When planning an event, food and beverage can often become just one more item to check off the to-do list. With so many things to keep track of, the menu can easily be chosen and then pushed aside until the day of the event. As your event planner, we want your event to be remembered not only for the amazing decor, but how well the food was incorporated into your theme. There are a lot of ways to make your food a beautiful part of your event as a whole. Whether that is creating a menu inspired by your theme or incorporating your logo into the food or drinks, the creative possibilities are endless. Here are five of our favorite ways to design a cohesive event with food, beverage, and decor.
A simple, yet elegant, way to show off your food is by curating a gorgeous buffet scape. Your food can be an intricate focal point for your event. Including different height, textures, and dimensions will be a sure fire way to add a wow factor to any food station. The first step in designing a show-stopping buffet is choosing food risers. Risers come in all shapes and sizes but if you really want to make a statement – truly anything can be a riser! Wood boxes, corrugated tins, glass cylinders filled with flowers, and even tree stumps will add amazing dimension to your food display. Having an event for your travel company? Use old suitcases to set food platters on. A gala to raise money for the local library? Gather up old books and stack them at different heights! Whatever your theme, there is something you can find to create that gorgeous, elevated buffet scape of your dreams. For an extra special touch, don’t forget to add fluff (sheer fabric thoughtfully “fluffed” before you put your risers and food down)!
Risers, check! Next, find interesting tables to further encourage your food to pop! Elevate your displays by choosing a rustic wood table and adding a runner or fluff. Turn your passion for sweets into a petite dessert station to satisfy your tastebuds. We love to deck out our dessert display bar with all of our favorite treats, and even add some fun floral (did you know we have an incredibly talented in house florist?). How cute would this 3-tiered serving stand look filled with dark chocolate mousse cups, lavender coconut french macarons, and red velvet cupcakes?! Risers and fluff are an amazing addition to this already gorgeous display to create a cohesive look throughout your event.
Interactive Food Experience
The best thing about elevated food at your event is that it gives your guests something in common to awe over and can be as interactive as you make it. Food stations are a major trend we are seeing right now and can be customized to any theme. Do you and your boo absolutely love loaded fries? Have a fry bar at your wedding with all the toppings – cheese, chili, caramelized onions, and bacon! Imagine all the food station possibilities – ramen, crepes, poke, waffles, mac and cheese (try not to drool)!
Use our sutter display at the beginning of your station to hold plates, cute take out boxes and cutlery. Place it at the end of your station and fill it with sauces and toppings! With an increase in food allergy awareness, having a custom station lets guests choose what they want, and you don’t have to worry about getting everyone’s dietary restrictions ahead of time. You can also mix and match with a few stations around the room, some geared toward healthy eating, and others indulging in the decadent world of comfort food.
Farm to Table
Another major trend we are seeing is fresh, local, farm to table fare. An entire event can be centered around incredible products grown and harvested by local farmers. Produce can be just as vibrant in color as floral, and a table runner made of local fruit, jams, breads, and cheeses will keep your guests talking for years. Adding in a few bud vases with floral from your bouquet can elevate your guest tables while keeping your color scheme cohesive. What’s better than building community, supporting local business, and throwing one heck of a party?
One of our favorite edible installations was an over-sized charcuterie board that filled an entire farm table! Adding food to your centerpieces, or creating a “grazing table” keeps guests entertained and satisfied, making sure there’s no chance of any “hangry” meltdowns!
Don’t Forget About the Drinks!
Elevating your food is only the beginning! Beverages play an important role in all events, even if they are non-alcoholic. Build an inspired, self-serve beverage station on our chalkboard beverage cart and customize it with a sweet message to your guests. Come up with a specialty cocktail for each guest of honor, or have a cocktail making station where each guest gets to mix and match their own! Add a gorgeous, modern shelf behind your bar to display spirits and glassware and invoke a comfortable, yet classy vibe at your event. Creating your own mixers is a great way to bring that farm to table feel to the bar as well. Make your own tonic and have a specialty gin and tonic, or bring your homemade kombucha and serve chambucha (champagne + kombucha, if you haven’t tried it, you’re not fully living) with an edible flower garnish. To really give your guests something to talk about, hire someone to “print” your logo on the top of each guests’ beverage. The potential for your bar presentation is limitless – you could add a custom glass etching artist, adorn each cocktail with a compostable straw or embellish each cocktail with a skewer of your favorite fruit. Dazzle your guests and let your imagination run wild.
Include the Service Staff
Incorporating food and beverage in your theme is funky, fun, and trendy. But, if you want to bring it full circle – invite your service staff to dress to the theme. For a great gatsby themed event, have staff wear flapper dresses and hair adornments. For a simple, rustic wedding, staff would look great in a chambray top and white pants with a denim apron. One step further? Have appetizer trays fit the theme as well! For a circus or baseball themed event, have staff pass appetizers concession style, with a ribbon around their neck holding the tray up. If you love dim sum style, propose a rolling cart for service staff to walk around with and interact with guests. Not only does incorporating your service staff into your event build on the theme, but it makes them excited to be involved, which will boost the mood of your entire event.
There are many ways to be creative when choosing the menu for your event. Building a relationship with your catering team and coming up with fun ideas is what inspires passion. With passion comes creativity, and that creative license can only result in food of the highest integrity. Creating a cohesive vendor team will build a cohesive event. When everyone is working for the same goal, the excitement builds, and work feels less like work and more like a party! Of course, the party is first and foremost for your guests, but wouldn’t it be amazing if the staff at your event was as excited to be there as your guests?