Holly Moore, managing director of Cheshire-based events company Make Events has recently returned from Las Vegas, where she attended one of the leading trade shows for the events industry worldwide; Event Solutions.
One of her aims was to come back with some inspiration for her clients’ weddings here in the UK. When it comes to food, the Americans are giving it a much bigger role during the wedding day.
Here she talks about what was on show, what the USA does differently and what she believes we may be seeing over here when it comes to wedding day refreshments.
I recently had one of the best four days of my professional life at the Event Solutions conference in Las Vegas. I wanted to look further afield for some ideas and inspiration for our British weddings. Food in particular is always a point for discussion. Done very well or badly; it’s a talking point. We want to ensure that it is always the first for our clients and the Americans are certainly taking steps to make the food centre stage.
During the conference I saw wedding cakes suspended mid air on a swing taking a leading, dramatic role at the centre of the food offering. Interestingly it appears that sitting down for just two courses is proving more popular and then having the dessert course as a themed buffet incorporating the décor and beautiful floral decorations not only does this look beautiful but it gets guests moving and mingling throughout the room.
A mini food festival is also somewhere that weddings are moving towards. A street food style festival where guests get to try a little of everything and bring the food into the conversations in the room. Served from themed stalls or carts – stationary and on wheels! A nod back to the buffet perhaps?
Being America, there was also the health element visible throughout the conference. Weddings need to cater for the health conscious amongst us. Mockitinis, smoothie bars and espresso bars available for those not partaking in alcohol, not just a bottle of fizzy water placed on the table.
Peter Callaghan was at the conference in Vegas, he was the man that is said to have invented the mini-burger in 1997, which today feel like they’ve always been a party staple. He was there to talk about the changes in fashion when it comes to catering for wedding guests. The main thing to take away was food should be part of the theme not an add- on or afterthought.
It adds to the drama and good venues will be prepared to work with their marrying couples or wedding organiser to give them what they want. He asked us to consider what the food and drinks is served in and from and to add drama both with presentation and the people that serve it. The bride and groom shouldn’t be afraid to ask their caterer or venue for something different or ask your wedding planner to offer a event design into the food as well as the décor.
When it came to the tables, Americans appear to be mixing it up a little, with tables of different shapes and sizes, not just uniform round tables with a mix of different seating to give a 5 star restaurant feel rather than a function room. The flowers were still a centre piece to the tables, but they were very, very, very high above the tables, leaving guests room to see each other, yet making the most dramatic of statements.
A lot of the trends for wedding food I saw in Vegas are easily transferable to here in the UK. It appears the sit down meal of three courses has maybe run to the end of its course, for now anyway! But we need to ensure that our venues are ready to accept to move with the ideas from across the pond.