Creative ideas for a summer wedding breakfast

29 Jun 2017

Rather than opting for a traditional catering choice, here's some food for thought for your summer wedding menu

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Do you want to give your wedding guests a truly memorable experience? Entertaining outside is the perfect summer alternative to the traditional wedding breakfast. Cait Salanson, owner of The Little Kitchen Company in Winchester, shares her favourite catering alternatives to inspire the arrangements for your special day….

Posh picnics

Reminiscent of a day spent at the races, add to your own posh picnic basket brie and grape sandwiches, a beautiful and sophisticated flavour combination. For dessert, you can impress guests with a simple yet delicious pot of lemon posset with macerated summer fruit berries; they are both sweet and refreshing in the summer heat.

If you’ve ever attended (or dreamt of going to) the Henley Royal Regatta on the banks of the River Thames, you can give your guests a flavour of this event with superb picnic dishes such as baked salmon with dill, lemon, and watercress or rare roasted beef with horseradish cream. Pop open a bottle of chilled lemonade and serve up a slice of elderflower and cream vanilla Victoria sponge cake. Your guests will feel like they’re in the royal box.

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Big pan food

Big pan food is a great way to satisfy large numbers of friends and family. On your wedding day, slow cook a large pot of chilli con carne made with high quality beef brisket and chorizo for a sensational crowd pleaser. Posh mac‘n’cheese is also incredibly popular; spruce yours up with artisan cheeses and lobster. It’s heart-warming, super-special and a total showstopper. 

Festival theme

We’ve seen casual street food style dining and festival themed weddings increase in popularity in recent years. Some great culinary examples for these types of weddings include a classic barbeque. Served with a homemade slaw and an impressive salad selection, it can work out as a cheaper but just as special alternative to a wedding breakfast.

How about an outdoor gourmet burger stand, too? Comprised of brioche buns, an array of different cheeses, pickles, vegetables and homemade tomato relish, you can’t go wrong.

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Vintage afternoon tea hamper

Enjoyed in the sunshine, a vintage afternoon tea hamper is an excellent alternative to a more formal wedding breakfast. Easy to create, here are a few ideas for a delicate and gorgeous Savoy-inspired afternoon tea.

Try English roast beef and cucumber finger sandwiches, made with wholemeal bread; for a touch of sophistication, remember to cut the crusts off. Follow this with a selection of dainty fruit scones, served with seasonal preserves and fresh clotted cream. Truly scrumptious.

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Five top tips when deciding on your summer catering

1. Decide your budget

Having an idea in mind of what you’re willing to spend will both help you choose your caterer and help them propose options according to this.

2. Age range

The age of your guests is important to think about e.g. smaller portion sizes for younger children.

3. Food requirements/allergies

Are any of your guests vegan? Do they have a nut allergy? Think about who you are inviting so they are not left with an empty plate. Including a 'dietary requirements' field to fill in on your RSVPs will give you the information you require.

4. Seasonal produce

Certain ingredients taste better in the summer while others taste better in the winter. Your caterer should be able to advise what produce is really going to add that seasonal wow factor to your wedding breakfast. Summer produce is so beautiful and colourful that to take advantage of this when it’s at it’s best is a must.

5. Number of guests

Depending on whether you’re having an intimate celebration or hundreds of friends attending your wedding may dictate the menu a little. Good caterers can advise what scales up well and what doesn’t. The key is to have good food, beautifully presented, that will be as memorable as it is delicious.