Creative Food and Drink Pairings That Are Way Better Than a Standard Wedding Cocktail Hour

Creative Food and Drink Pairings That Are Way Better Than a Standard Wedding Cocktail Hour
Jen Rodriguez Photography
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Earlier this year, Pinterest released its Wedding Report for 2017, and one thing became obvious—couples are doing their best, consciously or unconsciously, to stay away from traditions and to make their weddings unique.

And it makes total sense—if you are about to spend tens of thousands of dollars for a day's worth of festivities, you might as well customize the experience as much as you can and Make.It.Count. And that is especially true when it comes to the food and drinks you serve. While last year, couples experimented with food trucks as a more casual way to cater a wedding, this time around it's the standard cocktail hour that's getting a modern update.

Traditionally, you'd treat your guests to a short session of mixed drinks before the reception to give them an opportunity to mingle and socialize with each other. But brides and grooms are now opting for a more creative way to spend that portion of the wedding: food and drink pairings. And nothing is off limits, not even something so unwedding-like as beer or lobster rolls.

How do you make it work for your celebration? We asked Matthew Antoun, founder and chef of LA-based company Modern Art Catering, to give us a few ideas for delicious food and drink pairings that will charm your guests.

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Why do it?

"Old wedding traditions are getting tired, and as more millennials and younger generations start getting married, it's time for weddings to get more innovative. Food and drink pairings are a big restaurant trend at the moment, and I've always believed that catering should reflect restaurant trends and maintain that same quality. I love the idea of doing different food and drink pairing stations around your cocktail hour setup."

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Jen Rodriguez Photography

The Classics

"A red wine and red meat pairing is about as classic as you can get. A delicious cabernet or burgundy always goes well with a steak dish. I would probably pair the couple's favorite red wine with an amazing short rib appetizer. If white wine is more your style, I love the idea of a crisp chardonnay with a mini lobster roll for a summer wedding."

Surprise Your Guests

"An unexpected trend that I can fully get behind is pairing food dishes with craft beers. Craft beer has become a huge industry. In fact, there are officially now more breweries in America than there were before Prohibition. Beer is artisanal again, and can be as complex as wines. I would pair a cool stout with a braised meat appetizer, or a light hefeweizen with a fish dish. You could also create a poutine dish and top with beer gravy, and then pair with a great craft beer as well."

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Jenna Elliott/One Eleven Photography

Go Meat-Less

"For a filling vegetarian appetizer, we could create a braised bean dish in miniature skillets, and pair with the couple's favorite red wine. I also love the idea of a cauliflower crust pizza (surprisingly delicious) paired with a nice sauvignon blanc."

 
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