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Reinventing Tradition: A Fresh Take on Wedding Catering

Out with the Old, In with the New (Flavors)

Somewhere right now a wedding is suffering from an all too common phenomenon called “boring food.” Sure the chicken, beef or fish option could be cooked flawlessly by the chefs, but if it is a carbon copy of the type of meal you got at the last wedding you went to, and the one before that, it’ll come across as bland. Too often caterers don’t present enough variety and customization to the menu options they present guests. Not here at Rosemary & Rye. In honor of the new year, we’re examining some tried and true wedding classics to modernize them for high-end weddings in 2024. While we’re excited about offering food with flair, only you can prevent “boring food” by trusting your caterer and making the right combination of bold, yet simple and elegant choices.

Leave The Stuffy Shrimp Cocktail At The Clubhouse:

In the 1950s Shrimp cocktail became one of the pillars of Vegas casino fare. It didn’t take long for golf course clubhouse managers and home party hosts alike to catch on to what Vegas had figured out… Shrimp cocktails were a recipe for success if your objective was to throw a party that felt more costly than it actually was. Thus the stigma around shrimp cocktails being “stuffy” was born. Luckily we’re here to help you break that shrimp stigma without actually breaking the bank.

Traditional: Shrimp Cocktail

(hover over to see how you can reinvent this classic hors d'oeuvres)

Reinvented: Shrimp Ceviche Tastings

Elevate the Shrimp Cocktail experience by presenting a vibrant citrus-infused Shrimp Ceviche on individual tasting spoons. Combine succulent shrimp, zesty citrus, creamy avocado, and crisp bell pepper to create a delightful explosion of flavors. The individual servings not only add a touch of elegance but also make it easy for guests to savor the refreshing ceviche while mingling, providing a perfect blend of taste and convenience for your celebration.
However, if ceviche isn’t your preferred dish, fear not, our diverse menu boasts other unique shrimp creations. We offer mini shrimp tacos with red cabbage slaw and Baja sauce or mini shrimp po’boys in a brioche bun with house tartar.

Not into Shrimp, jumbo shrimp or any of the varieties Forrest’s friend Bubba could name? We have an array of other fresh seafood hors d’oeuvres from our local partners, as well as non-seafood and vegetarian options. Your culinary journey with us goes beyond expectations, ensuring every guest finds a palate-pleasing delight to savor during your special celebration.
Elevating the Salad Game:

Next up is the quintessential starter: the salad. For decades, the Caesar Salad has held its reign as a go-to choice for weddings, but as tastes evolve, so must our menus. At Rosemary and Rye, we’re rising to the challenge, determined to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. It’s time to elevate the salad course, infusing it with innovation and flair that will leave your guests pleasantly surprised and eagerly anticipating what else your celebration has in store

Traditional: Caesar Salad

(discover a salad your guests are sure to love!)

Reinvented: Burrata Salad

Crafted with house-made burrata, grilled peaches, mission figs, frisée, and drizzled with a luscious balsamic reduction, this salad redefines the expectations of a traditional wedding starter. The creamy burrata paired with the sweetness of grilled peaches and figs creates a harmonious blend of flavors and textures. Your guests will be enchanted by this exquisite reinvention that adds a touch of sophistication to the salad course.
As you consider the perfect salad option for your wedding, we encourage you to explore all our elevated salad options such as our Panzanella Bread Salad, Beet & Goat Cheese Salad, or Watermelon Feta Salad, each bursting with unique flavors and seasonal ingredients. No matter which salad you choose, we encourage you to select a caterer who sources from local purveyors and embraces seasonal produce for the freshest flavors. We promise, you will taste the difference!

