By Rebecca Padgett Frett
Living through a pandemic has caused us to reconsider the ways we interact, especially when it comes to weddings. We have had to reconfigure the ways we navigate everyday life, and this only intensifies for those attempting to plan a wedding. One of the aspects that has become all the more adaptive and innovative is the way we dine at weddings. Below are dining options to consider for your 2021 and beyond wedding.
1. Individual Appetizers
In recent years, the trends have tended towards tables piled high with selectable foods and appetizers during cocktail hour. While visually appetizing, we now realize this isn’t the most sanitary or safe option. Instead of loading a plate with small bites, consider elevating the experience by having wait staff serve up individual appetizers or having a space where guests can stop by and select their pre-plated appetizers. Think soup or shrimp and grits shooters, miniature plate charcuterie, kabobs and more.
2. Seated Meals
Smaller ceremonies and receptions have resulted in more seated meals served by waiters. This allows your guests to sit back, relax and be served, much like they would at a restaurant. Couples are embracing this through multiple course meals, elevated menu options and ornate china and cutlery.
3. Attended Buffets
If buffets are still your preferred style, attended buffets are an option. In this scenario, only the catering staff is allowed to serve the food and touch anything present at the buffet table. This limits the amount of contact between food, plate and people. Through attended buffets, tables are often released one at a time to ensure there isn’t overcrowding. You could also consider having multiple buffet lines in different spots in the venue.
4. Bottled and Canned Beverages
The bar is one of the most popular places for guests to gather. To cut down on a cluttered area, bottled, canned and premade beverages are ideal. Select canned and bottled beers and wines, and pre-make batches of cocktails for quick and easy serving.
5. Outdoor Dining
There’s something so romantic about dining al fresco. Especially in Florida, where virtually every evening lends itself to a meal spent under the light of stars and string lights. More than ever, couples are considering outdoor reception options or hosting intimate outdoor meals.
6. Food Trucks
Food trucks rose to popularity a few years ago, and though that buzz has faded a bit, they are surging again because they can be socially distanced while allowing multiple food options. Plus, let’s be honest, we all always thought they were fun and would make a comeback.