Make it pretty, please! Visually stunning food stations, brushstroke wedding cakes and artful roaming food bars head the list of fresh trends for party fare.
Remember when all you really needed for a special soiree were tasty passed hors d’oeuvres, a delicious dinner and a basic bar? This year, delicious food and beverages are augmented by visually stunning preparation and innovative serving concepts. Make your celebration a memorable occasion with a few of these fresh and festive ideas.
Dramatic food displays
Guests gravitate to food accented by oversized, vibrant floral arrangements, paintings and even an artistic design of balloons in a sophisticated color palette. Partygoers can also grab small plates from a decorated bookcase or eye-catching wall of food.
Roaming food and beverage stations
Servers wield boxy wooden trays and colorful rolling carts as individualized mobile stations. Carried appetizers such as mini tacos or raw seafood and an array of garnishes invite make-your-own bites. Bloody Marys and mimosas are naturals for roaming-bar DIY beverages. Utilize other creative food carriers (how about a hand-carried tree stump holding lollipop bites?) for appetizers.
Artful wedding cakes
This year you’ll see more one- and two-tier celebratory cakes hand painted with beautiful colors utilizing a brushstroke effect. Gold is in, so look for liberal artistic gold accents—from gold leaf to costume jewelry—on traditional to-the-ceiling wedding creations.
Long dinner tables
Bypass round tables for 10 at sit-down dinners. Long banquet tables encourage a familial setting, especially placed in a square formation for smaller events.
Food trucks and mobile cocktail bars
When your event is located off the beaten path, guests will always line up for fun, filling eats from a colorful ride. This year, look for beer and cocktail vehicles to make a splash as well.
Ditch reception plates and forks completely. Guests want grab-and-go, two-bite savory treats and desserts served in a shot glass, on a stick or in a cone.
Creative vegetarian options
Pathetic pasta and sad salad? Stop. Serve chunky vegetable pot pie, roasted cauliflower enchiladas or tempura veggies.
Locally sourced fare
Demand for homegrown options continues to rise. Colorado lamb, beef and trout and sustainable seasonal veggies pair nicely with local brews to celebrate our splendid state.
Lisa Perry is celebrating 25 years of writing about Denver attractions and events for regional print publications and websites. She’s also been covering nonprofit fundraisers as a photojournalist for the past 10 years, and can’t wait to see to new ideas incorporated into fun-filled Denver events.
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