One of the biggest trends in wedding receptions the last few years is also one of the biggest trends in food: Eating local. If buying in-season produce and shopping the local farmer’s markets makes your heart sing, you might want to serve up a local menu to your wedding guests.
Where should you start?
First, know what is in season when. Obviously, spring and summer will give you the most options for your menu because that’s when you’ll find the greatest selection of fruits and vegetables at the markets and local farms. If you have your heart set on certain dish, are you willing to “import” an out-of-season ingredient from further away?
Second, make sure your caterer is on board. In fact, if you want to serve up a local menu, it’s good to discuss this when you meet with prospective catering firms. Can they get local ingredients for you? Are they OK working with only what they can get in season?
You’ll also need to decide what “local” means to you. Does it mean Southern Maryland only? Within a 50-mile radius of your reception venue? A 100-mile one? Or, does it mean sourced from Maryland? Defining local will help you and your caterer come up with a delicious menu.
And, last, are you OK if going local limits your menu? One way to avoid feeling limited is to serve regional or local dishes. The cooks of the past made meals with what they had available. Their menus and dishes could inspire your own wedding day feast!
If you’re serving a locally sourced menu at your wedding? Let your guests know! Use signs to identify local ingredients and their sources.
Remember that this doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing plan. Even getting just some of your ingredients locally is a great way to support area farmers and growers and show off the best that Southern Maryland has to offer!