Tag Archives: wedding food

Mar 24, 2020


photo by Liz Banfield

 One of the most popular topics that remains at my speaking engagements or questions we receive are how to look at food serving and displays in new and different ways. So, we’re sharing some ways we have styled food or incorporated it into the decor… Like above- for a wedding with stations and over 400 guests, we had to make the food accessible and interesting. We took a garden fountain from a hardware store, sealed and treated it with food safe materials, and then turned it into a cocktail shrimp focal point.

photos by Corbin Gurkin and  Liz Banfield

We find cocktail hour and passed hors d’eouvres an easy place to get creative. Of course, the trays you use can be customized and you’ve seen us talk about printing paper liners to fit your look.. but ask your caterer about different ways to present the food. Here, mini tacos are served in lime wedges that can also be used to squeeze atop the taco for a bit of extra flavor, chicken and waffles are much more elegant in mini waffle cones; and ceviche in scallop shells makes such a pretty presentation.


photo by Corbin Gurkin

I feel like a big part of my job is to make sure that guests have a fun and and seamless experience. So, again, for receptions where the guests aren’t served a plated dinner, finding easy and creative ways to serve the food is important. Here, shot glasses are pre filled with hummus and veggies for a quick pick up option.

photos by Nickie Stone and Corbin Gurkin 

photos by Liz Banfield

Another popular item we are playing with are cheese or antipasta displays during cocktail hours, or even as late night food around the dance floor area.  We have been using different pieces of furniture to create a display, which works well for a self serve function. We have also built tall lucite tables with butcher block tops for some cocktail hour antipasta displays, I love how guests can access them from all angles.  And we have a marble topped push cart that we use often for serving, so doing a classic glamorous cheese cart after dinner is one of my favorite things to do!

photos by Tec Petaja

I love this new twist on a classic celebration food- caviar.. For a recent cocktail hour, we recently designed a beautiful  self serve station including all the varieties of accompaniments, and even chilled vodka.


photo by Elizabeth Messina

Sometimes food can make an impact just being used in an unexpected way… For a bride whose father grew watermelons- we had our ice sculptor put slices in ice for a pop of color on a seafood display.

photos by Tec Petaja and Corbin Gurkin

Speaking of seafood displays, oysters are a long standing wedding food, especially in Charleston when we can get local ones. They can be a challenging food to serve because you have to find a nice way to present them and to deal with the shells when finished. We built wooden oyster tables that allow us to serve oysters on the half shell over crushed ice – of course with mini tabasco bottles and lemon wedges… Catering here by Cru Catering.

photo by Liz Banfield

This couple chose pies over a traditional wedding cake.. Individual pies in an array of flavors were displayed on tiered stands, with printed flavor flags!

photo by Virgil Bunao

For one wedding, a bride wanted to have a self serve champagne station with different mixers and embellishments… A rented bakers rack made a pretty and unexpected buffet set up. If guests have to serve themselves, then better make it thoughtful, right?

3.24.20   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Entertaining, Event Design, Event Planning, Food and Drink, Parties, Uncategorized, Weddings | Comments >>
Sep 17, 2019

photo by Corbin Gurkin

Even though it hard to think about heavier or more savory items right now when temps are soaring, many of you in the planning process now are most likely having a fall wedding and planning the details now… Do you know what you are serving yet?  Here are some of our favorite fall flavors from recent events and some serving ideas for you. Above, our wedding at the Roaring Fork Club in Basalt, CO worked with us to plan a menu totally based on seasonal items especially local items.  Spice rubbed pork belly over savory slaw served on tasting spoons made a pretty presentation for cocktail hour.

photos by Liz Banfield

Heavier items blended with lighter fare work well after summer. For this Palmetto Bluff wedding, pimento cheese biscuits, fried shrimp with a smoked tomato sauce, and she crab soup (that may not look the best on it’s own) is dressed up in mini containers and served up on custom paper lined tray.

photos by Liz Banfield and Squire Fox (bottom right)

Switching out standard flavors for ones typically associated with fall are something to think about… To change Southern Ham Biscuits, sweet potato biscuits are used instead. Lighter items like seared scallops and a vichyssoise are served on rustic wood platters… Definitely discuss how things will be presented or ask to see the caterer’s selection during your meal planning process.

