Wedding food trends for 2018

Planning a wedding isn’t a small task by any means… from selecting a venue to choosing flowers, booking entertainment and finding the right photographer to capture it all! Then, on top of everything, you are asked to select a menu for all your guests to enjoy. Crafting your menu can be intimidating at first, but it is also an opportunity to personalize your special day.

When planning your wedding menu, from hors d’oeuvres to the reception, bar, and beyond, we hope you gain some inspiration from these wedding food trends that are currently taking the wedding world by storm.

1) Local, Organic, Farm-to-Table Fare

This is a trend that’s hardly confined to weddings! More and more couples are opting for quality over quantity, insisting on locally-sourced, organic food that supports sustainable agriculture and local businesses. Wedding caterers and event venues have gotten wise to the growing demand, and many now offer locally-sourced menu items as a result.

Some couples choose to share their “locally inspired menu” with their guests by noting on their displayed menus where some of the local ingredients are from.

2) Help Yourself Approach

Traditional weddings typically include a full-service dinner, where guests take their assigned seats and the professional wait staff serves their various courses. This is a lovely and classy option for couples who have asked their guests to provide their entrée choice prior to the wedding day.

For the couples, who prefer to allow their guests the flexibility to build their own dinner plate the night of the wedding, a buffet-style dinner is becoming more popular. This option also takes some pressure off of the couple to collect all of the individual entrée choices leading up to their day – one less thing to worry about! The buffet-style dining also offers a more relaxed, casual and social approach the dinner hour.  Just keep in mind that a buffet plate is not always visually as stimulating and exciting as a plated meal.

3) A Brunch-Style Wedding Menu

When most people think “wedding menu” they think of traditional dinner foods, but a lot of weddings are moving toward a more brunch-friendly menu – playing off the “breakfast for dinner” concept. This is due in part to the growing popularity of brunch in general, as well as more couples opting for daytime weddings. In any case, why not forego steak and salad for omelets, waffles, and French toast?

4) Comfort Foods

Many couples are taking an approach that’s more “comfort food” than fine dining. Think burgers and fries, fried chicken, pizza, grilled cheese sandwiches, spaghetti and meatballs, and more—just like mom used to make.

With this trend in mind, couples have an opportunity to expand on the personalization of their wedding menu, by bringing to life some of their favorite foods! Why not incorporate mac & cheese into the menu – by serving a perfect bite size mac & cheese appetizer?

5) Alternative Dessert Options

For decades—if not even longer—wedding cake has meant a tiered yellow cake with white frosting, ornate decoration, and a tiny bride and groom figure on the top.

This classic wedding dessert probably isn’t going anywhere any time soon, but a popular trend these days is taking a more personal approach. Couples are offering doughnuts, macaroons, ice cream, cheesecakes, pastries, cupcakes, and more. These sweet options are endless and they are an easy, fun way to make your wedding just a little more unique. And for those that love dessert, why not have both!?

6) Late-Night Snacks

Although your wedding guests will be plenty satisfied after this delicious dinner you’ve planned for them, there is still likely to be plenty of drinks and dancing to follow. Just the thing to work up another appetite!

Many wedding menus are now incorporating a “late night snack” portion. Something small like sliders, cookies, or other finger foods are ideal—just be sure to keep them close to the dance floor!

7) Craft Cocktails

Beer, wine, and a gin and tonic or two are par for the course at plenty of weddings, but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for something with a little more flair. Consider offering your guests craft cocktails with unique recipes and ingredients – maybe something to reflect the couple’s favorite cocktails or something perfectly designed for the season, such as a lavender spiked lemonade in the Spring or a mulled apple cider in the Fall.

Plan Your Perfect Wedding Menu with Belle Vue

No matter your vision for your wedding menu, if you’re in the Eastern Cape, you can count on Belle Vue to passionately work with you to bring it all to life.

Belle Vue provides a high-end, gourmet dining experience with an unmatched level of service, attention to detail, and commitment to excellence. Whether you’re looking for fine dining or comfort food, Belle Vue can make sure you and your guests walk away from the celebration with full and happy bellies!

