8 Wedding Food and Drink Trends Experts Can’t Wait to Serve Up in 2024

From more mocktails to centerpiece cakes, here’s what the pros are putting on big-day menus this year.

Bride and Groom Eating Pizza

Photo by For the Love of It

Once the ceremony comes to a close, you and your guests can officially start the party, which begins with the cocktail hour and extends into the reception—and sometimes ends with an after-party. During each part, the food and drinks are major focal points. The beverages and dishes that couples serve on their big day offer more than just flavor and nourishment. Part of their role is to tell a story about the couple and enhance the atmosphere through presentation—which is what the growing trends on the horizon reflect.

Meet the Expert

  • Jonathan Pogash is the founder and CEO of The Cocktail Guru, a full-service hospitality company founded in 2006 that plans events, designs signature cocktails, and develops cocktail programs across the United States.
  • Meagan Price is the director of marketing for Culinary Crafts, which provides full-service luxury catering and event coordination in Utah. 
  • Jill Freiberg is the owner and executive chef of Jillicious Foods & Events in Brooklyn, New York. She’s been catering weddings for more than 25 years.
  • Celeste Scott is a cake designer and the owner of Butter Bakery in Australia. 
  • Nicole Redd-McIntosh is a cake designer and executive pastry chef with 20 years of experience and the owner of Nicole Bakes Cakes in Los Angeles.

In 2023, the food and drink scene at weddings saw an influx of fine dining with plated meals, Champagne towers, and buttercream cakes. For the upcoming year, industry professionals are expecting couples to prioritize storytelling, elaborate curations, and healthy options through their menus. So, if you’re planning a wedding in 2024 and wondering what’s on trend, we asked several experts, such as bartenders, caterers, pastry chefs, and cake designers, to reveal their biggest predictions for the upcoming year. 

Below, the top wedding food and drink trends for 2024.

Woman Holding Cocktail

Photo by Kristina Curtis

Zero-Proof Cocktails

Since more and more individuals are taking an interest in their health and wellbeing, zero-proof cocktails—beverages made without alcohol—will become a staple at weddings in 2024. Plus, modern couples are also on the lookout to incorporate more variety and choice into their nuptials, which paves the way for mocktails to shine in the upcoming year. 

Bartender Jonathan Pogash of The Cocktail Guru explains that flavor is another reason for the rise of alcohol-free concoctions. There are now high-quality, zero-proof spirits on the market, meaning that these products taste like the real deal—not just sugar-laden sips—but they don’t contain any alcohol. “Those who don’t drink or can’t drink have much better options at large events, like weddings and showers, these days,” he notes.

At your wedding, you can either host a completely dry affair if it complements your lifestyle or you can supplement your selection of booze with non-alcoholic alternatives to cater to each of your guests. We recommend choosing seasonal ingredients that will be a hit with everyone. Some examples are a blackberry spritz for a backyard summer bash or sparkling apple cider for a cozy fall affair at a vineyard.

Woman Looking at Dinner Menu

Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

Alcoholic Beverages With Each Course

On the other end of the spectrum, another trend suggests that booze will make an even greater appearance at weddings. These days, most nuptials include an open bar, where friends and family can help themselves to signature cocktails and other standard sips, like wine or beer. In 2024, Meagan Price, marketing director of Culinary Crafts, anticipates that couples will integrate booze into every course of the evening. “We have seen a growing trend to learn more about all the levels of services and styles of food—understanding all the courses, from the amuse bouche to the mignardise,” she notes. “The next level of elevation in dining is including the beverage into those courses.” Price suspects that every dish, whether it’s a starter salad or a late-night burger, will come with a specific drink that complements the flavors.

If you want to bring this trend to your own celebration, Price recommends discussing options with your caterer and bartender. “They will have suggestions on how to create a beverage menu that is as coordinated and detailed as your main menu,” she says.

Close Up of Hamburger Sliders

Photo by Perry Vaile

Symbolic Menus

In 2023, many couples hosted formal sit-down dinners with elaborate dishes, but this year, chef Jill Freiberg of Jillicious Foods & Events foresees more cocktail party receptions with personalized menus. “It’s about being unique and having a wedding that really tells a story about you and your partner and what you care about,” Freiberg describes. 

