Photo courtesy of Julia Lototskaya

Seasonal Swaps for Your Winter Wedding Catering

January 5, 2023
Words by
Photos courtesy of

Are you hosting a winter wedding? Consider making these seasonal swaps to serve up something delicious for your guests!

Provide warming welcoming drinks for guests.

“In place of welcoming guests to the ceremony with iced spa water, iced tea and lemonade, have hot apple cider, mugs and cinnamon sticks at the ready for guests. It adds an immediate sense of coziness and comfort as guests enter the space and adds an intoxicating scent to the air. You might also consider having a bartender available to add a splash of bourbon for any adult guests looking to add a little spice.” – Mandy Connor, Owner, Hummingbird Events

Put intentionality into your meat choices.

“Winter can be one of the coziest and most romantic times of the year. It’s no surprise then that winter weddings can take the cake in celebrating with exceptional cozy and romantic details. One of our favorite seasonal swaps is braised meats. Winter is the perfect time to swap out grilled steaks and instead bring in braised dishes which are oftentimes more comforting, hearty, and able to embrace warming ingredients such as cinnamon and spiced purées.” – Meena Kumar, Associate Brand Manager, Colette’s Catering

Photo by Anchor Pictures // Courtesy of Feathered Arrow Events

Make seasonal ingredient swaps for your favorite cocktail!

“In place of traditional summer margaritas at the bar, ask your bartenders to transition your margaritas into more seasonal-leaning options by adding elements like sugared cranberries, cinnamon, star anise or apple cider. Margaritas are wonderfully diverse in terms of their seasonality!” – Mandy Connor, Owner, Hummingbird Events

Go for a cozy vibe.

“Winter weddings evoke a cozy comfort vibe, so bring that through with your menu! I love spaghetti squash – swap it in for a wonderful veggie for your meat entrees and do a petite squash half for your vegetarians. You can do cacio de pepe, pomodoro, Alfredo, parmesan, etc. So so good!” – Natalie Good, Creative Director, A Good Affair

Photo courtesy of Collete’s Catering

Provide spiked cider or coffee.

“Winter weddings are truly magical. Swapping out the passed champagne for a spiked cider is always a winner! Don’t forget the coffee after dinner, or should we say “Spiked” coffee! Offering an Irish coffee or a hot white Russian to keep the party going!” – Erica Trombetti, Infinite Events

Serve guests soup instead of salad.

“A seasonal swap for your winter wedding menu can be a seasonal soup instead of a salad for your first course. A soup sets the tone for the rest of a seasonal meal and creates a uniqueness amongst summer weddings. If you live in New England, maybe a clam chowder or lobster bisque would bring in local and fresh ingredients while also maintaining the cozy winter wedding affect!” – Casey Stamouli, Owner & Lead Planner, Casey & Co. Events

Add seasonal veggies in wherever you can.

“Root vegetables are wonderful for a winter wedding – parsnips, carrots, beets, turnips roasted and thinly sliced? Yum!” – Natalie Good, Creative Director, A Good Affair

Photo courtesy of Collete’s Catering

Grazing stations galore!

“The colder months are full of amazing seasonal ingredients. Why not create a hearty charcuterie table full of the cheeses, meats, dried fruits, grains, and pickled veggies that we all love to graze on this time of year? Figs and persimmons would be great winter additions, as well as red wine-soaked soft cheeses, and roasted spiced nuts.” – Meena Kumar, Associate Brand Manager, Colette’s Catering

Include comfort food in your menu.

“Coming up with menu ideas for your winter wedding can be a challenge. You want food that is tasty and appetizing, but also warm and cozy. One way to accomplish this is to include comfort food in your menu. Grilled cheese and tomato soup is a classic winter dish that will definitely warm up your guests on a cold winter day! Mini cheeseburger sliders can be served as an appetizer or as part of a buffet table – just be sue you serve them with condiments! Or consider having a pasta bar where guests can choose their own toppings.” –  Anna Rodenbeck, Whitehead + Co.

Photo by Anchor Pictures // Courtesy of Feathered Arrow Events

Lean into seasonal items for garnishes and toppings.

“I love when couples lean into seasonally-driven menus. When winter rolls around, I’m most looking forward to seeing cranberry relishes and garnishes adorning dishes, and roasted winter root vegetables are always delicious! For cocktails, I love love love seeing dried blood orange slices as a garnish to a drink that can warm your guest’s hands.” – Ashley Lachney, Owner of Alston Mayger Events

Remember to keep balance in mind!

“For winter weddings, you want to find a balance between comfort foods that are not too heavy! Consider asking your catering if they offer seasonal vegetables like squash, brussel sprouts, warm sweet potatoes, or even swapping the salad for a soup. These add warmth to the meal but guests will still want to get up and dance!” – Kari Dirksen, CEO + Lead Planner, Feathered Arrow Events

Photo courtesy of Collete’s Catering

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