Having recently planned the catering for a wedding of almost 200 guests, one of the areas we spent much time discussing (once we designed the menu) was how the bride and groom would like their food served and what tableware they’d like to use.
It made me recall an article in The Telegraph I read about how the colour of your crockery could influence the taste of your food. BBC Food also published an article on whether serving food on round plates made your meal taste better, and so I thought this could make an interesting blog.
Our starting point was that the wedding was being held at a high-end venue in a grand marquee. The wedding breakfast was a five-course sit-down menu and so simple, but elegant dinnerware was an obvious choice.
The challenge came however when it came to the evening BBQ and whether we carried on the theme of elegance, or if we went down a street food, come festival theme to compliment the BBQ food and a more relaxed catering approach for guests.
To help the bride and groom decide, we started putting together a mood board of ideas to see which themes worked for them. The following was our starting point of six broad crockery and tableware themes to help establish what could work well and equally important, what wouldn’t!
1. Simple dinnerware to let your food be centre stage
Sometimes, keeping your wedding catering designs and themes simple can be the best and certainly the easiest option. Classic and clean designs with white plates and easy to hold standard cutlery can not only save time on sourcing, expense on buying or hiring, but also allow your food to take priority.
When you already have key design features that stand-out to your guests - whether they’re part of your venue, your dress, flowers or food, then sometimes there can be no need to over-think everything.
One of our preferred suppliers of crockery is Plato Hire who do a great range of crockery perfect for wedding and events with a large number of guests.
2. Vintage and eclectic crockery for a unique design
Vintage and a mish-mash of designs is certainly a fashionable theme for 2017 weddings. Done well, then each individually selected item can really be appreciated by your guests and give your wedding a very unique feel.
There can also be a great deal of fun to be had in choosing an eclectic range of tableware, with different sizes, shapes and colours to set-off your catering. However, combining different designs and choosing items that are retro or antique can be difficult and can sometimes look like it’s lost its way if the items don’t combine well together. If choosing items that are actually old, then be sure that there aren’t any chips, scratches or damaged features as this can often be off-putting for your guests before they are about to enjoy your food.
There’s a great vintage crockery event hire company called Classic Crockery that we'd recommend checking out.
3. Recyclable plates and cutlery for an eco-friendly wedding
There are so many new ways to serve your wedding meals and appetisers on recyclable plates now. Gone are the days of throw-away cardboard or paper plates that fold and collapse as soon as you take a helping of coleslaw!
Wooden, bamboo, wheat fibre and recycled paper plates are all great options and with many new and innovative companies popping up with greater emphasis on quality and design; an eco-friendly catering option for your wedding crockery and cutlery can look great. Just make sure when choosing these designs that they complement the rest of your wedding day and the theme(s) that you have chosen. Sometimes having fine dining for example on organic, fibrous plates, doesn’t quite work.
Little Cherry do a fantastic range of eco-friendly party supplies, with a nice range of environmentally friendly wedding tableware and decorations
4. Fine dining tableware to complement your food choices
When you’ve spent time and expense on selecting a five-course fine dining menu for your guests, then a good option to go for is keeping with elegant plates and crockery that complement the food being served.
Bespoke designs, fine china and classic crockery can really add to your guests dining experience and accentuate the ingredients and food combinations that you have chosen for your wedding menu.
5. Afternoon tea for a chintzy and traditionally English theme
I may sound a little bias here, but one of my favourite things in life is afternoon tea. Who can resist the tiered plate stand with perfectly trimmed and garnished sandwiches with dainty cakes and a cup of English tea served from a teapot?!
Afternoon tea being served at weddings is becoming ever more popular at weddings and we’re certainly seeing more and more brides including afternoon tea as part of their hen party celebrations.
Decorating your guest’s tables with afternoon tea crockery and all the delightful food and drink that comes with it can be a wonderful way to break-up your day (especially if you’re planning a full-day of celebrations) whilst treating your guests.
6. Lose the plates and go for wood, slate or leaves
There are so many restaurants, bistros and cafes that are serving their food from alternative dishes now, that it can sometimes be a surprise when you get a simple plate with your food! If your wedding theme and choice of food allows then using an alternative to plates can add a nice touch to your guests’ dining experience and give a nice talking point around the table.
Cheese and biscuits on slate or wood for example works well, or if you’re looking for something a little more experimental then serving some canapes or ethnic food on banana leaves can provide a bit of ‘wow’ factor….and save the dishwasher!
So in the end for our bride and groom with their BBQ for 200 guests dilemma; we ended up keeping it simple and going for white crockery with traditional knives and forks. But we did enjoy the creative process and hope that this blog has given you some new ideas to consider when planning your catering for your special day.