11 New Menu Trends For Your 2017 Wedding (Slideshow)

If you're in the midst of planning your wedding menu and want it to be on point for 2017, worry no more. We spoke to Wedding Wire trend expert Anne Chertoff about what's hot for wedding menus this year.

Classic Proteins, “Jazzed Up” Sides

If you're looking to balance trends, tried-and-true favorites, and the diverse palates of your wedding guests, get a high-quality, classically prepared protein but then express your personal preferences and tastes through the side dishes during the main course. "You might have a chutney or fancy grain on the side. Grandma might think, 'What is this?' but she's having a really nice piece of steak. So she's enjoying it," Chertoff advised.

For "Best Steak Grilling Tips From the Pros," click here.

Comfort Foods

You just don't mess with some foods, especially for cocktail hour. And Chertoff had strong feelings about a childhood favorite. "I'm going to put it out there: pigs in a blanket are always popular. I don't care how old it is, you need to have pigs in a blanket at your wedding," she said. "And the classic ones — not fancy pigs in a blanket. You just want to have some of those mainstays that people are going to enjoy."

For "The 10 Best Pigs in a Blanket Recipes," click here.

Cocktail Hour = Miniature Hour

Miniature grilled cheeses, a one-bite version of spaghetti and meatballs, tiny tacos, or mini fried chicken bites are all game for cocktail hour. Chertoff emphasized that as people juggle their bags, drinks, and shaking hands during cocktail hour, it's important to get those appetizers down to a single bite. "You don't have to go overly-fancy with cocktail hour. At that point, people are just hungry and will be happy with anything," Chertoff said. Essentially, take your favorite comfort foods and shrink them.

DIY Cocktail Bars

Though Chertoff advised against catering any part of the wedding yourself, if you're looking to have DIY elements, take it to your spirit selections. In lieu of a signature cocktail, pick some favorite spirits and do a DIY bar surrounding it. Brown liquors (scotch, bourbon, rye whiskey, etc.) are trending right now. Put out a selection of your favorite spirits, along with mixers and a chalkboard filled with cocktail ideas. Allow your guests to create their own signature drinks for a fun, interactive station.

For "10 Things You Didn't Know About Whiskey," click here.


Forget cupcakes: the hot dessert for 2017 is doughnuts. And it's all thanks to the versatility of this favorite pastry. "You went from serving cupcakes to having a tiered layer of cupcakes. Now you're seeing tiers of doughnuts. But you're also seeing doughnut bars, where you can get your plain doughnut and dip it in different types of icing or top them with different kinds of sprinkles, powdered sugar, chocolate chips, or whatever you want," Chertoff said.

To find out what America's 25 best doughnuts are, click here.

Ethnic Foods

A wedding is the merging of two families, and Chertoff recommends tapping into your cultural roots with ethnic foods. "Couples are looking for a menu that kind of has influences from their families. If he's from Mexico and she's from Italy or Japan or wherever, they're looking to create menus that reflect their cultures and their backgrounds." Whether this is done through creative fusion, or separate food trucks or food stations, is up to the couple, the caterer, and the palates of their guests.

To read "The Complete Guide to Planning Your Dream Wedding," click here.

Family-Style Sides

The trend of relaxed, buffet weddings is winding downs as couples look to formal affairs for their 2017 weddings. But the cozy, intimate feeling of informal weddings remains through plated proteins and family-style side dishes. Chertoff explained that serving sides family-style (that waiters refill) adds a restaurant or holiday feeling to your wedding, but a plated main course still shows elegance.


"It's not even a question, it's assumed that you're going to find a caterer that's farm-to-table," Chertoff stated. Not only does farm-to-table catering lower the environmental impact of your wedding, but it also ensures your food is as fresh as possible. Chertoff recommends that couples do their due diligence and research caterers to find out who sources locally.

Food Trucks

After a long night of formal dining, drinking, dancing, and mingling, few things will bring as much joy to your wedding as a food truck. Whether you decide to embrace your love of late night food with pizza, honor your Mexican heritage with artisanal tacos, or give your guests a frozen treat with some old school soft serve, this trend shows no signs of dying down.

For "The Pros and Cons of Having a Food Truck Catered Wedding," click here.

Food Stations

Interactive stations that get your guests moving around continue to be an important element for any trendy wedding. Whether you decide to have a craft beer bar complete with giant pretzels, a slider station with customizable proteins and toppings, or a raw vegetable bar complete with bread bowls and a variety of dips, you can express your personality and give your guests something to do with these fun stations.

To read "10 DIY Wedding Food Stations," click here.

Wedding Cakes Forever

Food trends and wedding trends come and go, but according to Chertoff there's one thing you cannot leave out: the wedding cake. "It's one of those quintessential moments that you'll have. Your parents cut a cake, your grandparents cut a cake, your great-grandparents cut a cake," she said. "You don't have to serve the cake, but it's such a great photo opp."

To read "40 Jaw-Dropping Wedding Cakes," click here.