If you had plans to get married this year and couldn’t, you’ve no doubt had to rethink your whole wedding from scratch. COVID-19 has been disastrous for the entire events industry, with millions of rands lost. But now that South Africans are allowed to host weddings once more, here’s what you can expect in the future.
A decrease in overall budget
As part of South Africa’s nationwide hard lockdown, weddings or gatherings of any kind were prohibited. “These events were cancelled or postponed due to the government’s rulings at the time, but I think that this trend might continue for a longer period even after they are lifted,” says the team from Our-Venue.com. The need for smaller events will result in smaller event budgets and this in turn will have an effect on the food budget. Couples will likely not have the money to pay for high-end caterers and would rather opt for a more pared-down menu.
Less is more
With budgets in mind, gone are the fancy and over-the-top menus with intricate elements and a dozen garnishes. “Food is going to be more understated and minimalist,” says Ollie Swart, chef at Annalize Catering, which specialises in events and weddings. “There is a huge sensitivity regarding what’s happening in the world but we’re still giving our clients the feeling of ‘Annelize Catering abundance’.”
Using more local and sustainable produce in menus
“We’re supporting small local brands,” says Ollie. “The rand is weak at the moment, so importing ingredients is very expensive.” The team from Wedding Concepts echoes this: “Gestures such as sourcing unique, local gifts for guests or commissioning artisanal art is a meaningful move towards supporting local businesses or charities.”
Pre-packed canapé boxes
For hygiene purposes, couples will be cautious of offering roaming trays of canapés, harvest tables or buffets. “There is just too much hand-to-mouth interaction at these stations. So really beautifully packaged, canapé or graze boxes for individuals may become a solution to this,” say the team from The Flying Pan, who work closely with wedding planners from SA Weddings.
Special family recipes will get a chance to shine
The modern-day couple is not into the concept of a ‘cookie-cutter’ wedding. Everything has a personal element – down to what’s chosen for the menu. “People are wanting authentic recipes and asking us to incorporate their family dishes into our menus, which I love,” says Ollie. “If a bride and groom have something that they love to eat together, we recreate it somewhere in the menu.”
The ready-to-drink cocktail trend seems to be here to stay. Wedding planners in general are reducing the number of staff working at a wedding venue, which includes bartenders. Guests will now be able to get their drinks in sealed bottles, allowing them to pour into their own glasses and eliminate points of human contact.
More accommodating menus
The team from Food Fanatics says that gone are the days of everyone eating what is put in front of them. “We have noticed that people are being more conscious about their food and dietary preferences, which is the obvious result of the growing food culture, social media, product awareness and environmental responsibilities.” Ollie from Annalize Catering says that his team is developing more and more plant-based menus.