2024 Wedding Food Trends That You Need to See & Taste ASAP
One of the best ways to personalize your wedding day is to be intentional with your menu choices. The food you serve at your nuptials can tell a story about your relationship, family or future. To help spark inspiration, we rounded up our favorite wedding food trends that we predict will be everywhere in 2024. From hyper-personalized menus to of-the-moment ideas, we have creative options for every couple. Work with your wedding planner and caterer to help bring any (or all) of these catering food wedding trends to life.
2024 Wedding Food Trends
Finding the top wedding food trends can be difficult if you don't know who to ask. That's why we spoke to numerous wedding pros to get the inside scoop on the trends below.
1. Butter Boards
Rachael Soete, food expert and Managing Director of Culinary Canvas, told us that people are having fun with the ever-popular charcuterie board by letting butter be the star. "A delectable trend on the rise is the introduction of butter board plates featuring a variety of flavored butter. Guests can enhance their bread or roll with options like ube, Calabrian chili or umami-flavored butter. This interactive and flavorful addition to the dining experience offers a memorable twist on the traditional bread-and-butter service," Soete explains.
We love this unique new wedding food trend because it allows you to get creative and add all your favorite carbs, sauces and herbs on one board. Consider a sweet and spicy option with chili oil and honey, an Italian garlic butter or a rosemary and pistachio one. Talk with your wedding caterer about your fave flavors, and they'll create the perfect butter display for you. And don't forget to have a vegan-based butter board for your non-dairy guests.
2. Comfort Food
Soete believes comfort foods are taking over the wedding food world right now. "Couples are infusing their menus with nostalgic, comforting dishes that hold a special place in their hearts. These may include family recipes, regional specialties or childhood favorites. Guests will savor the sentimental connection while enjoying a delicious meal." So give your guests an inside view into your and your partner's upbringing or current culinary landscape with mouthwatering bites. For example, Soete suggests you incorporate this hot wedding food trend by having Chicago hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches for Chicago-based couples or lobster rolls, clam chowder and oysters for New England to-be-weds. "Celebrating regional cuisine or beloved hometown flavors adds a personal touch to the wedding menu," Soete says.
3. Grazing Tables
If you haven't seen a luxurious grazing table on Pinterest yet, you're missing out. Grazing tables are like charcuterie boards to the second power and can feature your favorite foods. "I'm so thrilled grazing tables are coming back. I want to say that social media has made it trendy again, but ultimately, it's a beautiful work of art when done right," Vanessa Vass Schuster, food guru and Sales Director of Root Cellar Catering Co., says. Another reason grazing tables are a food trend in catering is the timing. "We're getting back together and gathering in a way we weren't able to during the pandemic. It makes people appreciate what it means to break bread together and tap into some of those long-held and loved wedding traditions," Walker explains.
Just because one of the latest food trends for weddings looks similar to charcuterie boards doesn't mean you can only add cheese, crackers and fruit. Add sushi rolls, doughnuts or buffalo cauliflower to your grazing table. Sarah Chianese, Owner, Planner and Executive Chef of Mangia and Enjoy!, says the design of the grazing table is another way to personalize and make a statement at your wedding. "Caterers are upping the ante by incorporating high-end industry magazine food styling into their presentations, even going so far as to employ design specialists for full 'immersive' installations into the actual set-up of the displays. The concept of eating with your eyes first is in high demand, so expect to see stellar food presentation styling with the delectability factor to match every bite."
4. Individual Servings
Even though life has predominantly returned to normal following COVID-19, the pandemic fundamentally changed the way wedding receptions work. Over the last few years, menus were reimagined into individual servings for a safe, seamless experience. And that mini food wedding trend is here to stay. "When dancing, mixing and mingling is a priority for couples and guests, offering a non-traditional dinner by way of hors d'oeuvres, passed plates and food stations can facilitate a no-hold-barred party," Carly Katz-Hackman, food lover and Chief Sales Officer at Pinch Food Design, says. "Snacking isn't just for late nights. Wedding days can be long, and providing your guests (including the wedding party) with bite-sized snacks throughout the day is a welcomed emerging trend for 2024," Mary Angelini, wedding video expert and Founder of Key Moment Films, adds.
