Food & Drinks for your Outdoor Wedding

Having an outdoor wedding does indeed present a few challenges. Here are some factors to consider and some ideas to go along with them:

Factors to consider:

How food will be served

It is best to avoid serving food items that are too sticky, saucy or sweet when having a self-service buffet; since these tend to attract bees and flies. However, if your hors d’ouevres will be passed on trays by wait staff; you can have a wider selection of food types, since the food will be monitored and brought out in fresh batches.

The time of the day or type of reception

If you’re having a cocktail reception, some choices for appetizers could be: stuffed mushrooms, spring rolls, mini quiches, meatballs with a dipping sauce, shrimp or scallops wrapped in bacon, chicken satays, vegetable crudités, pot stickers, a cheese tray and for dessert, cupcakes and fruit kabobs or chocolate-covered fruit. Always ensure that dishes containing seafood, mayonnaise and onions are kept at the correct temperature, to avoid the threat of bacteria!

Let your location lead you – for example, if you’re giving a garden wedding, foods incorporating fresh, garden influences such as lemons and herbs would be lovely – for example: grilled vegetables, stuffed tomatoes, wild rice pilaf, pesto pasta salad and lemon-infused chicken. A beach wedding could feature seafood dishes such as: chowder or bisque, ceviche (raw fish marinated in citrus juices and seasoned), accra, crab cakes, mini shrimp cocktails served in shot glasses or grilled meats.

Theme of your wedding – your food choices will be much easier if you have a specific theme for your wedding. For example, for an Indian-theme, you can try samosas, biryani, tandoori chicken, naan bread, vegetables and an assortment of curries and chutneys. If you’re having a more casual wedding, you could try a “picnic theme” for the wedding and have a selection of: fried chicken, bar-b-qued meats, coleslaw, potato salad and corn on the cob. If you are going with an Italian theme, you can choose stuffed olives, lasagna, eggplant parmesan, caprese salad and top it off with a dessert of tiramisu or panacotta.

Get inspired by your own local favourites – Try miniature versions of your favourite foods, for example, if you enjoy fast foods, you can certainly have sliders (mini burgers), doubles, gyros, aloo pies, tiny shark and bakes, “coo coo” squares, meatballs, mini pizzas, shot glasses of souse or French fries served in beautiful paper cones to match your décor.

Ensure your drink selections do not clash with your food selections- For example, if you’re going with more Mexican-inspired foods, choose margaritas or if you’re having an Italian-inspired menu, serve your guests some limoncello or an assortment of Italian wines. Japanese-inspired weddings could have sake on offer and garden weddings would do well with lemonade, daiquiris and a selection of iced teas. To close your reception, a nice idea if you’ve had an “all-Trini” menu would be to serve some Trini cocoa tea in take-away mugs, which serve as wedding favours.