music and a fiesta inspired décor, and the churros find the perfect culinary home.
7. Boozy Lollies
Miniature mouthfuls of frozen delights. Gin and Tonic. Prosecco. Pimm’s. Mojito. Whatever your favourite tipple, serve it as frozen lollies for a refreshing twist on the arrival cocktails at a summer wedding and outdoor occasion.
8. The Great American Adventure: Burger Sliders+
A perfect late-night wedding snack, the burger is a must. It’s a handheld sandwich that provides the carb-filled fuel needed to keep the dance floor alight. Served with relish and ketchup, burger sliders can please the carnivores and vegetarians alike. Add a coke float, milkshakes and a smorgasbord of pies from across the pond like cherry, apple and pumpkin. All individual, bite-sized treats to complement the stars and stripes vibe.
Image by Olivia Leigh Photographie
9. The Legendary Marriage: Fish & Chips
The British love affair with the culinary marriage of fish and chips is legendary. Serve piping hot in miniature cones with ketchup on the side, of course. Popular with family weddings, there are never any of these left-over.
10. Grandma’s Favourite: Puds
Shot glasses filled with grandma’s favourite lemon meringue pie, gooseberry fool, boozy fruit trifle, or traditional lemon posset. These tiny puddings are big on colour and flavour. Use seasonal ingredients to capture the taste of a summer wedding. And for festive weddings, try spiced mandarin cheesecakes or Christmas pudding shots topped with thick cream.
Fruity, savoury, spiced or traditional, the flexibility of finger food catering is vast. Put your creative hats on, and don’t just think about what you should serve. Theatrical presentation is a must. Bon Appetit!
TLC In a Nutshell
Liz Taylor has more than 30 years experience in event planning and set up TLC Ltd over 20 years ago. Headquartered in Manchester, it has grown to become one of the leading event organisers in the UK and now works right across Europe planning and curating luxury weddings, corporate event management, product launches and parties. Find out more about TLC at tlc-ltd.co.uk.