Think of your favorite foods that can easily be packaged or made into miniature versions. Our favorite ideas include sliders, mini hotdogs or tiny wedding cakes. Other options like sushi flights, caviar tastings and personal dessert platters will be everywhere soon too. The presentation will be elevated with a surprise reveal, decorative serving ware and unique garnishes.
5. Interactive Food Stations
What are existing wedding trends that are moving into the new year? Interactive food stations. "In 2023, we saw an incredible spike in 'interactive' food and beverage experiences. We believe 2024 will offer an array of personalized experiences with food and beverage. Who knows, maybe the couple can cook their own food in the taco truck," Melissa Pelletier, Master Certified Wedding Planner and Owner of Jubilee Weddings and Events, says. We believe this trend is here to stay because it's a fun addition to any food element, and your guests will have a more unique dining experience. Soete thinks taco bars, sliders or noodle stations are great ways to let guests choose their toppings and flavors.
6. Late-Night Snacks
Late-night wedding food trends aren't a new concept, but you'll see a new spin on the tradition. "Late-night snacks aren't going anywhere, but I predict that couples will make the selections more about the foods they love to eat when out on a date or at home watching movies," Desireé Dent, wedding planning expert and Founder of Dejanae Events LLC, says. Brainstorm with your partner to create a list of your favorite snacks. Give guests a small bowl of spiced-up ramen, crispy pizza rolls or hand-rolled burritos. If you have more of a sweet tooth, try cosmic brownies, ice cream sandwiches or sprinkled doughnuts.
Late-night foods will become a bigger part of the food experience and will be well thought out and planned. We've seen some couples serve items from their favorite fast food places for their midnight wedding snacks. "After many couples experienced going to their friends' weddings and being 'let down' by stale or cold fast food drop-offs, missing the mark, the trend is, thankfully, under a happy revision. In 2024, couples ask their caterers to create their version of fast food for their late-night snack send-off. Personalized and freshly made 'fast food' provides an exciting opportunity for the couple to incorporate their wedding branding in place of the chain's name," Chianese tells us. Consider this idea to keep the mood high for your wedding after-party.
7. Local Produce
The wedding industry is always following the global conversation, which means concerns about the environment have become important topics in weddings too. But Corina Beczner, Owner of Vibrant Events with 20 years of expertise in sustainability, doesn't think this is a fad. "Never a trend in my book, sustainability is a top three concern for all my couples. From less waste to carbon offsets, everyone in the events industry is catching up to the concerns of Gen Z and rising to the occasion with eco-fabulous event options."
Because of this, local produce has become the most popular wedding food. "The sustainability mindset has been trending over the last few years, and we are seeing it go into 2024. Couples are working with a local caterer to ensure food is current to the season and grown/harvested locally. Ideally, this caterer likely buys from local farmers and markets to support local companies and ensure produce doesn't have to travel far," Nora Sheils, who's knowledgable about all things wedding related and Co-Founder of Rock Paper Coin and Founder of Bridal Bliss, says.
Speaking of eco-conscious caterers, Megan Turbeville, Owner and Executive Chef of Root Cellar Catering Co., goes into depth about local produce. "Locally grown food is amazing, and I love working with local providers to source ingredients closer to home. Typically, it's more expensive if couples want their whole menu locally sourced. But those with catering budgets who can accommodate the additional cost love it." Turbeville, who's been in the catering industry for more than 14 years, always recommends crafting a menu based on seasonal options. Not only will seasonal food taste better, but it will save you money in the long run because there's more food to choose from, and farmers are trying to offload it.
