Summer is the most popular time for weddings, and when the weather’s as glorious as it is right now, it’s no wonder! Whether you’re taking advantage of the long days in June, or planning your nuptials during the hottest months in July and August, a summer wedding affords you many opportunities to embrace the season. And that includes your wedding catering! Whether I’m whipping up an afternoon tea or a grazing table for my clients, I always include fresh, local produce. And of course, this time of year is ideal for incorporating plenty of seasonal produce that’s bursting with flavour. For example, think of classic British summertime foods like strawberries, berries and asparagus that your guests will love. Here are my top tips for creating the most inviting summer wedding menu.

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Serve garden party fare

Summer in England is all about enjoying the great outdoors, whether you’re attending an elegant garden party or sharing a posh picnic basket at Ascot or the Henley Royal Regatta. I love creating that garden party feeling with my summer wedding menus by serving lots of homemade quiches, frittatas and tarts, beautiful salads with seasonal and locally sourced salad vegetables, and homegrown herbs and edible flowers. To further create the summer garden party vibe, use a combination of heirloom and contemporary serving dishes and tableware, as well as pretty crystal glassware, and decorate the tables with garden or meadow flowers. It’s an easy look to pull off, but one that is so pretty!

Keep it light

One of the biggest mistakes couples can make in choosing their summer wedding menu is selecting dishes that are too heavy or filling. Opt for fresh, light foods that won’t make your guests feel sluggish in the summer sun. That’s one reason curated grazing tables are a wonderful idea for summer weddings, because they give guests the opportunity to nibble throughout the day, instead of sitting down for a full meal. Afternoon tea is another great alternative wedding catering option for the summer.

Make it playful

Summer is a relaxed, sunkissed, playful season, and your wedding catering should reflect that! For example, serve childhood summer favourites like popsicles or soft serve, or mini versions of comfort foods. Or make your meal time interactive with food stations or a luxury grazing table. Letting your guests get up and move around encourages them to mingle and have more fun!

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Keep guests cool

Scorching hot temperatures call for cool, refreshing eats and drinks. Serve chilled rosé and icy cocktails immediately after the ceremony, along with homemade lemonade and fruit-infused water. Consider adding cold food to the menu, like chilled salads or soups. And don’t forget dessert! Puddings especially should be light and refreshing. Lemon tarts, meringue pavlovas with summer berries, and Summer Pudding are all delicious ways to end the meal.

Take your cue from Italian-style eating

If anyone knows about eating well in warm weather, it’s the Italians! Their cuisine is perfectly suited to their temperate climate. So take your cue from Mediterranean-style eating by serving a beautiful Antipasto spread, with olives, charcuterie, and artisan breads and cheeses, like the ones I create as part of my curated grazing tables.

If you need some help in planning your summer menu or designing event catering for your Surrey wedding or event, get in touch!

Catering: The Curated Kitchen | Photography: Bethany and James (images 2-4)