The wedding menu sets the tone for guests’ whole experience, leaving them feeling spoiled, satisfied and ready to party! It’s also often the thing they’ll talk about for years to come. For a destination wedding, a menu is a great opportunity to showcase the flavours and cuisine of your location and celebrate local produce and suppliers. The best way to do that, hands down, is to embrace seasonality. Using fresh, in-season ingredients will ensure that ingredients are plentifully available and deliver a punch to the palette! (As well as helping to offset your carbon footprint.) So if you’re planning a spring destination wedding, you’ll want light, bright flavours and delicate textures for your spring menu.
Of course, any spring menu ideas that you consider should be inspired by the destination itself. For example, if you’re planning a beach wedding in the tropics, you should include local fruits as well as plenty of seafood. The same goes if you’re planning a destination wedding in Ireland. So here are my top spring menu ideas for an Irish destination wedding.
Lean in to seasonal flavours. Every destination has signature spring flavours. For Ireland, it has to be spring lamb. You just can’t beat the beautiful sweetness of the meat and it pairs perfectly with the vegetables that are plentiful at this time of year like peas, new potatoes, broccoli, broad beans, and baby spinach. Another great spring flavour option for a main meal is salmon – serve it en croute for something special and substantial. Leaner proteins like these are also good options for spring because they’re lighter, making for easier eating as the weather warms up.
Serve fresh seafood. The waters off Ireland are bountiful when it comes to seafood, and we’re known as major producers and exporters of seafood. There are so many ways to incorporate Irish seafood into your spring menu. For example, Irish mussels steamed in cider make a beautiful starter, as do seared, hand dived scallops or Dublin Bay prawns. An oyster bar can be a big drawcard at a wedding during cocktail hour and if you’re marrying in April you’re just in time to catch the end of the season.
Incorporate lots of fresh produce. Fruits, vegetables and plant-based dishes are integral to a spring menu. This is the time when gardens reawaken and there’s a wealth of produce available. One of the best ways to showcase this bounty is to get creative with salads and other vegetarian starters. The brighter the better – you could even include edible flowers to make your salads look like they’ve been picked straight from the garden. Irish cheeses like a bit of shaved Dubliner make a great addition to a salad as they won’t overpower the other ingredients.
Use seasonal herbs. As with vegetables, spring is a great time for fresh herbs and there are so many exciting ways to incorporate them into a spring menu, from side dishes, salads, and garnishes to cocktails with a herbal element. They can really bring forth the flavour in foods and will make any plate look seasonal.
Stick to light desserts. Winter and autumn are the time for comforting, warm puddings and desserts. For your spring menu, you’ll want to keep things nice and light and stick to spring flavours like berries, citrus, florals, lemon, and vanilla. Think light dessert textures like parfaits, semifreddos, and meringues. For an Irish destination wedding, rhubarb is the perfect focal point of your dessert – nothing says spring like delicious, fresh rhubarb!
One thing is certain – your spring wedding menu will be a memorable part of your destination wedding!
Slán go Fóill,