Help your clients maximize their color use with tantalizing menus.

Weddings are naturally associated with colors, and the culinary aspect is no exception. Colors help set the expression and mood of an affair. In this article, we’ll explore how culinary colors can enhance weddings—no matter what the season.

Keep it Rich, Warm, AND Earthy in Chilly Months
In a recent survey conducted by the National Association for Catering and Events (NACE), October and fall far surpassed June and spring as the most popular times for weddings. In the same survey, many respondents cited rich and earthy tones, neutrals, and greens as the popular colors for this time of year.

When planning a fall wedding, how can you match the culinary design to the colors of the season? Burnt oranges, deep yellows, purples, and natural wood colors can be included in your arrangement, food displays, and florals. Meals that accent these themes include comfort foods, such as mini meat loaf with truffle mash potatoes, crab cakes over kale and bacon compote, and tenderloin with roasted Brussels sprouts are some favorite grab-and-go small plates. Warm soups like crab and corn bisque, pumpkin, and butternut squash always have a place on the menu during winter months, as do seasonal roasted root vegetables and healthy dark greens like kale and Swiss chard.

In New Orleans, either a hot flaming bananas foster over ice cream or a hot chocolate and liquor station is a must during a chilly evening reception. The fall and winter culinary goal is always to keep the romance in the air with a cozy atmosphere, cheering food and libations, and sending guests home with a warm glow from the inside out.

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Think Farm Fresh, Natural, Light for Spring/Summer
Eventually, colder weather transforms into spring—warmer weather emerges and flowers and green growth surface, soon to be followed by the heat of summer. At these times, weddings unquestionably set a different tone and mood. The most popular spring and summer wedding colors cited in the NACE survey are pastels, yellow, gold, orange, and salmon.

Translating the colors in warmer seasons to food is easy. As you would expect, spring and summer fare is naturally connected to the many culinary delights popping up out of the ground at the time, such as squash blossoms, lavender, basil flowers, peaches, melons, pears, yellow squash, and zucchini. The local farmer’s markets are buzzing with people and filled with vibrant fruits and vegetables. Heirloom tomatoes, Vidalia onions, blueberries, and strawberries—beloved and locally grown classics mean unsurpassed flavor for the feast. Farm-to-table wedding menus are popular with many couples and creating recipes and décor from the farmer’s market down the street guarantees their event will be unique to the season.

Favorite springtime recipes include tempura-stuffed squash blossoms, watermelon gazpacho, Georgia peach bellinis, pear, Danish bleu cheese and pecan tarts, and grilled summer vegetable crudités. Spring and summer menus are filled with light soups—like chilled dill and cucumber—flavored iced tea bars with fresh mint, and fresh fruit salads filled with strawberries, blueberries, and crème fraîche, that won’t feel heavy under the summer sun. The culinary ideal for spring and summer weddings is to be light, fun, cool, and refreshing.

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When thinking color, don’t forget the food.
The colors of the food at a wedding or event can tie in and help to complete the overall look and feel of the day. Color matters in our perceptions, feelings, and appetites. Taking the look and types of food on a wedding menu into consideration will make take your event to the next level. WPM
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Chef Alan Ehrich, The Audubon Institute, New Orleans

Watermelon Gazpacho
1-gallon small-diced watermelon
1-cup small-diced pineapple
1-cup small-diced mango
¼-cup parsley
2-cups Cherry Kijafa (Danish Cherry Wine)

Georgia Peach Bellinis
¼-cup pureed peaches
1-oz Peach schnapps
4-oz Champagne