Easy winter wedding planning

Maybe some of you are busy getting ready for autumn—aka the time of scarves, football (or so I’m told), and pumpkin spice all over the place—but for me winter is everything. Given that, it’s probably not a surprise that I am a big fan of the off-season winter wedding. I find winter sunsets to be some of the dreamiest and moodiest to behold, crisp-to-cold temperatures make me feel alive, and long nights scream romance to me.

If you’re similarly minded, and contemplating ditching the spring and summer wedding standard in favor of something a little more… chill, it’s time we start chatting about what you need to know about planning a winter wedding.

Winter doesn’t mean everything has to be white: You can totally incorporate a wide palette of colors into your winter wedding, and there’s no reason to go all white unless you want to. Experiment!

Go with romance: I mean, you don’t have to, but to me winter is more romantic than any other time of the year. If you want to go all in with candles and twinkle lights, warm shrugs and blankets, fires and dark drinks—just do it.


Consider that winter often brings rain, so some of your guests might be delayed by minutes or hours. Keep times flexible if possible, but be prepared to get married whether or not others have delays.

Your guests want to be warm, too: Whether this means renting space heaters for a lofty reception hall, keeping (fashionable? Or just warm?) blankets on hand, or offering hot beverages when guests walk in, you’ll want to make sure you’re keeping potentially low temperatures and/or disagreeable weather in mind. P.S. Serve warm food!


Remember the light: Winter also means early sunsets, so if you’re hoping for ultra-romantic sunset photos, those might need to happen not too late.

But also keep your ceremony in mind: If you’re opting for an earlier ceremony time but still want everyone to party all night, make sure your timeline accounts for all those hours.


Consider your ensemble: This is especially important if you’re getting married outside or plan to go outside for photos or any part of your wedding. If you’re getting married in the winter, you’ll probably want to find a wedding dress with long sleeves, a super fab faux fur wrap (or real, if that’s your thing), or (if you’re especially bold), a winter wedding cape to pair with your gown. Bonus: You can also wear an extra layer of lined tights or leggings under your dress if you have a long skirt!

Boots are a good idea: Speaking of what you’re wearing, a winter wedding may necessitate expanding your wedding footwear options. This doesn’t mean you’re stuck with rubber rain boots or whatever weatherproof option is easiest (though you can be, if you want)—there are tons of options. Think about your face: If your skin is prone to drying out, you’ll want to pay extra attention to your lips and face. The wind can be harsh, and cold air is drying in general.

Bride of the year entry

Olivia & Richard tied the know at Shamrock Chapel & Belle Vue in December 2017.

Olivia writes:

I have decided to enter Bride of the year 2017 . I don’t think I’ve ever entered a competition before so we’ll see what happens! Competition ends 28 February, so not much time left to vote, but if you’d like to see me win, please vote. Sms OA951 to 36697. You can see my profile on Thank you!

Please support Olivia & Richard, and head over to SA Weddings to vote for this stunning couple.

Olivia & Richard’s photographers were the extremely talented Charlie Ray Photography.  Head over to the galleries section to have a look at their jaw-dropping pictures.



The Bowtie

The bow tie originated among Croatian mercenaries during the Thirty Year war of the 17th century: the Croat mercenaries used a scarf around the neck to hold together the opening of their shirts. This was soon adopted (under the name cravat, derived from the French for “Croat”) by the upper classes in France, then a leader in fashion, and flourished in the 18th and 19th centuries. It is uncertain whether the cravat then evolved into the bow tie and four-in-hand necktie, or whether the cravat gave rise to the bow tie, which in turn led to the four-in-hand necktie.

The most traditional bow ties are usually of a fixed length and are made for a specific size neck. Sizes can vary between approximately 14 and 19 inches as with a comparable shirt collar. Fixed-length bow ties are preferred when worn with the most formal wing-collar shirts, so as not to expose the buckle or clasp of an adjustable bow tie. Adjustable bow ties are the standard when the tie is to be worn with a less formal, lie-down collar shirts which obscure the neckband of the tie. “One-size-fits-all” adjustable bow ties are a later invention that help to moderate production costs.

