How to Throw a Farm-to-Table Wedding Reception

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Eating is an essential part of staying alive and staying happy, and at weddings, it’s one of the testaments of love, gratitude, and affection you can shower on your guests as a thank you for sharing your special day with you. While food trends at weddings certainly run the gamut — taco trucks, cupcake towers, barbecue buffets and five-course meals are just the tip of the iceberg — one food trend that will always be welcomed by your guests and the farmers in the area where you’re getting married is an honest-to-goodness farm-to-table wedding reception.

veggiesWhether you’re getting married in spring, summer, or fall, the farmers in your region have fresh produce, meats, and cheeses that will delight and astound, so long as you hire a top-notch catering company or chef to pull it all together. If you love to eat good food, here are some tips for throwing a farm-to-table wedding reception.

Stick to the Season

One of the best parts about eating a local, farm-to-table meal is that the flavors of the season are at their punchiest and most vibrant. From Brussels sprouts, asparagus, and lamb in spring to butternut squash, broccoli, and veal in the fall, following the season’s lead will yield plenty of menu options—so long as you remain realistic about what the earth yields at the time of your nuptials.

Plan the Menu With the Farmers

Because a farm-to-table menu will be dependent on the season in which you’re getting hitched, you’ll need to plan your menu with the farmer or farmers who will be supplying your chef or catering company with the meats, produce, dairy, and cheeses you’ll be using. Because of this necessity, you’ll need to get any pre-set menu ideas out of your head. You may have always dreamed of serving gazpacho as an appetizer at your wedding, but if you’re getting married in late fall, you’ll be hard-pressed to find the summer vegetables to pull it off. That being said, a talented chef and a wise farmer can still pull together a spectacular meal. Just make sure all the parties involved are on-board with what’s actually going to be available in the days leading up to your wedding.


Have Fun With Your Options

Just because you’re limited, however, in no way implies that you can’t still have fun. Lean on your local culinary traditions as much as possible, and you’ll find a wealth of seasonal options just begging to be tried. If you’re in the South, consider adding local grits and barbecue to your menu for an authentic regional experience. If you’re getting married in the northern Midwest, include local favorites like sauerkraut and walleye. If you’re getting married in a banquet hall in Los Angeles, take advantage of the year-round growing season and Hispanic culture by providing your guests with an unforgettable three-course Mexican meal that ends with a delectable flan. No matter what you choose, be creative, and allow your chef or caterer plenty of leeway to do the same.

Print a Dinner Menu

Treat your guests to the knowledge behind their meal. Because most of your guests are used to a more traditional approach to reception food, printing out dinner menus for each place setting will allow everyone to experience their food more fully. In addition to the name of each dish and the course in which it will be served, include the ingredients, the name of the farm or farms that supplied everything, and the name of the catering company or chef you hired.

Include the Cocktails

Including the alcohol in your farm-to-table approach is also a great idea that, with a little planning, won’t be too hard to pull off. From beer brewed at a local brewery to cocktails crafted from local berries, fruit, herbs, and the like, take all your drinking cues from your locale as well. Many small distilleries continue to crop up all across the United States, so it’s even possible to get spirits like vodka, gin, whisky, and rum from somewhere relatively close by. 

Hopefully, planning and putting on a wedding will be a once in a lifetime event, so it’s fitting to pull out all the stops in order to make it memorable. By combining your love for local food with your love for your spouse at a farm-to-table wedding reception, you can start your life together on the right foot, with sensuous good food, found close to home.

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