2023 is shaping up to be an amazing year for the wedding industry and we are super excited for some of the trends we are seeing in the coming year(s). This is by no means an exhaustive list, but just some highlights that we are excited about.
Catering Trends for 2023 & 2024
As a former chef and catering operator, food trends are always my favorite to talk about. When it comes to weddings, the reason everyone is gathered should be pretty obvious 😉 but, for most weddings and events, the thing that anchors the entire affair are the tastes and treats. We gather around tables and reunite between bites and sips. The tradition of families breaking bread together at a wedding is one of the oldest traditions we have, and these days there are endless ways to weave food & beverage into your wedding day. These are just a few of the things that are exciting us with catering in the coming year(s):
Local. The energy and focus around local sourcing is resurging after a bit of a pause during the Covid years. While many caterers and chefs were passionate in this space pre-pandemic, the trend definitely hit a bump or two over the last couple of years. However, we are now seeing a renewed energy around how chefs are sourcing products and couples are weaving these stories into their weddings. Caterers like our friends over at Della Tera are really driving the industry forward in how we source and telling the story of the Northwest with their menus. Talk to your caterer about how you might include local sourcing stories in your wedding menus.
Vegetables. Veggie forward menus have been a growing trend in restaurants for some time now, but it is finally working its way into catering menus as well. Highlighting local produce can add tremendous variety to your menus, and chefs are getting ever more creative with making vegetables the star of the plate. Whether you want to go with a 100% plant based menu like the folks at On Safari Foods offer, or simply reduce the amount of protein used, it can be a wonderful way to reduce the carbon footprint of your wedding, while also adding in unique and delicious variety.
Presentation. Caterers these days are more than just a background amenity you have to offer your guests. Not only are they making delicious food and drinks, but they are becoming a part of the décor and aesthetic. Like our friends over at Foodz Catering building “Zen Gardens” for appetizer displays, where little mushroom bites are served floating on a Lilypad pond, or interactive beverage walls, food can become the art of your event. Unique presentations table side or as interactive stations will just continue to get more awe inspiring in the coming year(s).
Global. Big, bold, global flavors are becoming a tasty trend at many weddings and events. Couples are way more open to creative global menus these days and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Caterers like Navi’s Catering Kitchen are helping to crack the door wide open to global cuisine at weddings in the Northwest and we are excited to see more couples leaning into all of the amazing spices and flavors coming our way. Go bold for your wedding! Your guests will love it and you won’t regret it.
Flower & Décor Trends
Color. Big, bold colors are back in action with the color of the year for 2023 being Viva Magenta. Complimented with softer earth and pastel tones like Fields of Rye and Grey Lilac, the bright pops of magenta can add some vibrant fun to your wedding while still keeping an overall feel of timeless elegance. Black and white is also making a strong comeback and is being used in simple elegant ways or as more modern accents.
Flowers. Floral nests and immersive floral installations will be all the rage in the coming year(s) and we can expect to see lots big, bright colors popping out of these bold floral experiences. Local, sustainable sourcing will continue to be important and we expect to see a lot more momentum in this space. While flowers are (mostly) a renewable resource, it is important to think about the footprint of the project. At Perfect Storm Moments, we work with suppliers like Mayesh Wholesale Florist and Seattle Wholesale Growers Market to understand where products come from and buy local when the season allows. We have also completely eliminated the use of floral foam, and use compostable and bio-degradable products everywhere we are able. Eliminating the use of single-use plastics in floral installations is also a great way to keep your floral footprint minimal.
Décor & Rentals. Boho is slowly riding off into the macramé sunset and leaving behind a more glitzy, glammed up cousin. Bold colors will pop out of natural, softer elements, while disco balls and neon lights will bring the party back to the forefront. Experiential elements for your wedding day will continue to get more and more popular in the coming year(s) and can be incorporated in a myriad of ways; unique lounge setups that allow for connection and conversations, entertainers that engage your guests, progressive or unique food displays that surprise guests through the evening. Wedding pros love to bring all of the fun creative ideas to make your wedding unique to you, so bring them in early to help drive the fun. Lighting is a key element in creating unique, immersive experiences. Our friends at Bellevue Lighting and LightSmiths are doing amazing things with lighting for weddings and events. If you are trying to transform a space to be uniquely yours, there is no better investment than lighting and floral to create massive transformations.
Wedding Budget Trends
Not the sexiest of topics, but the reality is that budget changes will be a BIG trending topic in the coming couple of years. Couples should expect to see some solid changes to costs in the coming year(s) and budget accordingly. Since 2020 cost of goods for many wedding vendors has increased by 20 – 30%, especially in areas like catering and floral design. On average, the price to consumers has increased around 5 – 10% for the same time frame, indicating a disparity in the cost burden to businesses servicing the wedding industry. We can expect to see companies working to shift this cost burden back to consumers to protect their already thin margins. The World Economic Forum indicates that the average cost of goods for food increased over 10% in 2022 alone with 2021 and 2020 showing even steeper increases. Some staples like eggs, butter, and wheat (hello wedding cake budgets) have spiked with nearly 50% cost increases in the past year. So far, the cost to consumers has not kept pace, but couples should expect a correction here.
If you are planning your wedding on a tight budget, there are plenty of ways to keep your costs lower, but it might mean reprioritizing your vision for the important elements. Take a peak our budget guide to help with the reality of costs in the greater Seattle area and plan some cost creep over the coming year, so if you are planning for a 2024 or 2025 wedding, you should add 10% on to catering, floral/décor, and rental costs.
The most important thing to remember is to talk to your vendors about your budget. Be upfront with any budget concerns and listen to the advice from your vendors. Our goal is help you bring your wedding vision and your wedding budget into line and wedding professionals can be really creative in many areas. We love a good challenge.