To its devotees the bow tie suggests iconoclasm of an Old World sort, a fusty adherence to a contrarian point of view. The bow tie hints at intellectualism, real or feigned, and sometimes suggests technical acumen, perhaps because it is so hard to tie. Bow ties are worn by magicians, country doctors, lawyers and professors and by people hoping to look like the above. But perhaps most of all, wearing a bow tie is a way of broadcasting an aggressive lack of concern for what other people think.
– Warren St John

Bow ties, or slight variations thereof, have also made their way into women’s wear, especially business attire. The 1980s saw professional women, especially in law, banking, and the corporate world, donning very conservative tailored suits, with a rise of almost 6 million units in sales. These were often worn with buttoned-up blouses, some with pleats up the front like tuxedo shirts, and accessorized with bow ties that were slightly fuller than the standard bow ties worn by their male counterparts, but typically consisting of the same fabrics, colors, and patterns as men’s ties.


Tips for having a stylish wedding on a budget – Blogpost 4

Thanks for popping in to read our last 5 tips on having a stylish wedding on a budget.

Read previous entries here:  Blogpost 1, Blogpost 2, Blogpost 3


On the topping of bubbly, you don’t have to serve sparkling wine during the speeches. Many glasses are left untouched on the table. Guests can toast with whatever they are drinking at the time, just make sure your MC communicates this to the guests, and give them time to get a drink before the speeches commence.


The bar tab can eat away at your budget in an instant. And there are lots of ways you can keep the cost low. Don’t offer an open bar. If you offer wine, beer, a non-alcoholic beverage, coffee and a cash bar, guests will certainly stay hydrated. Ask waiters to make sure that guests are finished with their drinks, before removing glasses with wine or other beverages still in them. And make sure you have some non-alcoholic drinks on the table, like flavoured water of homemade cordial or lemonade, which will quench their thirst.


Don’t spend money on getting a fancy car if it’s not a priority for you. Most people don’t even see the car, as all the guests are inside, either the ceremony venue or the reception venue, when you arrive. If your own car is not fit for the occasion, ask a family member or friend to do the honours.


We’ve seen some gorgeous white or cream dresses that would make the most beautiful wedding dresses, for a fraction of the cost of a wedding dress. Keep your eyes open for a dress in a non-bridal boutique. Remember you can always alter it with a piece of lace, ribbon or brooch. And when you add a veil or headpiece and a bouquet, you’re half way there.


You can save quite a bit by booking  and using a few relatively new service providers for our wedding. If you’re willing to take the chance of using a more inexperienced service provider, it can trim the cost of your wedding considerably. And using newbies have their advantage too, as they often have fewer clients and can give you more personalised attention.

Tips for having a stylish wedding on a budget – Blogpost 3

Here is the next five handy tips to have a stylish wedding on a budget.

Previous blogposts can be read here:  Blogpost 1, Blogpost 2


If you love the idea of having fresh flowers at your wedding, but would not like to spend a fortune, then make sure you use those pretty blooms where they will have the most impact. For example, have an arrangement next to where you will be standing during the ceremony,  instead of having flowers in the foyer or in the aisle. Also using stunning individual flowers on the tables, can have a big impact, think one orchid plant per table, two tulips submerged in a cylindrical vase or single proteas.


The best way to transform any room, and to create a warm and festive ambience, is with lighting. Using lots of inexpensive candles, lanterns or fairylights will make for a stunning setting. Having candles or lanterns on the table will also leave less space for elaborate centrepieces, which means you can get away with using fewer flowers.


If you want a plated dinner, cocktail hour with canapés and drink service, you will need more waiters, who have to be paid by the hour. Instead set up a few food stations for guests to help themselves. Put the wine on the table for guests to pour themselves, and opt for a family-style dinner, where food is served per table and each guest dish up their own plate of food.


