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Top 5 Catering Trends 2023

As weddings are back in full swing after the pandemic, creativity with cuisine is at the forefront of every couple’s mind. Lately, each couple I meet with has been asking for unique options to give their wedding guests a memorable culinary experience in one way or another.

Over the course of a decade of weddings, I have seen food and beverage trends come and quickly go, but others stay for the long haul. For 2023, it seems as if vintage and nostalgic touches are a few of the trends back with a vengeance, which if you know me, I am quite happy about!

The main piece of advice when deciding on what to incorporate into your big celebration, is to truly know your guests. Consider your attendees and what they may really enjoy to get them ready to dance the night away!

Without further ado, here’s the top 5 food & beverage trends for 2023!

Vintage Cakes

In with the old on this one! Lambeth-style piping and throwback groovy colors are back. I was shocked to see this addition of full color on wedding cakes, but I do like the vintage piping ideas. I am in love with the heart shaped birthday cakes that are back in style, but with weddings, classic white is my personal vibe.

(Image below: @thefrostery)

Live Stations

Another trend we are so thrilled to see this year is the resurgence of chef tended stations and theatrical food displays. While buffet receptions can take some focus away from the dance floor, some couples enjoy shifting the focus towards a culinary experience instead. While these action stations can cost a bit more than the traditional dinner, the wow factor really pays off. Some ideas include full hibachi stations (making the little onion volcanoes is key!), s’mores stations where guests can roast their own marshmallows, custom sushi rolling, fresh mozzarella puller with prosciutto carving, ice cream sundae stations where the ice cream is rolled in front of you, and more! The options are truly endless. To incorporate this trend into your wedding, think of something meaningful to you as a couple (What type of restaurant did you go to on your first date? What's your favorite type of takeout?), and incorporate that into your day in a theatrical way!

Craft Cocktails

Another trend that always swings back in some way are craft cocktails. Last year was the jalapeno margarita (for every single wedding…). This year, we are hearing requests for some really creative drinks made with different local fruit purees and bitters, to throwback 90’s inspired cocktails sporting a Pop Rocks rim and candy swizzle sticks. Naming signature drinks after pets is still #1! (Image via We Are Not Martha)

“Locavore” Options

Staying in line with the “eat local” boom that became more popular during the pandemic, couples are always asking for in-season and locally sourced cuisine options to share with their guests. While the geographical location where I work boasts an amazing plethora of goods we all honestly take for granted, it is truly special to share what your area has to offer from a culinary standpoint. Many guests will be traveling from different parts of the country, and possibly the world, so definitely consider adding in some local elements to your menu choices! Local seasonal beer, vegan cupcakes, maple syrup favors, and fresh baked pies handcrafted with local fruit are all great options to add aside from the local sourcing of meat and produce by your caterer.

Nostalgic Nods

The majority of couples tying the knot this year grew up in the 90s to early 00s. Couples are mixing fond childhood memories with the elegance of weddings to create a custom experience for their guests to be a true part of their celebration of love. From mini grilled cheese with tomato soup shooters, and McDonald’s cheeseburgers to-go as a late night snack, to tiny passed desserts such as hot cinnamon rolls, Twinkies, Dunkaroos, cheesecake bites, and Entenmann’s cookies with milk shots. Pick your favorite childhood snack and add it to the menu in a creative way!


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