As New Zealanders, our love of the beach means it's no surprise couples often choose them as their ideal venue. A beach setting widens the food options you can offer, as the more relaxed vibe allows the food to range from barbecue finger food to homemade lemonade, or maybe even a freshly caught catch of snapper from earlier that day. Allow your setting to inspire your food, and personalise your menu for an unforgettable day.
For most couples, the beach is a ceremony-only location and they head elsewhere for the reception – unless you’re lucky enough to have access to a traditional bach with a big lawn rolling towards the sea where you can pitch a marquee or beach umbrellas. And even then, it’s wise not to get too complicated with the menu.
‘A kiwiana theme is always fun,’ says Sally Tau of Auckland caterer Urban Gourmet.‘Get creative and serve tea-smoked green lipped mussel fritters with aioli, and homemade lemonade. And using biodegradable and eco-friendly plates and cutlery means there’s no mess or fuss.’Barbecues are the obvious choice for beach vows with seafood like crayfish, scallops and hapuka on offer as well as sides of red or white meat and gourmet sausages. ‘Hire a chef and a couple of wait staff,’ advises Anne Holman. ‘They’ll bring their own equipment, including a couple of barbecues, and do the job properly.’
A beach tends to demand practical and portable offerings. Think big tin buckets full of beer, individual bottles of champagne and L&P, as well as strawberries, sandwiches, gourmet burgers and a lolly cake.
If you want to create a seaside feel without the mess of sand and worries about the weather, look at something like Auckland’s Orams Marine Village Boat Park. Here you can hold your ceremony surrounded by the boat stacks and enjoy your reception with views over the Harbour Bridge and Westhaven Marina.
From the beach to the country. Tomorrow we look at rural wedding venues, and what possibilities this allows for your menu!