This is a year that had a Royal wedding – Prince Harry and the lovely Meghan Markle, you know – so of course the style of that event is being copied in all kinds of ways on both sides of the pond. That includes everything from wedding catering to wedding finery.
But while not every bride will be able to access a Givenchy designer, some of the other striking details of that affair resonate strongly with young couples planning their upcoming nuptials:
“Stand by Me.” Might be the anthem of choice, even if the 30-member The Kingdom Choir isn’t available for your date. (Weddings in Los Angeles might be able to find a reasonable facsimile.)
Solitary walks up the aisle. While it may have been due to Meghan’s father’s last minute bow out, the idea of fathers giving their daughters to grooms hardly makes sense in a modern world. Independent women with careers can do their own procession, thank you.
A standup reception. Indeed, the couple had two receptions, the larger of which (600 guests) took place immediately after the ceremony and instead of a formal sit-down meal, guests were served “bowl food,” basically appetizer-sized servings of traditional English classics of locally-sourced (and fortunately in season) vegetables – including asparagus, peas, and tomatoes – used in canapés designed to be consumed in two bites.
But even if the song talks about standing by you, not every wedding works best with the more casual stand-up receptions. Some prefer buffets, others table service. Regardless, the cuisine should respect the couple and the guests. Here are some ways your wedding caterer can pull that off:
- For starters, there should be quality ingredients. If you’re doing standup hors d’ouevres, mini lobster rolls are a treat – not just the lobster but the rolls themselves should be exquisite and provide a complement to the crustacean.
- Choose at least one dish that helps tell a story about the relationship. Say the couple’s first date ended up at a waffle house. Have your wedding caterer dress up waffle bites with fresh corn, fresh cilantro and gourmet sour cream.
- Ladle foods are a neat and sweet way to give guests a nice treat during the cocktail hour, often using Asian or Mexican themes for the compote that go into them. Again, fresh and local ingredients wherever possible.
- Crostinis are hot – even Martha Stewart loves them – but make sure the toppings don’t saturate the thin slices of toasted bread (smart ideas: pea pesto, sun-dried tomato spread, chicken liver pate with onions). And don’t confuse them with a bruschetta, which are thicker and can support heftier, wetter toppings (tomato, basil and mozzarella, for example); better wedding caterers in Los Angeles know the difference.
The British press, reporting on the menu from the Harry and Meghan wedding in 2018, still had at least one menu item from the William and Kate wedding (2011) in their recall. It was the bacon sandwiches served in the late-night menu (after the Queen herself had retired for the day). It was no ordinary bacon or bread, to be sure. It was simple, perhaps not a favorite of the vegans in attendance (always offer options!), but it was unforgettable.