For those celebrating a festive engagement, trends and predictions for the coming year will be a welcome part of the exciting plans taking form. Multi-award-winning specialist caterer Tapenade shares thoughts for creating the ideal wedding in 2019. Executive head chef, John Hearn, offers his top five predicted trends for the year ahead of wedding planning. With 20+ years’ experience in the event catering industry, John’s advice is sure to give couples looking to tie the knot that expert assurance to make their big day a success. Creative canapés Weddings have become ever increasingly public occasions, with couples feeling the social pressure to host a stunning event. As a result, menus have become more and more creative. Canapés have received an image reboot of late, with mini bites turning premium and adding extensive ranges of flavour. For those in the know, the tiny scale holds a mouthful of experience, a perfectly blended fusion. An opportunity to integrate more personality in the big day, couples can experiment with classic dishes and imaginative combinations in miniature form providing moments of child-like delight for guests with this intriguing trend. Inclusivity reigns 2019 heralds a shift towards more inclusive options. With more than an estimated two million people in the UK living with a diagnosed food allergy (Food Standards Agency, 2017), and reports showing rising numbers of people side-stepping ingredients such as gluten, wheat, cow’s milk and red meat based on the health benefits, menus are changing drastically. No longer is a token vegetarian option enough. Menus are now being considered from a reduced allergen focus entirely, where guests can rest assured that their dietary requirements will be taken care of whilst still being able to enjoy a delicious meal. The core of this trend is creating a menu that works for everyone, so the same experience can be relished regardless of dietary requirements or allergies. Eat with everyone Here come the toned-down formalities. The traditional structured menu has been loosening for some time whilst the desire to relax gains traction for wedding breakfast dining. Communal sharing, feasting, and food that can be experienced together is set to be a key prediction for the year ahead. Breaking the boundary of the top table to encourage more time together, dining is adapting to the seating layout and providing more opportunities for the informal vibes couples are looking for. Think family style serving dishes laid out along the table, picture perfect cascades of sweet sensations for dessert, and street food inspired pick and mix self-serve interaction. Mixology matters Skip the Buck’s Fizz, and ditch the Prosecco, this year we will all be sipping on lavish cocktails as our welcome drink of choice. Elegant looking cocktails sporting an indulgent mix of spirits and flavours are taking over in the drinks space aiming to woo guests as they enter the reception. Drawing on another trend, concoctions that taste amazing, with or without alcohol, ensure inclusivity with guests able to customise their glass based on their drinking preferences. But don’t play it safe with old favourites. Martinis and mojitos need to step it up with adventurous combinations to truly nail this trend. Late night munchies The wedding party is now lasting longer, with 23% more couples opting to extend their festivities to run over a 2-3 day period (Bridebook, 2018). Looking after guests through the evening part of the celebrations then is a rising requirement to keep everyone fully sated. After the exertions on the dance floor, comfort foods are having a real moment with mini cones of Fish and Chips, sliders, cheesy bites, and tartlets or dumplings are ideally suited to a quick bite as the party continues. Adding a mix of sweet treats to balance out the savoury nibbles will also keep energy levels high. For further information about the predictions and trends for 2019, or about Tapenade’s wedding capabilities, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.