Wedding Food Trends for 2022

It’s the season of engagements! Did you know that over a quarter of all wedding engagements happen over the Christmas and New Year period? So as you can imagine, it’s a busy time of year for the wedding industry and a super exciting time for newly engaged couples.

Insight from 100 bespoke wedding menus

At Caviar & Chips, we cater for weddings all over the UK and everywhere from a woodland to a stately home. All of our menus are bespoke and created by our clients, so we’re in a great place to see what trends are really out there when it comes to choosing a delicious menu for your wedding day.  

To give you a head start on your wedding planning, we’ve looked at 100 weddings that we’ll be catering for this coming year and picked out some key themes for you to think about.

We’ll hand-over to our Co-founder and Executive Chef, Jonathan Carter-Morris to guide us through wedding food trends for 2022.

It’s all about rustic and the countryside

“Well of the 100 menus looked at, 50% are going to be served at a barn venue. This is up 11% on last year showing that a rustic wedding is proving a little more popular with our couples. With 25% in a stately home and 21% in a marquee or tipi. We cater for weddings and events all over the country – everything from a festival style woodland to a luxurious manor house and we’re continuing to see a trend towards escaping to the countryside. In fact we’re opening our very own countryside wedding venue in Shropshire in summer this year. Stockton House is a beautiful, Georgian stately home built in 1702 and will be a boutique, destination wedding venue where couples can plan their bespoke wedding exactly how they want it.

How many wedding guests to invite

Now in terms of the guest list, we’re seeing a big move away from intimate weddings that we had in late 2020 and early 2021 with COVID-19 restriction measures. With over half of the weddings we have this year are currently planning between 50 – 100 guests. Over 40% of our clients will be celebrating with over 100 guests, but what is interesting is seeing how couples are adding to their evening guest list with 37% of couples inviting extra evening guests. This is where we roll out the tasty evening food for dancing energy and soaking up the one-to-many glasses of champagne! But more on that later!

Two wedding breakfast courses, three…or four?!

Of the menus we have crafted for our clients, the majority are a three-course wedding breakfast (61%) with a massive 93% including canapés after the wedding ceremony. This is up 13% on last year and I think particularly for us as a caterer, we’ve been showcasing and creating so many different types of canapés and ways to serve them that it really does make an exciting and special addition to the wedding breakfast menu. Of course we have our signature canape Caviar & Chips and we’re certainly seeing that on a lot of tasty canapé menus this coming year.

Sharing is caring!

For the wedding breakfast itself we have 46% of our clients planning a sharing menu. This is in fact up on last year by 7%. Again this is interesting as we’ve had some couples ask about sharing as a format and a concern if this is too informal, would guests be happy sharing around the table, but in practice, a sharing menu creates a lovely relaxed tone to the day. Many of our clients want to be able to create menus that they’ve enjoyed on holidays, shared with friends and be able to recreate a relaxed and informal atmosphere for their wedding day. Sharing food can be served throughout the wedding breakfast or just for one or two courses. I think a sharing charcuterie board has to be one of our most popular and then indulgent desserts like a deconstructed Eton Mess or even sharing Tiramisu are appearing on quite a few menus. Although I do wonder if the sharing is as fair when it comes to dessert?!

A quarter of our clients will be giving their guests the chance to pre-order their meal in advance. So they’ll typically choose two or three dishes that we’ll serve on the day and their guests can pick what they’d like to eat from each course.

What can you expect on your plate?

For the main course we often hear our clients saying to us that they want everyone to be full, having enjoyed something they probably couldn’t order in a restaurant. We still get the staple ingredients such as Beef and Chicken being the centrepiece to the dish. In fact Beef will be appearing on 37% of main course menus with Chicken in second place on 34% of dishes. We’re seeing a renaissance for Chicken as we look for creative and exciting ways to serve a delicious classic. We’ve enjoyed serving a Honey & Bourbon Roast Chicken Supreme, Truffle Mash, Pancetta-Wrapped Fine Beans & Chicken Jus as one great example – now there’s something you don’t get to order in a restaurant!  

Plant-based is a growing wedding trend

Vegetarian and vegan clients and guests are also enjoying a lot of variety on their menus too. With almost one in 10 of our menus being completely vegetarian or vegan there’s certainly a greater demand for tasty, filling plant-based dishes. My co-founder, Marc, is plant-based himself and I know he gets very excited when there’s an extra bit of Wild Mushroom & Garlic Wellington going spare in the kitchen!

For those with a sweet tooth!

For the dessert course, I love the chocolate versus fruit debate and it never ceases to surprise us how often one of our clients is a chocoholic and the other prefers fruit and cream dessert. So out of the 100 menus we looked at, 45% had chocolate as the main dessert ingredient and a staggering 49% went for fruit. Now that was one that surprised me as last year chocolate had come in at 54%, so there’s a bit of a turnaround there. It could be to do with us serving desserts like A Trio Of Summer Desserts: Strawberry Pavlova, Lemon Tart & Fresh Berries, Sated Caramel Tart with Honeycomb…that’s pretty hard to resist!

Carrying on with that theme and trios of desserts, almost a third of our clients are choosing to have a choice of their favourite three puddings for dessert, with almost one in five couples throwing in a cheeky pre-dessert as a surprise for their guests. I’m a big fan of the pre-dessert and especially the simple classic palette cleansers like a moreish Gin & Tonic Granita.

Fancy a late night snack?!

Now going back to the research that found almost 40% of couples inviting extra evening guests and what it is that they’ll be eating, we found so much variety here. Last year it was all about Paella with 34% of menus serving this great Spanish dish, however this year while it’s still our most popular evening dish, it does appear on just 15% of menus. We’re seeing so many different ideas coming through, particularly influenced by street-food including; Pad Thai, Mac n Cheese, Loaded Fries, Gyros, Curry and Tacos to name just a few!

So there you have it. In a time when there is no traditional way of getting married and a far greater ability to plan your wedding day and your wedding food in whatever way you wish, we’ll see what 2022 holds in store for us. If you’re planning your wedding day, then best of luck and if you’re a guest attending a wedding – hope to see you at one of our weddings soon!”

We hope that’s given you some inspiration and ideas for your wedding planning, but if you’d like any other ideas, do head over to our menus page where there’s lots of other ideas for food, drink and crafting your very own bespoke wedding menu.