In 2024, couples will start curating a spread that speaks to their relationship, travels, hobbies, and interests. For instance, Freiberg created a lineup of cotton candy-infused drinks, corn dogs, and a sausage station for one of her clients to capture their love of street food. To bring a personal touch to your dining experience, she suggests telling your caterer your values and priorities, so they can help you create a one-of-a-kind menu.

Truck With Food Spread

Photo by Culinary Crafts

Immersive Culinary Experiences

Another new food-specific trend that’s on the horizon is immersive experiences that couples and their guests can take part in. Instead of the waitstaff simply placing plates of food on the table for attendees to consume, the newlyweds and their friends and family will actually get involved in the creation process. Price explains that weddings in 2024 will welcome experiential dining options, such as blending your own wine, making pastries that double as favors, catching and grilling your fish filet for dinner, or learning about local foods through tastings. 

If you crave a new and exciting experience that will set your wedding apart, consider integrating this trend into your soirée. While working with your vendors to pull this off, Price advises trusting their expertise and listening to their suggestions—while sharing your own ideas, too. 

Close Up of Salad

Photo by Mashaida Co. Photography

Farm-to-Table Dinners

With an increased interest in health and sustainability, Freiberg believes that more couples will select farm-to-table menus for their wedding receptions in 2024. This type of cuisine includes locally-sourced food from farmers and producers, which leads to fresher, more nutrient-dense dishes. Plus, farm-fresh dining boosts the health of the environment by using eco-friendly growing and harvesting methods. “Farm-to-table is back in a big way, and we’re having a ball picking gorgeous heirloom and organic ingredients for memorable menus,” Freiberg says.

When deciding on the right caterer for your affair, remember to vet the vendor by asking where the ingredients will be coming from. Make sure that they will use only locally-sourced produce. Then, as you curate your menu, pay homage to the season. For your starter salad, for instance, mix in peas and asparagus in the spring and oranges and beets in the winter. 

Cake Center Piece on Table

Photo by Dear Fiore

Centerpiece Cakes

In years past, couples often chose multi-tier cakes, which they visibly displayed on a decorated table at their receptions. In 2024, however, cake designer Celeste Scott of Butter Bakery explains that partners will swap towering treats for long confections that double as centerpieces. This coming year, Scott says traditional table décor, like flowers, candles, or linen runners, will take a backseat to extensive dessert displays. “You can include guests in the traditional cake-cutting ceremony by inviting everyone to dig into the cake at once or allow guests to cut their own slice and be surprised by which flavor they get, depending on where they cut from,” Scott shares. 

What makes this trend appealing is its versatility—you can adjust the confection based on your aesthetic, venue, or personality. “The look of the cake can be totally customized with different decorative styles and can be sized up or down to suit weddings of all sizes,” Scott says. That being said, outdoor summer weddings might put your dessert at risk of melting, so it’s best to incorporate this trend into cooler-weather or indoor fêtes. Since there are more logistics involved than a typical wedding cake, you’ll also need to talk to your cake designer about executing it.

Dessert Table at Wedding

Photo by Heather Nan

Extensive Dessert Options

Cake is the customary choice for couples’ wedding dessert, but in 2024, more individuals will replace the traditional option with an elaborate lineup of sweets, according to cake designer and pastry chef Nicole Redd-McIntosh of Nicole Bakes Cakes. Rather than giving your guests just one choice, couples will offer options, such as tarts, pies, cookies, donuts, cupcakes, gelato, and other alternative desserts, that resonate with you, Price says. This is a foolproof way to set your party apart and create a memorable experience for everyone in attendance.

Close Up of French Fries

Photo by Perry Vaile

Late-Night Snacks

Although a lot of thought is going into desserts this year, Price notices that many couples throwing a wedding in 2024 don’t want their sweet treat to be the grand finale. Whether the couple is throwing an after-party that lasts until the early morning or they simply want to fuel their guests for a night of dancing at their reception, a lot of people are serving late-night snacks, such as burgers, pizza, milkshakes, or donuts. “The last bite of a meal is the one most guests remember,” Price shares. “They might not remember every course or every bite, but they will remember how they felt. Adding this customization and extra care is a nice touch at any event.”


A Guide to 2024 Wedding Trends

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