Personalization allows guests to sample wedding couple’s favorites

by Melissa Martin

When it comes to wedding planning, there’s nothing more important to most couples than making sure their big day is a reflection of themselves and who they are as a couple.

One of the easiest ways to accomplish just that is through the creation of personalized food and drink menus that contain food and beverage items that are meaningful to them, their families or even their circle of friends. And many couples start, said Colleen Horan, manager of the Woodside Event Center in North Royalton, with a cultural menu that incorporates pieces of their family heritage into the wedding meal itself.

She said many brides and grooms choose to work with caterers to discuss recipes and prepare ethnic foods that have become tradition for the families involved.

“We always encourage our customers to consider paying homage to their culture by featuring some of the favorite dishes the couple grew up enjoying,” Horan said.

Couples can also work with caterers to come up with a menu that features their favorite flavors or some of the menu items they enjoy at their favorite restaurants and regular jaunts.

“Each couple has their individualized tastes and it’s important to make that a part of their wedding as well,” she said.

One menu package offered at the Woodside Event Center that is growing in popularity is the farm-to-table package, Horan said. While it might not be a nod to a couple’s heritage per se, it can be an indication of what is important to them when it comes to choosing their food.

“People are becoming more interested in shopping local and eating fresh, and this is way to incorporate those values and ideals into the wedding spread itself,” she noted, adding that at Woodside, the package includes a variety of homemade spreads and sauces, cheeses, meats and fruits. “What’s important here is that all the items are fresh and locally sourced.”

Equally as popular are food stations that feature late-night menus served after dinner and dessert and once the dance floor heats up, Herron said. Some of those ideas include pom frites stations, which typically featuring a smorgasbord of different potatoes – French fries, waffle fries and sweet potato fries – accompanied by of a variety of condiments, homemade dips and toppings.

Pretzel stations and ice cream carts are also common requests.

Horan said breakfast item stations, including waffle stations and doughnut and milk carts, which serve up homemade doughnuts atop a glass of regular, chocolate or strawberry milk, have also become guest favorites.

The same is true at the event center at Hale Farm. According to Debbie Crain, Hale Farm’s rentals manager, breakfast food is also a menu option many couples are now serving up, as are clam bakes and shrimp boils.

As far as drinks are concerned, Crain says she’s taken note that more couples are choosing to offer signature drinks as opposed to a full bar.

“The trend I have been noticing is that couples are naming their signature drinks after their pets,” she said. “They will have a sign at the bar with photos of their pets with the drink name associated with each pet.”

Crain also noted one of the couples she has scheduled to be wed in 2023 are astronomers. Accordingly, she said, the drinks featured at their wedding will appropriately be named after planets.

“This wedding sounds like so much fun,” she said, noting that along with customized drinks, each table will feature a planet centerpiece and, weather willing, telescopes will be set up outside for guests to enjoy a late-night peek at the stars. ∞