8. Plant-Based Menus
Plant-based food is on the rise, and Hannah Nowack, self-proclaimed foodie and Senior Editor at The Knot, agrees. "I anticipate a move away from menus that only accommodate some guests and require special dietary exceptions to be made. Instead, couples who value inclusivity are moving toward creating menus that anticipate needs and preempt the need for dietary exceptions. For example, to-be-weds with lots of vegan guests may choose to lean into a fully plant-based menu and work with a well-versed caterer instead of letting the vegan options be an overlooked afterthought."
With high-profile events like the Met Gala serving vegan food, more couples will request this wedding food trend in 2024 for their nuptials. "Lately, there's so much consideration and inclusion at weddings, which I really love. I've seen a ton of great vegan appetizers that couples are choosing and making sure there's something to eat for everyone. This wasn't the case a couple of years ago," Meg Walker, Owner of Made by Meg Catering, notes. The term "plant-based" might call to mind salads and roasted vegetables. However, there are so many exciting vegetarian and vegan dishes to choose from. Whether you want a barbecue jackfruit sandwich that's reminiscent of a pulled pork slider or a fried "chicken" sandwich made of seitan, the options are endless.
9. Plated Dinners
Plated dinners are nothing new in the world of weddings. But Walker, a Le Cordon Bleu-trained Chef, believes they're making a notable resurgence for a unique reason. "After the pandemic, I've realized people are heading back to the basics and want to sit down and do a traditional plated dinner. People want to do longer toasts and say everything that's been on their minds since getting married means so much more now," Walker explains. Think of plated dinners as a great opportunity to help your guests get to know each other better. Put icebreaker questions on each reception table or add printable wedding games to help increase the comradery.
10. Postwedding Brunch
What is the next big food trend for 2024? Pelletier has seen it all and says that postwedding brunches are making a comeback. Freshly named "recovery brunch," newlyweds are continuing the celebration after the big day with loved ones with tasty breakfast and lunch offerings. Chicken and waffles, grazing tables, smoothie bowls and more are stars at this postnuptial feast. We love this idea because you can have a more intimate hang with your VIPs after the beautiful (but sometimes hectic) experience of the day before. Whether you want to keep it casual and dine in the backyard of someone's home or book a restaurant for a true boozy brunch affair, the choice is yours.
11. Street Food
Unsure what is a good menu for a wedding? Then you need to learn about street food. Every country and culture has its version of street food that's full of unique flavors and spices. Street food, typically made by street vendors, is savory or sweet delights made into handheld portions for easy transport. But don't think because of the name these types of dishes need to be transformed into fine dining masterpieces. "Street food doesn't need to be elevated for weddings, but it does need to be incorporated into the venue and the timeline. For outdoor weddings in a marketplace/buffet setup, this may be very straightforward, although the concept may need adjustment for scaled production. For an indoor venue, bringing in the look of a street cart while adjusting for fire and space restrictions may mean deconstructing the dish and making it a passed item," Vijay Goel, wedding food expert and COO of Bite Catering Couture, suggests.
Some street food ideas we love are shish kebabs, street corn, takoyaki and arepas. Combine this trend with the interactive food station and individual serving ideas above, and you'll have the best food experience possible.
12. Sushi Bars
Wedding food trends in 2024 are about making the meals light, fun and festive. Sushi bars are one of the many ways couples will achieve this. "Sushi bars are a popular approach to adding color and variety within an easy-to-eat concept. It's becoming more popular nationwide as high-quality Japanese food groups gain geographic distribution and sushi becomes a more familiar food item," Goel informs us. We suggest you make your sushi bar interactive by having a chef-run station where guests can see the dish being made from start to finish.
For those who think sushi is only savory, Goel says to think again. Consider having a wedding dessert table with sweet sushi made with coconut rice, fresh fruit, chocolate sauce and more. Megan Lentz, professional wedding planner, Owner and Founder of Vida Events, recommends couples planning a themed wedding to incorporate the theme into their sushi bar for more personalized display. "We recently had a bird-themed wedding with a sushi bar. We decked out every inch with bird-themed items. Crane wasabi holders, macaw individual soy sauces, you name it. Always add an extra touch and pair it with a cocktail," Lentz advises.