Wedding Catering in an Arizona Summer

They’re back, those 110 degree plus days as well as those warm – really warm summer nights. In other parts of the country brides are planning summer weddings. But here in Arizona, brides may be second guessing that decision.

Of course you may travel to other parts of the country or state to hold your wedding to avoid the heat. But that could leave out some very important guests who may not be able to travel. We all decided to make our homes here in the valley so let’s make the best of these summer time blues!

Most brides want to keep that formal feeling even if the summer months tend to dictate a more casual approach. Unless you are inside a well air-conditioned venue, a formal event may be way too much this time of year. Going inside is easy, you can do almost any menu, most any form of attire and decor and you can control the environment. Moving outdoors may present a challenge, but who doesn’t like a challenge? Even though it is hot, Arizonans tend to feel obligated to do some portion of the event outside. That’s ok, maybe the ceremony or reception at sunset with the dinner held indoors.

Perception is everything so start by creating a visual perception with cool and comfortable surroundings. Cover the food stations, bars & guest tables in ice blue linens accented with brightly colored flowers or colored LED lights, instead of votive candles. Soft steel drums or calypso music during the cocktail reception implies a casual or tropical party atmosphere. Ask your catering staff to dress casual too. You want them recognized as service staff but obviously a white tux shirt and bowtie would just be cruel!

Think of starting the menu off with coconut prawns and a spicy mango dipping sauce or an imported exotic cheese tray complete with fresh berries, fruits and chutneys. This is another perfect opportunity to introduce one of those famous signature drinks that’s all the rave right now. Keep them well chilled, fruity and attractive. Once a few guests start to be seen with the cool cocktails in hand, everyone will want one! Adding a unique signature to your event your guests will remember.

Dinner time! Light fare plays well during the summer months. Do you dare speak the word “salad” to the groom? Sure you do if you top it with grilled fillet, Gorgonzola crumbles, heirloom tomatoes and red wine vinaigrette or spiced rubbed grilled prawns, sweet summer corn, avocado, smoked white beans in a creamy citrus dressing. You can easily incorporate vegetarian options into a summer menu as well. Make them hearty with seasonal vegetables and you will satisfy both the meat eater and the vegetarians on your guest list. For instance shaved fennel, fresh artichokes, cucumbers, feta cheese, lemon and oregano is a great alternative to the classic Greek salad. Position a platter of flame grilled chicken breast close by with warm garlic focaccia as a topping option and everyone is happy.

Don’t throw in the towel on Arizona. There are a lot of ways to make your summer time event drip with success instead of perspiration. When presented with lemons make lemonade, or better yet limoncello ice cream with summer’s fresh berries!

Imagine the possibilities…