photo by Corbin Gurkin

Another consideration instead of traditional displays or passing are mobile displays. We have a wheeled cart that we offer up to our clients often- whether for desserts, cocktails, or whatnot. Here, it’s used as a traditional cheese cart with accoutrements. This offers so much flexibility on items, and you don’t need to go overboard as you would on a display.

photos by Liz Banfield

Don’t get us wrong, we still like an abundant display.. We built these custom acrylic tables that we can top with surfaces like wooden butcher block or marble slabs depending on the design.  This antipasta display by Peter Ambrose was full of different containers, flavors, and seasonal herbs… photos by Corbin Gurkin

We do still see requests for multi course dinners, and there are ways to do this after a cocktail hour without leaving guests so stuffed they are uncomfortable.  Guests at this Charleston wedding enjoyed an artfully presented spinach salad, local fish with a rustic sauce, and then roasted tenderloin and asparagus with au poivre is about as traditional fall as you can get, but in delicate portions leaves guests with just enough.
photo by Adrienne Page

If you are planning for stations versus a seated dinner, smaller already plated dishes are how we like to suggest our caterers handle this. It makes it easy for guests to walk right up maybe with a drink already in hand and grab something easily… And of course to customize a standard wedding dish at this point- shrimp and grits, we replaced the shrimp with quail.

photo by Corbin Gurkin

Of course, you can’t forget the dessert… If you have always wanted a chocolate cake now is the time to serve it up… Love this design by Jim Smeal for one of our fall Charleston events.

9.17.19   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Cakes, Entertaining, Event Design, Event Planning, Food and Drink, Parties, Reception, Travel, Weddings | Comments >>
Aug 14, 2018

photo by Corbin Gurkin

It’s Tuesday “tip” day so today, we’re going to share some ideas on how to serve more fun party food or typically casual items in more elegant or fun ways. Seafood is one of the most consistent items we are seeing served at parties… From weddings to corporate events. Here, we did a twist on shrimp cocktail, serving it in a garden fountain seems to make an old idea new and fresh!

photos by Corbin Gurkin 

It’s always great to make things super easy for your guests- whether you have 500 or 5… So, if you want to really impress even at a small party, try displaying some of your snacks over ice.  Both Sonic and Chick-Fil-A have started selling their pellet ice by the pound, so find a cool container (we like to build wooden boxes that are easily set on tables) and add your own ice… Crab claws are already half shelled, oysters on the half shell with pre sliced lemons and mini Tabasco have been hits for us in the past. Lobster or crab salad can go in individual dishes or glasses so guests can just grab and go.  Oh, and if you do build your box, make sure you cut a small hole and run a plastic hose from the bottom to a bucket to drain the water as it melts…

photo by Corbin Gurkin 

For another seafood ice station, the bride’s family grows watermelon, so we froze slices of watermelon into ice blocks to give an element of design.

photos by Corbin Gurkin

Biscuits are big big big in the South, and with guests coming from all over the world we have to make sure we present them in a manner that all would approve (and even try for the first time!) So, chicken biscuits typically reserved for a drive through instantly become a  hit served on silver at a black tie wedding! BBQ can be messy, but when already assembled onto biscuits and served late night – guests will be following the servers around to get one!

Ice Cream Collagephotos by Liz Banfield

Ice cream is a constantly requested late night sweet treat at our weddings. So, we’ve tried to make it fun, but having many flavor selections in a custom ice station and guests can request what they want- kind of a like a real scoop shop.  Miniature cones or ice cream sandwiches served to guests on the dance floor offers a way to cool off and curb a sweet tooth!

Fries Collagephotos by Liz Banfield

The old standbys- hamburgers and hot dogs and fries are still popular hits when served up in creative ways.

cheese plate

Another fun late night snack that is somewhat unexpected is a cheese cart. We wheel out a variety of cheeses, crackers, and spreads and serve up custom little snacks to guests.

Carnival Collagephotos by Liz Banfield and Adrienne Page (top)

And, novelty items typically reserved for kids’ parties are always a hit with grownups too. S’mores made easy, donuts served up on cocktail plates, or a pretzel station dressed up can all offer fun bites that still work with black tie!

8.14.18   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Entertaining, Event Design, Event Planning, Food and Drink, Parties, Uncategorized, Weddings | Comments >>