Look after your guests by choosing the right food and drink, at the right time, and you’ll have an energetic, sensibly merry gaggle all contributing to your perfect day

Words: Damien Gabet 

SquareMeal 2017 Weddings magazine Catering trends

Evening snacks are a staple of modern weddings, but they also have a vital role to play in keeping everyone upright. Holly Poulter is often asked what food is best to serve. ‘The temptation to just serve wedding cake is strong, but be aware that most guests will prefer savoury food at this time of day.’ Your cake will go to waste.

SquareMeal 2017 Weddings magazine Catering trends

Nick Mead suggests going for carb-heavy snacks: they’ll soak up the booze and provide useful fuel for those breaking a sweat on the dancefloor. ‘Even if your dinner was a formal affair, go casual with crowd-pleasers such as pizza, bacon sandwiches, even a taco station.’

Mead’s team at Eden also offer a classic Turkish hot-coal kebab station where the head chef makes fresh, posh kebabs. ‘You get a bit of buzz around it – bit of smoke, bit of fire – people love that.’

SquareMeal 2017 Weddings magazine Catering trends

Dan Maher remembers the time his team at Boulevard Events went a little off-piste for the late-evening offering. ‘The groom loved kebabs and the bride loved scotch eggs, so we had rival stations. It’s a bit of entertainment during the band’s break, when everyone tends to go to the bar. If you’re trying to slow things down, these little bits of food theatre really help.’

Now you’re on the home straight: no one’s died, no one’s doing the worm on the dancefloor. Even so, there’ll still be a splinter group looking for the hard stuff. McVay makes it clear that if you’re going to serve strong drinks, this is the time. ‘Martinis in proper glasses provide a wow factor at the end of the night.’ If you can’t beat them, outclass them, and leave a cool last impression. Then you can relax and have a drink. 

Now find out what to serve at the reception and the wedding breakfast.

This article was first published in SquareMeal Weddings 2017