A Tip From The Pros

"If you're inclined towards the classics, that's perfectly fine too, just remember that traditional still doesn't have to mean boring. Try serving your salad in a unique vessel, like a rock glass. Not only does this add a contemporary touch, but these can also be arranged in fun and eye-catching displays, adding an extra element of visual appeal to your dining experience."
Caroline Mooney - Rosemary and Rye - Wedding Sales
Caroline Mooney
Wedding Sales Manager
A Main Course That Doesn’t Just "Taste Like Chicken":

The cliche that almost any meat “tastes like chicken” should be enough to have you reconsider it as your primary wedding course. We’re not so much anti-chicken as we are anti-bland though. Chicken gets an unfair rep as basic when really it is versatile and can be spruced up in non-traditional ways to give it added flair.

Traditional: Chicken or Beef

(you know what to do by now...hover over for some inspiration)

Reinvented: Gruyere, Arugula & Prosciutto Stuffed Chicken Breast with Caramelized Shallot Pan Sauce

Elevate your main course experience with a culinary masterpiece: our Gruyere, Arugula & Prosciutto Stuffed Chicken Breast. This dish features a succulent chicken breast filled with the rich flavors of Gruyere cheese, peppery arugula, and savory prosciutto, complemented by a luscious Caramelized Shallot Pan Sauce. Each bite is a symphony of textures and tastes, providing a sophisticated twist to the traditional chicken option.
Alternatively, for an interactive dining experience, consider our Chef-Attended Grilled Beef Tenderloin Carving Station. Let your guests savor the aroma as our chef expertly carves tender beef tenderloin in front of them. This station not only adds a touch of culinary theater to your celebration but also ensures each guest receives a perfectly tailored portion of mouthwatering beef.

A Tip From The Pros

"In the quest to redefine traditional wedding menus, it's crucial not to overlook the diverse dietary preferences and restrictions of your family and friends. Vegetarian and vegan dishes don't have to be an afterthought; they can be equally flavorful and satisfying. Consider incorporating a tofu-based dish like our Vegetable Paella, featuring saffron arborio rice, blackened vegetables, and tofu – a delightful option that caters to vegetarians and vegans, but tastes good enough it won’t cause grandpa to gripe about the “weird food”.
Rosemary and Rye Chef Meghan Timby
Meghan Timby
Owner & Executive Chef
Simple Southern Sides, Just Done Better:
We’re not coming for your side dishes, don’t worry, you can keep the “meat and potatoes” crowd appeased, but please don’t just serve plain mashed potatoes and steamed veggies. There are too many possibilities for improvement on those simple southern sides that shouldn’t be ignored.

Traditional: Mashed Potatoes

Reinvented: Gourmet Mashed Potatoes

Elevate the classic mashed potatoes by offering an array of tantalizing add-ins such as Stilton and bacon for a rich and savory experience, Gruyere and truffle oil for a touch of sophistication, or Sweet Potato, Gouda, and Sage for a delightful twist.

Traditional: Roasted Vegetables

Reinvented: Southern Succotash

In true Charleston fashion, our Southern Vegetable Succotash features Lima Bean, Corn, Onion, Red Pepper, and Cherry Tomato. This Southern classic brings a burst of color and flavor to the table, celebrating the vibrant and fresh produce of the region.

For health-conscious couples, consider swapping traditional mashed potatoes for a lighter alternative like mashed cauliflower, providing a nutritious yet equally delicious option.

A Note On Dietary Restrictions: For those with allergy concerns, transparency is key. Disclose all allergies to your catering team, and they can work collaboratively with you to craft safe and delicious menus for your event. While it is your day, you're sharing a meal with all your guests in celebration so communicating needs well in advance will help ensure that you don’t solve the “boring food” issue by creating biohazards for some of your guests.

Late Night Snack Spectacle:
By the end of the night, especially if you’ve sprung for a signature cocktail, everyone is going to be looking for the snacks. Keep them satiated with more than scraps and really small hamburgers by planning a full-on late-night snack spectacle.

Traditional: Mini Sliders

Reinvented: Live Neapolitan Pizza Station

Don't get us wrong, we’d rather have sliders than nothing of course, but pizza is the king of the late-night snack scene with our Live Neapolitan Pizza Station. Say goodbye to the expected and hello to an interactive experience that engages your guests' taste buds. Watch as skilled chefs handcraft Neapolitan-style pizzas with a variety of fresh, high-quality toppings, providing a personalized and piping-hot delight for each attendee. This reinvention not only satisfies late-night cravings but also transforms the snack moment into a culinary spectacle, leaving a lasting impression on your celebration.