You will spend a big chunk of your wedding budget on food, make sure it’s delicious. Our advice would be to rather go for simple, but well prepared and presented food. Just because it sounds fancy on a menu, does not mean it will be delicious. Rather choose a caterer you can trust and opt for a simpler menu. Simple dishes like roasted tomato bruschetta,  a simple pesto pasta dish or orange & thyme roasted free range chicken are real crowd pleasers, and it certainly won’t break the bank. You also don’t have to offer three different meats, and a five course meal. A Three-course meal is more than sufficient.
If you are having a wedding cake, make sure you can serve it some time during the reception. Cupcakes or Petit Fours also work well as you can serve them with coffee, or give them to guests as gifts. Be creative, if your wedding cake is nice and moist, it can be dished up with a berry coulis and some artisan ice-cream, as a dessert. Or if you’re getting married quite early in the day, serve a slice of cake with a glass of bubbly.
You can find our last instalment of tips on having a stylish wedding on a budget here.

Tips for having a stylish wedding on a budget – Blogpost 2

Find our tips for having a stylish wedding on a budget (Blogpost 1) here.


You can save quite a bit by sending out e-invites and save-the-dates at a fraction of the cost of printed stationery. If you are worried that it might not work with some of the older guests, then simply ask your stationery designer to print an invitation for those who do not use email. A wedding website, like the fee websites offered on Wedding Jojo with directions, accommodation options and arrangements will also save you on printing costs.
Think of clever ways to use one item for two different purposes, for example choose a floral arrangement that can easily be transported from the ceremony to the reception area. Some other double duty ideas are to print the menu on the back, or inside, of the table number. Print your guests’ names on the napkins and let them keep it as a gift. If you’re buying decor items, for example vases, frames, glass jars or special linen, make sure you can use it in your home afterwards or present it as a gift to your bridesmaids to say thank you, after the wedding.
Having your wedding ceremony and reception in the same area will not only save transport cost, but it will also save you time as you won’t have to travel between the two venues while setting up. It will also make using the same decor again at the reception, much easier.
Choose a nice-looking venue and surroundings, so all you have to do is to beautifully set the tables with linen, flowers and centrepieces. Compromising and booking a more affordable, less appealing venue might seem like the smarter financial choice, but often times it takes a lot of extra decor items to make it look beautiful. So keep that in mind when booking your reception venue.
We love fresh flowers, but they can be quite expensive, and often times temperamental, especially in summer. Consider using an alternative to flowers like fresh lemons, apples, pinecones, berries, olive branches, succulents, eucalyptus, herbs or even potted plants.Alternatives like these cost a fraction of the price and if you can pick them up for a wholesale price or befriend a farmer who will give you a good rate, even better.
Join us next time for the following five handy tips. (Blogpost 3)

Tips for having a stylish wedding on a budget – Blogpost 1

We all want a dream wedding.  Unfortunately weddings can become very expensive events. If you would rather save some money for your dream holiday, or first home, here are our tips for having a stylish wedding on a budget.


Instead of trying to save on every little thing, choose three items/areas that you feel passionate about, for example, the food, pretty stationery and a live band, and spoil yourself by splurging on these three items or areas, and then save on the rest. Otherwise you may feel like you have to compromise on everything and deny yourself the special celebration you really want.


Probably the best way to have a stylish wedding on a budget,  is to keep the headcount down. Since you are paying per head for food, drinks, stationery and oftentimes the venue too, fewer guests mean more money in your pocket. Cut numbers by not inviting children and co-workers. And if you haven’t spoken to someone in a year, or do not have their number on your phone, maybe you should reconsider whether that person should be on your guest list.


There are many traditions and elements attached to a wedding. If any of the traditions do not appeal to you as a couple, like having a bridal party, a garter, a wedding cake, save-the-dates or gifts for the guests, then don’t feel obliged incorporate them in your wedding celebrations. If it’s not important, don’t feel like you have to spend money on it.


