Alternative catering ideas for weddings

Alternative catering ideas in this wedding planning guide by Kent wedding Photographer Matilda Delves

Food, glorious food. Gone are the days are the extent of your meal choice being chicken or beef, and gone are the days of wondering what wedding meal is suitable for vegetarians and vegans. We’re in a food renaissance, with cultures and cuisines we didn’t even know existed popping up on our doorstep (or, at least, at your local market). This is especially true in lovely London, where I’m based as a wedding photographer. There are still some catering restrictions dependent on your venue, but for the most part, the options for alternative food styles for your wedding are strong. Here are some of my favourite ideas:

 

Photograph of wedding guests enjoying an alternative catering idea a a marquee wedding with a House Of Hud Arabian Marquee Tent

Alternative Catering Ideas For Weddings Point 1! –  Food trucks

If your venue has an outside space (or has access for vehicles to get inside), food trucks are amazing. They require minimal set-up, they fill what otherwise might be dead space, and they look super impressive too. The food trucks on offer for wedding catering are super creative – fancy a pizza from an old USSR army truck, anyone? If you have large numbers, consider having a couple of options for guests to choose from.

A taco food truck at a fun festival wedding in Kent

Alternative Catering Ideas For Weddings Point 2! – Street food stalls

One of my favourite pastimes is visiting food markets in London, and it’s amazing how many times the best thing I’ve ever tasted has been from a street food stall. They’re often set up by people who are passionate about what they do, and you can totally tell in the flavours and the food they create. Plus, going to markets and events to research your favourite street food stalls also makes for some great date day ideas! Why not each pick your favourite stall and rename a dish on their menu to make sure everyone knows it’s your choice?

A hog roast at a fun festival wedding in Canterbury on this alternative catering idea for wedding article

Alternative Catering Ideas For Weddings Point 3! – Grazing tables

If you want delicious, picky things to be eaten as people are moving and grooving, grazing tables are the one for you. Imagine plates and hand-whittled boards piled high with seasonal, artisanal produce – a feast for the eyes and the mouth. They look super decadent, like something from a painting, but don’t require the formality of a three, five or seven course meal, meaning you can gaze longingly and graze lovingly. You can pick and go, so there’s no interruption to the flow of the day.

A photo of a grazing tables at weddings in this alternative catering ideas article for planning your wedding

Alternative Catering Ideas For Weddings Point 4! – Family style platters

Even in more traditional wedding venues, sharing platters are becoming more and more common. If you like the idea of a grazing table but want to make more of an occasion of the meal, then these are for you. Instead of being portioned separately, the food is brought out on heaped platters and placed in the middle of the table for everyone to serve themselves. It’s a great way of breaking the ice if you have tables of people who don’t all know each other, as it keeps the atmosphere really light and fun, and they’re especially suited to long, trestle table style setups.

A photo of a pork pie wedding cake in this alternative catering ideas for weddings article

Alternative Catering Ideas For Weddings Point 5! –  Supper club

Food options for more intimate weddings can be a little bit tricky but, no fear. I love a supper club style food service for smaller weddings, where professional chefs come in and tailor the experience to you in a personalised, closer setting. Some supper club companies will take care of the whole thing, from candles to cocktails, so if you’re pretty laidback about your wedding but want your guests to be treated to something phenomenal, this is a great option.

Alternative catering for weddings a wedding planning guide

Alternative Catering Ideas For Weddings Point 6! –  Chef of the table

If you’re looking for ways to break the ice at your wedding, this is perfect. Nominate one person on each table to be the ‘chef’ – either go round on the day nominating them, or lay a chef’s hat and apron at their place setting in advance – and then they have to serve the meal to the table, cutting and apportioning it to people. It works best if you’re having a roast, or something that can be brought out that then needs to be cut. It’s an excellent game with maximum interaction, getting people chatting to each other.

A chef on a table at a fun marquee wedding in Canterbury

Here are a few caterers that I have worked with over the years that I know and love –   Grape and Fig for grazing tables and platters.  Sussex Caterers – Whitehouse Rye – London caterers – &feast  Hog Roast – Pork & Co  Ice-cream bike –Plum Honeychurch