passed hors d'oeuvres
Alison Yin Weddings

Wedding menus have come a long way since the days of overcooked chicken and white sheet cake. With foodie culture on the rise, 2018 wedding food trends include emphasis on the quality of their food, treating guests to mouth-watering menus featuring the freshest ingredients and trendiest displays.

So what’s trending right now? Well, it’s all about creating an incredible dining experience with a menu that’s reflective of the couple themselves.

We picked the brains of some top-tier caterers in the industry and they’re sharing exactly what guests can expect when it comes to the 2018 wedding food trends—from appetizers to desserts and every bite in between.

salad on plate
Studio Lumen

Meatless Menus

“Couples are breaking the rules with vegan and vegetarian dishes; no longer adding them as an alternative for non-meat-eaters, but crafting whole experiences around them that bring everyone to the table to share something fresh and exciting,” Joel Chaiken of Food for Thought in Lincolnwood, Illinois said. “From vegan charcuterie tables to root vegetable poke to beet tartare, these are colorful, rich, engaging dishes that are talked about long after the newlyweds head off.”

Organic Everything

The experts at Capers Catering in Stoneham, Massachusetts note that organic ingredients are here to stay as couples continue to request in-season, locally grown, and ethically sourced food on the plate of each guest. With the heightened awareness of sustainable agriculture, couples care about where their food came from and are looking to provide their guests with the freshest, farm-to-table experience possible.

korean food truck food
Anju Korean Gastrotruck

Korean Flavors

Tacos and sushi have had their time in the sun, but Korean menus are a major 2018 wedding food trend. “These flavors are big everywhere right now,” Kristin O’Connor of Capers Catering said. Think flavorful beef entrees and an array of steamed buns for food that gives your guests a truly unique experience.

Personalized Eats

Rather than serve as an afterthought, wedding menus are now becoming an inspiration point for the entire wedding day. According to Food for Thought, brides and grooms are basing their menus off of shared food experiences and using flavors and cuisines to communicate their story as a couple. “Couples are experiencing culinary innovations long before they ever dream up their ideal reception. They’re traveling together, exploring their palates together, and they’re looking for ways to invite their guests and loved ones into these treasured memories they’ve built, on their biggest day.”

Miniatures Galore

When it comes to cocktail hour, it’s all about the pint-sized presentation and 2018 wedding food trends include having more fun than ever with out-of-the-box ideas, according to Ken’s Creative Kitchen in Annapolis, Maryland. From grilled cheese and tomato soup in a shot glass to shrimp and grits in a tasting spoon, no food experience is off-limits in miniature form.

wedding donut display
Lightbloom Photography

Dessert Drama

Couples have seriously upped the ante when it comes to desserts, making post-dinner sweets an experience in and of itself. “More and more we are seeing couples shy away from the typical wedding cake and go for a more memorable dessert presentation,” Jacqueline Matera of Ken’s Creative Kitchen said. “We continue to see dessert installations like doughnut walls and cupcake towers, pie and cookie tables, as well as unique plated options such as strawberry shortcakes or chocolate tarts.”

Innovative Tastes

The 2018 wedding food trends will experience a shift thanks to brides and grooms’ raised expectations from the very first tasting. “Couples in every city are now exposed to a new wave of rich dining experiences. Whether it’s authentic street food or internationally influenced fine dining restaurants, they’re surrounded by evolving and exciting flavors,” Joel Chaiken of Food for Thought said. “Couples are also experiencing new ingredients from around the world faster than ever before. It used to take a while for these experiences to make their way onto the plates of wedding receptions, but brides and grooms now have the hottest culinary trends fresh in their minds.”