Once your beloved has slipped that ring on your finger, many friends and family members will offer to help you. If you have similar taste, and you felt that the offer was genuine, then make use of it, by all means. Using talented friends will not only save you a lot of money, but it can make for a more genuine and personal celebration and build-up to the big day. Remember if you are using friends and family to help you, be nice and make it fun for them to help you.


Think what you can borrow from friends and family, of course, within reason. Maybe your grandmother has a vintage purse, or your sister has a sparkly brooch that would finish off your look beautifully. Accessories and veils are easy to borrow as they are “one size fits all”. Also consider borrowing some decor items from friends and loved ones, rather than renting everything.

Stay tuned for Blogpost 2, 3 and 4 about having a stylish wedding on a budget.

Questions to ask your wedding photographer

Having great pictures of your wedding will be one of the few keepsakes after your big day.

We’ve compiled a list of 23 questions to keep in mind when choosing a photographer.

  1. What is your preferred style of photographer?  Traditional, artistic, natural light, photojournalism, illustrative?
  2. How many weddings have you shot in your career?
  3. How many weddings will you shoot on my wedding day?  If they say more than one, ensure there is adequate time in between each wedding.
  4. Have you ever shot at my venue?  If they haven’t, ask if they would be willing to go do a site visit.
  5. Do you bring in your own lighting?  The answer should be a resounding “Yes!”.  If they do not, expect a detailed answer as to why they work without their own lighting.
  6. Do you work from a shot list?  If they do, ask to see this list.  If they do not, follow up by asking if you can provide a specific shot list for them.
  7. Can I request certain images are taken at the wedding?  If yes, ask how they will ensure to capture these images.
  8. How many hours are included in your package?  Typical wedding photography needs to start at least two hours becore the ceremony.
  9. How much does an additional hour of coverage cost?
  10. Do you bring a second shooter?  I do not let a bride walk down the aisle without a second shooter for at least the ceremony.  There are so many moments missed (the bride’s face as she sees her groom, and groom’s face as he sees his bride for the first time) because there is only one photographer.
  11. How many images can I expect to see from my wedding? On average photographers take between 1200 and 1500 images at your wedding, but that doesn’t mean you will see all of those!  Typically, brides see anywhere from 150 to 400 images from their wedding.
  12. Do you have a limit to the amount of images you will edit?  The answer to this should be “No”.
  13. How long does it take to see the proofs from my wedding?
  14. Do i receive a disc of images, or do I have to order all prints through you?
  15. How much are prints?
  16. Is an album included?  If so, ask to see a sample of the album.
  17. Will you use my images in any advertising?
  18. Will you request the photography guidlines from the ceremony and reception locations?
  19. What will you and your second shooter wear?
  20. What is your plan if you are ill or there is an emergency and you can’t photograph my wedding?
  21. How much is the deposit?
  22. When is the balance due?
  23. What is your cancellation policy?

We trust that these questions will steer you in the right direction deciding on a photographer that will capture your special day.

Cape venue refuses gay wedding

Beloftebos wedding venue near Stanford in the Western Cape refused to host a wedding of a same-sex couple on grounds of their sexual orientation.

According to HuffPost SA, Alex Thorne (29) says:  “A few days ago, I emailed Beloftebos to enquire about dates, as my girlfriend and I are thinking about taking the next step.  I mentioned that this was a same-sex wedding, and assumed they’d have no problem with it.”  The venue later replied that they would be unable to host the wedding.  Sensing that the issue might be her sexuality, she asked if it had something to do with the dates, and was sent an email that their policy is to only cater to heterosexual weddings.

We wish not to offend with this but it is our venue policy – Beloftebos Wedding Venue

We took notice with great disappointment of the policy of Beloftebos Wedding Venue not to render services to a same-sex couple, and we believe that when entering a public service domain, religious beliefs should be set aside.

Stanford Tourism has in the meantime taken the brave step to suspend the membership of Beloftebos wedding venue after it’s refusal to host the wedding, and the venue was also removed from Stanford Tourism’s website.  The tourism body released a statement of Friday, and said it would await official comment from Beloftebos.


What do you think?

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