Come on in, step inside. Have some candy. There are homemade pies and cupcakes on the side table. Later, if you’re still hungry, you can have a midnight lunch of pizza and finger foods.
No, this isn’t your grandmother’s house. These are some of the wedding trends of summer 2010.
Cathryn Faulkner, catering sales manager for the Hilton Garden Inn, says that this season people seem to be exploring alternatives to traditional wedding fare.
Instead of the traditional wedding cake, she has seen ice sculpture cakes, cupcakes, Styrofoam “fake cakes” hidden in icing, even a donut cake.
Baba’s Homestyle Perogies caters perogies and cabbage rolls at weddings and is also catering homemade pies for wedding desserts, midnight lunch and, increasingly, as a substitute for wedding cakes.
“We’ve been noticing we’ve had a pick-up in interest to alternatives to wedding cakes so we’re doing quite a few weddings with pie instead,” said owner and catering manager Chelsea Engel.
And wedding guests are eating up the new change.
“We’ve got nothing but wonderful reactions,” said Engel.
“Guests are so excited when they see the pie and say what a great idea it is. The feedback is really positive. Clients tell us normally they have so much cake left over, but people are going crazy about pie, even asking if they can take some home with them at the end of the night.”
Crystal Anderson, co-owner and director of weddings for RSVP Event Design, says many of her clients want the traditional cake but dislike fondant icing.
“Clients are more open not to do the fondant cake but do a butter cream icing because they like the taste better,” she said.
She sees more variations now in the traditional wedding meal.
Cocktail receptions are becoming popular, she said.
Mashed potato bars are also a hot trend at some hotels, where guests receive cocktail glasses and choose from a buffet of toppings, she said.
Ethnic food stations are also becoming popular.
One wedding she attended had an Italian station with different pastas and sauces and then an Asian station, with bento boxes, noodles in take-out boxes and sushi.
Faulkner says sushi and other finger foods are becoming common midnight lunch items and candy buffets are currently a big trend, she said.
“They have them out for the entire night and they have cylinder bowls of every kind of candy. Guests scoop the candy out and put them into cellophane bags.”
Some couples even personalize the candy bags with their own designs, she added.
Many people are also no longer doing the traditional individual favour boxes with chocolates, opting instead to save money by providing a higher quality meal experience for guests or donating the money to a worthwhile cause, says Faulkner.
“Instead of having individual boxes of chocolate, a lot of couples are telling guests they are doing donations to their favourite charities instead,” she said.
“Or instead, we are seeing a wide variety of candies, fruit. Some people still do the chocolates but set out a plate of chocolates for the table instead of individual boxes.”
Many weddings are also trying to be unique by trading in the traditional flower centrepieces for contemporary designs, Anderson says.
“Clients are wanting to do something really different. Instead of just traditional flowers, they might, for example, have branches with crystals hanging from them, or have a few flowers with more candles. They are also creating centrepieces with lemons, limes, apples — and making centrepieces more functional where you can hang the table card number and make it more personalized.”
Instead of the traditional numbered table markers, some couples name tables after different travel destinations or the couple’s favourite restaurants.
She saw one wedding where bride and groom parties took turns designing table markers that had insider references to the bride or groom. During the reception, the opposite parties took turns guessing the story behind the references.
Trendy themes and colours for 2010 include crystal and rhinestones accents, vibrant purple, green and pink shades and rich brown hues, Anderson said.