Summer wedding catering ideas that celebrate the season

15 May 2018

Make the most of a wedding held at the height of British summertime with these catering ideas that your guests will adore

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A summer wedding is always a joyous affair. Although many couples don't get the scorching temperatures and cloudless blue skies they had hoped for, the unpredictable British weather can do little to dampen a summer wedding which is filled with fun and perfectly celebrates the season.

Add a touch of summer to your wedding menu to ensure that even if the forecast isn't in your favour, then your wedding food will provide the feel-good vibes instead. Here are just some summer wedding catering ideas...

Drinks and canapés

From botanical cocktails to a sparkling prosecco station, there are numerous ways to infuse summer into your wedding drinks. Synonymous with sunny afternoons and balmy evenings, Pimm's is always a welcome addition to a summer wedding reception and the popular British tipple has launched a new cocktail recipe perfect for weddings - the Pimm's Spritz (1.56 units / 10.4% ABV). Here's how to make it:

The recipe:

  • Pimm’s (50ml)
  • Lemonade (75ml)
  • A splash of sparkling wine
  • Served chilled over ice, garnished with mint & cucumber slice
  • Best served in a ‘copa’ glass

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Accompanying your reception drinks, your canapés can also serve as a reminder of your wedding season. Small and light bites such as miniature arancini balls, mouthwatering bruschetta, delicious mozarella sticks and beautifully presented blinis always prove popular, keeping hunger pangs at bay until the wedding breakfast.

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Three-course meal

When it comes to the main event, every element should be given careful consideration. 

Starter

Opt for something light and refreshing to commence your three-course wedding breakfast. Steer clear of hot and heavy foods; instead, consider a simple Mediterranean-inspired salad or a selection of rustic breads with olive oil, chimichurri and aioli dips to complement. 

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Main course

Options for a main course suited to summer are vast, with risotto and fish both summer wedding favourites. Cait Salanson, owner of the The Little Kitchen Company in Winchester, Hampshire, says: “One of our most popular dishes for summer weddings, as well as one of our executive chef's favourite creations, is sea bass with wilted spinach, potato rosti and clam chowder. Nothing says summer like a trip to the seaside and this delightful seafood dish will transport your guests' tastebuds. Flavourful sea bass accompanied by a rich and creamy clam chowder make this dish a delightfully indulgent main sure to wow all lovers of seafood."

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Dessert

Continuing the fresh theme, Cait continues with a delectable option for dessert: "We would suggest a tantalising fruity and fresh dessert. Sparkling elderflower jelly with fresh strawberries and homemade meringue. The perfect palate cleanser."

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Similarly, Tony Beales, managing director of Beales Gourmet Catering in Dorset, recommends another dessert which also features strawberries as a main ingredient... "Nothing signifies the glorious summer more than the first sign of ripe red strawberries. We are blessed to have some incredible ones growing all around us, especially in the New Forest. We use these summer beauties to create one of our most popular desserts: our New Forest Eton Mess. Juicy strawberries, crisp sweet meringue and rich Chantilly cream, all topped with edible foraged flowers and textures of strawberry to finish… I challenge you to find a more summery pud."

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Sizzling barbecue

If you want to offer something different to a sit-down dinner or are looking for ideas for your evening catering, turn up the heat with a barbecue feast. The perfect way to feed friends and family on mass, prepare a selection of meats, vegetable kebabs and halloumi skewers with pasta salads and watermelon slices to serve up an al fresco treat. Remember to set up a gazebo or ask your venue to do it for you, just incase of a downpour. 

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'Build your own' Mexican station

When you can't rely on the British weather, transport your wedding guests to sunnier climes through the medium of food. Mexico is renowned for its delicious dishes, colourful culture and vibrant celebrations, which lends perfectly to a wedding day. Encourage guests to get stuck in and serve themselves with a taco or tortilla station featuring all the fillings and toppings your guests could want, creating a more personalised approach to wedding food. And don't forget the tequila too!

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Fish and chips

If you're hosting a wedding beside the seaside, then nothing says 'summer' more than fresh fish and chunky chips while inhaling the sea air. A fish and chips van is an ideal option for your evening party, adding authenticity with your 'catch of the day' wrapped up in newspaper and served with lashings of salt and vinegar.

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