Grazing tables at weddings are no longer a passing trend… They’re a dietary staple on the culinary reception scene, and we don’t see that changing anytime soon!

The popularity of grazing platters, which were first served as appetisers (in place of canapés), has expanded into the “main food” realm, and the trend shows no signs of slowing down.

If you’re considering adding grazing tables to your wedding, there are a few key things to know. 

While professional events catering service can guide you through these considerations, it’s important to keep these tips in mind as you make your dietary decisions.

What’s a grazing table?

A “Grazing Table” is a tastefully arranged tablescape filled with meats, cheese, crudités, antipasti, seasonal fruits, vegetables, flowers, decorations, serving utensils, and dishes. It offers a relaxed way for you and your guests to mingle without cooking and preparing a formal meal.

Can you cater an entire wedding with a grazing table?

Grazing tables offer a versatile catering option for weddings – regardless of their sizes or styles. That said, there’s so much thought, planning, and preparation that goes into it unless you hire a professional wedding caterer.

We’ve seen grazing tables done inexplicably well, with plenty of good food for several smaller, less formal weddings, engagement parties, and PR events. Things could, however, go sideways… the line is very thin, and you need to be aware of the potential pitfalls of relying solely on a grazing table (or platter) to provide food for a large event – especially when they run all day.

Serving drinks alongside grazing tables

As grazing tables are typically self-serve, you might consider complementing them with self-serve drink options. Arrange non-alcoholic dispensers and coolers filled with ice and ready-to-drink pre-mixed beverages beneath the grazing table. This setup works particularly well for outdoor garden weddings to add convenience and refreshment for your guests.

Overcoming potential pitfalls

Granted, grazing tables can be a wedding hit – they’re fun, exciting, and anything but conventional. However, you’ve got to know all the potential pitfalls so you can address them properly. Here are a few to keep in mind:

  • Maintaining the grazing table or platter’s appearance: Imagine that 10-100 people have started picking at the platter. Who’s in charge of restoring the grazing table throughout the afternoon/evening to keep the spread looking fresh? How long will your catering staff stay after the table has been set up?
  • Food safety and hygiene: Will guests be able to safely eat their meat cuts, pates, and cheeses after being out in the sun for a few hours? What safety measures will you be taking to ensure that your attendees can enjoy their meals without being bothered by flies, ants, and other pests?
  • Accommodating dietary restrictions: Can you accommodate vegetarians, vegans, and pregnant women? If so, many people would avoid anything that has come into contact with deli meats, pates, or soft cheeses. This holds especially true for pregnant women.
  • If your grazing table is heavy on charcuterie or cheese, this will also restrict what they can eat from your platter. Suppose somebody has a severe nut allergy. In that case, you should probably avoid putting nuts all over the food, and those with gluten sensitivity should be worn which breads and crackers are safe for them to eat.
  • Managing guest flow: How many people can dine at once at the grazing table? 20, 40, 60, 100? Can your wedding guests sit at both ends of the table (and still enjoy its design)? Will they be served appetisers to eat as they mingle, or will they be provided with a more substantial setup that requires seating and cutlery?

What are some expert tips for an outstanding grazing table for a unique Sydney wedding?

  1. Minimise Wastage and Ensure Freshness: Rather than displaying all the food at once, opt for smaller grazing tables that can be replenished throughout the day. This approach reduces wastage and ensures optimal food safety.
  2. Utilise Height for Styling: Use different levels of height using cake stands or stacked crates. This technique allows you to separate vegetarian or gluten-free options from the main grazing table so you can create a visually appealing and organised setup.
  3. Embrace Edible Greenery: In addition to floral arrangements, consider adding some edible decorations. Sprigs of rosemary, bunches of grapes, or fresh, edible flowers can enhance the aesthetics and complement the food.
  4. Create a “Cheese Cake” Centerpiece: If cheese is part of your grazing table, consider a stunning Kapiti layered cheesecake as a focal point. This unique centrepiece will captivate your guests’ attention.
  5. Ensure Temperature Control: If your grazing table is set outdoors, be mindful of food spoilage and insect attraction. Select a shady location for the table and consider using a Shoo Away Fly Repeller to maintain a pleasant dining environment.
  6. Label the Food: Provide clear labels for each food item to inform guests about the offerings and accommodate their dietary requirements effectively.
  7. Plan for Leftovers: Consider potential leftovers and establish plans for their utilisation or storage. Options include donating to a homeless shelter, saving them for future consumption, or incorporating them into a post-wedding brunch.
  8. Curate a Colorful Spread: Source a wide range of fresh, seasonal produce and create a vibrant display of colours, textures, and flavours that wax poetic.
  9. Choose Registered Food Businesses: Prioritise registered food businesses to ensure compliance with safety and health regulations. Opting for a licensed caterer (like Boardwalk Catering) guarantees a reliable and worry-free experience for you and your guests.
  10. Sweeten the Experience: For those with a sweet tooth, consider incorporating sugary treats like doughnuts, cupcakes, and personalised cookies into your grazing table. This delightful touch adds an element of whimsy to the overall presentation.

Why choose Boardwalk Catering

At Boardwalk Catering, we pride ourselves on our Gold license status, a testament to our commitment to upholding the highest industry standards. Our dedication to using fresh and seasonal produce ensures the utmost quality in every grazing table we create. What truly sets us apart is our relentless pursuit of a premium catering experience that exceeds expectations. Guided by our values of honesty, customer focus, adaptiveness, common sense, and attention to detail, we deliver a seamless and personalised service for couples and their guests. Plus, our 24-hour monitors for fridges and freezers provide an added layer of food safety and security. Choose Boardwalk Catering for your wedding, and experience professionalism, excellence, and an unforgettable dining journey on your special day.