When crafting your late-night menu, choose from our chef-curated pizzas featuring delicious and artisanal combinations such as Prosciutto, Arugula & Shaved Manchego; Italian Sausage & Peppers; or EVOO, Garlic, Ricotta, and Spinach. For those who want to stick to the classics, we offer Traditional Pepperoni or Margherita-style pizza as well.

A Tip From The Pros

"For a pizza as unique as your love story, get creative and make your menu truly one of a kind with 'his' & 'hers' pizzas, featuring both the bride and groom's unique tastes. It's a fun and personalized touch to your late-night celebration."
Laurel Samuelson - Rosemary and Rye Marketing Manager Headshot
Laurel Samuelson
Marketing Manager
Southern Sweet To Compliment Your Cake Choice:
You can have your cake and eat it too, all good weddings should have at least something for the bride and groom to slice into, but that doesn’t mean it has to be your primary dessert option for all your guests.

Traditional: Wedding Cake

Reinvented: Banana Pudding

When in the South, indulge in a true Charlestonian delight – Banana Pudding! Take a departure from the expected and opt for the comfort of this classic Southern dessert. To add a touch of charm, serve it in adorable mini mason jars, creating a visually appealing and easily shareable sweet treat. For an elevated experience, consider Banana Foster, featuring a flambéed rum sauce and decadent vanilla bean ice cream. The theatrics of this dish are sure to leave your guests impressed and their taste buds delighted.

If bananas aren’t your preferred flavor, we understand, our toddlers would disagree with you as they often single-handedly keep the banana industry bankrolled any given week, but we totally get that they’re not a perfect fit for everyone’s dessert palette.

To cater to diverse tastes, consider booking a unique local vendor like Oh So Gelato, offering three adorable gelato cart options. Or for a truly one-of-a-kind experience consider a company like Life Rafts Treats, a gourmet ice cream company that can turn your treat into delightful wo

Mix Things Up With Drinks As Diverse As Your New Menu:

It would be a disservice to your wedding vibe to overhaul the menu in tasteful and unique ways just to leave guests literally thirsty for more when they go to order a drink. Rather than guests being on the spot to ask your bartenders can you make this, that, or something else, mix things up a bit by providing a carefully crafted list of specialty cocktails:

Traditional: Classic Mixed Drinks

Reinvented: Handcrafted Specialty Cocktails

Elevate your wedding bar experience by bidding adieu to the familiar classic mixed drinks and embracing our Handcrafted Specialty Cocktails. Step away from the ordinary and into a realm of personalized drink experiences for you and your guests. Our skilled bartenders will meticulously craft bespoke cocktails with premium spirits, fresh ingredients, and unique flavor profiles.

Indulge in unique and beloved drinks such as an Aviation, a Hot Daisy, the Paper Plane, or the ever-trendy and delicious Espresso Martini, and many more.

For those seeking a more low-key or refined celebration, skip the additional bar add-ons and elevate your dinner experience with personalized wine service at each table. Let our attentive staff serve your guests from the comfort of their seats, adding a touch of class and refinement to your affair.

A Tip From The Pros

"For those interested in hosting a dry wedding, we proudly present a fun and unique mocktail offering so delectable that your guests won't even miss the liquor. Mocktails are quickly growing in popularity and becoming the next wedding drink trend. Check out our recent blog post on Mocktails for inspiration and to help you create a fully inclusive menu that complements your celebration perfectly. "
Pressley Casias - Beverage Sales Associate
Pressley Casias
Beverage Sales Associate

In the world of weddings and catering, it’s time to break free from the ordinary and embrace the extraordinary. By reinventing classic dishes, you not only infuse new energy into your celebration but also create lasting memories for your guests. This year, let your wedding menu be a reflection of the innovative and exciting journey that lies ahead. Out with the old, and in with the new.

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