As an event planner, food and beverage are likely one of your largest areas of expense, and it’s also one that’s the most challenging. With expectations rising each year it’s important that your event catering surprises and delights, as well as nourishes your guests.
Attendees want amazing Instagram-worthy food displays AND exquisite tastes. Here are some ideas to get them talking, sharing, and eating.
Tacos and Mini Margaritas
Mini is a hot trend right now, and don’t be surprised if your guests want to take those oh-so-cute tequila bottles home with them.
This dessert catering idea turns macarons into whimsical cacti. You can construct cactus flowers out of fondant.
Flowerbox Drink Trough
This is a great idea for an outdoor event and much more in keeping with a theme than a giant plastic bin. Use a (clean) barn trough or wooden planter to hold drinks and ice.
Activated charcoal has never been bigger than it is right now. Nothing says refreshing outdoor beverage quite the way lemonade does. Want to surprise your guests? Serve up some pitch-black lemonade.
Starter Seedling or Dessert?
This light dessert resembles a starter seedling but at closer look one realises it is delectable chocolate mousse, peppered with crushed chocolate cookies, and a sprig of mint. It’s a great dessert for a garden party or underpinning corporate messaging about growth.
These stunning ice cubes are as easy as obtaining water and flowers. They make a gorgeous presentation in water or lemonade or any light-colored spritzer. When the ice melts, the drinks will be peppered with lovely color. Just make sure you select edible flowers!
Floral Ice Bucket or Bowl
While we’re on the subject of ice, this beautiful idea is perfect for keeping drinks cold or even seafood. It’s a temporary work of art. Just make sure it’s contained for when it starts to melt.
The Cutest Catered Breakfast Ever
Some guests don’t enjoy large breakfasts. That’s why this idea is so appealing – a little taste of delish and a big serving of cuteness.
We’ve all seen those beautiful coffee art pictures but try a rainbow-colored, tie-dye coffee for real wow factor and to start your morning off right.
A delightful and functional display idea: present your outdoor buffet in an old canoe, accented with pretty wildflowers.
Cotton Candy Champagne Cocktails
This cocktail combines an adult beverage and a childhood favorite. The delicate pastel colors are also a big hit.
Don’t put these on the dessert table. Although they’re pretty enough to sit near your cake pops, they are for a very different course.
While most event planners want to do everything they can to keep the pests away, these adorable ladybugs will be gladly welcomed.
Macarons are pretty darn special no matter how you choose to arrange them but this hanging display with flowers is almost too pretty to eat.
In place of a traditional bread basket serve a variety of homemade flatbreads attached to hawker poles. Guests choose a flavor then help themselves to a flatbread or two (or 20).
A Unique Take on International Fare
Gaurav Anand, a New York-based caterer well-versed in international fare, presented guests with this paratwala paneer — tandoori grilled paneer (Indian cottage cheese), with chutney pipettes filled with three colorful aioli choices in mouth-watering tamarind, mint and saffron flavors.
There’s nothing more refreshing than a fruity popsicle. Now imagine the gourmet version, with flavors like lavender or raspberry sorbet. Sound delicious? Ask your caterer to try an adults-only version for the cocktail hour with your favorite champagne (pop included in the glass!) for a fun twist on a frozen treat.
Cheese Wheel Cakes
Maybe a cake made from wheels of cheese aren’t going to replace traditional wedding cake, but they’re perfect for a pre-reception wine and cheese hour. Imagine each layer is a different cheese flavor like creamy goat cheese, smoky gouda, or sharp cheddar with a meats and crispy bread on the side.
Test Tube Drinks
Whether you’re hosting a spooky event or are just looking for a unique shot glass for beverages, soups, or sauces, test tubes command attention. They can also make a good healthy energy shot.