Showcasing Local Cuisine with Wedding Catering

Trends in wedding catering often follow general dining trends, and that’s certainly true when it comes to couples wanting to eat fresh and local. Virginia-grown and raised cuisine has been a highly requested element of Coastal Virginia wedding catering, and caterers like the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront are committed to providing the best local dining experience for brides and grooms.

“We’re fortunate in Coastal Virginia to have wonderful fresh-caught seafood and fresh fruits and vegetables. Couples should take advantage of this when it comes to their special day,” says Stephanie Hall, director of catering at the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront.

The Hilton has a partnership with Cullipher Farm, allowing them to have access to fresh, in-season produce all year long.

“No matter what season the wedding, we’re able to use local ingredients in our catering. It’s something couples look for when they go out to eat, so we’re really proud to be able to offer it to them in our catering,” says Hall.

While local foods are a reflection of the newlyweds’ life in Coastal Virginia, there’s often more to their story that they want to share with their guests. Incorporating the backgrounds, interests and stories of the bride and groom into the food is another creative way couples are bringing a personal touch to their wedding.

“If they went out for coffee and donuts for their first date, we might incorporate donuts into the dessert,” says Stephanie. “We do our best to make the food reflect the couple and allow the guests to experience a little piece of their relationship.”


Top left, middle, bottom: A variety of wedding catering options from Sweetwater
Cuisine, including miniature versions of favorite foods and customized options.
Top Right: Craft cocktail from Ultra Craft Cocktails at Oceanaire Resort Hotel by Ashley
Thomas Photography.

Jodi Newland, owner of Sweetwater Cuisine, has seen similar trends in the weddings she caters.

“We’ve served clam chowder for a groom who was from New England and even made maple lollipops for a groom who was from Canada,” says Newland. “Couples want to showcase their backgrounds in the food they’re serving their guests. It gives the reception a personal touch and makes the food memorable.”

Miniature versions of favorite foods are another popular trend in the wedding world. From a mini taco and mini margarita pairing to bite-sized dessert trifles and pies, these pocket-sized portions contribute to the event theme and make for adorable photos.

Speaking of pies: cake has become optional when it comes to the dessert. Couples are branching out, requesting pies, cobblers and other non-traditional desserts. Sweetwater Cuisine’s liquid nitrogen ice cream, which is made on the spot, is a popular alternative or addition to the dessert.

“It ties in with the idea of having the food reflect the couple—their interests, their personal backgrounds," says Newland. "It’s their day, and it’s their opportunity to express themselves." 

Chelsea Sherman
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