Five different ideas for your wedding evening food
We were at the National Wedding Show in Birmingham at the beginning of March and we met hundreds of brides and grooms planning their wedding day.
It was great to meet so many people excited about their plans and ideas for their big day. Some people are looking for unique inspiration and some just want to make sure all of their guests have an amazing time and don’t go hungry!
What can you serve for evening food?
We were talking to a lot of people about their food and drink catering and a question that came up often was what could they do for evening food. Of course our answer is whatever you want, but we thought we’d share some of the things we’ve done in the past and have got coming up in the next year or two as a starting point.
It does feel with evening food that you have more license to break away from tradition and have something a little more relaxed and informal. Not that your wedding breakfast should be stuffy and formal, but the evening food is definitely associated with the time to party and graze at snacks and street-style food.
We’re going to start with a bit of Spanish influence with a delicious paella. This is often associated with seafood when made traditionally, but we’ve noticed a lot of our clients like a chicken and chorizo paella. Seafood goes really well with paella, but as a crowdpleaser chicken and chorizo has a bit more wider appeal.
We set-up a huge pan and our chefs create some nice theatre as we stir through the rice and vegetables, mixing in the chicken and chorizo. It offers a really nice vegetarian or vegan dish also with a spicy pepper and Mediterranean vegetable mix.
2. Pad Thai
When we talk to couples about the menu ideas and plans, we often look for inspiration in their favourite foods. This can come from their favourite restaurants to eat at or their take-away treat at the weekend. Holidays together or memories of places where couples got engaged is also a fun way to get creative with menus.
This is where we’ve found evening food like a Pad Thai to be popular. A Pad Thai is commonly a stir-fried rice noodle from Thailand and is typically made up of noodles, seafood, chicken, beef or vegetables.
Pad Thai is also synonymous with street-food and festivals and so can bring a really relaxed and informal feel to the evening part of your wedding, especially on warm summer nights outside. With so many different styles it can be a great way to serve meat, seafood or vegetable Pad Thai for all sorts of different tastes and dietary requirements
3. Street-food style curry
The great thing about curry is that there is so much to choose from and it’s a great evening food to serve guests with a bit of a DIY feel. With poppadoms, chapatis, chutney and rice on the side, guests can construct their own street-food curry and enjoy with added spices for extra heat.
Curry is also a filling dish and sends a great aroma into the air once it starts cooking. Your guests will be lured from the dance floor to grab a box and fork and get stuck in.
We’ve served everything from Chicken Balti to Tandori Chicken or a Red Lentil Dahl as a great vegan choice.
Don’t just think of burgers, sausages and chicken kebabs here, but look to places where they do BBQs really well. A South African Braai with everyone around the BBQ or fire and helping themselves to different meats, salads, vegetables and relishes – grazing throughout the evening and making the food the central point of the celebrations.
Take a little Australian influence and include things like shrimps, shark steak and don’t forget the snags!
Or then there’s Southern states of America with huge dirty hotdogs with relishes and crispy onions. BBQ corn on the cob and spicy Tennessee sauce with melted cheeses and a glass of Bourbon.
4. Cheese Tower
For some, after desserts and a coffee, a cheese board with biscuits, quince chutney, grapes and a glass or port is the perfect way to round off the evening.
Choosing a variety of cheeses and building a cheese tower can be a great addition next to a traditional wedding cake, or even in place of it. Make sure your soft cheeses are the smaller portions stacked on top as these can soften over time and you need the harder cheeses to be the biggest and create your cheese tower base.
We often provide a selection of cheeses sourced locally. Or we’ve found a selection of favourite British cheese and sometimes wider still looking for great French, Italian or Spanish cheeses to bring in continental flavours.
Not only does the cheese tower look great as a display, but when our chefs do their magic and create a grazing table when it’s all portioned up and served on boards for guests to help themselves. It can be a nice indulgence with warm artisan breads and a glass of port or red wine.
5. Mac and Cheese
If there’s a food trend that our chefs are looking forward to this summer, then it’s Macaroni and Cheese or “Mac and Cheese” as it’s affectionally known as!
Commonly made with cheddar nutmeg and mustard, it’s a really simple and delicious combination and again served street-food style your guests can enjoy two or three portions to soak up the alcohol and take-on extra energy for dancing into the night!
Mac and Cheese is growing in popularity and our Head Chef, Mike, has created a couple of combinations to impress your guests. Made with three different cheeses – Waterloo (which is a soft cheese), a Cheddar and a Gouda and then on top of that a truffle paste.
Added to which we can add lots of different ingredients and here we have with crispy onions as a great vegetarian dish. Alongside, we have crispy Pork Belly with aerated potato puffs for an extra crispy texture and just listen to that snap, crackle and pop sound effect!